When we talk about success one of the biggest factors that determine whether we will reach our goals, is our communication. To make life easy for everyone on Addicted2Success, I decided to interview the world expert on the subject, Colin James.
The part of the interview that left me speechless was when Colin talked about his recent battle with cancer where he had half his bottom lip cut out and cancer on his face. He told me that we are all going to die at some point, and a lot of people live in denial of this fact.
Colin’s way of thinking is “hey I survived cancer twice… so who really cares about anything – just go for it.” I absolutely loved the way he reframed this difficult experience and how he is 100% committed to delivering the best knowledge and insights he can to help people in different area’s of their life.
The business that Colin has run for 27 years is mostly centred on teaching corporates and individuals in the areas of leadership, communication and followership. Leading up to the interview I attended one of Colin’s master classes to find out if all the talk was just marketing hype or genuine.
That night, while watching Colin, I took pages and pages of notes and laughed harder than when I used to watch Seinfeld. It usually takes a lot to make me laugh, but Colin had me thoroughly entertained and educated the whole time. Check him out; he will redefine who you are!
Below are Colin’s eleven ways for anyone to build mastery as a communicator.
1. Belief is part of the skill
One of the difficulties with communication is that people don’t believe that they can master it. Everything in your life that you believe is an arbitrary intellectual construct that you created and can be changed at any time.
During one of Colin’s events, he proves this by getting the audience to draw a three-dimensional, artist quality picture in sixty minutes that most believe they can’t do. One hour later, Colin, has them holding their finished portrait in their hands. Every skill can be learned.
After deconstructing the ‘talent vs skill’ paradigm (for example, the belief that artistic ability is a talent), he then tells them “if it’s possible in the world then it’s possible for you. It’s only a question of how, and a skill is just the how.”
2. Follow what good leaders do and pretend you know how
Good leaders pretend they know what they are doing. When you are the leader, there is an assumption or a presumption that you know what you’re doing in regards to managing the business and the strategy. This phenomenon creates an artificial sensibility that these leaders are somehow in an elite level of capability.
Have you ever been in a room when the CEO walks in? The whole vibe of the room instantly changes and people all of a sudden become self-conscious, they talk differently, they change their posture, their tonality alters, and they become more formal
The moment the CEO walks out of the room people then visibly start to relax again. What’s going on here is that a human being has walked into the room and the assumption of this person is that they have some sort of prowess or elevated state. The reality is that this human being is just making things up as they go along just like everybody else is.
“Everyone tries to make up their version of reality and then try and encourage other people to comply”
The future leaders will be the ones who have the courage to say and reflect that they too are in a state of creation on a daily basis. What the CEO has isn’t some special capability or gift, but more likely a result of circumstance and intent, rather than a gift they have been given.
This trait amongst senior leaders is a weakness because it creates a divide between the senior executives and their staff. Finding more of a sense of equality would be a lot healthier for the business.
“Millennials aren’t impressed with status anymore; they are impressed by competence”
3. Become “other conscious”
Always think and design everything you communicate from the audience’s points of view. The way you position or frame your messages needs to be within their reality.
Let’s say you have an idea or strategy you want to get across. You can’t persuade someone from your position towards theirs, you must start with their world view first. There are a couple of benefits to this way of communicating. First of all you start to think the way that they think which means you understand their frames of references and what’s important to them – this will give you the framing references for your content.
The other benefit is that you are focusing on someone other than yourself. The biggest mistake people have in communicating is that they become self-conscious, and they worry what people will think of them. I am sure everyone has been in an interview where you have thought to yourself while communicating an idea, “I hope this is making sense, and I am making a good impression.”
An internal dialogue that is self-conscious in its origins will immediately impact on your ability to communicate a concept to someone. Become what Colin calls “other conscious.”
4. Change the self-talk in your head
Try to get yourself familiar with the idea of consistent commitment to excellence, which is that you never have a bad day or an average meeting. Every meeting you attend, you should go in with the intent that the meeting is going to be significant rather than being in cruise control like most people.
Tell yourself that this meeting will be useful and that what you will say, do and participate in will leave the people you encounter better off as a result of your contribution – this is how reputation is built.
