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My 10 Commandments for (Business) Success in 2015

My 10 Commandments for (Business)-2

The reality of it is we do quit. And we don’t completely quit, we just settle for less. And, we settle for less because we aren’t committed. So, I thought this year, I would do something a little different. I would create a list of things that are SET IN STONE. These are things I have to do, in order to reach my goals. These are not resolutions; these are my marching orders for 2015. These are the things I am committed to because I know that if I do these things, I’ll reach my goals for 2015. After I finished my list, I thought it might be a good idea to share the idea with you, and also share my list. Below you’ll find what I’m calling my 10 Commandments for Business Success in 2015. If you like the idea, and draw up your own list, I’d love to see it.

1. I will create a plan and a budget for 2015, then review, adjust and correct on a weekly, monthly and quarterly schedule.

2. I will apply the 80/20 rule to all activities, to OPTIMIZE my results.

3. I will create more PROFIT for my shareholders.

4. I will create more PROFIT for my clients, vendors, partners and other key relationships.

5. I will further develop and encourage my key team members.

6. I will allow my key team members to take more and more “low payoff” activities away from me, so I can focus on more “high-payoff” activities.

7. I will take more time to rest and recharge.

8. I will better schedule my time, so I’m not as stressed, so I get to spend more quality time with those I love.

9. I will spend more time nurturing and further developing my relationship with my key clients.

10. I will continue to hone my knowledge and my skills through learning and education.

12 Ways Successful People Are Different Than Unsuccessful People. (Part 2)

Continued…

7.  Successful people keep it simple.

In today’s world, where information constantly moves at the speed of light and opportunities for innovation seem endless, we are faced with an abundance of choices when it comes to designing our lives and careers.  But sadly, an abundance of choice often leads to complication, confusion and a lack of action.

Several business and marketing studies have shown that the more product choices a consumer is faced with, the fewer products they purchase.  After all, narrowing down the best product from a group of three choices is certainly a lot easier than narrowing down the best product from three hundred choices. 

If the purchasing decision is tough, most people will just give up.  Likewise, if you complicate your life by overwhelming yourself with too many choices, your subconscious mind will retreat.

The answer is to simplify things in your life.  If you’re selling a product line, keep it simple.  And if you’re trying to make a decision about something in your life, don’t waste all your time evaluating every last detail of every possible option. 

Choose something that you think will work and try it.  If it doesn’t work out, learn what you can from the experience, choose something else and keep moving forward.

8.  They focus their time and efforts on making small, nonstop improvements.

Making small, positive changes such as eating a little healthier, exercising a little more, and creating some small productive habits is an amazing way to get re-energized about life and slowly reach the level of success you aspire to.

And if you start small, you don’t need a lot of motivation to get started.  The simple act of getting started and doing something will give you the momentum you need, and soon you’ll find yourself in a positive spiral of changes – one building on the other.

As your strength grows, you can take on bigger challenges.

9.  They measure and track their progress in all areas of their lives.

Successful people are not only working in their job/business, they are also working on it.  They step back and assess their progress regularly.  They track themselves against their goals and clearly know what needs to be done to excel and accelerate.

You can’t control what you don’t properly measure. 

If you track the wrong things you won’t recognize potential opportunities as they come up.  The correct approach is to identify your number one goal and then track the things that directly relate to reaching that goal.  I recommend that you take some time right now to identify your number one goal, identify the most important things for you to keep track of, and then begin tracking them immediately. 

On a weekly basis, plug the information into a spreadsheet and use the data to create weekly or monthly trend graphs so you can visualize your progress.  Then fine-tune your actions to get those trends to increase in your favor.

10.  They maintain a positive outlook while learning from their mistakes.

Successful people concentrate on the positives by looking for the silver lining in every situation.  They know that it is their positive approach to life that will lead them to greatness.  If you want to be successful, you need to have a positive outlook toward life.

Life will test you again and again.  If you give in to inner negativity, you will never be able to achieve your goals.

Remember, every mistake you make is an opportunity to learn a valuable lesson.  Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal.  The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing because you’re too scared to make a mistake.

So don’t hesitate – don’t doubt yourself!  Don’t let your own negativity sabotage you.  Learn what you can and press forward.

