I just got back from an amazing trip to Edinburgh, Scotland (google “Royal Military Tattoo” if you’re interested in going) for our annual coaches conference, and I thought I’d take a minute to share some of my learnings. When I go to these conferences I always try to spend time with the Top Performers to learn what it is they are doing to excel at such high levels. One of these Top Performers is my own coach, so I already know some of his secrets, and I wanted to learn from the others as well.
Whether you are a business owner, an employee, a student, an athlete, or any other label you wish to use to describe yourself, you probably have dreams and goals for yourself that you are not yet achieving. Over the past 15 years of working with a wide variety of businesses and entrepreneurs in dozens of industries, from startups to 3rd generation family businesses, I have seen dreams come and go, some fulfilled but many not. Looking back at my own experiences and listening to and learning from others much wiser than I am, it is clear that the number one reason people do not achieve their goals and dreams is that they are unable to get out of their own way! We tend to blame pretty much everyone and everything else for our failures to achieve, but in the end it really comes down to each and every one of us and our own personal limitations.
Decisions, decisions, decisions….life is all about making decisions, right?
Early on things are a little easier because your parents make decisions for you, but as you get older and take on more responsibilities things get complicated. You go from being a carefree kid, to an awkward teenager, to an adult charged with making a number of decisions each day…decisions that can either positively or negatively impact you. Run your own business and the impact of your actions and decisions multiply. So, how exactly is life like a mirror?
Many business owners get to the point in their business and their life where things just stop improving. They reach a comfortable level that many call a plateau, where things are good but not great, and the majority of their previous level of dissatisfaction is now eliminated. While this may sound like a nice place to be, it is also a dangerous place to be. Staying at this plateau can led to complacency, and when you least expect it, it slowly takes you right back where you were without you ever realizing it.
I’ve been doing a lot of networking lately and I see a lot of business owners who don’t actually own a business, they just own a JOB! And worse, their job and their employees actually own them! I started talking to a few of them, and the theme that jumped out of every conversation is that when things got tough – usually too busy due to not enough team or didn’t trust the team – they simply put their head down, dug in, and didn’t look back up until it was too late.
When we are not achieving the success we want in our lives, too often we look outside of ourselves instead of inside. The observable parts of our success – our actions, behaviors and results – are what we spend too much time focusing on, and the hidden aspects of ourselves often remain out of view, like an iceberg. While it is true that our results are directly related to our actions and behaviors, we need to dig deeply into our personal icebergs to learn how to take new and better actions and learn new success behaviors. We call this personal iceberg the Identity Iceberg, and it has 4 Layers.
For many of us, this phrase is a reminder of that classic movie Karate Kid, and brings up images of Daniel-san painting the fence and waxing the car. For me the images are more recent and personal, and I now add an addition to the end of the phrase – “and Live”. Too many of us are living to work, living to be the best, to win the game, and we sometimes forget to look up and around and simply take a deep breath and enjoy life.
As I returned from 2 days of training in the keys to peak performance at the US Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, and thought I would share some of what I learned from this amazing experience. The USOTC is home to some of the world’s finest coaches, trainers, sports psychologists, physical therapists, and yes, athletes. What we learned about elite athletes and how they train is directly relevant to how you can become an elite business owner.
Success = RESPECT
Hello Friends – it’s good to be back with you again to share an experience I had during a coaching session this past week. During that session my client made a comment that struck me as odd. He said he’d been giving away additional product to appease customers who were seemingly upset with the time it took to receive their original orders. Now that may not seem odd to you, but my question to him was, “Are these people really upset, or are you consciously ‘losing’ so they ‘win’?” As you can imagine my client was a little confused so, I shared the following concept with him.
Every single day, multiple times a day, we are faced with a decision to make. The decisions which need to be made come in different colors, shapes and sizes, yet many of them all have a common foundation to them. Despite the fact that many decisions seem dissimilar, in reality there is a fundamental underlying decision that goes along with the more obvious surface level decision. I call this fundamental Decision the Point of Power, and it is truly liberating when you understand how to wield it.
As many of my regular readers know, I recently made a massive change in my business – going back out on my own after 3 years with a great partner, leasing space three times bigger than I need right now, and opening a satellite office 90 minutes away from my main office! This is a change that has been on my mind for over a year, and the time lost debating the options in my head for 15 months can never be recovered. I let FEAR of change hold me back, and it certainly isn’t the first time I have allowed FEAR to control my life plans.