Going through some old notes, I came across something I wrote down at a Zig Ziglar seminar from 1993.  It stated, “Would you employ you?”

I remember Zig asking the audience,

“What kind of employee are you?  If you were the boss, are you the kind of employee you would want tohave as  part of your team? Do you deliver more than is expected or do you give just enough?”

He went on to talk, how important it was to be the best employee no matter what kind of job you had, “If you dig ditches, be the best ditch digger.  If you flip burgers, be the best burger flipper.”

Then he said the line I’ve heard a thousand times, “When you do more than you’re paid for, eventually you’ll be paid for more than you do.”

That mantra has stuck with me over the years.  It has worked for me in the ring and in business.  I wasn’t the most talented fighter, but I definitely would outwork you.  Every fight I thought about how hard my opponent was working- that fueled me to push harder in training.  If I thought he did ten rounds of bag rounds, I did twelve.  If I thought my opponent got up at 6am to run two miles, I got up at 5:30am and ran three.  The one thing you can control is your work ethic and attitude.

As a business owner I have to answer to my clients and my employees.  I have to examine myself, “Am I worth the money I charge, do I deliver the goods?  Do I treat my team well?  Am I helping them achieve their goals and dreams?”

How did a kid that failed out of community college develop one of the most successful martial arts academies in the country?

When I first got into business, I was the Horrible Boss.  I was a micro-managing, drill sergeant.  I wasn’t the leader I thought I was.  The stress of of not knowing how to run a business and deal with the drama of having employees soured my attitude.  It cost me friendships and ruined relationships with people I loved dearly.  I was a tyrant.

It doesn’t matter how great the hardware is, if the software sucks.

Once I realized the damage I was doing, I got help.  I sought out council from others that had the fruit on the tree.  I asked questions, I took notes, I went to business workshops and seminars with leaders in my industry.  In short I got an education.  Most people operate on wrong information (or no information).  It doesn’t matter how great the hardware is, if the software sucks.

I changed my operating system.  I learned to look and analyze things differently.  I learned to become a leader by changing my thinking changed from tyrant to teammate.  I followed Zig’s Maxim: If you help enough people get what they want, you’ll get what you want.  I changed my approach to what can you do for me, to how can I help my clients achieve their goals?  How can I help my teammates get what they want out of life?

How did a kid that failed out of community college develop one of the most successful martial arts academies in the country?   I started asking myself, “Would you employ you?”  If the answers was, “No” then I acknowledged I had a problem, got the education I needed to solve it and then put that education into action.

See you on the mat

Coach Epps

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