How to Succeed!

In spite of the precious child pictured below, this message is not about QBQ! parenting (but this was). Also, be forewarned: We will be mixing our metaphors today! Lastly, stick around till the end where we apply the content. I mean, isn’t that what it’s all about? Enjoy!

Rebecca “Becca Boo” Elizabeth Lindeen – born 9/21/12

Metaphor #1:

After Kristin, our firstborn, arrived in 1983, I began carrying a Canon AE-1 camera everywhere I went, exclaiming, “That’s a picture!” Drove my wife, Karen, nuts.

But it’s what new dads do.

Thirty years later, with an ever-present smart phone in my pocket, I see stuff everywhere and exclaim, “That’s a blog!”

It’s what old authors do.

So, while watching beautiful “Becca Boo,” Kristin’s child and our miracle granddaughter (her story here), not take her first step the other day, I thought, Hmm … there’s a message in this picture for each of us.

Whether it’s a 13-month-old about to take her first step or a “grown-up” wanting to succeed in a new endeavor, the requirements for success are the same:




(No, not the spiritual kind)

In baby Becca’s case, due to no experiences (she’s not taken a first step), she has no confidence (she doesn’t feel capable), so she lacks faith (no belief) in what she can do tomorrow.

Or, more accurately for a soon-to-be toddler—one minute from now.

Metaphor 2:

When I was a boy, my dad, Jimmy Miller—coach to some, pastor to others—would explain “faith” by asking, “Is the sun going to rise in the morning?”

When a person answered, “Yes, of course!” he’d challenge with, “How do you know? It hasn’t happened yet.”

“Well, I’ve had many experiences with it rising, so I’m confident today that it will tomorrow.”

And he’d say, “That fact that it has not yet risen tomorrow and nobody has evidence that it is going to but you believe it will means you have faith.”

Now back to those three components requirements for success:

Experiences are about our past

Confidence is about our present

Faith is about our future

Metaphor #3:

As his dad, I have always known that Michael, the only son of seven Miller children, possesses a “sales personality.”

But he didn’t know it.

After attending college for musical theater, Mike found work at a credit union. For him, it was a job, not a career. He didn’t believe in the stuff he was told to sell, like credit cards and savings accounts earning 1%. It was a way for him to pay the bills.

I waited.

One day, using a borrowed camera and his spare time, Michael made a short video for a couple who owns a small business. His simple purpose was helping them “tell their story to those who need to hear it.” They raved—and referred him to a friend who needed a film for his organization’s website and Facebook page. That fella raved, too.

And paid Mike.

From these successful experiences, came confidence.

With these experiences behind him and confidence in him, Mike quit his job—on faith—and started Sun Prairie Films. Now he gets out of bed in the morning believing he can make the next sale. He has faith in his future.

Recently, he walked into a Sonic Restaurant that wasn’t quite built yet and asked for “the boss.” He proceeded to sell the owners on using him to film their grand opening. If you don’t know much about the profession of sales, let me assure you—that’s real selling!

I’m so proud of Michael I couldn’t resist mentioning him in this Entrepreneur On Fire interview with host, John Lee Dumas. If you have anything that you need to accomplish, you might enjoy listening to two high-energy Johns going at it in this interview!


So, three metaphors, three things required to succeed. Where do we go from here? Well, here’s a novel idea: Let’s put the content to use!

But first, a one line summary: 

Positive EXPERIENCES engender CONFIDENCE which gives us FAITH in tomorrow … or even later today!


Are you like little Becca, needing some new experiences? If so, what are they?

In what specific area of your life could you stand to increase your confidence?

Perhaps you need to take a step of faith and make a change? If so, what would that look like?

Please comment away!

PS: Read the above blog again. As we say in the QBQ! book, “Repetition is the motor of learning”!

If you liked this message, you’d like this one, too: The Absolute Secret to Goal Setting

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6 Responses

  1. John – nice use of mixed metaphors – I also love the picture up top.

    This approach to self-efficacy is so subtle, but profound. I am really digging into the ideas found in this framework, and it mirrors the core of a little project I am working on myself.

    Approach (thoughts)-> Attitude(feelings) -> Actions (results)

    Thank you for sparking more ideas and dealing with this important lesson in a very specific, tangible, and relatable fashion.

  2. John,

    Great metaphors and thanks for the incite. I recently got back from a Leadership training called Driven for Life where I was tested and pushed to my max. The questions you asked directly relate to what I encountered a few days ago. There were parts of the training where I had already been in similar situations so I held a confidence based on my experience. Other areas of the training was new to me and unknown and it scared me because (being the control person I am) I wasn’t aware of what was next and had to learn to trust and be open to the process. It directly relates to how I show up in life. Situations that are common or that are similar to me enable a sense of confidence. Where as other things that are new or unknown either do not happen, I am fearful of or are times when I need to have faith and “fall foward” as we learned in the training.

    Thanks John – great article.

  3. As always I love your posts, stories, blogs. It helps give me hope and keep me out of the negative. I was raised by a very negative father and work for the federal government. My employer is often seen in a bad light in the press. Although I am proud to work here and know me and most of my colleagues do a good job, there are those that don’t. Often times it is the boss that disappoints/hinders me as well as the procedures that block one from achieving. Your posts give me hope that with a little perseverance, all things are possible. Thanks!!!!

    1. Beautiful comment Cynthia!

      I have to keep in mind when I bash the federal government that at least *most* of the people who work there are just like anyone else. They work hard, take pride in their work, and want to provide for their families.

    2. Ditto what Matt said.
      every workplace has those that strive to be “just above the bottom”, but I believe most strive to be as close to the top as they are capable of, including our public service sector. thanks for a job well done!!
      now, if we could just get those elected officials to subscribe to QBQ…LOL!!!

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