Are you ripe?

One of the best leaders I ever worked with, Don Cutcliff (a man who changed my life forever in two minutes), used to say all the time, “When you’re green you are growing and when you are ripe you are rotting.” I am not sure where he learned that but it has resonated with me for many years.

Success is so dependent on continuous learning and a constant exposure to new ideas that it is hard to imagine great inventions or discoveries without them. Ideas are great—but you also need to be willing to experiment and try them to see if they can help you be more successful. Without applying them, they just remain ideas—nice thoughts but no purpose.  In his subscription email, Verne Harnish writes about his 4 beliefs about growing your business and the first three are game changers for everyone. Forgive my paraphrasing but I’ve added my own slant for they apply to universal situations…

  1. The winner is the one who continues to learn and then acts quickly.  The path to success requires continual growth and development, exposure to new ideas and new ways of doing things. But it is often the first one who does something that receives the credit and recognition—even when the second guy comes out with something better.
  2. Ideas are powerful. But it is hard to develop really good ideas when you are mired in your day to day routine. You need to break free and spend some time just thinking—not only can great ideas bubble up but you gain perspective from getting out from the muck.
  3. You cannot do it by yourself. No matter how brilliant you are, there are others that are smarter. And there are others that possess those skills that you do not—they have the relationships with the decision makers, or they know how to gain attention in social media, or they know how to write a press release that will lead to interviews on talk shows. You get the idea—we all need other people in our lives. And if we surround ourselves with the right people, they will help us grow and develop—and steer us on the path to success.

My hope is that this blog has given you some ideas to think about. What is your plan to get new ideas? How are you going to free up your schedule to develop those great ideas into something actionable or applicable to your situation? Who are you learning from? Let this serve as the impetus to get you moving in the right direction. I challenge you not to be ripe but to be green and always growing. These are habits and plans that can be developed. Decide to do something different to ensure your growth is continuous for success is rarely an accident.

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