What habits do winners have?
Is there a common thread?
Why do some people and businesses always seem to win?
To succeed greatly in business, there are additional habits that you need to develop. One of these habits is the determination to win, to succeed, to outperform your competition and to ultimately be successful.
This competitive instinct and determination to win in the face of any obstacle or difficulty is a chief motivating power that drives entrepreneurs and eventually assures successful careers.
- The determination to succeed is an absolutely essential habit for you to develop, through practice, by never considering the possibility of failure.
Instead, you use speed and flexibility to find solutions to problems, to overcome obstacles and to achieve business goals, no matter what is happening around you. This decision, or attitude toward winning, motivates and enthuses other people and enables ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results.
To make a change in our behavior, means we’re adding something, or subtracting something, and we have to figure out what that is. If I said ‘I want to go the gym for an hour three times a week,’ the first thing I’d have to figure out is, what am I not going to be doing during those hours. But we don”t tend to think about that. So one great secret to succeeding at change is to be aware of what isn’t going to happen once you start going to the gym.
LAW OF THE UNIVERSE
This is the Law of Cause and Effect. This is the foundation principle of western philosophy and of modern thought. It says that for every cause, there is an effect.
- Everything happens for a reason.
- Nothing happens by accident.
This law says that, even if you do not know the reason why something happens, there is still a reason that explains it.
Have you ever heard someone say…This always happens to me?
Here is one of the most important of all success principles: “If you do what other successful people do, you will eventually get the same results that they do. And if you don’t, you won’t.”
Nature is neutral.
Nature does not favor one person over another. When you do the things that other successful people do, over and over again, you will eventually get the same results that they do. It is not a matter of luck, or chance, or accident.
It is a matter of law.
If you want to be happy, healthy, prosperous, popular, positive and confident, just find out how other people who are enjoying these benefits got that way and do the same things that they do.
- Take the same actions.
- Feel the same feelings.
- Think the same thoughts.
Eventually get the same results as others do. It is no miracle.
BE FLEXIBLE AND OPEN TO NEW INFORMATION
My father was a reader. He believed the day you stop learning is the day you die, no matter your age. He lived that until he drew his last breath.
That’s why I’m always open to new information.
Develop the habit of questioning your assumptions on a regular basis, especially when you experience resistance or temporary failure. Many people leap to conclusions and assume things about their customers, their competitors and their markets that have no basis in fact at all.
Always be prepared to ask yourself…
- What do I base this assumption on?
- What are my facts?
- What evidence do I have?
- What is my proof?”
And most important, be prepared to ask, “What if my assumptions about this customer, product, service, market or competitor were not true at all?
What changes would I have to make?”
The most dangerous assumption that an entrepreneur or businessperson can make is that there exists a large enough and profitable enough market for a particular product or service. Very often this is not the case at all.
The primary reason for the dotcom implosion was because there was no real market for the products and services that the dotcom companies were offering. They fell into a false form of thinking called “argument by assertion.” People often get caught up in an argument because it is asserted loudly and vigorously, even though it may have no substance at all. Assertion is not proof.
Wishing, or hoping that a fact is true does not have any bearing on the ultimate truth of the statement. Only facts are facts. It is essential that you develop the habit of sorting out facts from fantasy, and making your decisions based on demonstrable, provable truths with regard to customers, markets, products and services.
THINK BEFORE ACTING
In a fast changing business world, an important habit that you can develop is the habit of thinking before acting. This is hard, especially when we are up against critical deadlines and the decisions we make can greatly affect outcomes.
Often, when we are pressured from all sides with decisions that have to be made, we leap to conclusions and make decisions without carefully considering all the possible ramifications of those decisions.
Instead, develop the habit of buying time between the pressure to make a decision, and the actual decision itself.
There is a rule that says, “If the decision does not have to be made now, it has to not be made now.”
