Have you been wondering about your hidden business success recently?
You're not alone...
I don’t know what it is. It could be that people are noticing the success my clients are getting with my coaching and training this year. Or, it could just be that time of the year...
But everywhere I speak, after every presentation or even in the middle of meetings, business people have been asking me:
"Lorna, how can I be more successful?" or "what am I doing or NOT doing that’s holding me back?"
The "askers" were women and men, young and older, primarily business owners or business owners to be, representing several sizes and types of businesses and even one person from a non-profit organisation.
Of course this got me thinking and I came to the conclusion that what these people really wanted to know is how to unlock their hidden success and to do so quickly.
So I started looking for the common signs of success among my clients, in my circle of experience and among my friends.
When I was finished, having anaysed my spreadsheet, I could see clearly, one more time, what I have been preaching for a number of years:
Your business success happens when you work on upgrading your habits, your standards and your values.
It really does...so I have a little challenge for you.
In a minute, I will give you 10 things you can do right now to unlock your hidden business success.
Do me a favour and freely embrace them. Then I want you to go here and download 10 solutions to explode your business growth.
I faithfully promise you that between these two, you will have enough to work with to really take your business to the top!
So if you're ready...here they are...
1. Know The Difference Between Your Destination And Its Path
Know your destination and know how you will get there. I know you've heard this before (I hope!)
But successful business people not only know the their destination and how they will get there, they also know the difference between the two.
Are you clear why knowing the difference between the two is important?
Let’s look at an example together.
Let’s say I ask you to walk in a straight line between two points and you confidently begin this journey.
Then an obstacle appears in your way, say a large box. It stops you for a moment, but because you know where you’re going, you use your creativity to create a new path around this obstacle and continue on to your destination.
What if I ask you to walk in a straight line to some unidentified point.
Now...you choose a vague destination somewhere in the distance and you start off walking.
Then you meet an obstacle, a big box. You are confused and you stop:
Is this the destination?
Or is it just and obstacle?
Do I go around this obstacle or stop and explore it?
Or do I just go to hell back where I came from?
Notice the obstacle is the same, but your understanding of it and your response are very different when you know where you’re going.
To unlock your success, You need to know the difference between your destination and its path. Then you can fix your destination in stone but trace your paths in sand.
2. To unlock your business success, read more!
Recently, I was conducting interviews for a client and I asked each candidate my favourite interview question: "Can you give me the name of one good book you've read in the last month?"
I find it hard to believe, but among the 20 or so candidates, only 9 behaved as though they had ever heard of books and only 3 actually read them!
But they are not some dark minority. Many of you do not read unless you absolutely cannot avoid it. Shame on you!
I can’t imagine a life without reading. Apart from professional reading, I read for the sheer pleasure and joy of reading and I read everyday. You don't have to read just books. How about a good article in a magazine? And no...facebook updates and numerous tweets do NOT count.
There are many benefits to reading including access to knowledge, mental stimulation, improved communication and stronger analytical and thinking skills. Wow! Who wants to miss out on these?
So get reading, starting now...
3. Watch less television for more business success
Watching too much television can really screw up your chances for business success.
Come close and let me tell you how I know this first hand...
It seems like ages ago when I started my first formal business with my best friend at the time. At the time, both she and I had full time jobs that we were not ready to leave. This meant we had to check on our little store at night.
One night I said to her "can we go by the store now?" "Ahmm...yes...but I have to get back home in time to watch 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air!"
Whaaaat! In that moment my heart dropped. If you are going to choose watching Will Smith make money, over doing what it takes to help your business make money, then you and your business are doomed.
Needless to say, that was the beginning of the end for the business.
The problem to me is that, people who watch too much television, are also inclined to watch poor quality television as well.
They serve themselves a sorry diet of reality shows, soap operas and movies with more cursing than fishermen after a poor catch, living their lives vicariously through these "stars".
Don’t do this if you want to be successful at life and at business!
Use your valuable time instead, to define how you want to live and run your business. When you are living a meaningful life, you don’t (or can’t) have time for so much television, especially poor quality television.
4. Wake up early and kick start your business success!
Have you ever heard the expression: The early bird catches the worm?
Well, I have. You see, for the better part of our young lives, my mother drilled this into the head of me and my siblings. To be fair to her, up until her death, she took her own advice.
Successful people wake up as many as three hours before regular people. They know they are many “worms” you can catch by waking up early.
Waking up early is such a key to unlocking your business success. Think about it. It allows you to take charge of your day. You have time to perform your morning ritual without interruption. You can exercise, read, of course, and have a healthy breakfast. All before your competition can complete their previous night sleep.
As for the rest of your day, you are less stressed about traffic and your productivity is through the roof.
I am an early bird. Can you guess what I love most about starting my day early?