Most people will have good days or moments rather than having excellence as the norm. Ever noticed how in sport the great players are consistently great? The reason this occurs is because of their consistency, which ends up building their reputation.
5. Your smartphone determines your status when communicating
Most people are drawn to their smartphone rather than communicating with people around them. In more sophisticated countries like Japan and Korea, it’s already becoming socially embarrassing if you are looking at your device in a social context. To be on public transport in one of these countries and to be looking at your smartphone, is considered to be as bad as spitting on the ground.
“Technology has changed the way young people think, and they don’t necessarily think in hierarchies anymore but rather in networks”
In places like Singapore, if you go to a meeting and put your smartphone on the table, it instantly signifies you as low in status. This one act shows that you are a junior because you are at the beck and call of others and are not important enough to be fully present in the room.
At the start of a meeting, from now on, ask everyone if they can put their phones away and off the table. Watch how this transforms the way you communicate. By creating some boundaries around this smartphone requirement in meetings, you will find that people respect the rule.
You need to be committed in meetings to context and context means to be present. As the communicator, it is your role to set the context, and this goes for technology as well.
“Everyone’s busy. The person at the reception is as busy as the executive sitting at their desk. Somehow there appears to be a hierarchy of busyness these days “
6. Tell stories that meet your contention
Stories are the most powerful way to influence and a core skill that any communicator has to develop. The best stories are true, from your experience and link to your communication outcome. It’s best delivered in a punchy way without excessive detail.
Through the telling of a story it allows you to embed a recommendation around behaviour, an invitation to overcome resistance and objections, alleviate stress and anxiety, or it can be social proof to validate your argument or theory.
In other words, your story needs to have a point and link to your outcome or theory. Stories also have to have the little touches of truthful detail that give it context and legitimacy like a persons name, the time, and the location.
7. Stop killing people with weapons of mass destruction (Powerpoint)
“Death by Powerpoint” has become a popular catchphrase and the best way to avoid this is to rarely use it. If you must use Powerpoint slides, keep them outcome focused and make sure they validate what you’re saying, not act as a script of what you’re saying.
Love the B button!
If you have a Powerpoint showing for the whole time you are communicating with an audience, the attention of your audience will be unconsciously drawn to the slides rather than you. The best way to use Powerpoint is to display a slide that validates your point, and then once you have made your point, flick the presentation back to the all black screen.
“Powerpoint should only be on when it’s adding value otherwise it should be off”
Powerpoint is starting to become banned in large companies like Australian Banks, Yahoo and Apple because people are using Powerpoint for their own benefit, so they can remember their talk, rather than for the benefit of the audience.
8. Reframe your thinking to deal with public speaking nervousness
With public speaking, a lot of nervousness is linked to self-belief. This self-belief is sometimes clouded by a lack of perspective or being too focused on what the audience will think of you.
Shift your attention to the audience and only think of being generous and giving value. This one adjustment can be a significant game changer in anyone’s capacity to communicate and will immediately eliminate self-consciousness.
“Focus on what you can give, rather than what people might think”
If you have ever been in the emergency section in a hospital late at night you would have seen that there are drunks and drug addicts yelling at the nurses, but even with all the shouting, the nurses just focus on being professional and caring for them as a patient. They don’t take it personally – that’s how you need to be with public speaking. The nurses weren’t self-conscious, they were doing their jobs.
Your job in public speaking is to deliver the content. Getting that matter of fact about it can help with the nerves. While you’re thinking about presenting in front of a group, this same group hardly even know you’re alive, and they will more than likely forget that you exist the moment you leave the room.
What they want is to hear something that will make their day to day challenges easier to deal with and their outcomes, easier to achieve. Help them to do that and they will love you…they won’t care if you aren’t word perfect and polished. To demonstrate this point, Colin told me about a woman that attended his seminar who was a high profile, actuary.
Before Colin’s training, she was terrified of public speaking and lacked communication confidence. After two days of Colin’s seminar her voice filled the room, she stood with total confidence and spoke with such eloquence that people were shocked by her transformation.
When Colin asked the woman how she changed so rapidly she said it was all about the shift in her perspective. At first she thought public speaking was all about her, but when she realised it was about the audience, she no longer felt nervous and she began to feel free and completely liberated.
