Learn the secrets to achieving Just a little more Success in your life.
I had a friend once that told me he felt stuck. He had been in his current job for 5 years and his performance had never been more than average. That could also be said for his compensation. When he joined the company the sales job looked really exciting and the compensation seemed unlimited. Others around him were progressing nicely in both title and money, but not my friend. He wasn’t the type to judge his success by his pay, but it would sure be nice if he could earn Just a little more Wealth. He thought he might be more successful if his manager spent a little more time with him or if the products were a little more unique, or if the customers were a little more accepting. Before achieving success he needed to take responsibility and quit blaming others for his mediocre results. One day I was in his office, peering over his shoulder as he examined a spreadsheet. After a few minutes, I asked, “What are you looking at?”
“Another month of average sales numbers.”
“Are you happy with those results?”
“What do you want?”
He thought for a moment and said, “I want to be more successful. I want to feel like I’m getting somewhere. I need help, how can I achieve Just a little more Success?”
Since my friend was willing and ready to learn, I began talking to him about how to achieve his goal. Setting goals is a good first step in achieving success. But make sure goals are really goals, and not merely wishes. Let me tell you what my mother told me when I was a kid. “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” At my young age, I’m not sure I really understood the significance of what that meant. Now I realize that setting a realistic goal is the cornerstone of success.
The other thing she often said was a little more confusing. “If frogs carried guns they wouldn’t be afraid of snakes.” I’m a lot older now, and I hope much wiser, but I’m still unsure about the frogs and the snakes saying!
The goal of being more successful isn’t specific enough to be a good objective. Your goals should focus on the most important things. Having too many goals dilutes your attention. Divided attention means divided success. A goal needs to be stated clearly, and be achievable. A clear goal that is measurable and has a time limit is a good start toward achieving positive results. Make sure you understand the goal and then measure your progress by keeping score. Comparing last year’s new accounts or commissions to the current year’s numbers does measures progress, but it is not enough. There are critical behaviors that are the building blocks of your desired outcome. Focus on those critical behaviors and keep score of your improvement. If you do more of the right things, you will get more of the right results. I’ve found the thing most people fear is the unknown. We know a lot about the past. The past is the past and it has one purpose: to learn from. It can be a heavy weight to carry, but can be valuable if we learn from our past mistakes. The next step is to let go of the past. Learn and then move on. We know a little about the present. The present is the moment in which we are living. Cherish every moment for we don’t pass this way again. But what do we know about the future? The future is right around the corner and just over the hill. We can’t control it and we don’t know what it holds. We fear that which is unseen.
If you want some control of the future, you need to have a plan. The plan should contain your goal, the strategy to achieve that goal and the actions to be implemented. Each action should move you closer to your goal. Think of it like steps on a stairway that lead to the top.
Maybe if the frog had a plan, he wouldn’t have needed a gun to defend himself against the snakes!
What would you do today if you knew you couldn’t fail? That is a challenging thought that most people don’t consider. For those that do start with a plan but fail, it’s because their plan is never fully executed. A plan without the actions necessary to support the strategy always fails.
Success takes goal setting, planning and implementation, but it also takes one more thing. Attitude. A true American success story, Zig Ziglar often said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, controls your altitude.” Before others will believe in you, you have to believe in yourself. If you want to be more successful, act like someone who has achieved success. People like winners.
How to achieve Just a little more Success:
Take responsibility for your actions and their outcomes. Making an excuse gives you a free ticket to fail. It is the drug of underachievers.
Control the future by making a plan that focuses on the important things.
Set goals that are reasonable, achievable, and time sensitive.
Implement the plan and execute the actions that support the strategy.
Keep score to measure progress.
Believe to achieve. Find out how winners act and do just that. In other words, be the hero your dog thinks you are.
Next week I will focus on how to have Just a little more Passion. Don’t miss it!
Epilogue: The first component, taking responsibility for your actions, will be thoroughly discussed in a future blog called No Excuses.