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5 Step Success System
The Success Key Video Seminar
If you enjoy this book, why not check out the Millionaire Mastermind Video Series, a classic VIDEO collection made up of some of the best-selling wealth mindset books of all time – INCLUDING THE SUCCESS KEY VIDEO SEMINAR. This program will give you the quick and easy way to develop the millionaire mindset - the critical attribute you need before you can achieve financial success. The Millionaire Mastermind Video Series features 11 video seminars including:
Classic Wealth Mindset Books
Think And Grow Rich The Master Key System The Science of Getting Rich The Art of Money Getting The Path To Prosperity As A Man Thinketh Success How To Live On 24 Hours A Day BONUS: Think And Grow Rich Analysis Seminar
Bonus Videos And Tools
Decision Master The Success Key Transform Your Fear Into Success Millionaire Mind Brainwave Entrainment Audios Millionaire Mind Subliminal Videos
The first section of the program features 8 VIDEO seminars based on best-selling classic wealth mindset books. These video seminars update and bring these classic books to life. The high quality video seminars are designed to help the viewer develop the all important wealth mindset. Also included is a bonus Think And Grow Rich Analysis Seminar. In this 4-hour seminar, every lesson in the book is broken down and analysed in intricate detail to help the student understand and apply every lesson found in this book. The next section of the program features 3 video seminars focusing on key areas you need to master as part of developing the Millionaire Mindset. You must address these areas before you can achieve real financial success. These areas include Decision Making, Time Management, Goal Setting, Developing an Action Plan and Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism and the Fear of Failure (or the Fear of Success). The final components in this program are a set of powerful new brainwave entrainment audios and subliminal videos. In just a few minutes a day, these easy to use tools will reprogram your subconscious mind with the Millionaire Mindset and will quickly get you thinking and acting like a millionaire. The purpose of this program is to ensure students develop the attitude, mindset, behaviour and success habits of a millionaire. Only when you can think and act like a millionaire does the next step of “making millions” become possible. Every video seminar in this program comes with an audio and manual version. With more than 40 hours of videos in the Millionaire Mastermind Video Series, this ultimate wealth mindset library will guarantee you develop the mindset and success habits of some of the most financially successful people to ever walk the planet.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Believe In Success ........................................................................................ 8
Step 2: Define What You Want ............................................................................. 32
Step 3: Develop an Action Plan ............................................................................ 49
Step 4: Take Action ...................................................................................................... 57
Step 5: Focus on What You Want ........................................................................ 74
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Welcome to The Success Key: 5 Step Success System! Before you actually get started with this book, I‟d like to help ensure that it becomes one of the most useful and valuable you have ever followed, so I‟d like to share something with you. One of the things I have learned is that you are most likely to get value from something if you have a clear idea of why you are doing it and what you want from it. Otherwise, it easily becomes 'interesting information' that you quickly forget. So I‟d like to ask you: “What would you like to achieve from following these 5 steps so that this system becomes one of the most useful you have ever followed in helping you to grow and develop personally?” Answering this question will dramatically increase the probability of you achieving what you want. On the following page, write down the key goals and outcomes you want to achieve from following these 5 steps. You‟ll definitely find it worthwhile to spend a few minutes now doing this. Note, however, that I'm not talking about longer-term objectives and life goals at this stage. That will come next. Focus just now on the learning, changes and results you want to see from following this program.
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Your 5 Steps to Success
If you're not achieving the results you want in your life right now, you need to change something... The only question is what? Well, right now, the answer to that question might not be obvious. But, as you follow the 5 steps in this system, you will identify what you need to do and start to take action to make the changes necessary. The good news though is that you won't have to change your personality or become someone you're not. You just need to apply a few different principles to the way you think, how you work and the way you communicate with others. Following these five steps will put you on the right path to success. 1: Set a Clear Outcome If you go on a journey, the first thing you need to know is where you are headed. Yet most people don‟t have a clear idea of where they want to go in life – so it‟s not surprising that so few people succeed. Without clarity you lack direction; it becomes hard to make decisions, and your results end up being average at best. So taking a little time to set clear goals is very powerful. We'll be doing that in the next step. 2: Make a Plan A plan is defined as identifying a series of steps to be carried out in moving from one set of circumstances to another. It doesn't need to be detailed or complicated but, once you have identified where you want to go, you do need to break the journey down into smaller, more manageable steps. A small investment in time to create a plan of action not only helps ensure you will get where you want to go, it will also save you considerable time and money. One of our lessons takes you step-by-step through the process of creating an effective plan. 5 |P age
3: Take Effective Action Too many people fail to get anywhere with their plans and ideas because they don't take the crucial first step. This is where we often start to sabotage our own success with: 1. Procrastination: We put off doing things we know we need to do. 2. Perfectionism: We keep waiting for everything to be 100% right before taking action. 3. Undue Prudence: We're held back by overcaution and unwillingness to take any risks.
Here's the secret: “You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going.” We'll cover how to stop these problems holding you back from success. 4: Stay Focused on Your Goal You have to decide if you are going to be like a light bulb – which sprays light everywhere - or like a laser – which can focus the same amount of energy on one single spot with very powerful results. Studies suggest that your mind works on bringing into reality whatever you are focused on. It's like your mind having its own search engine which automatically picks up ideas and opportunities to help you get what you are thinking about. This works very well if your attention is all focused on what you want. But, if you're not clear about what you want – or you spend your time thinking about what you don't want – your results will be disappointing. If you don't have that clarity, your mind can't help you to identify the opportunities that will deliver it. If you're not currently getting the results you want, you need to change something in the way your time, energy and thoughts are focused. In a later step, we'll be looking at how to stay focused on what you really want. 6 |P age
5: Believe in Success One of the keys to getting the results you want is taking personal responsibility for what happens. In short, you are in charge of your mindset and therefore your results. Whenever you set out to do something, you will always end up with one of two things: 1. The result you wanted. 2. An excuse for why you haven‟t got it. People who come up with reasons or excuses for something not happening usually see themselves as not having any control over the outcome: the weather was bad; the client was having a bad day; my product is too expensive … Successful people on the other hand accept responsibility for whatever situation they are in and seek to change it. The choice you need to make is whether to be one of the people who gets results or one who has many excuses for not getting them. The good news is that whichever one you choose, you will be right – as you will always get what you want. Nobody said success was easy but if it‟s possible in the world, it‟s possible for you. If you look around, you can see that it is possible. By following the 5 steps in the Success Key, you can turn that possibility into reality!
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Step 1: Believe In Success
Developing Empowering Beliefs
7 Power Beliefs and Attitudes for Business Success
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Discovering the Power of Psychology
”The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.” William James In 1908, a young American journalist called Napoleon Hill began a 20-year study to discover the secrets behind the success of the country‟s top business leaders. A century later, the best-known result of his work – the book Think and Grow Rich – has sold many millions of copies worldwide and remains consistently on the best-seller lists. If you really can buy success in a book, those millions of people must have benefited hugely from this publication. But the truth is that it‟s probably made little difference to most of the people who‟ve read it. In fact, Hill himself doesn‟t seem to have fully benefited from his own advice as it looks like W Clement Stone, who partnered with him in some projects, actually made most of the money. None of that should suggest that it‟s not a great book. It remains one of the best on the topic and is definitely worth reading. The problem is that most of the people who read it are missing part of the secret. As Hill said: "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve." However, he didn‟t say that positive thinking on its own is enough. He is right to emphasize the power of the mind to help deliver what you want. His view on this has subsequently been backed up my much more extensive and scientific research. But the whole point of his study is that the true secret of a winning mindset is not only rooted in what you think, it depends on what you do and how you do it. It is the combination of attitude and action. For example in sports, you don‟t just show up and win an Olympic medal, no matter how much you believe in your ability. It requires skill, focus, commitment and practice – all building towards an enticing goal. A consistent training plan, daily action and regular testing against the performance of others lead towards achievement of the goal. Not everyone can win a gold medal but everyone has their own definition of success and this will only be achieved by taking the task seriously.