Even though this woman was a subject matter expert, she learned that all she had to do was stand in her strength and deliver her content; after all she knew it better than anyone else. The shift began when she believed that she could be of immense value when she stood in front of a group and spoke.
9. Communication is not a perfectly practiced play
Memorising speeches is death. A good communicator does not go off and memorise text. A good communicator has a structure and free forms around this structure. This is more elegant because then you can adjust to the audience in front of you. Memorising text is a play, and that’s not communicating.
10. Be careful using acronyms out of context
It’s all about context. As an example, describing scientific processes can be a challenge because the full terms will make your sentences very long, and science has convoluted descriptions for almost everything. In this scenario, acronyms can be very handy when communicating your point.
Where the risk is with acronyms is that there is a presumption of understanding. When presenting acronyms to an audience, it’s always best to do it this way:
– Say the acronym in its long form description
– Introduce the acronym
– Repeat the long form of the acronym
– Reinforce the acronym
Before using an acronym ask yourself, does it serve the context and does it provide a neat shorthand, if it ticks these two boxes then its use is valid. The way you know not to use an acronym is if its use is lazy, doesn’t respect the audience’s level of knowledge or makes assumptions that people know what it means.
11. Your body has a language of its own – USE IT
Posture – the way you carry yourself communicates something about you. All of us have been in situations where someone walks into the room, and you say to the person next to you, “who is that person?”
What makes you say that is because the person looks like they carry themself with dignity and authority. There is an assumption of some competence just in their physicality, and most of this is posture related (this doesn’t mean that you strut around like some arrogant peacock, though).
So if you are going to walk up to the front of the room to deliver a presentation, you should be walking as tall as you can be right from the start.
Gestures – you need to develop a gesture vocabulary Colin says. One habit to avoid with gestures is your hands becoming a distracter. If you have ever seen someone speak who is flapping their hands all over the place, it becomes very distracting, and the hand becomes the focus instead of what the person is saying.
To demonstrate this, imagine you’re in a room with a speaker and the speaker says, “are there any questions?” If they did this with their hands open (palms facing up), you would feel that they are genuinely interested in the audience asking questions.
If they did this with their palms down it means the exact opposite and that they’re closing the conversation. Your hands have their own vocabulary, and they can give very different meanings to what you are saying.
Movement – if you are going to move then move with purpose – you’re not just supposed to waltz around a space. If you’re in a meeting, and you’re facing somebody, and you’re trying to influence them, everything you do should be from their left to right, not your left to right.
As an example, if you are tapping the table with your hand to signal three things that you want to talk about, you would tap them out from your right to left (their left to right). That’s the linear progression for them to follow what you are doing in the clearest possible way.
Facial expressions – be aware that your face is another communication tool. People seek meaning and cue off your facial expressions and voice tone more than off the words you are speaking. Colin used an example of a video he saw of me where he said that my words were very passionate, but my face came across very masked and not reflecting the same passion. It could cause a person to doubt my words.
A tip Colin gave me to help solve this issue when shooting a video for Youtube, is to make my facial expressions exaggerated and animate my face. To animate my face I could say something like “I am passionate,” so my whole face now goes into an expression of passion.
This might result in my mouth opening, my eyes closing, my face lighting up. After you have the first take, you go back and have a look at what you have recorded. If you have followed Colin’s tips, your face might look over the top although sometimes, Colin says, you look fine.
The reason for this is because at first we can think we are being over the top but in fact we are being appropriate, ask others for their feedback. On the second take, you might just modify your facial expressions to be one notch back if the first take looked too over the top.
Learn your face, play with expressions in the mirror. Go for exaggeration initially and then pull back a little bit from there. Most people in a corporate environment mask their face and become very formal which is why a lot of presentations in this context become very dull.
If you would like to know more about Colin’s training programs or watch some videos of him in action, then visit his website colinjamesmethod.com
3 Ways to Optimize Your Life for Success
Welcome to the 21st Century! The era of the Internet and computers, lack of focus and superficiality. I know it sounds scary, maybe a little more exaggerated, but it’s true. We live in a world of short posts and 3-minute videos. We barely engage in deep learning, deep thinking, and deep focus to produce iPhone-level products or services. So, the majority of us are actually a failure, thousands of miles away from achieving our life goals and business visions. How do we turn things around? We need to optimize our lives.