By 10.00 a.m. I have already completed five to six productive hours of my day. This means that if my day goes off track after 10 'clock, I really don't feel too guilty or stressed.
So develop the habit of waking up early instead of sleeping until you can’t possibly remain in bed any longer.
So what if you have to go to bed a little earlier...?
5. Get up and exercise!
The reasons people don’t exercise often surprise me:
- Not enough time
- Don’t have money for the gym
- Waiting for the right clothes
- Can’t exercise alone
- And the list goes on...
I admit I love hiking and going to the gym, almost as much as I love reading.
But you don’t need the gym to exercise. Neither do you have to tackle a hike starting at the crack of dawn every week.
What you need is to get moving. Exercise is one of the fastest ways to join body and mind, increase productivity and change your mental and physical state.
Heck! don't take my word for it. The benefits of exercise are pretty well documented.
In addition, when you add healthy eating to your exercise, your energy levels go off the chart and you can get so much more done while feeling good about life.
How's that for success?
6. Look for solutions instead of dwelling on your problems
This is one of my favorite ways to make sure that I never knowingly stand in the way of my own success.
Unsuccessful people have this destructive habit of thinking of everything in terms of problems.
So your client cancels a contract, the government announces a new tax on small business owners, your best employee just resigned with immediate effect.
Are these problems? You bet. Are you gonna focus on them? No!
What you want to do every time is to find the good or the lessons in each problem and then find the solutions which moves you forward.
When you do this, you will find you have no problems, only solutions and opportunities for growth...
7. Treat saving like a fixed expenditure
Saving is not about having money to save... it's more about having the HABIT of saving.
I know what you're thinking: even with the habit you have to have money to save, Lorna!
But stick with me and you'll see what I mean.
As a little girl, from the time I could understand life, I watched my paternal grandmother consistently save what she called “something out of nothing!”
I also watched my mother, all her life, save nothing out of every something and even consistently resist every one of my attempts to get her to save.
So which example would you follow?
I have chosen to follow my grandmother’s example in my personal and business life. As a matter of fact, I treat savings as a fixed expenditure.
When you develop the habit of saving at least 10% of your earnings consistently, you unlock your business success in many ways.
You truly have money for rainy days, finding money to grow your business is easier and you can respond to your own business ideas in a much faster time.
Then there’s the thing about habits. Like all habits, pretty soon, saving controls you and you have to, you just have to save, otherwise you start to experience withdrawal symptoms.
And here's the really interesting part. When the saving habit takes hold of you, and you're treating it like a fixed expense, in that moment, the universe takes over.
You will notice that when you save at least 10% of your income first, whatever is left meets all your as if by magic.
8. Investing is a must to unlock your business success
I know what you’re thinking:
I'm barely keeping my business alive and it’s not enough for you to ask you to save and now you're asking me to invest! Chewpse!
But please hear me out. When you invest, you give yourself another chance to really unlock your success. First you set yourself up to realise your long term financial goals – business and personal.
You can get a higher return on your investment than you do on your savings and also earn a return that is higher than the rate of inflation.
How do you start investing? A broker will help and you can start small.
A good place to find some money to invest is to reduce your capacity to buy on future income. Yeah…you know it as a credit card…and the interest rates are killers for your business. Some of you have many cards and use cash from one to pay off the next. Bad move!
Your savings also gives you a lump sum to start investing, especially in products like real estate.
Savings and investments working together...an unbeatable key to your success.
9. Build and leverage a network
Too many small business owners are fiercely independent, unknowingly insecure and acutely resistant to teamwork and partnerships.
Look, you can only go so far alone and your business can and will only grow as fast as you yourself grow. Yet many of you are negligent in consciously building out your networks.
Building and leveraging your own network will certainly help you increase your personal success. In addition, you will find that most of your business will come from within your network and it's also a source of mentors.
You can also deliberately partner with someone to pool investments to start another business or some similar venture. If you do, you will find one + one does = three.
Don't be afraid to expand your network by joining at least one organization and volunteering your time.
And on top of all that, the biggest value in building and leveraging your network is learning to trust yourself so that you trust others. That's when you will really be successful.
10. Accept responsibility for yourself
Do you believe that the government, the church, the society or the school you went to or some other external factor can determine how or if you are ever successful?
If you do, your success is in trouble.
Do you know what happens when you give up your capacity to choose or you don’t accept responsibility for yourself and your decisions? In reality, you are delegating the course of your life to a force outside of yourself.
Accept responsibility for yourself. Take control of your decisions and experience the pure freedom of living from your own internal perspective.
Your Next "Business Success" Move?
I have given you 10 things you can do to unlock your business success. Right now.
I don't know if you noticed but all 10 things are within your control and they do not require you to start with any life changing resources. But they will change your life.
Wouldn't it be embarrassing if you didn't try at least one? And if you implement only two, try #1 and #10.
Question: What are you waiting for?