In business, achieving success requires a similar path. But, for some reason, many people seem to take it less seriously. Many business owners spend more time on improving their golf swing than they do on improving their business success. Many people simply drift around and don‟t quite focus on anything. As in sport, the secret of success in business is finding something you‟re very good at. Then aiming for your chosen target and giving it 100% commitment. It also means following a plan for success and consistently testing yourself against the best. At least that‟s the way it should be. In reality, most people miss a few steps and therefore miss out on the success. Developing the success mindset is about having the right way of thinking to get the results you want. And it‟s about taking the right action. The Science of Success There have been many studies of the secrets of success since Hill carried out his – using many different fields of expertise. One field that has provided some useful information to build on is NLP (Neuro linguistic Programming). Briefly, you could say that NLP is the scientific study of what makes certain people successful, so that their success can be replicated by others. One of the important NLP methodologies is modeling. This is about identifying what works well in successful people, and then adapting it into your own behavior. Modeling takes into account all the elements that contribute to success: Physiology: What you do physically in specific situations. Language: How you communicate with other people and with yourself. Attitude: Your thinking or frame of mind.
NLP has identified a number of power beliefs that are shared by people who are successful. These beliefs have been proven to help people get the results they want, particularly in sales, marketing and communication. Let‟s look at how to use this knowledge to enhance your own success.
Power Belief 1: You Get the Outcome You Focus On
People who believe this: Know exactly what they want and concentrate all their efforts on getting it. People who don‘t believe this: Are easily distracted by new ideas or „opportunities‟ that come their way and end up unsatisfied with the results. If you‟re in sport, it‟s easy to motivate yourself towards winning a championship or winning a medal. In business, the goals are not always so obvious but the secret of success is knowing what you want and committing to it 100%. A clear vision means you know where your business is going. It becomes easy to make decisions and you concentrate your activities and resources on that outcome. Unsuccessful business owners are like light bulbs. They disperse energy in many different directions at once. They‟re opportunists – always looking for easy ways to make money because they don‟t have a long-term plan. They spending too much time evaluating new opportunities and not enough taking action. Successful business owners are more like lasers, focusing all their energy on a single outcome with very powerful results. They are strategic and know where their business is going so they can identify opportunities that will help them get there.
The great advantage of knowing what you want is that the power of the mind will help you get it. Within your mind at an unconscious level is something called the Reticular Activating System. It‟s almost like your own personal search engine which automatically picks up ideas and opportunities to help you move toward that goal. It is the Reticular Activating System that is said to help you notice which of the millions of bits of information coming at you every second are the ones that will help you get what you want. Another way of describing this concept is that “the thinker thinks, the prover proves.” Essentially, your mind is split into two parts: 1. The “thinker” has total freedom and can think anything. 2. The “prover” will find evidence for it.
So, if you‟re focused on where you‟re going – and believe you will get there – then the “prover” will find ways of supporting you and helping you toward your objective. But if you have no clear sense of direction or you have doubts about your abilities, your “prover” will come up with evidence that you are right. Imagine you are a golfer on the last hole of a major championship. If you want to win, you want to be thinking „I‟m going to hole this‟ rather than „I don‟t want to miss it‟. Keep your focus 100% on what you want rather than on what you don‟t want. Either way, you might just get what you‟re focusing on. Focus has been described as Following One Course Until Successful. So, if you‟re not sure what you‟re focusing on now, just check your results. If you‟re not getting the results that you want, perhaps you need to change your focus.
Power Belief 2: You Already Have the Capability You Need to Succeed
People who believe this: Act as if they are already successful. People who don‘t believe this: Are waiting for someone to give them permission to be successful. If you want to win a major tennis championship, it‟s useful if you are good at tennis or at least able and willing to work hard at learning. And it helps if you enjoy it – as that will keep you going through those long hours of lonely practice. Equally in business, your best chance of success comes if you work in an area that reflects your own strengths and passions. Success is not just about your abilities. Ability is only one of the elements that influence the results you get in your life. There are four main elements that determine how successful you will be. Element 1: Capabilities You will only be able to get the outcome you want if you‟ve got the right skills, abilities and knowledge to achieve it. So, if you want to be truly successful, the best attitude is, “If it‟s possible in the world, it‟s possible for me.” Of course, you might need to improve your capabilities and you can do that through learning, modeling others or coaching. The problem for some people is that they never get off the treadmill of learning new things. There is always something new to learn but the secret is to take full advantage of the expertise you already have. Napoleon Hill said: “I ask not for more riches, but more wisdom to use the riches I already have.” That means make the most of your existing knowledge and skills before you build on it. One of the fastest ways of enhancing your own capabilities is to „model‟ strategies others have followed to become successful and then adapt your own behavior to match theirs. This is not about copying other people but is about learning from their success. You have your own perspective to add that will make you different. And, of course, a key secret of successful people is that they play to their own strengths so that they don‟t waste time on their weaknesses.
Where you lack the right capabilities, you can seek the help of others through partnerships, employing people and outsourcing. But you need to identify a core strength or capability that people will pay for if you want to sustain a business. What capability and expertise do you have that other people want and will pay for? How can you build on that capability and your strengths to help your business? In what areas do you lack the capabilities you need and how can you best resolve that? Do your capabilities make you more suited to a different business?
Element 2: Beliefs Henry Ford said, “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right.” Your beliefs are what you hold to be true, and they determine what you can and can‟t do. For example, if you have the skills of a great tennis player, but don‟t really believe you are good enough, you simply won‟t succeed. Skills and abilities on their own aren‟t enough for success – whether in tennis or business. Hesitation and lack of belief is one of the main issues that holds business owners back from the success they could have. In holding themselves back, they‟re not only disempowering themselves, they‟re also depriving others of the contribution that they can make. Many people hold back because they are waiting for someone to give them the encouragement or endorsement they need. Often, their hesitation is encouraged by others around them who hold them back with comments like “that‟s too much work” or “it‟ll never happen”. These people often pay too much attention to „gurus‟ who may have less expertise than they do. In general, your best chance of success in business is by choosing an area where you already know you have strengths that you can build on. That will help ensure you have the belief that you need. On a scale of 1 – 100, how much do you believe in your own ability to deliver the business success that you want? What 3 steps can you take now to improve your score and enhance your belief in yourself?
Element 3: Values Even having the belief isn‟t enough. The outcome needs to be something you want. Your values determine how you spend your time – obviously you‟d prefer to spend time doing things that are important to you. If your values mean that being a great tennis player is important to you, then you can do it (provided you have – or can develop – the capability and belief). But if it‟s not important to you, you won‟t make the commitment needed even if you have the skills. Therefore you are more likely to be successful in business if you choose an area that is important to you and ideally which you are passionate about. That will help you face the hard work and challenges that are inevitably part of running a successful business. Think about what‟s important to you in your business. What are you willing to sacrifice for its success? What are you passionate about and how does it support your business? Would your passions be better applied to doing something else?
Element 4: Identity You need to be able to think, “I am a champion tennis player,” if you want to be one. You need to be ready and willing to act „as if‟ you already are what you want to be. In business the secret is seeing yourself as an expert that offers solutions that other people will value. However, it‟s important to recognize that nobody is going to come along and appoint you as an expert. There‟s an interesting concept called the “Leap Frog Theory,” which comes from a book called Winning through Intimidation by Robert Ringer. The concept is that if you have the knowledge, and you‟re willing to go out and tell people you‟ve got that knowledge, you could easily “leap over” the people in the middle who are hesitant to talk about their expertise. You can position yourself as one of the experts. The real thing is – you probably don‟t need to learn more in order to position yourself as an expert. Of course, you should continue to learn new material. But don‟t wait for that “one more thing” you think you need to know if you want to be seen as an expert. You have to recognize yourself as an expert, and be willing to go out and confidently position yourself as one. You have to appreciate the value you‟re delivering to your clients. You‟ll probably find that they rate your expertise more highly than you do yourself. Even if you have doubts, perception is everything and the secret is to behave with confidence – can you at least pretend you think you‟re an expert? Others will be convinced and you might just start to believe it too.
The trouble is most business owners are so close to what they do on a daily basis that they don‟t realize how much they already know. As soon as you recognize that in yourself, you might be surprised to discover that others see you in that way too. On a scale of 1 – 100, how much do you see yourself as an expert? What 3 steps can you take now to improve that score?
