The jarring ring of my cellphone snapped me away from the article I was writing…
I glanced over at it.
It was my accountant.
That was weird.
He never calls me.
“Hello…” I said, rather tentatively.
“Hi Rich,” he replied, “I’m sorry. I’ve got some bad news for you.”
I sat down.
Accountants and bad news don’t mix. My body literally went cold.
“You owe, $300,000 in taxes for last year.”
Oh my gosh. We’d had our best year ever. And I’d been thrilled.
But the more you make, you more you pay in taxes.
And, unless you’re paying ahead of time, taxes are a lag indicator. They follow you down the road…
I’m an accidental entrepreneur. I never learned how to write an official business plan, create a balance sheet or analyze financial data.
There have been gifts to me in not knowing the ‘rules’ of business. But there’s also been a dark side because I left the finance and the numbers to my bookkeepers and accountants.
And apparently that’s a really bad idea if you’re a business owner.
Here’s the thing. I wasn’t actually upset about that tax bill. I was proud of what I’d made the year before. And I was even prouder of the impact I’d had on the lives and businesses of the people in my community.
I knew that a large tax bill is what I call a ‘quality problem’. The kind of problem that if you share it out loud, other people would say, “I wish I had your problems!”
I love ‘quality problems’! They are a sign that I am embracing bigger and bigger challenges, year after year.
And I’m ok with paying more in taxes, year on year. (Look, I fired that accountant because we’d clearly outgrown him! But I love the idea of continually making more of an impact. And the more we pay in taxes, the more we support health care and job and family security programs, for people without the resources we have. That’s a good thing.)
But what I realized back then, is that I didn’t have a community of like-minded people. I didn’t have a community of people who were taking on bigger and bigger problems, year on year. And I didn’t have a group of people, who – when I shared a challenge I was facing – would say, “We’ve been there. Want some help with that?”
So I created it.
I set out on a 25 year mission to curate a community of fascinating leaders. A group of leaders who understand that the 21st century is the coaching century.
I called my community 4PC.
4PC stands for the 4 Percent Club.
I love working with elite leaders. And 4% is the top 20% of the top 20%.
But there is another reason I picked on that number.
In Steven Kotler’s book, The Rise of Superman, he describes the 4% rule.
Steven studied elite athletes. The kind of people who jump off a mountain in a wingsuit or who ski the highest mountains.
The only way to grow when the game you play is literally life-or-death is to push yourself 4% beyond where you are in this moment.
The problem for most people in life is that 4% is actually too big.
The challenge for high performers is that 4% is too low.
We’re always looking at how can we make an exponential leap or a massive difference. But it’s in the tiny steps that exponential growth actually occurs.
Dreamers of the Day
4PC is full of fascinating people. It’s not a program. There’s no curriculum.
It’s a group of people inspiring one another to dream bigger than they ever thought possible.
Executive coaches, entrepreneurs, attorneys, consultants, PhDs, athletes, former C Suite executives, business owners, a former Navy Seal and a former advisor to President Obama.
We live in a very practical world, where thinking can seem like a ‘waste of time’. Everyone wants ‘tricks and tips’ that can be applied immediately. The opposite of ‘tricks and tips’ is ‘honesty and depth’.
In 4PC we take a stand against the relentless doing, ‘taking massive action’ and ‘making shit happen’. We go deep.
Here’s a photo of some of us after a full day of conscious thinking, reflecting and dreaming. Well, what else do you do after a day of dreaming other than have a Pajama Party?!
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night
in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to
find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are
dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with
open eyes, to make them possible.
– T.E. Lawrence
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