Here are 3 tried and tested tips that will help optimize your life for success:
1. Upgrade your sleep
When I started my freelance writing career—about seven years ago—I was passionate and excited at the beginning. I’d fill my To-Do list with 6-10 items, worked until 12 am, set my alarm to go off at 3 am, and had my running shoes close to my bed before I went to sleep. However, I barely accomplished anything. I usually became weak and bored before noon.
I noticed that I was putting a huge strain on myself. I was sleep deprived, which is the primary reason why I didn’t have the energy and the drive to accomplish my tasks. Many studies have shown that sleep-deprivation affects productivity.
As soon as I began increasing my sleeping time from 4 hours to 7 hours, my whole life changed. I started producing a lot and earning a lot more than before while also improving my health. With more sleep, I get the emotional energy and willpower I need to read, learn, and optimize my career.
“By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are. And in that place of connection, it is easier for the fears and concerns of the world to drop away.” – Arianna Huffington
2. Read every day
I get it. You’re in the middle-class struggling to survive. You simply have enough to deal with. Reading? That’s not included on your to-do list. Well, if that’s you, then you’re not alone. The global literacy rates are at an all-time high at 84 percent, which means people don’t read as much anymore.
We already have enough on our plates. In fact, a study by the National Endowment for the Arts has found that the reading culture among American adults has drastically declined. That’s a big issue in our world.
Nothing can prevent you from reading, not even your plate that’s chock-full of other life’s priorities. If you want to produce more and impact the world around you, you’ve got to read more and learn more.
Take a look at the visionaries and business titans in our world. All of them are avid readers and avid learners. Bill Gates is a bibliophile and Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, reveres books. In fact, Knight customized his library to the extent that, before you enter into his library, you have to take off your shoes and bow.
So, what would you do next? Take Roald Dahl’s advice, captured in this beautiful line of the poem: “So please, oh please, we beg, we pray / go throw your TV set away / and in its place, you can install / a lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
3. Use Pomodoro to time yourself
You can’t go far in life if you can’t stay totally focused on a task. If you want to achieve your goals, you have got to stay laser-focused on a single task before jumping on to another. Why? Because goals are not achieved in one session, they’re achieved in a series of tasks, one after the other.
To install the focus habit in your system; therefore, you need to use a time-management kind of “system” that will keep you firm and attentive on a specific project. Pomodoro is that time-management tool that will help you stay focused.
It’s an excellent app that lets you set a timer for a particular task. You can set it for 30, 60, or 90 minutes and stop working when it goes off. I use it all the time, and I can’t imagine my work life without it.
“I know when I stay focused, good things will undoubtedly happen.” – Marc Trestman
Optimizing your life for more power, passion, and productivity is not about working hard late at night or running multiple projects at a time. It’s about maintaining your health and recharging your energy (having a deep, quality sleep), updating your knowledge (by reading every day), and staying focused on a project—until you accomplished it (by using Pomodoro technique to boost your concentration).
Of course, developing these sets of habits is not easy. You’ll fail and get frustrated, but as the productivity guru Robin Sharma beautifully puts it, “all changes are hard at first, messy at the middle, and beautiful at the end.”
Which one of these three ways to optimize your life resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts below!
If You Want Your Business to Grow, You Need to Increase Your Capacity in the Following 4 Areas
Every entrepreneur must come face to face with the reality that there is only a limited amount of time, money, and people that you can use within your current position. The question is how do we increase or maximize the things that we find limiting?
As we walk through our hectic and often over packed ten, twelve, or fourteen hour work days, one of the questions that we should be asking is “What can I do to get more, to do more?” Instead, we just put our heads down and plow through the ever growing mountain of work. We are limited by capacity.
Webster’s dictionary defines capacity as “the maximum amount that something can contain.” As an entrepreneur, we have to be a little more creative than the average person and find ways to increase our capacity.
