12 Steps to Success
Today I got into a bit of an argument on Twitter (nothing new there).
It started with someone moaning about having to get up at ridiculous hours to attend to their business and me responding by saying that as they own the business they should employ someone to do this particular task.
It’s an important part of the business and led to a discussion about whether critical tasks should be delegated or not.
My view is that yes, they should. (I actually shouted, *YES* they should.)
Business owners are there to manage the business, to make decisions, to keep track of cashflow and consistently review how the business is working and make improvements where they’re needed. As soon as the business is big enough, *everything* else should be delegated.
If the business owner is the only one who can be trusted with a critical task it means that the business is too vulnerable and at risk and is probably unsalable.
Then we got into “what if the person the critical task is delegated to doesn’t do it properly?” Well, it is the owner’s job to check that it is being done properly and make sure people are properly trained or replaced. Delegation doesn’t mean abdication.
If your business is so small that you’re still doing everything yourself and you’re happy with that that’s fine but if you want it to grow you need to have a plan and that plan will very likely involve you stepping away from all of the stuff you do now and managing other people who will do it instead – and that’s a whole other skill set.
Basically, if your business is big enough to employ people and it still can’t run without you, there’s something wrong.
Are other people spending your time?
Check by doing this after every meeting:
Did your meeting start/end on time?
If not what could you do to make sure this happens in future?
Who benefitted most from the meeting?
If it was you, is the benefit in the short or long term?
If it was others, why did you allow them to spend your time for you?
Were any of today’s activities less important than other things on your list?
If so, could you have postponed them?
You don’t want to be mean with your time but if other people are benefitting more than you, try changing lunch to coffee and coffee to a Skype call and a Skype call to an email.
Suggest other people do the prep for a meeting and send you the info beforehand. Don’t let anyone put a monkey on your back – make sure it stays where it belongs.
Spend more time on the important stuff and less on the urgent – especially if its more urgent for other people than it is for you.
Ann Hawkins and the amazing TIG folk can help you grow your business and achieve the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. To find out more, simply click here
What’s the only time management tip you’ll ever need?
Being Early Saves Time AND Money
The bulk of the time we waste is spent trying to catch up on things that could have been done earlier, in less time.
By doing things before they need to be done we really SAVE time.
That old proverb “A stitch in time saves nine” is true.
Getting your car serviced before it breaks down, getting a new computer before it slows you down, getting a health check before you become ill, nurturing your relationships before they collapse, paying off bills before you get charged interest, getting more business before you run out of money. They all save both time and money.
Being early Pays Off
First come, first served is another true saying. Research shows that people respond more positively to the first person to respond to their request, whether this is to send in a quote, a tender for a job, information or recommendations. In other words, being early has a clear advantage.
Being Early Makes a Statement
If you want people to think you’re not in control of your life, unreliable, can’t be trusted, and don’t respect others, be consistently late for meetings, for deadlines, and for appointments. (See related post “Always” )
If you want people to think you’re committed, confident, and competent, show up early, and use the extra time to relax and prepare so you’ll be on top of your game.
Being in place when others arrive means you get to choose your chair, comb your hair, go to the loo, be the one to welcome others. It gives you control.
Try it …
Do you get irritated when people are late? Are you consistently late yourself? Tell us how this makes you feel in the comments below.
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If you have a burning desire to be, do or have something and you’re not working towards it, chances are you’re being held back by a lack of self belief.
Most successful people acknowledge that self belief plays a big part in their achievements. At a very superficial level this makes a lot of sense for why would anyone attempt something if they didn’t think they could succeed?
However, if this thought is carried to its logical conclusion it would mean that successful people never take any risks and this is clearly not the case.
Some of the most successful people I’ve met are those who, at some point in their lives, lost everything. They put their success down to the fact that they already know that if things go wrong, they will cope and come back to fight another day.
And yet, through lack of self belief, most people consistently choose unhappiness over uncertainty. You can prove this for yourself. Just ask everyone you know (including yourself)
“What would you do if you knew without doubt that you could not fail?”
Then ask, “So why aren’t you doing it?” The answer is always, “Because it MIGHT fail”
We do less than we could because what we fear most is our imagined failure.
People who have experienced real failure don’t fear it anymore. They know it won’t kill them.
There’s a lot of talk about what we learn from failure, but the real lesson, the most important lesson, is self belief. When there’s nothing else left – we learn to believe in ourselves.
If we only get confidence and self belief from our successes, we are out of luck when we fail. We need to get resilience and confidence from both success and failure.
The worst thing is letting this fear get the best of us and not even giving something a good shot and then ending up in between – not achieving what we want yet not completely failing, as we didn’t really try.
