When I got started in business, I expected to be successful by reading the books and going to seminars. But 9 years later, working late into the night, I realized I needed to change some things to have the success I was seeking. Here are 7 lessons I learned that you may find helpful...
Ever heard of R. U Harby? Harby's uncle was struck by gold fever. He and his nephew set out for the gold fields of California and soon discovered a vein of gold. All seemed to go well until the gold stopped. They continued digging, but returned home after selling their equipment to a junk man when they only shoveled dirt. By seeking the advice of a mining engineer, the junk man discovered that Harby and his uncle quit just 3 feet from gold! Like Harby, we often quit just before we realize our success. We get discouraged, and decide to cut our losses while we are still behind. Often, we quit when we encounter opposition, but let this quote encourage you
Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds. Orison Swett Marden
I am more and more convinced that one of our biggest enemies is hurry. I often find myself trying to do too much in a day in an effort to make things happen faster. I'm thinking about the next thing to do or trying to get ahead of tomorrow by doing more today. Constantly in a rush, the present moment seems to escape me. In my hurry, I interrupt clients (to move them along to the close) or I miss the details of my task that could make my project great instead of mediocre. Wallace Wattles gives great advice to help us refocus on what's really important to accomplish:
You are not to overwork, or rush blindly into your business in an effort to do the greatest number of possible things in the shortest amount of time. . . . It is really not the number of things that you do, but the efficiency of each separate act that counts. Wallace Wattles
Do you ever wake up, read your email from you laptop, gulp a cup of coffee and grab a pastry on the way to to the office? Lunch is a stop through a fast food drive through, Dinner? Probably late, eaten mindlessly in front of the TV. And you don't remember the last time you had a good night's sleep. Our drive to success can make us so single minded, we simply believe we are too busy to eat properly or get enough sleep. However, when we neglect our health, the results not only slow us down, but can be downright catastrophic! Many a person has been stopped in their tracks by heart disease or a stroke by being too busy to take eat healthy foods, exercise, and get proper sleep. Heed these famous words of Benjamin Franklin to get the right perspective.
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
A lot of us start our days with good intentions, but are soon derailed by life. We rush from crisis to crisis, or sharpen our pencils instead of setting appointments for the next sales. At the end of the day, we feel guilty, but we repeat the pattern the next day. Why is that? Because we lack specific, written goals that we want to accomplish. Deadlines, dollar amounts, weight to be achieved build specific pictures in our minds to help us stay on track. Written goals help us stay focused on essential tasks to create our success.
Make each day count by setting specific goals to succeed, then putting forth every effort to exceed your own expectations. Les Brown
Goals without a plan are useless. Good plans help us stay o!n track by giving us the next step in our journey. How many times have we launched into our day only to sit down for dinner and wonder what we have accomplished! Plans with next steps help us focus on the next thing we need to do to get closer to achievement. If you want to be more successful, you must plan
Productivity is never an accident. It is always a result of commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. ~ Paul J. Meyer
Wouldn't it be nice if we could breeze through life only doing the tasks we like to do? Never have to do the things we don't want to? People who stay in their comfort zone don't make any progress. The best way to tackle those unpleasant tasks (because aren't they the ones we need to do to move forward?) is to do the worst first. Brian Tracy puts it this way:
Eat that frog! Do the worst first.
You know the old adage. You get more of what you focus on. So why do we focus on our failures? Perhaps we are comfortable with them. The truth is we are afraid of our failures, and what we fear holds our attention. The best cure for the fear of failure is to reframe our momentary setbacks as opportunities to learn. Instead of fearing failure, let's heed the words of Henry Ford.
"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently."
Did I forget anything? I'm sure I did. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Comment below, to receive a copy of the affirmations I learned from my mentor, Eric Lofholm, that helped me become more successful at sales.