Since I’ve worked as a coach and consultant for many years, I’ve had a chance to take a rare peek into the lives and businesses of many of my students and clients.
Most of them are highly ambitious, driven people. But from time to time they may run into a road block or need to take a detour to stay on course.
This is natural. No matter what kind of business you may operate, as time passes a small but undeniable rut can begin to form. As you become more invested in a chosen field and your reputation builds, that rut may become deeper. This could happen because you’ve become set in your ways or maybe because you’ve become more valuable in your field and you’re not sure how to shift gears and head in a different direction.
But you don’t have to stay stuck in that rut. Here are seven common principals that should be a part of your big plan. Use them to check and see where you’re at and where you’re going from time to time.
Over the years I’ve noticed certain common characteristics that appear again and again in successful people. Each and every one of them pays attention to these seven areas of their business and/or life to stay on track and on top.
Take stock of yourself and make sure you keep these seven pillars in mind. That way you will never stride very far off course when it comes to reaching your goals.
Visualize Your Future – As we go through life we plan events and things like weddings, graduations, vacation trips, retirement. Business is no different. Start with the ultimate goal or ending and then work backwards. In other words, how do you see the end result? The more clearly you see the future of your business or company, the easier it is to move toward that and the more likely you will achieve your vision.
Develop a Playbook – Certain systems and processes need to be in place so that you can implement and adjust accordingly. Your business playbook is a strategic plan to help you reach your vision. Virtually every sports team on practically every level from high school on up to the professional ranks has a playbook. It is the strategic execution of what the coaching staff thinks will work best based on the strengths of the team in general and the possible weaknesses of the competition.
System of Measurement – With a strategic plan or playbook, it makes sense that you also will be measuring to see how well or poorly certain things work. Be sure to establish a system so you can accurately measure these things and keep records. A system of measurement is a fair barometer to help you access what’s working and what isn’t working. Of course, this system can be adjusted as you go along when conditions change.
Practice Often – This is true no matter what you may do in life. It’s really very simple. The more you practice, the better you become. If you take a look at anyone who has risen to be among the best in a particular field, you will discover that he or she got there by putting in lots of hours, regularly, for years.
Model the Masters – This is another simple, yet very effective, approach. Take a look at what and how the cream of the crop does it. Watch them, study their manners and habits, notice what they do and when. Get inside their head if you can and absorb their thought patterns. You can’t go wrong when you not only watch them, but then go out and imitate them. There are lots of reasons why the masters got to where you hope to get. Learn as much as you can from them.
Take Care of Yourself – Mental sharpness is important. But you must also take care of yourself physically. Eat the right kind of foods, get enough rest and exercise, take care of your body and it will take care of you. It’s hard to be on top of your game from a mental standpoint if you’re not feeling healthy. It just doesn’t work that way. Keep your mind fresh and alert by staying fit.
Attitude is Everything – This seventh and final key to success is the most important. You have to remain upbeat and positive even when events don’t appear to be going your way. So many things in our lives are controlled and ultimately decided by what goes on in our heads – that small space between our ears. Your mind is the most powerful tool you have. Put it to good use and make sure it is in proper working order. Learn from mistakes, stay focused and be sure to maintain the right attitude. This will take you a long way, no matter where you may be headed.