jerry and sheryl - cvc success group (1)

CVC Succcess Group coaches Jerry & Sheryl Isenhour

Join Jerry & Sheryl on this week’s edition of The Chimney & Fireplace Success Network as they talk about the process Ready, Aim, and Fire!

Following this process can assist you in hitting the bullseye you are aiming for, but there is more than just this. Let Sheryl share with you how she views the New Normal we are now in and compares it to other chaotic times in our history. Tune in for solid concepts that will assist you in turning your business dreams into your realities



To get to the destination you are looking to travel to you got to have a process

Jerry Isenhour: A lot of people follow the right process. It is called ready, aim and fire. Other people (and maybe this is you) follow a process of fire, then they get ready, and then they aim. Some people just simply never get ready. And some people never, ever fire. So, that is the question for you. Which of these describes you? And what do you think you should do if you’re going to get to those business dreams that you hold so sacred, those thoughts way down deep inside, the reason why you started that business? You have to follow the process if you are to enjoy the fruits of you success. So, stay with me as we take a short break. And when we come back, I am going to give you the rest of the story.

Ready, Aim, Fire is a part of a strategic planning process

Jerry: So, I appreciate you being back with me. So, here is the question, what does the term ready, aim, fire mean? And why is it so important that as leaders, as managers, as business owners, that we follow the process? Well, first, so let us look at the word ready. And what does ready mean to a manager? What does the term aim mean? What do we do to get ready? When we are getting ready, what we are doing is we are doing the research. We are reviewing what the potential pitfalls are. We look at all the data that we can assemble and accumulate. And part of getting ready is construct the right processes to make it succeed; we got to have the right processes. If you do not spend the time getting ready, then how are you going to know where to aim? And how we know when the right time is to fire the process, to fire it off? Without getting ready, we are just not going to be able to get there. 

Aim means we have the data and we are aiming the launch

What does the word aim means? Aim means we are putting together that process. We are getting focused in. We have our clarity. We are constructing our course. We have selected the destination. And we have zeroed in our GPS, our global positioning system. All of this is involved in the aim process. And it does you no good to assemble all the research unless you are going to aim for that destination that you have selected. It is all part of the process. It is all a part of the success process that you have got to properly aim. 

Now that you have aimed, when do you pull the trigger

And then we have the word fire. Now, if you follow the process properly, if we have properly planned and decided now is the time to pull the trigger on this new product, this new service,  this new concept, this new process, this new program, maybe we’re going to hit the bull’s eye dead center. But you know something? In the real world, many times we may just miss the target. And missing a target at times is natural. At times, we are going to end up with failure. But we have got to remember this, that failure is one of the most significant learning processes we can ever undergo. Or as Dr. John Maxwell writes and advises if we will simply learn fail forward.

What do your natural tendencies have to do with the process and with failure?

So, we put together the process of ready, aim and fire. And it goes back again, what is your natural tendency? And what do you do, do you easily stall, get discouraged, get overwhelmed, simply freeze in your path? You know, with the research, we’ve done in regards behavior styles of the people that we have worked with, the people we have coached, the people we’ve observed, we often find that it falls directly into the behavior patterns of that person. One of the best books I can advise you to read this is one at the top of my list and that I have recommended before, is the book ‘Traction’. Because one of the key thought processes in ‘Traction’ is the discussion about visionaries, and integrators. Now, I use the word implementers in my coaching practive instead of integrators because we need implementation. And so often, that is where we falter. So often as business owners, we fail, and we have that dreaded disease we call FTI. And what does FTI stand for? Well, if you have listened to me in the past, you know that FTI stands for failure to implement. And see that is the person that never fires the gun. They go, “Ready, aim, aim, aim. Let’s talk about this. Let’s aim let’s aim,” until the opportunity is gone, or someone else’s zapped that opportunity right out from in front of you.

Have you got a new mousetrap or a better mousetrap? 

So, instead of introducing this new mousetrap, we must now build a better mousetrap, because the mousetrap has already has been invented, but our product may be a completely new style of mousetrap. So, this is the question for you, what is your process? You know, just like you take a trip in your car, you want to make sure that the car is right ride worthy, and we should never assume that the vehicle is roadworthy. 

How a personal experience can give you the ideas you need to implement

Let me give you a personal story that recently happened to me, of assuming road worthiness. I had to fly into the northeastern United States. I landed at Boston Logan Airport. And when I got off the plane, I went and picked up my rental car. Now, I had been renting from Avis for quite a few years. Have there been small problems over the years? Of course, we all have small problems in life don’t we. I get the rental car, and I am really impressed. This is a brand-new rental car. It only has 22 miles on it. And we are going to assume that it is brand new. Everything has got to be checked out, ready for me to go in this fresh off the assembly line rental car. So, I head out of the Boston Logan Airport, and I head West on the Massachusetts Turnpike. I get about 30 miles, and suddenly, I had this tremendous vibration in the car. And in less than a minute, the right front tire and blew out. I mean, it was shredded. Now, who would have expected this on a brand-new car with 22 miles on it? Do we get out and check the air pressure in a rental car? Probably would not, and likely we do not. I usually walk around, make sure there is no damage to it that I am going to get invoiced for later. But same time, we do not run mechanical checks on that car, we simply assume it is ready to go, full of gas and all systems are on go.  

