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The Cockroach Test

Let me ask you a question? Imagine I would offer you $10 for eating 10 living cockroaches. Would you do it? Now listen, I raise the ante and offer you $100. How does that feel? If you hear me saying "you get $1000 bucks" does that change something? Here is the ultimate offer 1 million dollars for eating 10 living cockroaches right now. What is your feeling now?

I am sure, if you pictured the disgusting image you have shaken. You would never do it for one buck. At least most of us won't. But, the higher the gratification the more you start thinking about it seriously. Right?

What does this tell us? Seems like there is something we connect to lots of money that let us consider doing things we usually won't do. What is it?

The answer is: It is the balance between pleasure and pain. We tend to connect having money, lots of money in particular, with lots of pleasure. We imagine what we could do with all that money, Buy a house, travel, buy cars, dine out in the most luxurious restaurants, pay our kids a great education, have freedom, have fun and joy.

The interesting thing is that we would take some pain even if we are not sure about the pleasure we can gain in the future. After all, before you would get the money you have to eat the cockroaches. A future pleasure can overturn a present pain.

Now, why have I published this article in the business section?

Because the principle is so basic that it is the guiding principle in business as well. Do you procrastinate? Sometimes maybe? The reason is that the pain of not doing what you should do is less than the pleasure you have by doing what you do right now. We all want to avoid pain and gain pleasure. The more pleasure we feel the more pain it needs to get us away from what we do.

This is an important experience for every business owner. So, let me repeat this:

"The more pleasure we feel the more pain it takes to get us away from what we do"

You have heard about the importance to have a clear business goal. But a clear goal is not enough. What you need to be successful and totally committed is a business goal that really excites you. Something that is so pleasurable that it drags you every moment in your life. Something that has more power to drag you towards it than every pain you can imagine. Do you have such a business goal? Most businesses don't.

That is the reason why so many businesses fail. It is not techniques, skills, knowledge, luck or circumstances. It is the lack of a goal that is so pleasurable that it makes you eat cockroaches daily only to get there.

Unfortunately, money is seldom or never enticing enough to be that goal. Money is only a means to an end. Listen, do you really believe your goal in life is to collect green pieces of paper with the counterfeits of famous people printed on them? Certainly not. Remember the cockroach experiment. It is the pleasure you connect with the things you could do if you had money that made you want to eat the bugs. Making money is the worst business reason you can possibly have.

What you need is a something where making money is a prerequisite but not the real goal. That way making money becomes a real need - which is important- but it is not the real goal. It is only an objective.

Find the goal that would make you eat cockroaches every day and than make it your business. This is a surefire approach to success.

Spend as much time as you need to find that goal, to find your purpose because it is the most important step in your whole business life. Everything else is just objectives.

You ask me how to find a goal? Here is my answer. A goal is a dream with a timeline. To find a goal start dreaming. Dream yourself into the most pleasurable environment you can think of. What would that be? Be like a little child, curious and open. Remember in a dream everything is possible. Miracles can happen in a dream (and in real life). If you know you couldn't fail, what is it you wanted to do? How it would look like, what would it sound like, how would it feel.

Develop your dream and than make it a goal by setting a clear timeline when it has to be reached. In 1 year, in 5 years in 10 years. Tomorrow? Whatever it is make sure you have a clear idea when you want to be there. And then, find the steps you need to take to get there.

I can ensure you if you have a powerful, enticing goal you will start eating cockroaches every day and enjoy it. Because every single day will get you closer to your goal.

Have fun

This article may published freely only in its whole including all appendices.

c 2005 by Norbert Haag

Online Business Coach

http://www.onlinebusinesscoach.com

Norbert Haag is a business consultant, entrepeneur and sought after speaker for more than 20 years. His company - Online Business Coach http://www.onlinebusinesscoach.com - provides information and services for online businesses, small business owners and freelancers.

You can reach Norbert at nhaag@onlinebusinesscoach.com.

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