"WOW, she is so lucky!" Have you heard someone make a remark about a business owner being lucky? Have you looked at the life they live and felt they have so much and you could never achieve this level of success? What does LUCK have to do with success?
There are some very specific things you can commit to, that will accelerate your success:
- Be willing to step out of your comfort zone - This is not a new concept, yet most people in society only stay within their personal comfort zones. We are conditioned to believe that staying with what we know and what we are "comfortable" doing is "safe". In fact, this is one of the most dangerous things you can do, if you want to move forward and create more success. Successful people have learned to continually step outside of what is familiar, and what is comfortable because this is the only way you learn and grow. Understand, if you are not learning and growing, you are regressing, so it is imperative to step outside of your comfort zone and learn and test new things.
- Understand change is constant - There is nothing in life or in business that doesn't change. Nothing stays the same. Those that resist change will be left behind. Instead, embrace change, learn whatever is necessary to work within change and you will find opportunity that was always there, but was not revealed until you embraced the change with a new attitude.
- Be consistent & persistent - Successful people do not give up. Successful people do not take action for a short period of time, and then give up if they don't have the result within X number of months. Successful people understand the importance of being consistent and persisting with their decisions and actions until the goal is met.
- Take personal responsibility for everything in your life - If you walk your dog, pick up after they do their business. If you drop something in a store, own up to it with the shop keeper. If you give someone the wrong advice, tell them you made a mistake. If you made a wrong decision, make it right. When you commit to doing something, keep the commitment. Personal responsibility is one of the most powerful concepts to implement to bring about life and business improvements.
- Realize you have choice - There are two types of people - those that play the victim who doesn't have choice, and those that realize there is ALWAYS new and better choices they can make. No one has to be in a job or relationship they don't enjoy. There are choices, there are always solutions. The key is to understand you DO have choice and to make better ones.
- Not afraid to risk - I talked about this in a previous article ..... Society has been conditioned to believe that we shouldn't take risk. Risk can be re-framed to Responsibly Implementing Specialized Knowledge. Anyone who achieves success understands risk is not something to fear, but to embrace, to put yourself in a position that most will never experience because they are stuck in fear. Understanding and living this concept can put you in the top percentage in your field, because most people simply will not do it. And guess what, the bonus is - there is no competition there!
- It is vital to be a continual learner - No matter what field you are in, there is always something new, and things changing. They way to stay ahead is to commit to raising the bar in your own development and continue to learn and grow. There is no such thing as staying right where you are....if you are not learning and growing, you are dying.
- Face your fears - One thing I have personally learned is that if we don't face our fears, our fears control us. When we feel controlled, we feel frustrated, stressed and unhappy, but often do not realize why we feel that way. No one wants to be controlled. Fear is not real, it is our mind creating imaginary outcomes from the conditioned beliefs we have. There is nothing more exhilarating than doing something you were afraid of, and proving to yourself how capable you are, and how you were holding yourself back by buying into the fear. This will open the door to a whole new world of learning and living into your potential, and is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. It builds self esteem, confidence and certainty which are building blocks to success.
-Rest but don't quit - There will be times you are tired, burnt out, exhausted. This is the time to honor your body and your mind, and take a short rest to rejuvenate yourself. The key is rejuvenate - don't quit. Get back at it once you are rested, with a renewed enthusiasm, clearer focus and new ideas and give it everything you've got.
So, is it luck? I have found the harder I work on these things, the luckier I get.... If you are willing to commit to these things, you too can be a LUCKY entrepreneur.
Many parents find that they just can't get everything done they want to do because of conflicting priorities that come up with raising children. Although my kids are grown now, I definitely remember the days when there were conflicting priorities, which of course change as our families grow. We feel like we need more time in the day, and don't know where to get it. By the time the kids are in bed and you do have time, you are too tired to get to those priorities that got put on the back burner.
There are all sorts of time management articles written, that give you tips and tricks that are effective. The key of course is to implement what resonates with you.