“We’re hoping to succeed; we’re okay with failure. We just don’t want to land in between.”
Go back to your own definition of success: When you are successful how will you ‘be’? What will you do? What will you have?
What is stopping you from being, doing and having what you want? Whatever it is, imagine for a moment that you’ve been given the wrong information; that the messages that imply that your endeavours will result in failure were really meant for someone else and that you should have got the one that said, “It doesn’t matter whether you succeed or fail, what matters is that you try. No harm will come to you from trying.”
Now go and make a start.
Whether you prefer the ubiquitous slogan “Just do it” or the more esoteric quote sometimes attributed to Goethe “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it”, please know that self belief grows from experiencing both success and failure and, safe in this knowledge, you can now go and build your self belief, your self confidence, your self esteem and your chances of success.
This is part two of our Steps to Success Series. A discussion on the subject can be found on LinkedIn here: http://lnkd.in/CpFtke Details of all the 12 Steps to Success can be found here
Success means very different things to different people so the first step in achieving success has to be to decide what this means to you. Knowing where to put your focus and your efforts is crucial and a great help when it comes to making everyday decisions. A great exercise to get some clarity is in the preceding post “How to Create Your Best Year”
Can you complete these sentences?
When I am successful
I am (a state of being) ….
I do (activities) ….
I have (possessions) ….
It is safe to say that if you are not already being, doing and have what you desire, you are going to have to make some changes and this is where many of us run into trouble because we can’t change in isolation. As soon as we start to make changes we affect those around us and our environment and we often hit a brick wall and decide maybe its easier, safer, better to stay as we are. Exit our dreams and desires.
In the 1970’s Dr Clare Graves, expanding on the work of Maslow, developed a table of eight values and thinking systems that affect human existence and development and both cause us to want to change as well as giving us reasons not to.
“At each stage of human existence the adult is off on his quest of his holy grail, the way of life he seeks by which to live. As he sets off on each quest, he believes he will find the answer to his existence. Yet, much to his surprise and much to his dismay, he finds that as he solves one set of human problems he finds a new set in their place. The quest he finds is never ending.”
Dr. Clare W. Graves 1914 – 1986
In the book “101 Days to Make a Change” Roy Leighton and his co-authors suggest that when we want to make changes, we may need to look at each of these levels and rather than ask “Where am I?” ask “Am I open or closed to change at this level?”
1. Survival – Getting the basics right. Are you waving or drowning?
2. Tribal – Who are your people? Do you make a positive impact on those around you?
3. Self – Who are you? What are your non-negotiable values?
4. Order – Are you building a life on solid foundations?
5. Enterprise – Are you moving forward with self knowledge?
6. Community – How can you deepen your relationships and build bonds?
7. Complexity – Do you see the bigger picture or always sweat the small stuff?
8. Holistic – Do you have an existential outlook? Can you see the interconnectedness of everything?
If desire is the starting point of all achievement, self knowledge and the ability to change go hand in hand. Are you part of this never ending quest?
Next: Steps to Success #2. Self Belief is the Key to Success
More details of the The 12 Steps to Success can be found here
If you have any queries about this or the process of making changes please leave a comment below or join the discussion on Linkedin http://lnkd.in/7AR7ex
Getting more done with less stress, effort and frustration is what many business owners wish for.
At a recent presentation, Steve Hoare (Management by Reflection), explained why, if we want to grow a business, have a home life and enjoy what we do with the minimum of stress, it is important to spend our time doing the things we are good and learn to appreciate the contributions made by people who have different strengths to us.
To illustrate the point, members of the group were asked to put themselves into one of three groups that they most identified with while acknowledging that there may be some crossover.
The Blue Group identified most with the words:
Thinking, creative, problem solving, strategic, discerning, self starting, single minded.
The Yellow Group with:
Inclusive, mature, communicator, diplomatic, co-operative, enthusiastic
The Red Group with:
Challenging, dynamic, action, perfectionist, reliable, efficient, conscientious
Each group was given the same task and assigned an observer.
The idea was to show what happens when people with the same strengths work on a task, compared to when people with a whole range of strengths work together.
The result is that people adapt to fill the gaps but usually feel uncomfortable in these roles. This is OK for a short while (our experiment only lasted for ten minutes) but the longer it continues, the more the cracks begin to show.
The ensuing discussion focused on the importance of not seeing the absence of a particular type of behaviour as a weakness but on playing to people’s strengths.
It is equally important not to let the ‘weakness’ become a crutch or an excuse, e.g. “What do you expect? I’m this type of person not that type.”
In terms of identifying the people most likely to produce the best results we often look for skills first followed by personality but profiling the behaviours needed to complement a team can often improve the way everyone works and reduce the stress, frustration and effort while getting much more done in less time.
