25 March 2018
So you want to be successful? Of course you do. We all do, but do you want to break through the layers of success that the 0.1% of global society reach? Imagine the difference you can make to other people’s lives with access to such wealth. Imagine the places you can visit, the adventure, the excitement.
Reaching the top of anything, (sport, business, art, music) of course requires huge commitment and effort. I have no doubt you can do whatever you set your mind to. But it may require a few changes, some subtle but also some rather large lifestyle ones.
So why is it in the past when you have set off on a mission with the bit between your teeth, knowing that this is the time, that all too often you wake up a year or so later and that master plan has been derailed.
What goes wrong? Do you want to learn how to ensure this doesn’t happen again?
I can’t guarantee you won’t trip over the hurdles ahead of you; some challenges are there to catch you out and teach you invaluable lessons. What I can help you with is to minimise the risks of which there are many.
One Hour To Yourself Every Day
You can combine this with your exercise, as long as you are not with a personal trainer. Time on a running machine is perfect for this, but not if you don’t have time to think.
I travelled to Fiji to spend some time with Tony Robbins some years ago. It was life changing. A lot of what I am sharing now, comes from him and the people around him. One such person, Keith Cunningham, an accountant and entrepreneur, explained how he spent one hour every day in a chair, just thinking.
This is more important than you realise. I watch so many young entrepreneurs spending their life on social media or surrounded by people continuously. My advice is stop, lock yourself in a room on your own and take time to think.
Business is like chess. There are an infinite number of choices and variations. What are the choices you are going to make before you make your next move? Is it truly the best move you can make? I believe there is always a better one.
Picasso once said: “Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal.“ For the record he wasn’t talking about copying other peoples work, although I do remember the CEO of a competitor once quoting this as an excuse for ripping our of advertising ideas! Picasso was talking about capturing a moment in time, something unique, something special.
So many business owners and marketeers look to their competition to see what they are doing. If you missed an opportunity and see a competitor or other business doing something that you wish you’d thought of, respect it and let it go! Use it to inspire you to do something better next time, but NEVER copy. You will live your life knowing that you have been found out by the one person you are trying to beat. Have some self respect and look to your imagination for inspiration and not the internet. You need to be creating new ideas and not looking back at old ones.
Use that one hour to yourself to originate great ideas!
How many people told you: “You will never amount to anything!” How many people doubted your ability? How many partners have left you for a better girlfriend or boyfriend? Has your spouse left you for someone else? These things hurt. They hurt beyond belief. But you can crawl up into a ball or you can take that pain and use it to drive you further, faster with better decisions to this new goal you are aiming at.
Branson once taught me a lesson playing a game of Perudo. When I lost, he looked deep into my eyes and said: “It hurts doesn’t it, losing!”
He said, “Use that feeling, deep inside now, to win.”
He was right, losing isn’t fun and I used that pain (however slight) I felt at the time to focus on beating him in the next few games.
If you are suffering real pain for the loss of someone special or losing a business deal or worse your entire business, it’s time to get up and step up your activity. It’s time to reinvent yourself and show the world and the people who doubted you, what you are made of.
Find out what motivates you? And use it.
Give back and stay grounded
If you want to be happy in the future, give back. It’s as simple as that. Helping others is an important part of improving yourself, those around you and society in general. It doesn’t matter how small you are as a business person.
We started helping out in education over 10 years ago now and what started off as work experience and writing the curriculum for ITC in Trafford, a decade later is now a huge charitable section of our business and our lives. The inspiration I get from seeing someone improve is hard to put into words.
This week leaving the gym after a game of squash, I bumped in to Harvey. Some years back I’d heard of a terrible story that changed my life. I ended up dedicating my Christmas holidays (with a number of friends) helping to right a wrong. It is an experience I will always remember and something that I am immensely proud to have been involved in. There’s no substitute for knowing you’ve had a real impact on someone’s life.
There will sadly always be people more disadvantaged than you. The more successful you become the bigger the impact you can have when helping others. So if you can help, with your time or just a helping hand every now and then, it is an important part of keeping grounded.
I have a number of other traits and tactics that I will continue with next week. In the meantime if you think this is useful or it maybe useful to someone you know, share it or maybe even get in touch.
I have learned the hard way in business. At nearly 50 I have made many, many mistakes. And whilst, of course, I continue to make mistakes, it’s part of growing. The lessons I have learned have been the difference between the succeeding and failing at so many things I attempt. If you are able to avoid some of the pitfalls I encountered, hopefully it may help you accelerate your path to the goal you have set yourself.
Have fun and let me know your thoughts. Don’t just read this, send me some feedback too.