Below, we’ll identify the four areas where we need more capacity and ways to get more with less:
Every human on this planet is granted twenty-four hours a day. That is it. Your capacity is a total of twenty-four hours. Within that amount of time you must manage several different demands. Our goal is to buy back our time, when we can, and operate at peak performance when we are accomplishing our daily task list.
First, without staying in performance shape, you will lose the ability to stay at optimal performance levels. Our bodies are truly a machine with an amazing capacity, but when it is abused by lack of sleep, improper nutrition, and lack of exercise, you are reducing the capacity at which you are able to work and function. The closer you are to peak performance, the more you are able to accomplish in a shorter amount of time.
Second is our mental condition. Here is what my experience has taught me. If I am mentally rested, I can think and make decisions faster because I can reason more quickly in addition to understanding the circumstances and information at an extremely fast pace.
When your brain is healthy, it becomes easier to absorb and process information at a lightning fast rate. Taking the time to allow your brain to rest will give it the ability to function at peak performance.
Third is our ability to train and delegate. So often, entrepreneurs are control freaks. No one can do it as good, as fast, or with the same passion as they can. While that may be true in most cases, you are only one person with twenty-four hours in a day.
You’ve got to delegate and accept people’s help. If you add one person that’s willing to give you eight hours of work a day, you have now bought back hours in your day to focus on activities that will generate more income and grow your business. Why wouldn’t you want to add more hours to your day by delegating out the appropriate task to qualified individuals?
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar
Money tends to be a sensitive topic. We all have beliefs that were formed through our childhood on the concept of money. With many different views and beliefs on this topic, let’s just focus on the fact that money is a tool that will either help grow the company or a tool that limits a company’s growth.
It is always amazing that the faster a company grows, the greater the challenge of money becomes, and this could potentially cause the company to implode on its own success. How do we then increase the capacity and have more money available to keep the company healthy?
Here are a couple of things to watch out for:
- Keep an eye on your budget and get accurate figures.
- Look at your Accounts Receivables. If they get too long, they could cause significant cash flow issues.
- Find investment opportunities. There are many private investors that are often willing to invest in companies that have true growth with solid foundations.
- Look at additional profit generators, products, or services that fit within your current business model.
Each of these are ways to increase the capacity that money contributes to the growth of your business.
3. Space and Supply
I will never forget exactly where I was standing when I had a manufacture call and tell me they were unable to supply anymore products. They had sold us everything they had, and they weren’t going to have anything available to sell for at least another six months. At that time, we were selling customer printed t-shirts and had tens of thousands of orders that we needed to fulfill within the next thirty days.
Space and Supply are tied closely together. Space is often associated with the production. Do you have a space large enough to meet the demands of the supply? If production can only create 1,000 products a day and buyers need 5,000 a day, there is a conflict.
A business needs to understand that challenge, and there are only 3 solutions to this problem: The business figures out how to increase production within the current workable hours, adds more workable hours with the equipment and space, or adds more equipment and space to increase production.
Space and supplies are assets that can be used towards the business advantage. Here are a few questions to ask when making decisions based on space and supply.
- Evaluate your supply channel. Are they able to maintain a solid supply of your raw product materials to match your growth as a company?
- Are there back up supply manufactures that can create a safety net for your raw products?
- Evaluate the amount of space you have available along with the time the space is usable. Can you run a second or third shift with the current space and equipment?
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Your employees are likely going to be the most important way to create more capacity. We talked briefly about delegating to qualified individuals to increase capacity around your own personal time. The next phase is to create more capacity by adding additional, trained people.
You need to create leaders of leaders instead of you being the leader of followers. Don’t miss this because the greatest of all companies focuses on increasing their capacity by training leaders of leaders and not just a loyal following.
Entrepreneurs tend to be a lonely bunch of souls. Too often, we are misunderstood and looked at with slight amount of annoyance. Others just don’t always know how to take someone that is passionately thinking outside the box.
People skills are a must in order to have more than just yourself work to achieve that dream. As an entrepreneur, develop the social skills to work with individuals that are different than yourself.
Here is a 3 step plan to have great capacity with people as your allies:
- Start by learning how to delegate your own tasks to buy back your time. Identify the tasks that are easiest to delegate and document how you do them. This will give you a specific job description, set achievable goals, and create a daily action plan that is now something that is teachable.
