Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.
Today’s DERRICK Interview is with my Maine Man, Mr. Think Like a Black Belt Jim Bouchard. Jim has used Martial Arts to transform his self-perception from former drug abuser and failure to successful entrepreneur and Black Belt. As a speaker and author of Amazon bestseller Think Like a Black Belt, Jim tours nationally presenting his philosophy of Black Belt Mindset for corporate and conference audiences. He’s a regular guest on TV and radio programs including FOX News, BBC Worldview and FOX Across America.
“I was living in Portland, Maine. No car. No money. Crummy apartment. My girlfriend had just left me and my band was breaking up. I took a walk up the main drag and looked up and saw a gigantic sign on the side of a building. In 3 foot letters it spelled out K-A-R-A-T-E. I went inside and saw some guys throwing each other around. I thought, ‘This is fantastic!’ Then I turned around and left!”
“The more I studied martial arts, the more I realized that I could shape my own vision of success & happiness through discipline, focus and self-motivation. It’s a matter of developing a life of practice and committing yourself to continual self-improvement. Just like earning a black belt; simple, not always easy!”
His adventure is just beginning! Come along and see what adventures he can create for you as Jim teaches you how to Think Like a Black Belt!
D (Dreams) Not big on dreams. I’m more one of those blood, sweat and tears types!
My ambition is to help more people learn how to THINK Like a BLACK BELT. I spent a lot of my life in a state of weakness. I want to help people learn how to develop mastery and power in their lives.
I learned how to become more powerful- more effective. If I have a dream, it’s to help other people realize their power, sooner than I did!
E (Education) Two for two! I’m a two-time college dropout! Even though I never completed a degree, I am, unabashedly, one of the most educated people I know! I read voraciously and constantly look for new areas to research and study.
Fortunately for me- my work demands constant research and study.
Some of the people I admire most were completely self-educated. I don’t believe a diploma necessarily proves intelligence- but your commitment to continual learning and growth certainly does.
R (Resources) My greatest resources are my experiences, my discipline and my focus. I have the ability to pay attention and take a broad look at things. From those resources, I can cultivate whatever else I may need or want!
I believe to feel truly successful, you have to have “enough” in three areas of life- emotional, spiritual and material. I’ve experience genuine poverty in each of these areas and right now I’m feeling pretty blessed!
R (Ready) I don’t know if I feel ready now! My greatest challenge in life has always been confidence. That’s a big part of the reason I’m so committed to help others develop genuine confidence.
But for myself, I still have my “Wayne’s World” moments- you know, “I’m not worthy!”
There’s too much emphasis on “ready.” Sometimes you’ve got to just get on with it so you can see first hand what you need to do to get better.
Training and preparation are essential- but nobody ever won a championship from ringside! Get in the ring, learn from the experience, and build from there.
I (Individual) There are so many special people in my network I wouldn’t even know where to start. Instead of naming one person, I’m going to share some of the types of people you absolutely must have in your corner…
You need a trainer- a coach. You might climb into the ring by yourself, but your trainer gives you the perspective you need and holds you accountable. He helps you make adjustments on the fly- you just can’t see everything from inside the fight. (Works in real life and business too!)
You need a cut-man. This is the person who patches you up when you get hurt. This person knows the tricks of the trade when it comes to how to close up a cut quickly and get you back in the fight.
You need fans- the people who keep you going even when you doubt yourself.
You need critics- the people who give you an objective assessment of where you are, who you are and what you’re doing.
You need a Sensei- this may or may not be your trainer or coach. What I mean by Sensei is a true mentor. Sensei literally translates as “one who went before.” You need someone who has travelled the road you’re on, or at least on like it. This person might not be with you day in and day out- he or she is someone you can go to for the 30,000 foot perspective. Someone who is not necessarily judgmental, but someone who can honestly say, “been there, done that!”
Doesn’t matter if you’re getting ready for the ring or the boardroom. These are the people you need around you!
C (Challenges) Now this is a good question! I’ve had my share of challenges- and some. Now I call them “blessings.”
I’m a two-time college dropout and former drug abuser. My biggest challenge, and the one that is the root cause of these others, was a complete lack of self-confidence or sense of self-worth.
I’ve been suicidal. I’ve lived in genuine- though self-inflicted poverty. I’ve lost people dear to me. I’ve been estranged from family. So overall no better or worse off than most people! Everyone faces challenges and it’s all a matter of perspective. Just when you think you have real problems, and you might, you’ll meet or hear about someone dealing with far worse.
Eventually I realized (and I keep reminding myself) that challenge is what life is all about. The old fortune cookie saying goes, “The true warrior is only tested by the mettle of his enemy.” The greater your challenges, the greater your opportunity to grow and develop as a person- as you face them.
One of the biggest things I had to learn along the way is not to confuse courage with a lack of fear. Courage isn’t the absence of fear; the absence of fear is stupidity!
Courageous people do what’s necessary in the face of their fears. In fact no fear; no courage! Fear, danger, risk- that’s what defines courage.
That’s why I call my challenges “blessings.” If it weren’t for the challenges I’ve had, and some luck and good fortune along the way, I would never be growing to be the person I am now and in the future.
K (Keys) The key is Mastery. That’s it.
Power is your ability or capacity to act or perform effectively. Embrace it.
The process of developing power- growing to act more effectively, is what we call “Mastery.” And that’s exactly what it is, a process.
It’s the continual process of self-perfection, learning, improvement and growth. You see, The Master’s Mind is really the Beginner’s Mind- full of wonder, hope and curiosity. Never satisfied- never finished.
When I earned my first black belt, it was a deep, rich, beautiful shade of perfect black. My Master told me, however, that if I continued in the martial arts, I’d tie and untie that belt thousands of times…I’d be dragged across the floor in it, I’d sweat, bleed and cry in it. Eventually, the belt would fade and the black cover would fray away. That’s what my belt looks like now, after nearly 25 years as a black belt. As the black outer cover wears away, it reveals an inner core……a white belt. White represents the beginning- “Beginner’s Mind.”
If you keep remembering that- you’ll be OK!
There’s really only one thing you need to know to THINK Like a BLACK belt or to be successful in anything you do…
“Perfection is not a destination; it’s a never-ending process…Enjoy!”
Visit Jim Bouchard for more information.