Your mind is incredibly powerful, and never more so than when you give it time to reflect upon a decision before you make the decision in the first place. Make it a habit of asking for a day, or a weekend, or even a week or a month, before you make a final decision.
Put it off as long as possible. I know that’s not the conventional wisdom of the day.
The very act of allowing the various pieces of information to settle in your brain will enable you to make a much better decision later on than you might have made if you decided too quickly.
It is amazing how many people say, “If I had just thought about that for a little while, I would have made a completely different decision.” This is almost always the case. Make it a habit to delay and defer decisions as long as you possibly can.
They will invariably be better decisions when you finally come around to making them.
FOUNDATIONS OF BUSINESS SUCCESS
All business success is a result of working regularly to achieve better results. These are all habitual ways of thinking for business success and profitability. As we approach a New Year, maybe it’s time to reflect, reassess and change.
- The first key result area, or habit that you need to develop is the habit of thinking continually in terms of increasing productivity. The goal of strategic planning is to “increase return on equity.” It is to increase the financial results and outputs relative to the costs and inputs involved. It is to get more sales, revenues and profits out of the business than are currently being achieved.Look at what you are doing today.
- How could you increase the productivity, performance and output of yourself, and your business by changing the things you do?
- What could you do more of, or less of?
- What could you start doing that you are not doing today?
- What could you stop doing altogether?
- What is it that you are doing today that, knowing what you now know, you wouldn’t start up again today?
The answers to these questions can lead you to productivity breakthroughs that will dramatically improve your financial results.
Profits Are The True Measure
Develop the habit of thinking in terms of profitability. Many businesses focus too much on the top line, on gross sales, rather than on the bottom line, on net profits.
Analyze each of your products, services, customers and markets to determine exactly how profitable they are. Many companies today are finding that their largest customers, because of high servicing costs and discounts, are not particularly profitable at all.
Many companies are finding that certain products and services that they sell in large volume, because of many hidden costs involved, are not profitable. They are actually breaking even, or even losing money, on their best selling products or services.
- What are your most profitable markets?
- What are your most profitable services?
- What are your most profitable products?
- Who are your most profitable customers?
- What products, services, customers or markets should you emphasize or deemphasize?
Always think in terms of the bottom-line, of the dollar for dollar profitability of each one of your business activities.
Develop the habit of thinking in terms of quality all the time.
Customers only buy a product or service because they feel that it is of higher quality in some way than that of competitive offerings.
- How do your customers define quality?
- What qualities or attributes of what you sell cause them to buy from you in the first place?
- What quality elements do they see in your competitors?
- How could you offset these elements to get them to buy from you?
One of your most important activities should be regular customer interaction, where you ask your customers why it is they buy from you, and how you could improve your quality and service to them. Social Media is an excellent tool for this.
Practice the CANEI method.
These letters stand for, “Continuous And Never Ending Improvement.”
Remember, whatever got you to where you are today is not enough to keep you there.
Whatever you are doing today, and however well you are doing it, you will have to be doing it considerably better a year from now if you still want to be in business.
The most important goal you can set for yourself and your business is to “be the best” in some area that is important to your customers. Everyone likes to be part of an organization that is committed to winning, to excellence, to serving customers better than anyone else.
1. Determine the most important thing you could do immediately to increase the probabilities that you successfully achieve your most important business and career goal, and then take action on it immediately.
2. Create an ideal future vision for your business and your career; if your situation were perfect 3-5 years from now, what would it look like?
3. What is the most important difference or improvement you make in the life and work of your customers, and how could you do this in an excellent fashion?
4. What is your greatest personal strength in your business, and how could you organize your time so that you are doing more of it?
5. What is your biggest weakness in your business, and how could you develop yourself in this area, or compensate for it?
6. What innovations could you make in your products or services that would make them more attractive to your customers of today and tomorrow?
7. What are your most profitable products, services, markets, customers and activities, and what steps could you take immediately to focus more of your resources in those areas?
What action are you taking today?
Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.
Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.
Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.
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