There is a huge amount of research that shows that we are really poor judges of others and relying on ‘gut instinct’ is the worst possible way to select people to work with.
When employing people, Steve recommends the Belbin Team Role profiling tool be used along with a suite of other tools for assessing personality and aptitude. Many tools on the market have no scientific validity so it is best to check this out and use an accredited practitioner to analyse the results.
Any double about the value / cost ratio will be quickly dispelled by a calculation of what it costs to make the wrong decision!
In the 1920′s and 30′s, a young journalist called Napoleon Hill, interviewed 500 of the most successful people in America. He found that people who create success have many things in common. These are some of them as described in his best-selling book, “Think and Grow Rich”
- Decide what you want. Desire is the starting point of all achievement. Desire is a crazy mad emotion that you absolutely have to satisfy, not a rational reasoned argument for doing something.
- Believe in yourself. Self doubt will prevent you from taking action. No-one is born with a sense of what they can’t do. Limiting beliefs are learned and they can and must be unlearned. It is usually easier to overcome other people’s judgements than our own.
- You don’t have to do it all yourself. As Mother Teresa famously told Bob Geldof, “I can’t do what you do and you can’t do what I do but together we can change the world.” Surround yourself with people who can do what you can’t and who respect you for what you can do. Start or join a MasterMind Group with like minded people.
- Make practical use your imagination. Work out how to turn your dreams into reality. Everything, everything, starts out as an idea. Ideas are the beginning point of all achievement but they need to be harnessed into practical action.
- Create a plan, organise your ideas and take continuous action. Most people put more effort into planning a holiday than planning their life. Successful people don’t just react to things that happen to them, they question whether something will take them closer to their goal before acting on it or rejecting it.
- Avoid procrastination and make decisions. The ability to make decisions comes back to understanding exactly what it is that you want, to the burning desire and definite purpose that underpins all achievement. Successful people in all walks of life decide quickly and firmly and the world has a habit of making room for the person who knows where they are going and why.
- Persist. Things will go wrong, people will let you down. If your desire is strong enough you will find a way through all difficulties to achieve your desire. Don’t keep doing the same things and expecting different results. Find different ways to achieve your goals. Paulo Coelho was committed to a mental asylum by his parents three times and subjected to electro-convulsive therapy because they thought he must be mad to want to become a writer instead of a lawyer. He persisted and his book, The Alchemist, sold over 40 million copies.
- Aquire power and learn how to use it. The ability to lead others in a spirit of harmony to achieve a definite objective is a major source of success but successful people say that personal power and self mastery are most important.
- Understand that sex is the most powerful of human desires. When this desire is harnessed into a creative process it can be the source of genius. It can also be a huge temptation and has destroyed many great people. Successful people say that they are able to transmute its power into a creative force that helps them to produce and action ideas that in many instances makes their fortunes.
- Learn to use the power of the subconscious mind. Everything we have ever experienced is kept in the vast storehouse of our sub-conscious. It can work for or against us but when we learn how to harness this power it makes us unstoppable. What we think of the world and ourselves makes us not only who we are but who we can be.
- Develop and learn to trust the ‘sixth sense’. Intuition can help us to avoid dangers and grasp opportunities. Intuition is part of our nature and many successful people admit that intuition is a big part of their success including Donald Trump, Oprah, Richard Branson and even Bill Gates. Einstein and Edison described their creative process as having original ideas that didn’t come from the rational foundation of the mind. Jonas Salk, the inventor of the polio vaccine, says, ‘The intuitive mind tells the logical mind where to look next.’
- Deal with fear, the major obstacle to achievement. Almost every feeling of fear we experience is as the result of an IMAGINED situation, not a real one. In almost every case, the imagined situation that we most fear never happens. When a situation that we had feared actually materialised, most of us deal with it without any real consequences. The only thing holding most people back is their own imagination!
Is it ever too late to do the things you once dreamed of doing?
Mary Wesley, best-selling author, took up writing at 70
Charles Darwin’s first book wasn’t published until he was in his 50’s
Colonel Sanders was in this 60’s when he franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken
Ray Kroc was in his 50’s when he launched McDonalds
Agatha Christie was 62 when she wrote The Mousetrap
Julia Child was 50 before she took up cooking professionally
Benjamin Franklin was 78 when he invented bifocals.
Life expectancy has doubled in the last 100 years. There is no longer an official retirement age. If you go to college at 40 and qualify at 45 you could still have half your life left to work at what you love. It’s never too late to become an achiever instead of a dreamer!
You can see more about my mentoring services here: http://annhawkins.com/mentoring/