02 Jan The 7 Keys to Staying On Top of Your Game
In business, having a great idea or an innovative product is only half of the battle. What will keep you miles ahead of your competition is your motivation, drive, and hunger to be successful. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been there… My business was doing well, I was making money, I thought I was invincible. But, inevitably, that inflated my ego and I started losing sight of certain areas within my business, until what seemed like suddenly, we were losing money by the hundreds of thousands! So, if you’re looking to stay focused on success, follow these 5 key principles.
- Have a big enough why. If you don’t know why you are doing what you are doing, then you will easily be distracted or worse yet, give up at the sight of any obstacle. When you establish a big “why” you are able to build a sense of commitment that makes everything you do worthwhile and having a purpose. Attach your “why” to others, if needed. We tend to do more when we know we have others depending on us. Think of your employees, your spouse, your business partner, or even your kids. Every time you are ready to give up or procrastinate, then remind yourself of what you have at stake. So, if you have not already, set at least 1 outrageous goal for yourself. Don’t be concerned with if you will achieve it or not, instead focus on what you need to do to try to get there. And, if you do this right you will be able to gain enough forward momentum to be wildly successful.
- Create a false sense of scarcity. I know this sounds a bit unorthodox. But, let me explain using my business’ finances as an example. For us, every dollar that comes in 40% goes straight to me, 20% goes to taxes, 20% goes to profit, and the last 20% goes to run the company. So, even though we have money coming in, we set aside only a small portion of that to go to operating costs. That forces us to always be mindful of our spending and to use our resources to the max, before dishing out money on other things (that may not be needed). When you create scarcity, this creates hunger, desire, and drive!
- Associate significant pain with not getting things done. This can also be taken to me, establishing consequences for yourself. Now the key for this to work is for the “punishment” to be severe enough that it is an actual deterrent. Perhaps not getting monthly reports done on time comes with a 1% pay reduction for each day it is late. I’m sure if you implement a rule like this for yourself or your team, work will be done on time, if not before deadlines!
- Find ways to hold yourself accountable. Connect what you are doing or aspiring to do to your identity. For example, I want to complete a full Ironman. Before, I never identified myself as a “runner”, let alone a “triathlete”. But, now that I do, it has become an ingrained part of me, which makes me want to do my workouts, even if I am tired or have a lot of other things on my plate. Tell your goal to the world or ask someone to be your accountability coach. This is one of the best ways to keep you honest and focused on moving forward.
- Get around people who are doing more than you. You are the company you keep, so why not keep exceptional company? Find those who are at the level of success you aspire to be and study what they are doing. Become obsessed with learning the ins and outs of what has propelled them to success and then emulate it. What you’ll find is peak performers have a narrow focus on a small set of goals and then dedicate their energy and efforts to just those goals – nothing else. If you want to be a peak performer, surround yourself around those that can teach you what it takes to be at that level.
As you go into the new year, think about what you want for yourself and what (if any) of the five motivation principles above you can begin incorporating into how you run your business today.