11.  They spend their time with the right people.

Successful people associate with others who are like minded, focused, and supportive.  They socialize with people who generate energy when they enter the room instead of those who create energy when they leave.  They reach out to influential individuals who match their dreams and goals.

You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with.  If you spend time with the wrong people, they will negatively affect you.  But if you spend time with the right people, you will become far more capable and successful than you ever could have been alone. 

12.  They maintain proper balance in their life.

If you ask most people to summarize what they want out of life they’ll shout out a list of things like: ‘fall in love,’ ‘make money,’ ‘spend time with family,’ ‘find happiness,’ ‘achieve goals,’ etc.  But sadly, a lot of people don’t balance their life properly to achieve these things.  They’ll typically achieve a couple of them while completely neglecting the rest. 

The Real Reason Your Business Exists

People have asked me why I am so focused on money.  Some have even gone so far as to imply that it seems selfish, insignificant or petty to be focused solely on money.  I have two responses to these questions.

First, let me immediately make the point – which I feel should be obvious – that the main motivating reason to be in whatever business you’re in should be profit. Profit is what I’m focused on, not just the money.

You see, profit is simply recognition for services rendered. The more people you serve – the more profit you’ll earn. The more value you provide the people you serve – the more money you’ll make. If the service you are providing is moral and ethical and has your customers’ best interests foremost in mind, then profit is your just reward!

If profit is not the focus, you don’t belong in business for yourself.

Yet as a consultant, I find all sorts of people in all types of businesses who are not primarily profit-motivated. They’ve got their priorities mixed up. Business decisions made with something other than profit as the prime consideration are almost certain to be bad decisions.

Here is why I believe your business exists, in the first person:

“My business exists to satisfy my needs, to fund my lifestyle and to give me the ability to live the life I want to live.”

Now some of you are probably reading this and thinking that this way of thinking sounds awfully selfish and self-serving – and I would agree – because it is. But your business must operate this way, or else!

One of the biggest lessons I learned from my mentor, Dan Kennedy is that the purpose of your business is:

• NOT to provide jobs
• NOT to pay taxes
• NOT to support the community
• NOT to improve customers’ lives
• NOT to improve employees’ lives

Sure, it may do all of these things (to one degree or another), but only as a by-product of achieving its true purpose.

Read that again: “only as a by-product of achieving its true purpose”.

And its true purpose is – satisfying YOUR needs.

Think about it:
• How can you provide jobs if your business can’t support you and your family?
• How can your business support the community if it can’t support you and your family?
• How can you improve the lives of your customers or employees if you can’t improve your own life, or don’t live the life you want to live?

So think about why your business really exists. What are your (and your family’s) needs? How much will you need to live the lifestyle you want to live? What is the life you want to live? Who do you want to be? What do you want to have? What do you want to do? Your business can help provide all of those things if your focus is on profit.

This article adapted from the book “How To Double Your Profits In Six Months or Less” by Brian Kaskavalciyan. To Order your copy CLICK HERE.

12 Ways Successful People Are Different Than Unsuccessful People. (Part 1)

1. They take decisive and immediate action.

Sadly, very few people ever live to become the success story they dream about. And there’s one simple reason why:

They never take action!

The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing. Growing happens when what you know changes how you live. So many people live in a complete daze. Actually, they don’t ‘live’, they simply ‘get by’ because they never take the necessary action to make things happen – to seek their dreams.

It doesn’t matter if you have a genius IQ and a PhD in Quantum Physics, you can’t change anything or make any sort of real-world progress without taking action. There’s a huge difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it. Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action. It’s as simple as that.

Success hinges on the simple act of making a decision to live – to absorb yourself in the process of going after your dreams and goals. So make that decision. And take action.

2. They focus on being productive, not being busy.

In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek?, Tim Ferris says, “Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is often a form of mental laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.” This is Ferris’ way of saying “work smarter, not harder,” which happens to be one of the most prevalent modern day personal development clichés. But like most clichés, there’s a great deal of truth to it, and few people actually adhere to it.

Just take a quick look around. The busy outnumber the productive by a wide margin.

Busy people are rushing all over the place, and running late half of the time. They’re heading to work, conferences, meetings, social engagements, etc. They barely have enough free time for family get-togethers and they rarely get enough sleep. Yet, business emails are shooting out of their smart phones like machine gun bullets, and their daily planner is jammed to the brim with obligations.