Success checklist So consider these questions to determine your chance of success. Do you have the key skills and capabilities you need to succeed in your business? Do you believe that these capabilities will help make you successful? Is success in this important enough to you to make you do what will be required? Can you behave as if you are already successful?
If you‟re not getting the results you want, it‟s useful to identify which of these levels is your weakest so that you can address it.
Power Belief 3: You Are in Charge of Your Mindset and Therefore Your Results
People who believe this: Get the results they want. People who don‘t believe this: Have a good reason why they haven‟t got the results they want. Whenever you set out to do something, you will always end up with one of two things: The result you wanted. An excuse for why you haven‟t got it.
People who come up with reasons or excuses for something not happening usually see themselves as not having any control over the outcome. It was something they had no control over – the weather was bad; the client was having a bad day; my product is too expensive … They always have a reason why they are not as successful as they want to be. Here are some typical examples: “I just need to finish off my brochure, my book, my website.” “I’m not a natural salesperson.” “I don’t have enough time.” “There’s too much competition.”
Successful people on the other hand accept responsibility for whatever situation they are in and seek to change it. The truth is that, in most situations in life, you can either choose to be „at cause‟ or „at effect‟. If you are „in command‟ of the situation – either because you make it happen, or at least you take responsibility for your view of what happens – you‟re on the cause side. If things 'happen' to you or you feel at the mercy of events, you‟re on the effect side. If you want to be successful, you need to be at cause for everything that happens. That‟s the way you‟ll get results. It‟s only by realizing that you are in control of everything that happens in your life (or at least your reaction to what happens) that you get the results you want to achieve.
Most people choose to live their lives getting more of one than the other. The choice you need to make is whether to be one of the people who gets results or one who has many excuses for not getting them. The good news is that whichever one you choose, you will be right – as you will always get what you want: If you choose excuses, you‟ll be able to say „I told you so.‟ If you choose results, you will get them one way or the other.
The reality is that most people prefer excuses. So, if you‟re not getting the results you want, and you hear yourself coming up with excuses or reasons, try the following process to get yourself to the cause side:
Write down your reasons or excuses for not being w here you want to be. Look at each of these reasons from an attitude of being „at cause‟, so that you‟re taking 100% responsibility for them. Challenge your reasons. What can you do differently to get results?
If you focus on getting results, you will believe in your own power to change things. People who are successful act as though they don‟t believe the excuses. They believe in their own power to make a difference. If you believe in results, you realize that you have the power to make a difference. Let go of any excuses you have for failure and you‟ll get results. That is the power of having a success mindset. How the world reflects your thoughts Here‟s a story that shows how your think ing affects your results. An old man was walking in the countryside when he met a young traveler coming up the hill. The young man stopped him and asked what the people were like in the village on the other side of the hill. The old man responded by asking what the people were like in the village he‟d just come from. The young man explained they‟d been very unfriendly, very unhelpful and that was why he was moving on. The old man said, “I‟m afraid
you‟ll find they‟re just like that in the other village as well.” They both went on their way. A short time later, the old man met another young traveler. He was coming from the same village as the first one. And again, the traveler stopped him and asked him the same question about the people in the village over the hill. Once again the old man asked what the people were like in the village he‟d just come from. The young man said they‟d been very friendly and very generous and they made him feel very welcome. The old man answered, “When you get to the next village, I know you‟ll find the people are exactly like that there, too.” So why were his answers for each young traveler different? Actually, his answer was the same, but the effect was different because of the different attitudes of the two travelers. This is known as „perception is projection‟ – a concept originated by the psychologist Carl Jung. In short, the idea here is that what you see outside of you is a reflection of the thoughts, beliefs and attitudes inside of you. Whatever you see around you is a reflection of what you‟re thinking. If you‟re thinking positive thoughts, you will see things as positive around you. You will see opportunities around you. If you‟re thinking negatively, you‟ll see all the bad things that are happening and the problems. You‟re in charge of your thoughts, and therefore your results. So, be careful what you think!
If you‟re not getting the results you want, what are you thinking about that‟s causing that to happen.
How the mind and the body affect each other Your body is affected by what you think and the way you hold your body affects your thinking. If you want to prove that, try this little exercise. Stand up and tense up all your muscles, your whole body. Just hold yourself in, as if you‟re feeling really depressed. Hold your body as if that‟s the way you‟re feeling. You‟re really bunched up. Really depressed. Head down, feeling really negative and thinking negative thoughts. While you‟re in that position, gradually unroll your body. Loosen it up, spread it out. Look up. Look at the ceiling. Smile. Say to yourself, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!” Think positive thoughts. Realize how completely different your physiology is in that situation. Just by changing your physiology, you change your whole thought process. When you‟re in that position, it‟s impossible to hold negative thoughts in your mind. Purely by changing your physiology, you can actually change the way you‟re thinking. In the same way, your physiology has a major impact on the impression you make on people. Think of the different impression you have when you see someone stride confidently into a room looking directly at people, compared to someone who shuffles in quietly looking at the ground. So part of being successful is holding your body in a way that gives you greatest confidence and power. If you look confident and powerful, people will assume that you are. So the secret is to make sure that – even if you don‟t feel confident – you choose body language that makes you look as if you are. Two things will happen: 1. Other people will respect you more. 2. You will feel more confident. So the results you get in any situation depend both on the way you think and on the way you control your physiology. Taking care of your body Since your body is so important to your thinking, you need to look after your body. The writer Deepak Chopra says:
“Every cell in your body is eavesdropping on your internal conversations.” Part of that is remembering that your thinking affects your health. In short, negative thinking makes you ill. So to have a healthy body, you need positive thoughts. But it‟s also important to allocate enough of your time to taking care of yourself physically. For example – eat well, drink water, get plenty of sleep, relax and take time off to do things you love. If you have your own business and can‟t enjoy a great lifestyle doing things you want to do, then it‟s probably better to get a job.
Power Belief 4: See Everything Through Your Customer‘s Eyes
People who believe this: Know what their customers want and help them get it. People who don‘t believe this: Can‟t understand why people don‟t buy their products. One of the keys to successful communication and marketing is accepting that other people think differently from you. That doesn‟t just mean they have different opinions but their minds also work in a different way based on their own experiences and education. As a result, approaches that work with one person or group of people will not automatically work with another. Many people create products or services that reflect their own views or desires rather than the needs of their customers. Or they use arguments and messages in communication that appeal to themselves or which worked with one specific segment of their market. And then they wonder why they don‟t have enough customers. The trick in communication is to see something wholly from the perspective of your customer or audience. The more effectively you are able to do that, the more successful you will be. In order to get anywhere close to achieving that, you have to recognize that every person is unique. In Steven Covey‟s book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, he tells a story about somebody going to an optometrist with an eye problem. The patient says, “The problem is that I can’t read.” The optometrist says, “That’s funny. I’ve got exactly the same problem. Here are my glasses.” He hands over the glasses. The patient says, “It’s no good. I still can’t read.” The optometrist says, “Well, that’s strange. It works for me. I don’t understand why it shouldn’t work for you.” The habit he is discussing is “Before you seek to be understood, seek first to understand.” If you can see the world through your customer‟s eyes, you will have a much greater chance of doing business with them. The power of ‗perceptual positions‘
If you want to see things from another person‟s perspective, there‟s a very useful technique from the world of NLP called perceptual positions, which can be used very easily and effectively. It allows you to view a situation through your own eyes, through the eyes of the other person involved and from the perspective of an independent observer. So start by imagining a situation where you want to understand what someone else thinks. You can apply this, for example, if you are seeking to sell something or you are in a negotiation or you have had a disagreement with someone. 1. Look at the situation as normal through your own eyes; listen to what the other person is saying, what you are saying out loud and what you are saying to yourself. Notice what it feels like to be with this other person, what you feel about them, about yourself and the relationship with them. Then notice what you have learned about yourself and the other person from your normal position and hold on to that memory. 2. Imagine you are the other person. Move to a different seat where you would imagine them sitting. Then view the whole interaction with you through the other person's eyes, noticing what you look like from this perspective. Listen to what you are saying through the other person's ears. Feel what it is like to be the other person, what you feel about yourself from the other person‟s perspective. Then notice what you have learned about yourself and the other person by viewing the interaction from their perspective and hold on to that memory. 3. View the experience through the eyes of a neutral observer. Think of it as being like a fly on the wall or a video camera. Listen to the two people talking to one another. Then notice what you have learned about yourself and the other person from this neutral position and hold on to that memory. By looking at a situation from three different perspectives, you have a lot more information than you would have just viewing it from your own position. Remember what you noticed in each of the three situations and think about what you could now do differently to influence your relationship with that person more positively. You might find that you make a very small change or a significant one. It might be one thing or several things. Notice how next time yo u are with that person you can try some different behavior or different communication and perhaps you‟ll see different results.
