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Crippled CEO Blog #052: It’s the Person, not the Area

Crippled CEO Blog #052:

My primary business manufactures and sells removable mesh pool safety fencing to dealers who then resell and install it for homeowners. We have about 90 dealers through the US and in 15 additional countries worldwide. Every dealer services the local area that they are located in. So, Life Saver Pool Fence of Atlanta handles — you guessed it — Nebraska. I kid. He does Atlanta. And also the surrounding area. But you get the idea. 

In order for a person to be our customer (or, more accurately, our dealer’s customer), with a few exceptions, they need to have a pool in their backyard. 

The logical conclusion you can make from this, and one I made for a long time, is that dealers in warmer areas with more pools will be more successful. Following this logic, Los Angeles should be #1 and somewhere like North Dakota should be at the bottom, with everyone else ranking logically in between.

Wrong. 

For almost a decade, our best dealer in the country was in Long Island, NY. While not #1 now, they’re still in the top 3. 

Another dealer consistently in the top five takes care of a portion of New Jersey.

Our dealer in Oklahoma does better than San Diego and Tampa combined. COMBINED. 

When I’m setting up somebody new, especially if they are in a location that doesn’t seem ideal, they immediately put limits on themselves. They decide that they can’t be great because of a factor outside their control, in this case their area.

And the logic they are using to come to this conclusion makes sense. It’s just 100% not true. It’s not the area, it’s the person.

If Long Island, New Jersey, and Oklahoma can crush it, then anywhere can. 

Your circumstances don’t dictate your capacity for success. Only you do. But it’s tempting to give away our power to things beyond our control.

“You don’t understand, Eric. My area really is different.” I’ve heard this from people all over the country, all of whom legitimately believe that they face a uniquely challenging set of circumstances that prevent them from being a top performer. 

We should be liberated by the idea that we can succeed regardless of our circumstance, but that’s scary. We don’t want to take away the power from our circumstances and put it in ourselves. That means that if we fail, it was only our fault. If we get rid of the excuses, there’s no one to blame but us. 

But that’s true whether you realize it or not. You are the captain of your ship whether your hand is on the wheel or you are letting the waves push you around and decide your direction. 

You can be scared that there is no one else to blame or you can be emboldened that there’s no reason you can’t succeed.

People in worse situations than you have gone out and made it, and people in better spots have failed.

It’s not the area. It’s the person.

Also, real quick, before I finish, this post marks one full year of writing this blog every single week — without missing one — and some of you reading every single one. 

Most of the people I tag each week have been here since the beginning.

Some of you like, comment, or share every single post. A chunk of you have even signed up for the text message reminder. 

Thank you. So much. Seriously. It means the world to me. Even if you just read it and never say anything, thank you.

After a year, clearly this hasn’t exploded into something wildly popular with a huge following, but I am really proud of the people who are here each week, and the impact people have told me they experienced. 

I really appreciate all of you for sticking around, and I’m looking forward to doing this for another year. It seems hard to imagine that a full year has passed, but that’s the key to doing anything important: A little at a time, consistently, for a long time.

Thanks again. You all are the best.

(Was this useful for you? Maybe you know someone who could really use this right now? Please share it with them. And if you want to make sure that you never miss a post, send a text message with the word CRIP to the phone number 484848.)

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