Let us be under no illusions – the road to success is hard and paved with speed-bumps and pot-holes at every turn. If the journey was easy then everybody would be a success……. but it’s not and they’re not. The fact that the journey is challenging tells you that the destination must be worth reaching.
In order to become a success, in business or in life, you need to take control of your life. You need to realise that YOU are in charge of your own destiny – NOBODY else!
It is too easy to come up with excuses – they are endless. It is always going to be more difficult to take action. If you are serious about improving yourself, improving your business or improving your life then you need to stop talking, stop making excuses and start doing. It’s not easy but if you never try then you’ll never know.
This may be hard to comprehend but, in my view, there is no such thing as failure. It is all a case of trial and error. You need to realise that failure cannot live with persistence. If you keep trying you will eventually succeed.
As Michael Jordan once said:
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed”
That brings me to the analogy of the 12 month old baby. Is that baby born with the ability to walk? How many times does that baby fall over before they learn to walk? If that baby decided after falling once, twice or three times that it was pointless, that they were never going to learn, then where would they be?
You need to fall (fail) in order to learn (grow).
Here are my top tips to help you on your way to running a successful business:
Start as you mean to go on.
Start your day on your own terms. Don’t set your alarm for 10 minutes before you need to get the bus, or jump in the car. By doing this you are starting the day in ‘stress-mode’ before it has even begun. Give yourself plenty of time and NEVER hit the snooze button. The snooze button is a cop-out. Have a shower, meditate, eat a good breakfast and don’t check social media or your work emails.
Get out of bed and take control of the day before it takes control of you.
First things first
Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.
By this he simply means that if you do the worst thing on your plate first thing in the morning, the rest of the day will be simple by comparison.
Outline your ‘to-do’ list the night before. Put the most important items at the top and do them first…….and first means first!!
No checking emails and social media. Have a ‘no distraction’ policy. I have no doubt that you will see the benefits in no-time.
Become a master
Whatever your chosen field, your aim should be to become an expert in it. You will need to read, research, practice and build your skills in order to achieve this mastery. This takes time – 10,000 hours according to Malcolm Gladwell – but you have time.
Immerse yourself in what you are doing, develop yourself in every way possible and watch how you will grow and succeed.
Later becomes never!
This touches on my comments above that it can be too easy to make excuses. Stop overthinking it and start what you need to start today, not later, because later really becomes never!
There is no such thing as the right time to do anything. Have the courage and belief in yourself and take action now.
Get out of that comfort zone
If you are happy with where you are in life and business you don’t really need to change anything.
However, if you want to grow you need to step out of your comfort zone. The other side of your comfort zone is where success lives. I know that this may be difficult for some of you but I can guarantee that if you take that first step you will be glad you did.
Write a blog, contact someone on LinkedIn, get out and network, do a presentation or a webinar.
Feel the fear, harness it and do it anyway.
Learn to manage your time and to maximise what you get out of each day. Otherwise you can quickly become a busy fool!
It is very easy to get swept up in the minutiae of the day-to-day grind of running your own business. Don’t worry you’re not the only one. My advice is to take a step back and prioritise what is important to you.
Check out Stephen Covey’s advice from his bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Success does not, and cannot, happen overnight. It only comes with hard work and discipline. Greatness is attained by doing a lot of small things really well.
My advice here is to try and leave every day 1% better than you were the day before. There are no dramatic changes needed here. These daily incremental improvements then become habits and we become what we practice.
Just think of how much better you will be in one week, one month and one year.
Remember, life may be a road filled with pot-holes and speed-bumps. You just need to realise that, within you, are the keys to a 4×4 Jeep.