Power Belief 5: Anything Can be Accomplished if Broken Into a Plan with Small Enough Steps
People who believe this: Focus their time on doing things that make them money. People who don‘t believe this: Are too busy being unproductive to make any money. The Chinese philosopher Confucius said: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” And it‟s true in business as well. Your journey to a hundred customers begins with the first sale and your journey to a million dollars in the bank begins with your first thousand. The problem for many people is that, when they set a big objective, they can be put off by the scale of the task. The whole thousand miles seems intimidating and the first step seems unsatisfying. One of the ways in which we can categorize people according to how they think is through their preferred „chunk size‟. This reflects whether they like to look at the detail of all the individual steps or just the big picture of the total journey. The problem is that both types of people can have difficulty in reaching their destination. They might lose focus by getting bogged down in the detail or else they never take any action because they don‟t identify the steps required. The NLP process called „chunking‟ helps both type of people – and the truth is most of us have elements of one or the other. The secret of taking action is making the steps small enough to be manageable and large enough to be satisfying. Fortunately the process is quite simple when you have a system to follow and it is useful in a wide range of situations from time management to writing a presentation.
We can use the concept of chunking in two ways. We can: 1. Become more specific and get more detail. 2. Become more general and get a bigger picture. Using chunking to become more specific If we are talking about cars, for example, we can become more specific by talking about makes of car such as Ford or BMW. We can then become more specific still by going down to brands or models from each manufacturer. The secret of making this work is asking the right questions. In the car situation, we might ask „what are some examples of this?‟ If we are developing an action plan, we might ask „what specifically do I need to do?‟ It‟s useful to look at that visually and the example below shows one approach. Some people prefer a mind-mapping approach where they start with the key point in the center and draw lines out from it. Choose whichever approach suits you best to get the results you want. Although this seems very simple, it is extremely useful in a wide range of situations such as brainstorming a presentation or creating an action plan.
Using chunking to become more general Chunking also helps us to become more general – in the cars example, we would move towards other types of road transport and then other types of transport and finally up to something very general like „movement‟. Again the secret is in the questions you ask. In this example, it would have been: „What is this an example of?‟ or „What is the purpose of this?‟ One way in which chunking to become more general is useful is where you have a large to-do list and you want to organize it into categories or chunks that can be combined.
Power Belief 6: When You Take Action Toward Your Goal, There is No Such Thing as Failure
People who believe this: Are being successful selling something which they started some time ago and have improved gradually in response to feedback. People who don‘t believe this: Are making no money from the great idea they are working on as they won‟t launch it until they feel it is ready. It can be frustrating and costly when things don‟t go the way you want them to. And in business, there‟s no guarantee that the result you‟ll get is the result that you wanted every time. But whatever you are doing, you will always get a result or outcome of some kind. When you‟re not getting the response that you want, the important thing to recognize is that you need to do something differently. It‟s amazing how often people keep doing the same thing, even when it doesn‟t give them what they want. But equally you‟ll never know what you need to do differently until you try doing something. If you want to be a champion performer, you‟ve got to take every opportunity to get feedback from your customers and adapt what you‟re doing according to that feedback. Even when you feel that you‟re successful, there might be something else you could do, or something that you could do differently, that would get better results. The core of this belief is that there is no such thing as failure. There is always something to learn from whatever outcome you get. Many of the great achievements and discoveries in history have happened because the people behind them were willing to get it wrong many times before they finally got it right. One of the best-known examples of this is the commitment Thomas Edison put into making the electric light bulb viable. He didn‟t actually invent it but his work did make commercial production possible. Of the months he spent trying ideas that didn‟t work he said: “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Edison‟s attitude was each of these attempts was a necessary step on the way to getting what he wanted. A lesser person would have given up but he believed in what he was doing and kept on responding to the feedback he was getting until he finally got his desired result. That‟s the kind of attitude you need in order to be successful in business.
Successful business people listen carefully to the response they are getting all the time and then adapt what they are doing to ensure they get a different result. It is not for nothing that they say „feedback is the breakfast of champions.‟ You should never think, “I failed.” When you get a different result to what you wanted, you should think, “Great, I‟ve learned something new! What can I do to make progress?” The power of feedback If you want to be a champion performer in what you are doing, then take every opportunity to get feedback and to adapt what you are doing accordingly. In business, another way to look at feedback is as a testing mechanism. Even when you feel that a communication has been successful, you should consider whether another approach might have been even more successful. In fact, if you are considering making any sort of major change or investment, it is essential to get this kind of feedback before you commit yourself to it too deeply. Feedback only works, however, if you look for it. In face-to-face communication, for example, that means you not only have to listen very carefully to what people say but you have to look out carefully for their body language and facial expressions. Arguably listening is the most overlooked skill in communication. The old adage that we have two eyes, two ears and one mouth and that we should use them in that proportion has a great deal to commend it. Yet so many people are inclined to speak first. In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin comments: “In conversation, knowledge is obtained rather by the use of the ears than of the tongue” His success in a wide range of fields from electricity to publishing and politics suggests he knew a thing or two about knowledge. Overall, the more willing you are to adapt what you are doing in response to feedback – the greater chance you have of success. The key point is that when you accept there is no such thing as failure, it removes the excuse for procrastination and perfectionism, which hold many people back from action.
What one thing can you do in the next 24 hours to move you closer to the goal you want? How will you know whether it was successful or if you need to do something different?
Power Belief 7: The Meaning of Communication is the Response You Get
People who believe this: Ignore the nice things people say and change their product or their marketing in response to the results they are getting. People who don‘t believe this: Listen to all the positive feedback and wonder why nobody is buying their product or service. Any business communication or marketing activity normally has a specific purpose – it might be to sell a product or to get a meeting or to change someone‟s mind. So there are two elements to bear in mind as you aim to get the response you want from your communication: The first is accepting that you are totally responsible for how the other person understands what you say. Secondly you should concentrate on what people do – not what they say.
Being understood Think about how easy it is for communication to be misunderstood. Two sides of a conversation can easily read something entirely different into exactly the same words. How often have you heard someone say „that‟s not what I said‟? Conversations between partners in a relationship often present the best – or perhaps that should be the worst – examples. A husband meeting his wife after she has been to the hairdresser might think he is offering her a compliment when he tells her that her hair looks great. He might be shocked if she greets him with a response of „what was wrong with it before?‟ In pure communication terms, the woman took this comment as an insult and it therefore was an insult even though her husband intended it as a compliment. The failure of communication was entirely the man‟s responsibility as he has to be in charge of the result of what he says. In business, people may respond differently but they are just as likely to hear something different from what you think you said.
If you‟re not getting the response that you want, it‟s not your customer‟s or audience‟s fault. You‟ve got to change your communication. It‟s as simple as that. And, of course, sometimes a truly flexible communicator has to change the substance of their message, not just the delivery, if they want it to be successful. What they do is more important then what they say You can have the most beautiful ideas and put them across very eloquently but if, at the end of the day, it doesn‟t change someone‟s mind or behavior, then it‟s usually pointless. That‟s where it‟s important to remember that it‟s what the other person does that matters. And sometimes you need to read their responses carefully to ensure you understand clearly how they are interpreting what you say. People will often say the right thing just to be polite so you have to read their body language and facial expressions as well as listening to their words. The most successful communicators work on developing their sensory acuity, which is their ability to recognize small behaviors in people – such as facial expressions – which give away what they really think. One example of this principle in business is where you carry out research or ask for feedback from customers and they tell you something. In reality, they‟ll then go off and do something entirely different. What they do is more important than what they say. Just as an aside on this belief, it‟s been said that if Edison had asked the market for feedback, he would have created bigger candle instead of a light bulb! So seek feedback but interpret it carefully and stay focused on your objective.