- Use this system and apply it to the other things you are currently doing. I would suggest building out an organization chart and dividing the different tasks you do within the company. Then create a plan that will allow you to hire the right person and move you onto the next area in the organization that you will systematize.
- Finally, create the culture. Culture is like a child, it will grow whether or not you pay attention to it. So be intentional. Learn what it takes to build a culture that attracts the employees that want to be there and grow with the company.
Each of these four areas has an incredible amount of potential to increase your capacity, and allow your business to grow. Don’t attempt to tackle everything at once. Identify just one area that you will commit to grow within the next three to six months. Take action and implement.
What is your next step? Share with us below!
The Importance of Failure: Why We Should Fail Forward
What Is failing forward? Will Smith said it best in a viral Instagram video that engaged the world. “You’ve gotta take a shot, you have to live at the edge of your capabilities. You gotta live where you’re almost certain you’re going to fail. Failure actually helps you to recognize the areas where you need to evolve. So fail early, fail often, fail forward.”
Failing forward is about using leverage on your mistakes and making a realistic assessment of the risks involved. It’s your ability to live with the downside, control your emotions and experiment with new approaches. When we fail forward, we need to look at the reason why we fail and understand that it’s all part of the process of achievement.
Here are 4 Reasons Why We Fail:
1. We Are Too Distracted
Distractions are everywhere. They can take us off course and could make it impossible to keep our mind on our goal or purpose. It’s important to be selective, strategic and supportive in our distractions. We all control certain aspects of our day, so be selective and prioritise tasks that are in line with your goals.
We should be strategic by understanding when we work best. Personally, I write more efficiently in the early mornings and late evenings. So that’s what I stick to. Try different things and see when you are least distracted. You’ll then be able to be supportive and generous with your time. Being supportive of others costs us little and drives our own success whilst boosting our health and happiness.
2. Lack of Self Belief
Lack of self belief runs differently from person to person. Our experiences, childhood history, genes, culture and life circumstances play a part in our self confidence. The truth is, we can’t alter the experiences that our past has given us. What we can do though, is change our thoughts to gain more belief in ourselves. Ways to increase our self-belief is to find out more about ourselves. We can do this by taking care of ourselves physically and emotionally. Giving ourselves a healthy support system and understanding our emotions are just a couple of ways to practice self-belief.
3. Fear of Failure
Failure often induces fear. When we fear failure, we allow ourselves to stop doing the things that can help us achieve our goals, help us move forward and open up possibilities we never thought were possible. We should have faith in ourselves and start to shift our inner dialogue from ‘not good enough’ to ‘more than enough’. If our inner critic takes the lead on self talk, then it’s more than likely we aren’t feeling good enough. It’s important to surround ourselves with positive people and positive thoughts.
Procrastination is a common reason for failure. It’s delaying or putting off a task or action to attend to at a later time. Procrastination is essentially giving in, to feel good. We prefer avoiding negative emotions and stressful tasks, which are the very things we procrastinate about. The first step to overcoming procrastination is recognising we do it.
We then need to understand why we do it and use appropriate strategies to prevent it from happening. We may not know that we are procrastinating and this can be damaging to reaching our full potential. With a solid understanding, we can get to the core of our reasons and make positive changes to fail forward.
Now that you know why we fail, here are the 3 ways you can fail forward:
1. Take Risks
When risks are taken, we generally overestimate the chances of something going wrong. What we focus on tends to magnify in our imagination and in return, causes us to misjudge an outcome of a situation. The reality is, the likelihood is often a far better return than we imagine it out to be. To take risks, we should not be afraid of failure.
2. Understanding Failure Should Be Your Motivation
It may sound comical but, be happy when you fail. We’ve been taught to believe that when we fail it’s because of bad attempts, bad judgment and bad luck at improving our lives. For example, we link failure with the colour red (to stop) and success with the colour green (to keep going). In reality, we are stronger and more courageous when we fail. It’s a sign of improvement, so we should recognise that failure is growth and if we’re not making mistakes, we are not really trying. Use failure as motivation and keep going.
