Are You A Pilot Or Passenger In Your Career?
Stop being the victim. Start taking control of your life and career. I want you to do one thing today that scares you.
When I start with clients who are in-transition, we meet at my office in Stamford and I cover the Five Behaviors Of Successful People. I do this to help them focus, get out of a mental 'rut', and move forward with enthusiasm, passion, and determination.
In retrospect, I actually cover these five areas with all of my clients, but I do it differently — I'm a bit more subtle:
TRACK & PLAN You need to know where you've been, where you are, and where you're going at ALL TIMES. This means tracking your time (schedule) minute by minute and accounting for all of your time and energy. You should be sticking to a plan, taking discrete steps each day, and taking it to its natural conclusion.
FAIL: If you're just winging your calendar or making large swaths of time blocks, you're not tracking effectively. If you don't have a plan (try setting up 90-day plans — they're manageable), you will fail.
BE BOLD One of the original taglines for my coaching practice was "Be Bold In Life". I still love it because it embodies the swashbuckler spirit that we all need to be successful in business. You need to take chances, uncover opportunities, and most of all, you need to be BOLD in your thinking.
FAIL: Just keep saying "I can't do that!". Or constantly ask for permission to do things instead of just doing them. Or not doing them because you know they're going to fail.
THINK & ACT This is the cornerstone of my coaching philosophy — figure out what needs to be done and DO IT. Don't second guess yourself and get caught up in analysis-paralysis. Look at your options, make a decision, and take action. Worst case, if your wrong, step back, reassess, and take action.
FAIL: Procrastinate, contemplate forever and try to come up with every permutation. Push for perfection.
CHALLENGE Life is a series of challenges you must overcome to keep moving and stay happy. Work, relationships, kids, etc. are all made up of small and large challenges that we must deal with. Here's the secret — embrace each challenge with enthusiasm and vigor or you will go through life with a glass half-empty existence.
FAIL: Moan, complain, and run away from your problems. The faster you come up with a plan and deal with your challenge, the faster you will get on with your life.
OPEN UP You can spend your life closed down and not interacting with anyone or you can open your heart to the world and make a lot of new friends. Try to make a new friend every day — an acquaintance, a connection — take an avid interest in your fellow man. Most of all — SMILE!!!
FAIL: Stay home, watch TV, cocoon, close your office door, keep your head down and let your voicemail/email take over all of your connections. Oh yes — forget to smile.
One of my clients had a grand opening this weekend — and I made it a point to be there to help out with the crowds. It's a state-of-the-art fitness complex — the first of it's kind in Oxford — and by the size of the reception, it's going to be a huge success. As a small present, I designed and printed a banner of Greg Plitt with one of his favorite quotes:
"There are two types of pain, the one that breaks you and the one that changes you. In the gym, pain is felt as a result of weakness leaving the body. Physical pain is the glue of transformation and the pain of progress. The more you endure the harder it gets to accept the thought of failure."
What a great quote. I read it every time I'm in his studio and he pushes me past my physical limits (ouch). What happens if we apply this quote to our business/career?
"There are two types of challenges, the ones that break you and the ones that change you."
How often are you really broken down? Of course, we lose our job, we lose major clients, get yelled at by our boss or we might make a terrible decision that cost us lots of money.
But are you really 'broken' — or just powered-down for the time being?
"In business, loss is felt as a result of weakness leaving the body."
Too often, we tend to hang onto loss — we dwell on it — we make it a scar that we feel everyday. It keeps us from taking additional chances and bold decisions. We get gun-shy — we are afraid of making the same mistake again.
Will you REALLY make the same mistake again? Or are you coming up with excuses not to try something new that will take you out of your comfort zone?
"Business/Career loss is the glue of transformation and the pain of progress."
The bedrock of any business/career is TRANSFORMATION. You can't stand still — you have to innovate constantly to stay ahead of the competition. If you don't — you're taken off the main endcap shelf and tossed in the bargain bin.
"The more you endure the harder it gets to accept the thought of failure."
As you know, I regularly listen to 'How I Built This' — an NPR podcast where they interview successful business owners and how they got there. What's the one consistent theme I hear in every interview? FAILURE - LOSS - TRYING AGAIN.
If you grow a thicker skin when exposed to failure — it's easier to take bolder chances. Try it — it's fun.