The fourth of the letter on my ring is ‘B’ for BELIEVE. We can have a dream, make a plan and act to make it a reality. But, when times get tough, belief is the guiding light that will fuel us on and get us through.
If you’ve ever put a project together or started businesses, you probably have had an endeavor that needed a lot of belief!! For me, it was my market in Macon, GA. After five years in operation, it was struggling financially. If we took in enough to cover operating expenses, I considered it a good month!
After a total re-assessment of the business, I concluded that business was struggling because it was not large enough to to attract the numbers of sellers and buyers we needed to make the market profitable. At the time, we had two sheds that accommodated 120 spaces. My market analysis showed that we needed to add at least four more buildings that would accommodate 200 more spaces, including an air conditioned antique mall.
Again, I started from the beginning: I DREAMT about how the market should look and what would attract the hundreds of vendors where thousands upon thousands of shoppers would be buying goods and having a great time. Then the new PLANS were drawn.
Getting in to ACT mode, I then borrowed all the money banks would loan me. Before I ever hired anyone to prepare the land or to construct buildings, I wrote out on the back of my business card, “I don’t know all it will take, but I will do what it takes for this market to be successful. I BELIEVE.” I knew I had to have that level of commitment, otherwise, I shouldn’t even try. I knew that once I moved forward, it would be foolish to look back or to second-guess myself!
I truly BELIEVED I could make this project successful - even when some people very close to me questioned my decision to double the size of my market.
When I was just beginning to start construction, my market manager came up to me and said with a grin, “Mr. Campen, you know I respect you as a businessman, but I don’t understand. You are constructing four more buildings and we don’t even fill up the two buildings we have now.” I replied, “Not to worry, we will fill them all up; wait and see.” I BELIEVED.
As construction progressed and money was needed to be drawn from my line at the bank, my caring comptroller (a loyal family member) asked if I “really knew what I was doing; spending all this money.” To which I replied, “Yes, I do.” He then said, “I really don’t think that you realize that you could go broke doing this.” I smiled and said, “Well, I’m doing it and if I do go broke, then maybe that’s what needs to happen!” But, I BELIEVED I would be successful, so none of the concern of these well-intentioned people even phased me. I never would let a negative thought rest in my head; I rebuked it and believed in my success!
As it turned out, on the day we had the grand opening for the additional four buildings, ALL spaces were occupied and thousands upon thousands of buyers came! The market in Macon to this day is doing well. We have hundreds of great vendors, thousands of happy customers and it’s all I BELIEVED it would be.
During this process, I was often reminded of a poem that my Dad often quoted and over the years, I had adapted:
If you think you are beaten, you are; If you think you dare not, you don't. If you'd like to win, but you think you can't, It is almost a cinch that you won't. If you think you'll lose, you're lost; For out of the world we find Success begins with a fellow's will It's all in the state of mind. If you think you're outclassed, you are; You've got to think high to rise. You've got to be sure of yourself before You can ever win the prize. Life's battles don't always go To the stronger or faster man; But sooner or later the man who wins Is the one who BELIEVES he can!
In concluding this series about my ring, I don’t think I would have been as successful if I didn’t follow the DPAB formula - Dream, Plan, Act and Believe. One element without the others will make your ultimate desired result very difficult to attain - if it can be done at all. These four elements work in concert with each other and they make each other stronger. Without a dream, there is no vision. Without a plan, there is no path for your vision. Without action, there is no forward movement down the path. And without belief, there is nothing to drive the forward movement.