Success is a Process, Not a Destination
We've identified the power beliefs of the success mindset and analyzed the key elements of each. But the important thing is to use these insights to transform the results you‟re having in your business. Which beliefs are most powerful for you? Which are the weakest? What is holding you back from doing better? Where can you get the fastest and biggest results? These beliefs are not self-standing. They all work together rather like a c ircle of success. You start with your desired outcome and, by the time you have completed all the other steps, you should be coming back to raise the bar of your next planned outcome. Here‟s how you can make those beliefs work even more effectively for you:
You get the outcome you focus on: Be specific about where you want to go and exactly what you want to achieve. You already have the capability you need to succeed: Take time to understand your own strengths and passions so that you can make the most of them and seek support from others where you have less interest or capability. You are in charge of your mindset and therefore your results: If you make your attitude one of excellence – and act „as if‟ already successful – you‟re already on your way to achieving your objective. See everything through your customers‘ eyes: Make sure you are seeing things the way your customers see them and adapt what you are doing as necessary. Anything can be accomplished if broken into a plan with small enough steps: Develop a roadmap for how you‟re going to achieve your objectives, even in very broad terms. When you take action towards your goal, there is no such thing as failure: Take the first step now to getting the improvements you want and respond positively when things don‟t go the way you expect. The meaning of communication is the response you get: Be alert to the responses of others as you move forward, and carefully watch the results you‟re getting. If the results aren‟t what you want, then change something. Nobody said success was easy but if it‟s possible in the world, it‟s possible for you. If you look around, you can see that it is possible. Now that you know how to enhance your success mindset, it‟s your turn.
Step 2: Define What You Want
Vision and Goals Power
How to Get Whatever You Want in 5 Easy Steps
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes." Andrew Carnegie However you define happiness or success – whether it‟s about living in a bigger house, earning more money, getting greater satisfaction or enjoying a better lifestyle – the most successful people know what they want and focus all their efforts on getting it. The power of knowing where you want to go Suppose you turned up at an airport check-in and said: “I want to go somewhere, but I don‟t know where.” You‟d not only get some pretty strange looks, the chances are you‟ll end up somewhere you don‟t want to be. Of course you might be lucky – but would you want to leave it to chance? Well, it‟s like that in business and in life. If you don‟t have a clear idea of what you‟re going for, you‟re not likely to be happy with what you get. Without a clear sense of direction, you‟ll be unfocused and uncertain about what to do. You‟ll waste time on things that aren‟t necessary and spend money on things you don‟t need. The power of vision On the other hand, if you have a clear vision of what you want, you‟ll have a definite sense of direction which will help you make choices. In this module, we‟ll develop a clear picture of what you want to achieve in your business or your life so that you can dramatically improve your chances of being successful. The power of vision and goals works whether you‟re setting a long-term vision for your business or choosing your next car. Here are the steps we‟ll follow to help you do that: Discover the vital ingredients of a goal. Understand the psychology of goal setting. Harness the power of your values in getting your goals. Build on the five guidelines for setting a goal that you will achieve. Follow the 9-step process for creating your vision.
Once you are clear about what you want, the next step is turning it into action and that's what we'll be covering in the next steps.
1: The Vital Ingredients of a Goal
I‟m sure, like many people, you‟ve set goals in the past. But have your goals worked? Perhaps you find that they sometimes work but that other times they don‟t work. Maybe the goals that didn‟t happen have put you off the whole idea of goal setting. In this section, you‟ll discover a process that means you‟ll be able to: Set goals that are so clearly defined that you‟ll be able to hit them, spot on, every time. Follow it so easily that you can use it whenever you want.
This process will change your opinion of vision and goals for good. And, more important, it will transform your results. The difference between goals and states Many people say they‟ve got goals. They say, “I want to be happy,” or, “I want to be rich.” They make that a goal. The problem is that these are not goals. These are states and there is a difference between goals and states. Goals have clear outcomes. You know there is a specific result that you‟re going to get. States are much more vague and general. States are ambiguous, whereas goals or outcomes are specific. With a state, you can write an affirmation. You can say, “I feel happy. I feel great.” But with a goal, you need to specify exactly what you want. With a state, you can have it now. If you say, “I want to be happy,” there‟s no reason, other than your own negative thinking, why you can‟t have that goal of happiness now. But a goal has to be achieved over a period of time. A state has no steps. It can happen right now, whereas a goal or an outcome would normally require a few steps that would take you time to achieve. In particular, you would need to have a step at the very end that would mean you‟d actually achieved that goal. States are infinite, whereas goals or outcomes are measurable. You know whether you‟ve achieved a goal. You can want a state for everyone but a goal has to be for yourself – even though others may share in the benefits.
State Ambiguous Write affirmation You can have it now No steps Infinite Stated for self and/or others Different types of goal
Goal or Outcome Specific Write goals/outcomes Time is involved Steps needed to get there Measurable Stated for self only
Vision goals are the big exciting things that you want to achieve in your business and in your life. They are often further into the future – at least a year away, often three or five years – than milestone goals. Although these are the really big goals, if you follow this process and set them effectively, you should be able to almost forget about them without worrying too much about how they will happen. These are the goals that excite you and keep you motivated and you will probably have a relatively small number of them at any one time. Milestone goals are more practical and in some ways more important. These drive you to take action and often follow from your vision goals. They are the steps you need to accomplish on the way to achieving your big goal. This segment also typically includes one-off goals like your next new job or new car. The dividing line between vision goals and milestone goals is not always clear. Sometimes a vision goal can become a milestone goal on the way to achieving a bigger vision. For both types of goal, the rule to follow is: Dream big, start small and act now!
2: The Psychology of Goal Setting
Everybody is different There are many ways of setting goals and there is a wide range of books and programs on the subject. As with many subjects, the reality is that the various approaches can deliver different results for different people. For example, for some people it is essential for them to share their goal with friends, family or co-workers. For others, this would destroy the effectiveness of the goal. Some like to make this a very formal process, whereas others benefit from making it more relaxed. The answer is to find an approach that works for you and then follow it consistently. But there is plenty evidence that successful people are outcome-driven – they know exactly what they want and they go for it. Following some sort of process for developing a clear vision and goals usually helps them achieve their objectives. In this session, my aim is to keep it simple and make it practical, focusing on elements that have been shown to work consistently. You may prefer to add elements to this that make it work more effectively for you. I‟ve made it easy by providing exact steps to follow – without making it take over your life. I‟ve provided the exact documents and steps that I use myself because I know that they work. I‟d recommend making some time to create your first goals and then come back to the process regularly as you see your results happening. As with any process like this – where you need to get away from everyday thinking – it‟s often a good idea to go somewhere different to work on it. Whether it‟s a library, a coffee shop or a mountaintop! And the secret is to spend enough time on the process to make the goals good ones – but also to remember that the best use of most of your time is taking action to make them happen!
How your unconscious mind helps you get your goals Before we start getting into the process of setting goals, it‟s useful to understand the role that your unconscious mind plays in achieving your vision and goals. Choosing and setting your goals is a conscious process that requires some careful thought. But once you have set them, the process can happen almost unconsciously. First of all, your unconscious mind continually seeks more and more for you. It‟s never satisfied. It‟s always looking for higher levels of achievement. It‟s ambitious. It‟s pressing forward. So you can trust it to help you achieve your aim. Secondly, your unconscious mind is symbolic. That means that, for some people, creating an image or having a real image (like a photograph) of what you want makes it easier for your unconscious mind to relate to. So if it works for you, don‟t hesitate to draw pictures or use photographs that represent what you want. Your unconscious mind takes everything personally. So whatever you‟re thinking and whatever you hear, whatever environment you‟re in, whatever people you‟re around, will affect your unconscious mind. If people around you are saying things that are distracting you from your goals, you have less chance of achieving them. So it‟s important to support your unconscious mind by giving it a very supportive environment. The unconscious mind works on the principle of least effort. It‟s always going to find the easiest way to achieve something. If the unconscious mind finds a quicker way of achieving your goal than the one you were thinking of, it will use the shorter route. The unconscious mind does not process negatives so it‟s important to focus on what you want. For example, a goal set around weight loss would be set around your ideal weight, the weight that you wanted to be, rather than what you currently weigh or how much weight you want to lose. So, in general, you set the goal focused on what you want, rather than what you don‟t want. You should set a goal to have a specific amount of money, rather than a goal to not be poor or to pay off a debt.
