As a young buck in the 80’s being part of the emerging IT world was dangerous, prestigious and irresistible. I was a sales machine and gained an enviable reputation, so you’d think making money and being top of the leaderboard was all I needed to focus on. I was a free agent but worked as part of a team for the facilities and, just as importantly, companionship, and a way to measure myself against the rest. It was an easy money frolic, and a ton of fun.
I graduated from the heady days of falling over business to eventually become a solution focused consultant. I’d dropped the “sales” hat as it really wasn’t that simple and getting more complex all the time. I came to realise years later that I was fortunate to have a native enthusiasm for the digital world, because if I’d been purely money driven I’d have burnt out.
I was offered a role that was too good to turn down, but now I became corporate and although the handcuffs were made of gold, I was still a prisoner. NO, my soul was yelling at me. I had to be a free man to make mistakes, have massive success, go broke, whatever-at least I was doing it. But, I knew, and reality dictated. that I had to listen to others and learn some very important lessons to really be successful. But whatever you do don’t fool yourself that money equals success- a very common mistake that can, quite literally, kill you!
- True Success lies in the heart and soul of your being, money is merely a commodity to get us stuff we want or go places we want to go + eat in great restaurants and all those nice perks. But, money is the icing on the cake. I had to be driven by a higher purpose and hopefully the money would follow. Oddly, enough I got a lot more of the stuff when I didn’t need it. Which leads us to number
- An all consuming WHY is essential. Without it I’d never get through times of crushing fear, and despair, and handle all the storms life chucks at me just to test me even further. KEY POINT: Everything is of value. Whether you win or lose you’ve learned from the experience and it’s that repository of knowledge that can give you a priceless edge. This dovetails nicely into 3
- YOU are your worst enemy. Learning to tame the Dragon within (pinched that from “Do the Work” by Stephen Pressfield) and realise it’s your own self-doubt that makes you procrastinate and hesitate. Just do it regardless of how you “feel”- feelings aren’t facts, just invisible obstacles to progress. I have a motto “No Pain without Gain”. If I wanted to become a Gold Medal athlete would it be painless? Of course, not but number 2 keeps me going. Success is built on a foundation of high quality failures. Give every effort your best shot-your highest quality. But, don’t grieve – learn to fail FAST!!
- Practicalities- know who you seek to serve and understand why you are doing it. It’s important to seek excellence in your primary service, that serves your why and enables the gratification that makes it all worthwhile. Specialise or you’re doomed to become an “also ran”. If you’re trying to serve everyone, you’re serving no one!!
- Iterate, iterate, iterate. The ONLY way to succeed at anything is persistence. It could be version number 6.67 that finally operates flawlessly. NEVER give up!
- DELEGATE -you need to be working on your business NOT in your business. Face the fact that you can’t wear all the hats. It’s unproductive and self-destructive. There’s a solid lesson in humility right there. Trust in the worth of others is key to your organisation’ culture. Remember the lesson about money? -it’s just a necessary evil. Never Sell Out.
- Invest as much in yourself as you do in your business- you’ll both grow as a result. Your mind is an amazing computer, and you need to be in a state of continuous learning. It’s both exhilarating and profitable. Remember “Think and grow Rich”? If your mind flourishes so will your business.
- Be Disciplined- set to a daily routine and stick to it. With the caveat that we must also be ready to adapt at any moment. Change is relentless in the online world- that’s why I love it-LOL
- Systematise– it’s impossible to respond in a timely manner to every client’ demand. Have solid systems in place so your business keeps working even when you’re not-24/7 in today’s climate. It’s seamless and timely.
- NEVER get too comfortable– if you feel comfortable it’s a red-flag that you’ve stopped growing. Take a well-earned break now and again but keep climbing the mountain.
In closing I must re-iterate that your WHY is the engine room. Your “WHY” is the purpose, the passion, the reason why your audience will keep coming back.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” — Simon Sinek.