Do you have the Fire to succeed?

One of the benefits / curses for what I do is always looking for new things to learn.  I sign up for newsletters, I subscribe to blogs, I check Twitter and LinkedIn for what people are finding and talking about.  In the last week, I ran across two very different articles that had a very similar message.

Coincidentally – a variation of this topic is coming up in discussions with clients, especially in my Peer Group advisory boards.  The topic?  What does it take to succeed?  Or put more practically, what is the 1 thing everyone could put into practice today and instantly be successful?

Three little words?

The first article was from a weekly newsletter by Troy Harrison, owner of SalesForce Solutions, a sales training and consulting company here in Kansas City.  You should sign up for the Hotsheet – Troy has a lot of good tips. 

Troy’s Hotsheet topic was: “The Three Most Important Words” – here’s a quick excerpt:

Sometimes, all it takes is three little words.  I’m serious.  Sometimes, three little words – the saying, the adoption, the believing – can make all the difference in the world.  I’m not talking about the classic “I love you,” or any variations thereof; nor am I speaking of anything that begins with “go” and ends with “yourself.”  Although I must admit that all those phrases have their time and place.

No, I’m talking about business, and the three words I’m referring to are:  sense of urgency.

He goes on to make a strong case that a business or an individual with a sense of urgency is the difference between winning and losing in the game of business.

Get Off Your Ass…

Naomi Dunford is the owner of Itty Biz, a refreshing small business (Itty Biz) blog that has a lot of great advice and ideas for business owners.  I love her approach and her advice, but I do feel obligated to put a warning with that recommendation – Naomi tends to swear like a truck driver, which doesn’t bother me, but I can see where it might put some people off.

Anyway, one of her recent posts was titled “Get Off Your Ass“, which pretty clearly cuts to the advice that even if you’re feeling overwhelmed, even if you’re scared that things aren’t going to go well, the best thing you can do is Take Action!  Here’s a quick excerpt:

Here’s a bit of secret advice from the compiled entrepreneurial wisdom of me, my mom, my dad, both my grandfathers, both of their fathers, and a few hundred clients. It’s not just for SpeakEasy people, it’s for everybody.

Here’s the secret:

It doesn’t matter what you do. Just get off your ass and do it.

Her point – made in very clear and direct language that I love, is that people that are consistently taking action, what ever it is, are headed towards success.

Yeah but…I’m already doing a lot…

So here’s my take on this – if you are finding yourself metaphorically curled up into the fetal position, curled up on your couch and rocking back and forth because you are overwhelmed with too many choices, or you’re down because of the never ending negative spin on the economy.  Then I wholeheartedly agree that you need to find a Sense of Urgency and Get Off Your Ass (GOYA) and take action!

However if you’re like a lot of people I know or that I’m working with, you have a sense of urgency and you are taking action, then I would like to complicate this rule just a bit:

Have a sense of urgency, GOYA and take action – but consistently focus on actions that will benefit your business the most.

The trap I see people falling into is doing too many different things and floundering around.  They are extremely busy, maybe they are even effective at what ever they’re doing, but they haven’t identified the high value activities versus the low value activities and they are spending an equal amount of time and energy on everything.

The 80/20 rule says that 80% of your outcome will come from 20% of your activities.  So keep the Sense of Urgency, continue to GOYA, but figure out your high value activities if you really want to accelerate your results!

What are your top 3 high value activities for growing your business?  Share 1 of them here, I’d love to get some ideas.

Shawn Kinkade   Kansas City Business Coach

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