Derek Dahl was at the end of his rope financially. The sheriff had just come to his house with an eviction notice. He had 30 days left to pay the bills before he became homeless. He had $126 left to his name and was maxed out in credit card debt when he decided to purchase an online marketing course.
Most people would consider this an irrational decision, given that Derek had no money left in the bank. Conventional wisdom said to declare bankruptcy and start over.
However, Derek isn’t a quitter. He decided he was going to give his business one last chance. This final desperate decision became the moment that transformed Derek’s business… and his life!
“Get action, Son.”
Derek is a modern-day Theodore Roosevelt. One of my favorite leaders and US Presidents, Roosevelt, was a sickly child. His father, concerned about young Teddy’s health, gave his son one piece of advice that would define the man and the world leader he would become… “Get action, Son!”
Roosevelt’s health improved as he became physically active. He became US politics’ “bull moose” because of his flurry of activity.
Derek learned Roosevelt’s lesson through trial and error. As a business leader, the more Derek worked toward his vision, the clearer his business strategy became.
Action clarifies vision
Derek made a statement that caught me off guard: Action leads to clarity. His approach to business may be challenging for some people to accept. Most leaders want to know the whole plan before they begin to follow a strategy. As a former collegiate basketball captain, Derek realized that the other team could thwart your best plans.
He applied the lessons he learned leading his college basketball team to his business. As he got busy working, his business plans evolved, and his plans changed.
Don’t become paralyzed trying to develop the perfect business or life plans. Get action. Start to move the ball down the court, and then adjust your plans as the circumstances change. This is how Derek let action clarify his business vision.
The moment years of hard work pays off
Because Derek was unwilling to throw in the towel when everybody else would have declared bankruptcy, he was able to market his company at a pivotal moment during the COVID pandemic. As a result, the perfect combination of hard work, perseverance, and action paid tremendous results for Three Nails Clothing.
While the world was reacting to gym closures, Derek’s marketing course hit social media like a firestorm. Through years of perfecting his product, Derek had an inventory of premium workout gear available on his website when the world started to exercise at home.
The global supply chain issues that followed the pandemic shutdowns devastated many companies, but not Derek’s. He was perfectly positioned to fill orders and ship products when other companies were experiencing backorders that lasted for weeks or months.
Don’t be mistaken; Derek’s story isn’t about lucky timing.
His company went from the brink of bankruptcy to a multimillion-dollar business almost overnight because he faced challenges rather than giving up. He met customers’ seismic shift to online shopping during the pandemic because he learned from earlier failures in business.
This Christmas, I hope Derek’s tenacity encourages you to hang on during your most challenging days. Don’t give in when the circumstances look bleak. Give your dream one more try, and you might find that all your plans and lessons along the way fall perfectly into place at the last second for you, as they did for Derek.