A very simple solution I implemented many years ago, to give myself more time, was starting my day at 5 am. I had been resisting that idea for years, not being a morning person, and it took some time to adjust my internal clock, however, it is one of the best things I have implemented to get things done that were causing that stress. It is quiet, uninterrupted time that doesn't take you away from family or other business responsibilities and sets you up for the day feeling like you have accomplished so much before you even have breakfast. You are not tired out from the day, you do not beat yourself up because you finished the day too tired to do these tasks, and you get far more done with no interruptions.
The other important key is to keep the commitments you make to yourself. We wear many hats and have lots of priorities. We have careers, family obligations, personal fitness, etc. If you don't have a plan you follow to allocate your time, time does tend to get away from you. The best way I have found around that is use a daytimer, schedule every single thing that is a priority, and stick to my plan. If life happens to get in the way and you don't get to something, take the personal responsibility to reschedule it and don't let it fall through the cracks.
These are both very simple solutions but highly effective. Something else I have learned is to not overlook the simplicity of something...it is often where our solutions are found.
You know what you know. You know what you don't know. You don't know, what you don't know. You may need to read this sentence a couple of times....and you may not be fully clear on exactly what it means....yet.
This is a very important distinction about your mental awareness! People do the best they can with the knowledge and information they have. We have all heard the phrase "he/she doesn't know any better". How often though, have you questioned that? Why doesn't he/she know any better? What are they missing? What are they not up to date on? Could they learn it? Who could teach them, or where could they learn it?
Something individuals often do not understand, or have an awareness of is this:
1- There is awareness of knowledge we know - For example, an accountable knows their profession. The accountant most likely continues to read and study new tax laws, etc. to be sure they are keeping up to date on everything they need to know in their field of expertise (for the most part).
2- There is awareness of knowledge we don't know - The accountant knows he knows nothing about how to do heart surgery. The account has no pressing reason to learn anything about doing heart surgery and most likely doesn't see a need, or have an interest to learn about this topic area.
3- There is NO awareness of knowledge we don't know, we don't know - The accountant doesn't know there is a new field of employment being discussed called a "rewilder" - The rewilder's job will help undo the damage that humans have caused to the countryside. This means tearing down fences or ripping apart roads and replacing them with forests and natural greenery. The account has never heard of this, and didn't even have an an awareness that he didn't know.
Why does this matter? The fascinating thing about understanding these 3 areas of knowledge is this - If you put these 3 areas of knowledge awareness into a pie shape...the BIGGEST portion would be "what we don't know, we don't know".
Learning about a rewilder may not have any significance for you or your staff. Personally, I didn't know about this myself until recently, and I don't have an interest in this, other than I find it absolutely fascinating to continue to learn new innovative things and expand my knowledge, and think this is a needed and wonderful initiative. Consider this....how much more valuable, interesting, self motivated, fulfilled, happy and successful would someone be, if they regularly tapped into learning about new concepts in the category of what we don't know we don't know? And how could this be applied to the workplace? If you are a business owner, wouldn't it be great to have staff with this level of thinking and a curiosity to continue to learn and grow themselves? What could they bring to the workplace as a result of their continued curiosity for learning?
This whole concept is unknown to most in society and in the workplace. By taking on a leadership role and sharing this concept, stretching yourself, learning, growing, exploring new ideas, having an openness to learn new things, and challenging others to do the same, collectively you start to tap into the biggest piece of the knowledge pie. MASSIVE GROWTH lies in the area of what you don't know, you don't know.....what could this mean for you and the future of your workplace?
How many people enjoyed making speeches in school? There is a statistic that most people are more fearful of speaking in public than dying!!!
Were you a child that dreaded doing the "speech" in front of your class? I certainly was and had many a sleepless night anxiously worrying about having to get up in front of the class. How much does this hold us back in life down the road, and could it be handled better in schools to help kids embrace this rather than fear it?
