Burning Coals

﷯How fear can be used to focus on your company's﷯ big goals.

Growing up under my parent’s roof, my siblings and I were constantly surrounded by motivational and inspirational information from them both. Everywhere we turned in our house, you would find books, audiobooks and inspirational quotes on every countertop and table. There was one particular audiobook that stood out to me called “Unleash the Power Within” by Anthony Robbins. 

“Hmm, this looks interesting,” I thought to myself. I picked up the audiobook and began to read the front and back of the packaging. 

“Unleash the power within, personal coaching to transform your life,” I whispered to myself as I read the cover. I then glanced over into the living room where my mother and father were sitting together, each reading a book. 

“Mom, have you listened to this Anthony Robbins book yet?” I asked. 

“Yes! It’s an outstanding book! You can take it if you’d like,” she replied. 

I glanced back down at the book and saw Anthony Robbins with that gigantic smile on the cover. “Yeah, if you don’t mind, I’ll give it a shot,” I replied. 

The following morning, I hopped into my car and popped the audiobook into my CD player. I listened to the book the entire 30-minute drive while on my way to my first class at St. Thomas College. “Wow! This is some power and motivational material!” I said aloud. I couldn’t get enough of the book. Every second I could, I would listen. Everywhere I drove, I would have the book playing. A few days later, I told my mother how much I loved the book and that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on more of his material. Before we knew it, all of my siblings were reading his books as well! 

About a month had passed since I finished reading “Unleash The Power Within,” and my mother and father called my brother and I into the kitchen. 

“Have a seat with us here at the table guys,” my mom said. All I could think was that we did something terribly wrong. My mind raced around the possibilities. “Your dad and I have decided to give you an early Christmas gift this year. We got you guys two tickets to the Anthony Robbins weekend seminar next weekend.” 

“You’re kidding me?” I asked in disbelief. We were very excited about the surprise, and we thanked my parents and promised that we would make the best of our weekend trip.

The following week flew, and before we knew it, our bags were packed and Rich and I were on the road. We arrived at the hotel in New Jersey and began to settle in and get organized. We received a personalized Tony Robbins notebook and a piece of paper with our schedule for the week. “Wow, this looks pretty intense. We are at this seminar from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.!” I said. Rich and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, and proceeded to grab our material to head down to the arena to begin our journey. 

We arrived at the arena, as did thousands of other people, all looking around with amazement and confusion. Rich and I found our seats and spoke to the people around us. Everyone seemed to be in the same boat as us. Nervous and very uncertain. Before we knew it, the lights went off, and the rock music began to play. Out came Mr. Robbins, jumping up and down, clapping and screaming for all of us to get up out of our seats and join along with him. Rich and I were not too sure about this and felt very uncomfortable participating, but we did. 

Throughout the entire weekend, Tony Robbins was preparing all of us to walk across hot burning coals. Yes, that’s right! We all had to walk across 12 feet of burning, smoking, cherry red coals on our bare feet. At first when the task was presented to us, nerves instantly set in and fear began to surface. However, this was Mr. Robbins’ plan. He taught each of us that no matter who you are and what you do, we are all faced with fear in our lives. The most important thing to remember is to keep your eyes on the end results and not on the fear itself. 

So, it was finally time for the main event and we began to take off our shoes and socks. We all made our way outside into the 20-degree weather and began to line up. Smoke filled the entire sky, and we could smell the burning coals in the air. We inched closer and closer to the coals as our nerves began to increase. There it was, the super red-hot coals in front of me. 

“Oh my god. I don’t know if I can do this. Sean, calm down, you can do this,” I thought to myself. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and did what I was taught that weekend— focus on the end result not on the fear. I set my eyes at the black pavement on the other end of the coals, and I marched through them. When I reached the other side, a gentleman was there with a hose to spray down my feet. 

Mission and goal complete. What an amazing feeling and experience.

In business, and in life, we are all faced with challenging and scary obstacles that we must conquer and walk through the “hot coals” in order to achieve success. Fear is something that we all have in the plumbing business. Fear of expanding, fear of raising prices, fear of change, fear of failure, etc. 

I learned a lot on that weekend. It’s crucial for us to sometimes step outside of our comfort zones and try new things. That could be anything. Trying new tools and fittings, a new software program that helps keep you more organized. Even leaping into the world of social media! We all know that each of us has some sort of fear when it comes to our plumbing companies. I encourage you to harness that fear, focus on the goal and end result, not the fear itself. You must learn to conquer those fears, and I guarantee it will help you and your company become even more successful. 

Sean McCormack is co-owner of BMC Plumbing and Heating Inc. He can be reached by email at seanmccormack99@yahoo.com; phone 845-596-7770; Twitter @seantheplumber1; and Periscope @seantheplumber. Visit McCormack’s website at www.seantheplumber.com.

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