The words you see onscreen trigger subconscious responses. Dark images penetrate your mind. Your heartbeat increases slightly. Your muscles tighten. Like a warrior advancing to combat, you prepare to engage with your market. Ready, aim, fire. You send an email! Everyday, military metaphors are projected across our computer screens. Guerrilla marketing. Market penetration. Global domination. Competitive intelligence and more. How do you approach your marketing, your business? At the end of the day, do you feel like you have been in battle? Suffering battle fatigue.
War is just metaphor for the application of force. By understanding the nature of war, you can apply this understanding to business. You can apply the principles of war with elegance or with crudeness. It is like knowing the difference between a charging gladiator and a meditating warrior-monk.
Here are some warrior secrets that have been derived from traditional Maori martial arts and modern military tactics. Adapt and apply some of these principles into your life and business.
1. The Power of Oneness.
When tracking and observing, you need to become one with your environment. The trees, the insects, the wildlife become your eyes and ears. The forest becomes part of your body. In order to reach this level of feeling, you need to become one with yourself. This power of oneness begins with the point of stillness. You need to slow down your thinking and relax into yourself. Slow down your thoughts so that you can sense your own body. Tense muscles. Nervous responses. Stressed breathing. Just slow down and take time out from your busy work environment. Spend an hour of slow thinking each day. Do nothing during this hour then move when you are ready. The modern entrepreneur is like a scout, silently observing then moving with swift, efficient actions.
2. Know Yourself.
Know your strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes it takes honesty to admit your own weaknesses. Your partner, your children or close friends can all be good mirrors. They reflect back both your good and ugly features. The ego of a mighty entrepreneur can be easily pricked by the honest opinion of his 4-year old daughter. Your results are also another good indication. What results are you getting? Look around you for 360 degree feedback. Put yourself in uncomfortable positions so that you can stretch and grow.
3. Know Your Enemy.
I said know your enemy, not kill your enemy. Sometimes your worst enemy can be yourself. Sometimes your enemy is called your competitor. Try this. Look at your competitors as potential allies. Study them. Think like them. Talk to them. Understand them. They very much want the same things in life as you do. Yet be like an iron fist wrapped in a velvet glove. Negotiate and operate from a position of strength and honour rather than weakness and deceit. The energy of your values and beliefs radiate out from you like a force-field. What energy are you sending out?
4. Think 3 Times Beyond Your Current Capability.
Some warrior races such as the Maori of New Zealand used to train so that one warrior was equal to three or more opponents. Their smallness in numbers was compensated for by the quality of the warriors. Find a way to leverage your current capability so that you achieve a 300 percent improvement in your results. You could be three times faster in delivering your product to the customer. Or your product could be three times more reliable. Why stop at a ratio of three? Perhaps you could achieve a 10, 20 times improvement ratio on your current capability.
5. Focussed Relaxation in High Stress Situations.
Stress is the number one cause of reduced work efficiency. When teaching martial arts I encourage people to consciously laugh when in high stress situations. This relaxes the body and allows natural reflexes to emerge. Imagine a bloodstained maniac running at you with an axe. Your body starts to tense up. Your mind panics. Now imagine the same axe maniac running straight into an invisible concrete wall three metres in front of you. He is completely knocked unconscious and thrown backwards onto the floor. You laugh. Now slow this moving image down, frame-by-frame. Bring the invisible concrete wall a little closer each time. Laugh as the maniac gets knocked out. Now speed up the frame sequence. Charging axe maniac. Bang! Knock out! Hahaha! Repeat several times. The concrete wall becomes a metaphor for the power of your focussed mind. The next stage is to learn and apply defensive shock-actions so that you have the equivalent physical impact of an invisible concrete wall. Use this same mind process when encountering negative or hostile customers. Put up an invisible barrier to block their negative energy. Use laughter to disarm the tension. Be in control of your own mind and space.
Find ways to activate the warrior energy within you. Use it as a force for good. This is the challenge for the modern entrepreneur. To serve the common good while creating several successful businesses.