Marooned on the side of the Mass Turnpike

So, here I am, marooned on the Massachusetts Turnpike at 4 o’clock in the afternoon on the side of the road. So, what do I do? I get out. I look for a spare tire. We would always assume that there is a spare tire in that car, wouldn’t we? I searched that car top the bottom, there was no spare. But what was in the trunk, a 12-volt air compressor, one that can plug in the car electric port. But the problem with the 12 V air compressor and a blown tire is, it does not fix the problem, I don’t think a shredded tire can be inflated. So, at this point, I contacted Avis road service, thinking, “Okay, they’ll take care of this, and I’ll be on my way very shortly.” Wrong. 4 and a half hours of sitting on the side of the Massachusetts Turnpike until I finally had a wrecker arrive and took me to their storage yard. And what did I have to do next? I had to get in a Lyft and ride all the way back to the Boston Airport to get another rental car, which was an experience. Even though I had many conversations with Avis during this episode, and they assured me they will be another car ready when I got there, guess what wasn’t there? And I had to go through all kinds of issues just to get another car. 

Expressing my dissatisfaction

After this was over with, I expressed my dissatisfaction to Avis, and they credited me half of one day’s rental: whoop dee doo over four hours on the side of the road. And then earlier this week, what do I get from Avis? I get an invoice where they are going to charge my credit card for this blown tire. And even though we protested with Avis, we have sent emails, their response has been, “Well, you know, we understand your frustration, but this is our company policy.” And result? Avis has lost a customer; I have rented a lot of cars. Up until the COVID prices this year, I have rented a lot of cars every year for over 10 years now. But at this point, Avis has lost a customer. And for in the future, what did I learn? “Does this car have a spare tire? What is your company process if I have something happen on the road?”

All too often we assume success will be ours

Please remember the following. So often, we assume that success will happen. So often, we feel like that if we just do it, all the stars will align, and everything is going to happen as predicted. But all too often it does not. There was a movie once based on a field in Iowa, and where Kevin Costner was hearing the words “build it and they will come” yes ghosts came, because in a movie anything is possible, but you are not in a movie, you my friend are in the real world, a real world that can take the breath right out of you and cut your legs right off, it is a cruel world and as you move to your destination the challenges to your path will arise that are hard to predict, but this goes back to the part where we spoke of aim. You must follow the right process. And the process for rolling out new programs, new processes, for rolling a new product out, for new marketing, whatever it is, the first thing you must do is get ready. That is right. You got to get ready. You got to do the research. You got to make sure that it is right. 

Proper aim is always a part of the process

Number 2, you got to aim. Aim means you put everything into the process, you line it all up. You have got all your systems on go. You run the data points and cover all areas where failure may occur. And once you do this, you must fire. You got to fire that process into being. And keeping in mind at all steps, you may have some failures. But failures, as I said earlier, are going to be one of the best learning processes that any of us will ever go through in our lifespans. Failure teaches us so much. But do not invite failure by not following the steps of ready, aim, and fire. Set up your process for launching your ideas. If you do this, you might just be surprised how they are going to turn your dreams into your real-world realities. 

Sheryl’s words of wisdom coming up next

Stay tuned with me. We are going to take a short break. But right after this break, what you are going to find out is what Sheryl is talking to you about this week. Sheryl is going to be bringing you what I call Sheryl’s tips of wisdom, her tidbits of wisdom. I have no idea what she is going to share with you today. But I do know this, she is a lady of phenomenal value. And if you listened to what she says, even if you have a problem understanding our southern English, get an interpreter if you need to, get a translator. But listen intently, because what Sheryl is going to share with you may just be what you need to do the process of ready, aim, and fire.

There is nothing normal about the present times we are living in, or is it the New Normal?

Sheryl Isenhour: The new normal, let’s face it, there is nothing normal about the times of today. So, our friend Randy Pennington coined the words of The New Next. The way I see it is we have been living in the new next forever. So, was there ever a time when it was as normal? Or is the time when it is the same normal for you, was that the only normal? A few of the new next that happened, some good and some bad, all have changed the world for the people living during these times and the people that follow, and the people that are to follow. 

Was air travel a New Normal, did it change the world?

The first flight by the Wright brothers was in 1903, the beginning of aviation, how different the new next was after this, never to be the same again. World War I, it continued from 1914 to 1918. Not many people are surviving that were born near this time. But did this still not change the world as those of us here see it now? Life brings us a new next every day. Look back through time. You may have people living that remember some of these. My grandparents lived through the Great Depression. That was during the time of 1929 to 1939. And then the new next took over, World War II. World War II went from 1939 to 1945. This was a war that my father fought in, and believe me, it brought a new next to my father’s life. He carried it with him for many years. 

Did Presidential Assassinations bring about a New Normal?