Part of the problem with speeches that makes people uncomfortable is that there are too many rules around what is acceptable, and too much pressure is put on the individual. Choosing a popular topic, rehearsing, memorizing facts and data, etc. is very intimidating. In most cases children are asked to stand up in front of the class and deliver a memorized speech about something they have researched and really could care less about. They memorize the words but the words generally mean nothing to them as they are reciting the speech, and it is long forgotten once it is done.
It requires a different approach. Instead, what if we ask kids what they are interested in and ask them to share their thoughts with the class. Recognize them for the knowledge they have shared, and when the opportunity comes up, if there is more knowledge to be gained in the topic they have spoken about, ask them if there is anywhere they can find that out. Give them a job to do that helps them develop their leadership skills. Let them go research about something they are actually excited about and come back to the class with the answer. This builds confidence, leadership, and personal responsibility. Instead of filing in like sheep taking turns giving their speech during specific parts of the school year, this could be implemented throughout the entire school year, spontaniously, but very purposely. The goal being, every child will have the opportunity to speak about what they are most passionate about. No formality...but genuine passion and interest on behalf of the student, and embracing the new knowledge shared by the class and the teacher. Imagine what a different approach like this would bring about.
The best speakers in the world are not those that stand behind a podium with a piece of paper and deliver a memorized speech. It is those that walk around freely with no notes, and just talk to their audience about what they are passionate and knowledgeable about. This is how speakers connect with their audience and their audience connects with them. This confidence can be developed in any person to help them really tap into more of what they are capable of. Not everyone wants to be a speaker, but anyone can benefit from the confidence that is built through being comfortable speaking in front of a group.
I live by many powerful concepts in my life, one of which is "Everyone is our Teacher". The very first teacher we all have in our lives is our mothers. Some lessons are good, some are not so good, however, it is OUR job to take each lesson and learn from it and be the best we can be in our own lives as a result.
The most powerful lesson I learned from my mom is being willing to do what it takes, no matter what challenges are in front of you. I learned this from her example, not her words, which is a great reminder n life and in business, that people follow what we DO, not what we say.
With mother's day coming up this weekend, take a moment and share the most powerful lesson you learned from your mom.....there is a wealth of information to share, and we can all learn by sharing those nuggets of wisdom.....
I BELIEVE everyone is our teacher. We learn from every experience and every person we come in contact with…good or not so good. The key is to take the distinctions we find and ask ourselves how we can apply them to our lives to get the end results we want.
Here is an example. I have a friend who has a passion for fly fishing. He has been involved with this sport for several years now and absolutely loves it. He has all the best equipment, and has spent hours fishing every season. He makes his own flies and uses them when he fishes. Although he absolutely loves everything about the sport, he wasn’t catching any fish. He kept going out time after time, and coming back after braving freezing spring and fall weather for hours, without achieving the result he wanted.
During the last year, he met an individual that has been fly fishing for years, who took him under his wing and started sharing tips with him. This person then introduced him to his group of fly fishers that meet regularly to share ideas and talk about the sport. My friend learned a lot and started changing the technique he was using to tie flies and developed a way to test them. Yesterday, he caught two beautiful fish.
My friend has invested thousands of dollars, and years of his time to reach this result of catching his first two fish. Observing him through this experience, I noticed several things that relate to success in business and in life in general.
-Follow your passion
-Invest in the equipment you need to do the job
-Be willing to do what it takes for as long as it takes
-Find a mentor
-Mastermind and network with like minded people
-Keep learning and growing yourself
-Know when to course correct
-Test new ideas
-Don’t get discouraged…keep having fun following your passion
A second example….think about any profession that takes 6-8 years of schooling and then being in business for several years to see a profit. For instance, a doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc all go to school for many years. They invest tens of thousands of dollars to learn their trade. Then they open a practice, or go to work for someone, while paying off their student debt. Years later, they actually are starting to earn money that stays in their pocket. This can take 10-15 years, depending on the situation.