Perseverance is the ability to recover from failure. Your chances of success is also dependent on your persistence and your willingness to persevere. You have two options when you fail: Become self-defeated or become resilient and encouraged. Perseverance requires a goal, a passion and patience. It’s important to set your own pace when persevering and not comparing your failures to others. In doing this, when we fail forward, we are more in tune with ourselves and more controlled with new approaches.
“Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience.” – John C. Maxwell
Think of it this way. When we’re at the gym pushing ourselves in the weight room, the trainer would yell “One more rep!”. Our trainer wants us to succeed, but also wants us to fail. They want us to be uncomfortable to the point where our muscles fatigue. Why? Because of muscle adaptation. That’s where our muscle growth comes from. It’s the ability to learn how to get comfortable being uncomfortable. This concept doesn’t just apply physically within our muscles, it applies mentally and in our minds. In understanding this perspective, we can fail forward with more awareness and are in a better position to achieve success.
The Most Overlooked Element of Success (Spoiler Alert – It’s Not Mindset Nor Strategy)
It’s always important to have someone show you “the ropes” in the beginning stages in your business. When I started my own business venture two years ago, I hired numerous coaches and mentors across MULTIPLE disciplines to work on getting my business off the ground. Every coach with a different strategy and mindset technique to share, leaving me feeling like there’s no end to chasing for the “next best thing.”
Someone is always trying to give you their “Magic Pill”
You know the moment when you are desperate to start making money (and stop your savings from bleeding)? You click on a link that leads you to a sales page, that tells you the coach has “the best kept secret” or “the exact 7-step formula to start your business” – those of you who’ve been there know what I’m talking about.
You see, I had a weakness for that kind of copywriting. My heart would scream “Take my money and share your secret already!” Through pushing my own boundaries, implementing different strategies, and months after months of falling left, right and sideways – I realised strategy and mindset alone is not enough to get your career or business off the ground. You need the right conditions.
You can’t copy and paste success or failure. You need to have the right environment in order to gain traction and take things to the next level. I’m not referring to external conditions – because the best conditions that cannot be “ctrl+copy+pasted” from someone else’s success formula are allowing yourself to fail so many times that you become thick-skinned, so you no longer feel self conscious.
“Dreams don’t work unless you do.”– John C. Maxwell
Imagine you’re trying to grow a beautiful garden of flowers. You’ve got all the items: landscaping tools, the instructions, the commitment and all the love and attention you can give to your garden. But wait a minute – you need the right conditions to be met. That’s when you need to look into temperature, amount of water, sunlight, pH of the soil, and pest control to make sure your flowers can flourish and blossom.
The same goes with your career and business. You need to have the right conditions in place, and create the perfect environment for yourself and your work to thrive. That’s why we need to take things one step further to close the gap that acts as a bridge from where you are to where you need to be.
We need to open up the dialogue to talk about how we can get more support as entrepreneurs, because it’s not written in the “Rulebook of Success.” We need to talk about the areas we may have overlooked that are just as important as Mindset & Strategy.
It’s Time To Fill In The Gaps
I’m telling you, just the realisation itself blew my mind. Because having a thriving business is no longer just about following someone else’s “7-Step Formula” or a “blueprint” and hope that it works for you. It always makes me chuckle when people use that word, no one’s business is identical in my personal opinion. Neither is it about journaling your butt off.
In more practical terms, building your business upon the right conditions is about these following things, and so much more. It’s about not needing validation from other people but yourself. It’s about finding the right support community. It’s about going through the process of deep, inner work. It’s about fitting your life and business and fun and family into your schedule.
It’s about confronting all of your fears and having difficult conversations that you’ve put aside. It’s about cultivating experience and building thick skin from your failures (so, you can not fail even if you used someone else’s fool-proof method). Building a successful business is shedding your old identity and building a new one – all the while finding new people along the way that support your vision.
“There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar
Shower Love Onto Every Part of Your Business
Your success is built upon all the other things that happen in between and along the journey for every self-made person that no one told you about. Every element of non-business related strategy is a piece of the puzzle that shouldn’t be overlooked. That’s why I’m calling the intentional business owners and entrepreneurs forward – to focus your energy on plowing through every inch of your soil and give attention to things that are also “behind the scenes” – so that you can build a thriving empire upon a rich, fertilized foundation.
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