Harnessing the power of your built-in search engine One of the fantastic things about your unconscious mind is that it has a built-in „search engine‟. This is thought to be the area known as your Reticular Activating System. This is the part of you that is always looking out for things that will support you in getting what you want. This is another reason why it‟s important for you to focus on what you want. If you‟re thinking all the time about what you don‟t want or what you‟re trying to get away from, your unconscious mind will be focused on that. When you are clear about what you want, your mind will always work towards that outcome. It‟s rather like if you‟ve decided to buy or if you‟ve bought a new red BMW. Suddenly you notice the streets are full of red BMWs, when you hadn‟t noticed any of them before. It‟s the radar or search engine that reaches out for the bits of information that will support you in getting what you want. This helps when there are millions of bits of information coming at you every second. Of all those bits of information, your conscious mind can only handle about seven (plus or minus two) at once. So your mind makes sure that you notice and pay attention to what will support you in getting your goals.
3: The Power of Your Values in Getting Your Goals
In order to achieve a goal or vision, it must be in align ment with your personal values. If you think of yourself as a sailboat, your values are like the wind that can help or hinder you in getting to your destination. If the values (or the wind) are blowing in the right direction, it‟s incredibly supportive. On the other hand, if where you‟re trying to get isn‟t in alignment with your values, it‟s like the wind blowing in the wrong direction. It will take you completely off course. So it‟s useful to know what your values really are in relation to your business so that you know what really drives you. To understand your values, start off by answering the question, “What‟s important to you about your business?” You can also use exactly the same process to understand your values in relation to other areas of your life. So if you are focused on your health and fitness, ask: “What‟s important to you about health and fitness?” Very often, values are quite unconscious, so they don‟t come to your mind immediately. So it‟s important to keep asking this question until you „dry up‟. And even after you dry up, go back to the beginning of the process and start again with the question. Something like satisfaction is a value; reward is a value. These are words „frozen‟ in time, and have a specific meaning that is motivating to you in the context of that area of your life. And what‟s important is what the word means to you – the same word may have a different meaning to someone else.
Action Point Using the worksheet that follows, ask yourself the question, “What‟s important to me about my business?” (Or whatever area you have chosen to work on.) Keep repeating the question until you come up with repeat words and you have a list of everything you can think about in that area. Continue with the process two or three times after you dry up to get all of the things that are important to you. Often the values that are most important are the least conscious and therefore come up latest. The list may be five words or it may be 25 words or more. There‟s no right number. You‟ll find the size of the list is different in different areas of your life and it varies from person to person. You should then rank the values (or at least the first eight or so) in order of importance to you. Often this list surprises people initially but suddenly makes them realize why they are not happy with something in their life or why they are not getting the results that they want. The value that appears at the top of your list is the factor that you want more than any of the others. Each factor in your list is more important to you than the one below it. You should quickly get a feeling about whether this list accurately reflects your values. If it doesn‟t look right or doesn‟t make sense to you, repeat the process until you have it the way you want it. Now you‟ll be able to ensure your values are supporting you in your goals. You‟ll be able to look back at these values as we work through the process of developing and defining the goal that you want. If your goal is out of alignment with your values, it will be harder to achieve. If you see a potential conflict, you should ask yourself whether the goal is really appropriate. Values are deep rooted and cannot always be changed easily. So it‟s often better to choose a goal that‟s more aligned with your values as this will be easier for you to achieve.
1. What‟s important to you about your business (or whatever area you have chosen to work on)? 2. Now rank the values you‟ve listed in order of their importance to you. Start with the thing that‟s most important. What is the one thing in that area of your life that you couldn‟t live without? Work through that process. You don‟t need to go all the way down if you‟ve got a very long list. Stick to the first eight or so. 3. Once you‟ve ranked your values in order of importance, rewrite the list below in the correct order. Take a look at that list. Make sure you‟re happy with it once you‟ve seen it written out in the correct order. Check the list and see if it really describes what is important to you and how you are motivated. If you‟re not happy that the list is accurate for you, keep rewriting it until you are satisfied. Now that you know the values in this area of your life, you‟ll be able to ensure that they are supporting you in your goals. You‟ll be able to look back at this list as we work through the process of developing and defining the goal that you want.
4: Five Guidelines for a Successful Goal
The biggest problem that most people have with setting goals is that they don‟t set them correctly. There is a process that you need to go through in order to define goals that will be motivating and that you‟re able to deliver on. The process is known as “SMART goals.” Let‟s start the process of developing a SMART goal by defining each letter. S is for specific, simple and stretching Some people set goals to be rich, or to have money, or to have a new car or new house. If you want to get your goal, then you have to be very specific about what you mean. If you‟re looking for money, be specific about the exact amount of money. Keep it simple. Don‟t make it complicated. Remember, your unconscious mind will support you in getting simple goals. The more complicated it gets, the more difficult that process will be. It‟s better to have a few simple goals rather than one really complicated goal. A goal doesn‟t always have to be stretching, but to be motivating perhaps it needs to be just a little bit challenging for you. You‟ve got to decide what‟s right for you. M is measurable and meaningful to you You need to be able to look back at the end of the period and say, “I know I got this goal because I was able to measure the fact that I achieved it?” It has to be meaningful to you. That means it‟s not somebody else‟s goal. Many people try to achieve things in their life because they think it‟s good for their family, or they think it‟s what their partner or parents want. For you to get a goal, it has to be meaningful to you. It has to be something that motivates you all the time. A is for ‗as if now‘, achievable and all areas of your life It‟s really important that your goal is „as if now‟ – in the present tense. That means that you write it as if you‟ve already achieved it.
So if you want to achieve something by the end of the year, you will write your goal: “It is the 31st of December, and I have achieved …“ If you set a goal which is, “I want to have a million dollars,” for example, then „want‟ is always in the future. You will never achieve „want‟ because it is always happening at some stage further down the line. The goal also has to be achievable but this doesn‟t have to mean easy. That goes back to stretching – if you want something that is really challenging for you, make sure the goal is stretching. If the goal, for example, is to win an under 30s tennis championship, that‟s fine if you‟re under 30. That‟s what achievable means. Achievable means it must be possible for you or somebody in your situation to do it. But make sure it is your definition of achievable and not what other people think. It‟s good to have goals in all areas of your life. Your life goes out of balance very easily if you don‟t have goals and challenges in different areas. There‟s no point in having really successful career goals if your relationships or your health and fitness have to suffer for them. It‟s useful to set goals in different areas of your life. These can include: Business and career. Family. Relationships. Personal growth and development. Health and fitness. Spirituality.
For fastest results, work on the area which is going to have the biggest impact on the others. For example, if by working on a health and fitness goal, you think you‟re going to get better results in your business, then work on health and fitness. R is for realistic, responsible and ecological Realistic is the balance to achievable. Being an under 30s tennis champion might be achievable if you‟re under 30, but if you‟ve never played tennis in your life and don‟t have any interest in tennis, then it‟s probably not realistic.
Don‟t allow people around you to deflect you with comments like: “Oh, you‟ll never do that. Nobody‟s done it before.” It has to be within the realm of possibility for someone in your situation to do it, but choose your own definition of „realistic‟. A goal also has to be responsible and ecological. It‟s important that the goal is right for you. However, a goal that could be threatening to people around you, or detrimental to the planet, will be more difficult to achieve. T is for timed and towards what you want Timed means you have to put a specific date on it. You can have a goal that meets all the other criteria – but unless you‟ve pinned it down to a very specific date and time, then it‟s not likely to happen. It may happen at some stage in the next thousand years, but if you want that goal to be achieved this year, then you need to specify an exact date. Finally, it‟s about being toward what you want, as we talked about earlier. It‟s being focused on what you‟re going towards, not focused away from losing weight, or not having enough money. It‟s about being positive and focusing on what you want. The reason many people fail in setting goals is that they scribble something down on a scrap of paper, or quite often don‟t even bother writing it down. Then they don‟t get it and they‟re put off the whole concept of goal setting. By following these principles, you will get results.