Here is another example. I had a conversation recently with an individual that decided to start a business. A couple of months after she started the business, she decided she was going to close it. A couple of months, and a few thousand in investment and the doors were already closed. This individual believes she gave it her best.
THIS type of mindset is exactly why people don’t have the success they are looking for in life, and in business.
In business or in life, those that have the mindset of this fly fisherman are the ones that will create the result they desire. This is what a professional does. The fly fisherman, the doctor, lawyer, or engineer are committed for the long term, and are willing to do what it takes. They invest time, money, learning to achieve the result they want. Success is not created overnight. It takes time, commitment, a willingness to push through struggle and challenge for as long as it takes. A powerful distinction in thinking that anyone can choose if they are serious about creating the results they want to achieve.
People very often fear entrepreneurship believing it takes hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to start a business. We hear about the greatest success stories and it can often create a misconception about who can succeed as an entrepreneur. Although people like Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs are all successful role models we can learn from, not everyone wants to create the level of business these individuals have created. Your hobbies, passions, interests and challenges hold clues for your entrepreneurial future.
The key is..... to learn the distinctions in thinking that self made successes have, and apply this thinking, the MINDSET to creating your own work.
Many individuals are not fulfilled in their day to day jobs. They crave more freedom and flexibility, want independence, and want to stop working for an employer, but, most are afraid to take that step due to the belief system of what they believe it takes, and instead, chose to be at the effect of their situation. Successful people do not play this victim role, instead, chose to be at cause in their lives and their careers.
To start on this path, ask yourself QUESTIONS. Everyone has interests and passions in their lives. So often we experience things we think we could do better. In fact, most people can identify a challenge they have in their own life, and actually could create a living providing a solution to THAT challenge. These are CLUES. This is where you have to break out of how the "masses" think, ask yourself questions, and make a decision to create a life on purpose.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur is not limited to starting an airline, a social media platform, or a technology empire. Many people have created a self reliant entrepreneurial life for themselves by following their heart and choosing something that is meaningful or of interest for them and their clients. In my local community there are two food trucks I see everywhere. One sells deep fried apple slices and deep fried mars bars, the other sells french fries. There is ALWAYS a lineup at both, despite all the health conscious messages we see daily. These are two local entrepreneurs that just made a decision to take action on an idea they had, knowing there is a market for what they offer. They have been around for years, and very successful.
What challenges have you experienced lately? Do you know of a solution that others would appreciate?
Have you noticed something people generally don't like doing themselves? Could you turn it into a service? How much could you charge for this service? Could you hire others to do the work, and you focus on the business development side? How many customers a week would you require to replace your salary? Could you grow this business idea by continuing to take on new clients and hiring staff to duplicate what you are doing? Think of hairdressers who own salons and hire other hairdressers as an example. Cleaning services, lawn care, junk removal, dog walking, grocery delivery, etc. are all services that started as an idea. Many of these have started as a small idea in a local community and have become multi million dollar businesses. What other services haven't people though of that you have noticed most don't like doing?
Have you thought of a creative way of doing something that others have admired? How could you turn that into a business? If people have admired your work, it is a clue there could be a budding business there.
Are you creative....could you turn that passion into a business? There may not be enough business to sustain your passion in your local community, especially if it is a unique niche market, but in today's world, you can expand globally. Today, with technology, there are many ways to create a global audience for your product or service.
Another option is freelancing....doing what you do for a living now for several businesses instead of just the one you work for. For instance, an office assistant could decide to start a business from home, providing this service for multiple clients. A computer, phone and whatever programs required, and you have a business that works around your own schedule. You are not limited to the clients in your own geographical area, and could be serving clients all over the world if you chose.
There is also the option of starting a franchise, starting with a direct sales company, or buying an established business. There are lots of options....the key is to identify what your best fit is and then take the action necessary to pursue it.
Debbie Ruston - Entrepreneur - International Trainer, Visionary Leader