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Your business is your life. Your income. Your daily bread. The way you support your family and your employees. We owe it to them to reconsider and reevaluate things regularly.

For business owners everywhere, I think it’s time to get real. Being busy is not the same as being productive. And circumventing reality won’t get anyone anywhere. Waiting for things to get better simply won’t cut the mustard. Trying to be popular instead of effective is the folly of weak men.

Ask yourself if it’s time to wise up. As Robert Frost puts it, too many people are “trying to make the reality of your life conform to the unreality of the myth.” Just because your mother told you that you’re beautiful and intelligent doesn’t make it so. “American exceptionalism” is a stagnant myth; YOU have to be exceptional – you’re not exceptional just because you live in America – far from it.

Bertrand Russell wrote, “Man is a rational animal, so at least I have been told. Throughout a long life I have looked diligently for evidence in favour of this statement, but so far I have not had the good fortune to come across it, though I have searched in many countries over three continents. On the contrary, I have seen the world plunging continually into madness.” Confronting the truth takes guts. It’s hard to face up to reality, to ask the hard questions, but that is exactly what sets people free in every aspect of their lives.

Mark Steyn’s new book, “American Panic,” deals well with group think. Allowing Hollywood and the media and politicians to decide what and how you think is the province of silly buggers. Clots. Fools. A good example is the worldwide publicity and horror when twenty rioting black mine workers, armed with machetes and knives, were recently shot by police in South Africa, while the ongoing genocide of 4,000 white farmers in South Africa, tortured and brutally murdered, is ignored by the media.

Things won’t get better by accident. The economy is NOT improving. There are not more jobs being created in America. So how will we, as entrepreneurs, adjust our businesses to these realities? How can we collaborate with other producers? How will we trim our sails? How can we adapt to the real world, and do well? During a plague of rats, the rat killers get rich. Are you ignoring the rats nibbling at the bare feet of your vulnerable, sleeping children, or are you taking advantage of the problem, like a real entrepreneur, a warrior instead of a worrier?

Perhaps start with finding a good mentor – not one who agrees with everything you say, but one who will help you to apply your skills, strengths, and resources accurately and intelligently in order to build your business and make money. (I took this photo yesterday of a new tree growing out of an old, dead tree, using the dead tree as nutrients. Think about it: use your past to power your future.)

Robin Elliott     LeverageAdvantage.com