Your SMART Goals Checklist S The more specific your goal is, the more chance of it happening. To help you stay focused, it needs to be simple. It must be measurable so that you‟ll know you‟ve achieved it. It should be meaningful to you – not to impress others. It should be ‗as if now‘ – in the present tense. It must be achievable – i.e. physically possible. R It must be realistic so that you believe it will happen. Your goal must be responsible – having no negative impacts on you, others or the planet as a whole. T It must be timed with a specific date when it will be achieved. Your goal should be moving towards what you want instead of away from what you don‟t want. Example of a SMART goal ―It is the 31st of December (year) and I am holding in my hand a statement showing that I have an additional $130,000 in my bank account that I have earned from my business between June and December.‖
5: The 9-Step Process for Creating Your Vision or Goal
So let‟s start the process of clarifying what you want in your future. You might choose to set your objective for 5 or 10 years from now or you may want to achieve it in the next year or so. Indeed it often makes sense to do both – set a long term objective and something to be achieved sooner. The timescale is less important than the fact that you are giving yourself a clear sense of direction. Ask yourself these questions as you develop your vision or goal: What specifically do you want? As we identified in talking about the SMART formula, the more specific you can be the better. If you want to have a car, state the color, model, price, interior, extras etc. How will you know that you have it? What specific event will enable you to say: “Yes! I‟ve got that goal.” What will you see, hear, and feel when you have it? Describe everything that you imagine happening when you have it – using all your senses – so that it truly motivates you. What will you be able to do if you get the outcome? This is a test of whether you really want it – whether it‟s a „must have‟ goal. It‟s easy to set a goal but it‟s important to get a feeling for why you want it. What will you NOT be able to do if you get the outcome? This checks that you‟re not giving yourself a goal that you either want for a bad reason, or would lead you to lose something you‟ve already got. If your career goal would affect your family, you‟d want to think very carefully about it. You can have a great relationship and a great career. But it‟s important to make sure that what you‟re achieving in one area of your life isn‟t deflecting from what you‟re achieving in others. Who is it for? Many people set goals based on what they believe somebody else expects or wants them to do. If this goal is going to be an important part of your life, you have to make sure it is just for you. It‟s great to have a goal that benefits other people but it has to motivate you.
Who is responsible for making it happen? While you may need the help of others to get your goal, you have to be in control of the outcome. How do you know it is possible? You can also ask: “Have you ever had or done this before?” “Do you know anyone who has?” “Can you act as if you have it?”
These questions are not to put you off. They help you work out the steps needed to get you there, and prove to yourself that the goal is possible, desirable and achievable. When exactly do you want it? Napoleon Hill said: “A goal is a dream with a deadline”, so if you want to achieve it state the date exactly.
Action Step: Creating your Big Vision or Goal With these questions, you have what you need to create your own SMART vision or goal. Use the worksheet that follows to develop 'vision' goals in those areas of your life where you want to make changes, such as: Business and career. Family. Relationships. Personal growth and development. Health and fitness. Spirituality. It's usually best to concentrate on one area first and then come back to the others later. Make sure your goals are big, exciting and motivational.
What specifically do you want
How will you know that you have it?
What you will see, hear, and feel when you have it?
What will you be able to do if you get the outcome?
What will you NOT be able to do if you get the outcome?
Who is it for?
Who will be responsible for making it happen?
How do you know it is possible?
When exactly do you want it?
FINALLY WRITE OUT YOUR S.M.A.R.T. GOAL IN A SENTENCE
Step 3: Develop an Action Plan
The Power of A Plan
How to Get Whatever You Want in 5 Easy Steps
The Power of a Plan
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” Pablo Picasso, artist Wherever you want to go, you need some sort of plan or roadmap for getting to your destination. So, whatever you want to achieve in your business or in your life, you need to develop a plan and act on that plan. How well you create your plan and then implement it will be one of the keys to your success. If you have a clear plan: It becomes easy to make decisions as you focus your efforts exclusively on moving towards your vision. You save time because you focus your attention on what you need to do. You save money because you only spend on things that move you towards your goal. You work more effectively with others as you can give them clear instructions on what you require. You have more fun because you concentrate on the activities you enjoy and that get you results.
In this Step, we‟ll look at how to develop a powerful plan for getting your goals that will be easy to implement and focused on giving you great results.
The Secrets of Creating a Powerful Action Plan
Many people fail to achieve their potential because they don't spend the right amount of time planning. Sometimes they: Spend so much time planning that they never get around to taking action. Don't take enough time to think things through in advance so waste time and money later on.
The truth is any plan has to be easy to develop and implement. Otherwise you will either never start on it or never do anything with it. However, like anything worthwhile, it does require a little work up front. The great thing is that once you have done that work up front, it makes it so much easier to keep it going afterwards. Here are five keys to developing a good plan: Written: A plan that‟s not written down is not real and won‟t be used. But it should be short, simple and easy-to-manage. Measurable: You need to be able to identify when you have achieved your objective. Timed: The actions need to be set out in a calendar so that progress can be easily monitored and managed. Resourced: You need to allocate the necessary time and money to achieve what you want. Accountable: Someone needs to be responsible for actions or they won't get done.
Turning Your Goal Into Action In 5 Steps
One very effective process for turning your goals into an action plan is the one known in Neuro-linguistic Programming as 'chunking'. The secret of taking action is making the steps small enough to be manageable and large enough to be satisfying. Fortunately the process is quite simple when you have a system to follow. For some people, this process works best visually – using a mind map or tree/flow chart approach such as this example:
For others, it is better done in a linear form using words. Some prefer to use software programs.
The secret is to find out which approach works best for you and follow it. Here are the five steps you need to follow to turn your goal into a plan:
Step 1: Write out your big 'vision' goal(s) from the previous lesson Step 2: Define the milestones The first step of turning this into a plan can be done in one of two ways. You could look at the goal and ask yourself 'what do I need to achieve in order to get there?' You could imagine that you have achieved the goal and ask 'What did I have to do to get here?'
The advantage of the latter approach is that it wires the success into your neurology. You get to like the feel of it and it will motivate you more. But some people prefer to deal with hard facts – so again choose which works best for you and stick to it. The answers you are looking for here are what you would call milestones, achievements on the way to your goal. Example Using the example SMART goal from our previous Step, which was: “It is the 31st of December (year) and I am holding in my hand a statement showing that I have an additional $130,000 in my bank account that I have earned from my business between June and December.” You might identify a number of milestones on the way to achieving that, such as: I won 10 new clients by 31 March. I earned $10,000 by 28 February. I launched one new product by 30 April. Remember the SMART rules apply to these milestone goals as well. Step 3: Identify the Action Steps Under each milestone, start to fill in more details by asking questions like: How will I know it is complete? When will I do this? What steps do I need to complete in order to do that. What do I need to make this happen?
Who will be responsible for making it happen? By when? How long will it take? What resources do I need? What is the next step?
So, to continue the example, you might list out some things like: List 20 organizations I could join in this area. Visit 6 of them this month to check them out. Meet at least 10 new people from all the meetings I attend this month. Get at least 3 new clients.
Step 4: Break It Down into More Detail You may then need to chunk down even further on the actions you have listed. What exactly do you need to do to make them happen and when? Step 5: Write Out Your Plan of Action When you have worked out what you need to do and when, create a simple action plan – possibly using the Action Plan and Accountability Sheet here to help you manage the process. Using chunking in reverse As well as helping you to break big goals down into specific action steps, chunking can also be used to pull seemingly unrelated tasks together. The secret is in the questions you ask. For example, you might look at a task and ask: „What will this achieve?‟ or „What is the purpose of this?‟ This can help you organize a large to-do list into categories and it is also a valuable way of making sure that tasks you are doing fit with your goals and objectives.