Their busy schedule gives them an elevated sense of importance. But it’s all an illusion. They’re like hamsters running on a wheel.

The solution: Slow down. Breathe. Review your commitments and goals. Put first things first. Do one thing at a time. Start now. Take a short break in two hours. Repeat.

And always remember, results are more important than the time it takes to achieve them.

3. They make logical, informed decisions.

Sometimes we do things that are enduringly foolish simply because we are temporarily upset or excited.

Although emotional ‘gut instincts’ are effective in certain fleeting situations, when it comes to generating long-term, sustained growth in any area of life, emotional decisions often lead a person astray. Decisions driven by heavy emotion typically contain minimal amounts of conscious thought, and are primarily based on momentary feelings instead of mindful awareness.

The best advice here is simple: Don’t let your emotions trump your intelligence. Slow down and think things through before you make any life-changing decisions.

4. They avoid the trap of trying to make things perfect.

Many of us are perfectionists in our own right. I know I am at times. We set high bars for ourselves and put our best foot forward. We dedicate copious amounts of time and attention to our work to maintain our high personal standards. Our passion for excellence drives us to run the extra mile, never stopping, never relenting. And this dedication towards perfection undoubtedly helps us achieve results, as long as we don’t get carried away.

But what happens when we do get carried away with perfectionism?

We become disgruntled and discouraged when we fail to meet the (impossibly high) standards we set for ourselves, making us reluctant to take on new challenges or even finish tasks we’ve already started. Our insistence on dotting every ‘I’ and crossing every ‘T’ breeds inefficiency, causing major delays, stress overload and subpar results.

True perfectionists have a hard time starting things and an even harder time finishing them, always.

Remember, the real world doesn’t reward perfectionists. It rewards people who get things done. And the only way to get things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time. Only by wading through years of practice and imperfection can we begin to achieve momentary glimpses of the perfection.

So make a decision. Take action, learn from the outcome, and repeat this method over and over again in all walks of life.

5. They work outside of their comfort zone.

The number one thing I persistently see holding smart people back is their own reluctance to accept an opportunity simply because they don’t think they’re ready.

In other words, they feel uncomfortable and believe they require additional knowledge, skill, experience, etc. before they can aptly partake in the opportunity. Sadly, this is the kind of thinking that stifles personal growth and success.

The truth is nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises because most great opportunities in life force us to grow emotionally and intellectually. They force us to venture outside of our comfort zone, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first. And when we don’t feel comfortable, we don’t feel ready.

Significant moments of opportunity for personal growth and success will come and go throughout your lifetime. If you are looking to make positive changes and new breakthroughs in your life, you will need to embrace these moments of opportunity even though you will never feel 100% ready for them.

6. They create S.M.A.R.T. goals and pursue them.

Successful people are objective and have realistic targets in mind. They know what they’re looking for and why they are fighting for it. Successful people create and pursue S.M.A.R.T. goals.

S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Let’s briefly review each:

  • Specific – A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a related specific goal would be, “Join a health club and workout 3 days a week for the next 52 weeks.” A specific goal has a far greater chance of being accomplished because it has defined parameters and constraints.
  • Measurable – There must be a logical system for measuring the progress of a goal. To determine if your goal is measurable, ask yourself questions like: How much time? How many total? How will I know when the goal is accomplished? When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued efforts required to reach your goal.
  • Attainable – To be attainable, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. In other words, the goal must be realistic. The big question here is: How can the goal be accomplished?
  • Relevant – Relevance stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter. For example, an Internet entrepreneur’s goal to sell 75 units by 2:00 p.m. may be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Timely, but it lacks Relevance to an entrepreneur’s all-inclusive objective of building a profitable online business.
  • Timely – A goal must be grounded within a time frame, giving the goal a target date. A commitment to a deadline helps you focus your efforts on the completion of the goal on or before the due date. This part of the S.M.A.R.T. goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by daily distractions.

When you identify S.M.A.R.T. goals that are truly important to you, you become motivated to realize ways to attain them. You develop the necessary attitude, abilities, and skills. You can achieve almost any goal you set if you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps.

Goals that once seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them.

To be continued next month…where we’ll talk about #’s 7 through 12.

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