We got through that, time passes zone, many other things happen between this, some good, some bad. Then the John Kennedy assassination happened in 1963. How many of us remember that day? He was one of the 4 sitting presidents that were assassinated Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln in 1865 James Garfield in 1881, William McKinley in 1901. And then additionally, there were 2 presidents that have been injured in attempted assassinations, Theodore Roosevelt when running for his 3rd term, and Ronald Reagan in 1981. Now, this again brought a new next because with everyone, as it came out, brought a new fear in our life. If it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone.

Did man’s walk on the moon signify a New Normal?

So, let’s think a little deeper. Who knew next would deliver the first man on the moon bring? That happened in 1969, the year I graduated high school. I remember the day, never to be forgotten, that began something even greater than the Wright brothers began. Then, the first man on the moon took over, and we all saw that we could travel, and we could do things that we cannot do within the confines of our home. Then personally, we all have a good new next. My children, 1970 and 1974. Think about when your children were born. Was that not and new next. Think about when someone in your life died. That began a new next.

Polio, SARS and now COVID 19 have each changed our world

Then we move down to the medical discoveries. Let’s think back about smallpox, one of the worst diseases that ever happened. In October of 1977, the last natural case occurred. We stopped it. Now, will it reoccur? Did we stop it or we did we just prolong it? And then one that if you’re listening to this at the time, we’re doing it, what about 9/11 in 2001? Will those of us that are listening, will we ever forget this day? We’ll put it into the memories of the past to hopefully remind us that we are never totally safe. But not to give us fear, but to open our eyes and keep us looking. And as we move on through time, we saw the outbreak of SARS in 2003. And now, we are at the current time infected by COVID for 2020. Has COVID changed your life? It may not have changed drastically, but it has changed us in the way we live. And now, they are calling this the new normal, or the new next. This is just one step in new next.

But what has all this got to do with me?

Now, you might ask me what all of this has to do with you in your business. The next decision you make can make it the new next for someone. The new person you hire, the next person you have to let go, the next person you fail to train properly and they get hurt or their action hurt someone else, the next action that you take to send your business to the next level, we all contribute to the next day… new next every day. Your decisions and actions may not be a COVID pandemic, but it may be an extremely joyous time or totally devastating time to someone. Take the time to evaluate your business and the decisions you make. Make your business the best you can make it, because it is not only your livelihood, but it is the livelihood of all your employees and all their families. 

Get ready and move forward into the New Normal

As Jerry has said earlier, we must move forward and get ready. We must aim and we must fire. Because as you see, time stands still for no man. Each of us at CVC are here to help you make the best decisions possible to make your new next your best next. With this note, I will turn you back over to Jerry. 

Jerry Isenhour: Well, I hope the words Sheryl shared with you inspired you. Because yes, we have gone through chaos in the year 2020. Just a short 6 months ago, what was life like? What were the fears that you went through? And Sheryl talked about something there that I want to add to. She talked about Presidents that had been assassinated and Presidents that had been shot. But I want to talk about one of them which was President Theodore Roosevelt. 

His speech saved his life

You see, Roosevelt had served 2 terms. And he decided to run for a third term under a third party. And so, he was preparing to give a speech for the 1912 Presidential election. This was the 26th President of the United States now running under a third party. And as he stood, as he went to give this speech, an assassin shot Theodore Roosevelt. He was not a standing president at the time. But a speech saved his life because the speech he was preparing to give was folded up and in his jacket pocket. And this speech and its printed version halted that bullet from killing him, what a way to not die?

The printed copy of the speech was stained from his blood

Now, from this point, President Roosevelt, or past President Roosevelt stood up, announced he had been shot, but he gave an 84-minute speech, full of passion, full of the words of Theodore Roosevelt who could speak in ways to excite people. Think about that moment in time. How in the world does a man who’s just been shot stand up, take this folded up speech out of his pocket, see where the blood was, where the bullet had penetrated it and give a fiery passion filled speech? But luckily, the speech stopped the bullet and enabled him to give a passionate speech to the assembled crowd for 84 minutes. Think about that think about the personal drive, he had a job to do, and he did it with a bullet in him. 

Facing the failures of life

Because as you face the failures in life, this is remarkably like what happens to us. It may not be a gunshot, but we constantly run against walls. We constantly run up against the things in life that challenge us. So, what you have got to do is be prepared. Follow the process of ready, aim and fire. Follow the process of learning from your failures. And learn the process of, how do you fail forward? Because this is going to be the life, this is going to be the things that we humans must face.

CVC Success Group, we help people turn their business dreams into their business realities

And with that, I want to thank you for joining us again here at the Chimney and Fireplace Success Network. We are CVC Success Group, and what we do is help people just like you. We have got processes, we have got procedures, they are helping people across the United States. We have a phenomenal education platform for every member of your company. We call it the CVC Virtual Academy. And what we do is, we lead the way in educating and assisting the members of the chimney, binning, and hearth industry. 

Reach out to CVC Success Group if we can help you

So, if we can help you, reach out to us here. It is as simple as an email to We would love to have a conversation with you. There is no charge for that initial call. Our processes might just be the processes that you have been looking for to turn your business dreams into your business and personal realities.