I would like to stay that "Success comes from doing what you believe in".
I would like to say that "Success comes from being passionate about what you do".
And, those statements are both true, to an extent.
There are ideas that I used to believe, which I believe in no longer. There are harsh realities that I have come to accept, reluctantly.
This brutal honesty, this uncompromising self-criticism, is perhaps the root of the success and uniqueness of IKI Krav Maga. There are no false idols over here, no false gods permitted. As my dear friend Hal says..the church of the painful truth.
I have seen plenty of people who were totally passionate about what they did. They were coming to open the best little French boutique in Israel, a gourmet coffee shop in Jerusalem, a new line of clothing for modest women. All failed. Being passionate is not enough. You have to know business, you have to know what you are doing.
Passion is great, essential, but not enough. In fact most martial arts instructors are passionate, at least at first, and most private gyms fail. They close their doors because they cannot pay the rent.
I am passionate, oh yeah you better believe it. Get more on a topic I believe in, Jewish history, Israel, Krav Maga, and you will not be able to shut me up. But I was also raised with common sense and with a people who have uncommon common sense.
Some thoughts to share...
Expenses: One of the greatest reasons for failure is mismanaging your expenses. If you reached the Promised Land and are now fabulously wealthy, great, you can buy that yacht and throw lavish parties. Otherwise, watch what you spend and eliminate the non-essentials.
When I was working on Wall Street I met Menachem Golan. For those who do not remember he was part of the Cannon group with fellow Israeli Yoram Globus. For those who do not remember then perhaps you remember some of the guys who worked for them; Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Charles Bronson and Sylvester Stallone.
These two Israeli guys made it big internationally. One of their secrets was careful financial management, low budget films and keeping expenses down.
An American executive walks into Menechem's office in Los Angeles for a business meeting. He asks where they will be going for coffee. Menachem responds, "Go out for coffee, am I crazy! They charge $5 for a fancy cup of coffee, why did I rent an office and hire a secretary, so that I should go for coffee! We have coffee in the office, that is what an office is for".
I was inspired.
Now don't get me wrong. For those that know me it is well known internationally that like my father before me - I like coffee. There are few things I enjoy as much as sitting at a coffee house and enjoying a really good cup of coffee. But if we cannot afford this, if this type of extra expense will make it impossible to host me for a seminar, then we can have our "office coffee".
For years I did not allow myself the luxury of "going out for coffee", I hardly knew the meaning of the phrase. Going out for coffee is a product of my success. But I need to - I know how to cut back.
If we want a seminar and times are not economically - eliminate the non-essentials, like Menachem Golan, have your coffee in the office.
My office is next to my kitchen. Why rent an office when I can make one in the house? Keep expenses down.
How is it that I can offer the BEST Krav Maga service in the world at a fraction of the cost of my competitors? Because I grew up knowing how to keep expenses to a minimum.
Our Krav Maga and our budget planning is the same; keep things to a minimum, no extra fancy stuff. Keep it simple and succeed.
Extra moves kills your self defense, extra expenses kills your self defense business.
Plan ahead: Another key I have found to success is quite simple; plan ahead. Very few events can be planned and pulled off successfully at the last minute. Plans are meaningless but planning is everything.
Anticipate problems: Problems will occur, prepare for that eventuality as best as you can. Those with a plan B fare better than those caught of guard.
Never Give Up: Well, unless it is a really bad idea. I believe in never giving up but sometimes you just have to know your place in this life. I know someone, very well, he wanted to be a businessman. He tried one thing after another, failed at each and everyone as his family prayed for success. Finally he took a part time job in youth counseling. Today he is a huge success, highly respected in his field, and very sought after, but he is not a self-employed businessman. That idea, he wisely gave up.
Some people are great teachers, but not great organizers. Stop banging your head against the wall trying to succeed at something you are not well suited for. I know some rabbis who simply cannot teach, so they become the schools' organizers, and they succeed at this. Other rabbis can teach but please do not put them in charge of the schools' budget!
Never give up until you finally realize that it is time to try something else.
Never give up, if one thing does not work, change directions, try something you are more suited for.
When you find your "calling" you find not only financial success but also peace of mind.