Kale Flagg has found that resistance is at its highest in the early days of a person’s career. Flagg compares it to a boat, sitting motionless in the middle of a lake. When a person pushes the throttle to full bore and it hits its highest speed, Kale Flagg points out that the boat is only at its fastest after it has gained some momentum. At maximum velocity the full weight of the boat is no longer in the water, and as the boat moves and rises out of the water, the resistance drops and the speed increases. Kale Flagg emphasizes that the same is true in a business.
Throughout his career, Kale Flagg has seen many innovators embarking on new careers. During the early days, people tend to offer opinions and resistance—often couching those opinions as being the devil’s advocate or simply wanting to help their friend avoid mistakes. Over time, as a person’s career gains momentum, that resistance begins to decrease. Everyone experiences resistance in the beginning, Kale Flagg points out, and there is no going around it. He advises people to simply push through the resistance, shoving that water away. According to Kale Flagg, people are merely testing you to determine how determined you are to moving that boat.
It is one thing to start your motor—i.e., talking about starting a new business venture. It is quite another to pick up the anchor and move your boat, sticking to it no matter what, Kale Flagg emphasizes. The people who are testing you are watching to see if you are so committed to your goals that you will move your boat even if no one follows.
As Kale Flagg has found, a person’s friends and family will be much more likely to follow if they believe you will pick up your anchor and move that boat whether they follow or not. People hate to be left behind, observes Kale Flagg, because it makes them feel as though they’re missing out on something.
Kale Flagg paints two scenarios. The first is one in which you are invited on a trip with close friends who are waiting to see if you will join them or not. The trip will be canceled if you don’t come along. In the second scenario, those friends are planning a trip but plan to go whether you go or not. You have no doubt that if you don’t go, they’ll still take the trip, Kale Flagg states. Most people would be more likely to go with the friends who plan to go with or without them. As Kale Flagg puts it, if no one is going without you, it’s far easier to cancel than if you know people will have a good time in your absence.
Why is that? Kale Flagg believes that it is because everyone hates to be left out. We all hate to be left behind. It’s this same feeling that has your friends and family going along with you on your business venture, Kale Flagg says. When you pull up that anchor and start up that boat, it’s hard for people to watch you take off without them. So when you are starting a business that you want to succeed, don’t play at starting it, don’t think about starting it. Go for it without looking back, and KNOW you will succeed, that there is no option but success. That will turn the naysayers into believers—or at least leave them behind, eating your wake.
Kale Flagg currently serves as a General Partner in the American Redevelopment Fund, a real estate fund that specializes in redeveloping single family residences in California, Nevada and Arizona. Flagg graduated from Yale University, where he majored in economics.