Taking Your First Step
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Confucius Now that you‟ve got a SMART goal written down and you have developed your action plan, identify one thing you can do in the next 24 hours to get you on the process towards that goal. Remember, your unconscious mind likes to take action. It likes repetition. Just taking one action moving you towards that goal is going to make you much more likely to get it. If you think just in terms of one step, that will get you on the way. The other steps will fall into place after that. It doesn‟t even have to be a big step. Just doing one thing in the next 24 hours will have you moving towards your goal. Action step Write down one thing you‟re going to do in the next 24 hours to move you towards that goal.
Developing Your Action Plan – Worksheet
Step 1: Write out your big 'vision' goal Step 2: Define the Milestones Ask 'What do I need to achieve in order to get there?' or 'What did I have to do to get here. Remember to follow the SMART rules from Step 2. Step 3: Identify the Action Steps Under each milestone, start to fill in more details by asking questions like: How will I know it is complete? When will I do this? What steps do I need to complete in order to do that. What do I need to make this happen? Who will be responsible for making it happen? By when? How long will it take? What resources do I need? What is the next step?
Step 4: Break It Down into More Detail Using Similar Questions
Step 4: Take Action
The Power of Action
How to Get Whatever You Want in 5 Easy Steps
Making the Most Profitable Use of Your Time
“Time = life. Therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.” Alan Lakein, author and time management expert This is the truth about time: There are 1,440 minutes in every day. You cannot squeeze any more in. Once each minute has passed, you can never get it back.
So the secret of success and happiness lies in what you do with every one of your minutes. Mastering time is about knowing what is important and getting it done quickly. While there is no “one size fits all‟ solution to time management, there are definitely basic principles that work. It requires time and effort to change your time management habits, but the benefits you reap will last a lifetime. The next two steps are about how you make use of your time to get the results you want. In this one, we focus on Taking Action. So let's go!
1: Change Your Attitude About Time-7 Ways to Become a Master of Time
“We must all suffer from one of two pains, the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is that discipline weights ounces while regret weighs tons.” Jim Rohn One of the easiest ways to waste time is to allow yourself to feel at the mercy of time. It‟s too easy to say “I don‟t have time” but it‟s important to remember that only you can choose how to spend your time and you have to choose whether to spend it wisely or badly. Here are 7 ways in which you can change the way you think about time. 1. Stop inputting and start outputting Many people are held back from success because they spend so much of their time absorbing new information. If you‟re an info junkie, you need to go on an info diet. Information is great, but only action gets results. Are you spending too much of your time reading emails and learning new things. Yes, you need to do some of those things, but be very careful about how you allocate time to those activities. Maybe what you need to do is unsubscribe from some email lists. Maybe you need to hide your credit card. If you‟re inputting information, you‟re not outputting results and you're not moving closer to your objective. 2. Always remember why you are doing it If you have taken the time to set a clear vision for where you are going – and distinct milestones on your way to achieving it – you‟ll find it much easier to manage your time. All your activities should be evaluated in terms of how much they contribute towards achieving your objectives. If you're spending time on something that doesn‟t contribute towards getting your goals, you have to challenge yourself about why you are doing it. 3. Plan your day and stick to your plan
Planning is the foundation of time management. So time spent on planning your day or your week or your month is time well spent. A minute spent planning can easily save you an hour later on. Here are some specific tips that will help you plan your day effectively: Set aside particular times every day, week and month for planning. During this time, reflect on past achievements and future goals. Maintain a single planner to plan your entire day. There are only 24 hours. Splitting it into personal and professional will lead to chaos. Obviously your daily plans become more detailed than your monthly plans. A daily list of specific actions a must, where, rather than writing „sales calls‟ you list whom to visit and time for each. Split your list in terms of priority – A) Must be done today, B) Should be done today, C) Might be done today. „Must be done today‟ items are your most important – divide them further into smaller steps, making them easy to do. Tick off whatever you finish as you do it. This is a great motivator. Some people find it useful to keep everything together on one list, listing tasks in the order of priority. Some people prefer to have separate lists for each type of priority, such as: High priority urgent/important. Reasonably important. Things to do, if there is time
HOT TIP! It is best if you make a prioritized list of things to do for the next day at the end of every day. This means that you don‘t waste valuable time the next morning trying to figure out what needs to be accomplished that day. Next is allotting a time frame to each task on your list. It‟s beneficial to add a little more time than you would take to do it. This will help you finish on time even if you have an unavoidable interruption and perhaps to complete the task earlier and give yourself a boost. The best way to schedule is to split large tasks into smaller steps. It feels wonderful when you are able to tick it off at the end of the day and works as a great motivator. It also helps you to feel less stressed.
Here‟s how you can plan so that you‟ll be using your time most effectively: Tackle the toughest jobs first, when your energy levels are highest. This also makes you feel great by finishing a difficult task, rather than having it hanging over your head all day. (It also increases your productivity). Arrange your schedule to minimize interruptions as much as possible, particularly at times when you tackling a difficult or intensive task. Schedule routine tasks for when your energy levels are low, this minimizes the effect of your lack of focus on your overall productivity Keeping these points in mind as you plan out your day will help keep energy levels up and get tasks done efficiently. Sticking to Your Plan It is important to stick to your plan. Unexpected delays will always happen, but you can design your plan in a way that minimizes the effect these delays will have on your ability to complete your tasks. A Note on Overtime: While working ‗overtime‘ is okay once in a while when it is very urgent, doing this on a daily basis is not a good idea. If you find yourself working longer and longer hours, it‘s time to start saying no, either to yourself or to others. While it may seem beneficial in the short term, over time it means more stress and less energy, which is bad news for your productivity, and consequently, your income. Some people tend to make it a habit to work long hours, invariably upsetting the equilibrium between work and relaxation, which often leads to health and relationship problems. Here are some things to watch out for to help you stay on track with your time management plan: There will always be emergencies. Allow yourself free time to reflect. Do not put off what is achievable today. If you have set aside time for a particularly important activity, and someone interrupts, let them know you are busy and allot a time for them in your schedule. Evaluate your time management and make improvements as you go. Suppose you find your daily planning not working out very well, ask yourself if you are achieving at least your high priority tasks? If your answer is “no”, here is a quick checklist to help you pinpoint why:
Are you attempting too much in a day? Were you not able to finish some tasks because you were not prepared at the time? Was the job clearly put together? Were you equipped with all the necessary information? Did you leave the task partway through because you found it too tough or too dull? This kind of review helps you figure out whether your time budget was realistic in the first place. If it was realistic, then there‟s probably a problem with execution. Sometimes, interruptions put you off course. Which brings us back to – learn to say NO.
4. Prioritize Your Time Prioritization is an essential time management skill. Prioritizing is your ability to figure out which tasks are most important at a particular time and focus your attention, time and energy on them. Because our day is limited to those 1,440 minutes, we need to prioritize, if we want to use our time effectively. This means recognizing what is important and knowing the difference between „urgent‟ and „important‟. Important activities are those that help us achieve our goals. Urgent tasks demand immediate attention but may not be related to our goals. They may relate to other people’s problems more than our own. Just because something is „urgent‟, it is not necessarily important so may not justify our time. Another important distinction in prioritization is recognizing the difference between „productive‟ and „unproductive‟. Productive time: generates income, for example, working with clients, creating products and marketing. Unproductive time makes no money. That’s time spent checking emails, answering the phone, studying, surfing the web or talking to friends If you don‟t prioritize your list of things to do, you end up going from one task to another with the risk of not completing something important. When you develop good prioritizing skills, it is easy to finish all your important and urgent tasks in a timely manner. Next, you
concentrate on finishing the important but not urgent stuff that will make a difference to your long-term goals. Prioritize both planned and unplanned tasks. Planned tasks are the ones on your to-do list, which you have listed in order of importance. So you would basically finish your „A‟ list, then go on to „B‟, and then „C‟ when you are through with „B‟. When it comes to prioritizing unplanned tasks, you will need to make quick decisions in the moment, so you may not have enough time to study the situation. Keep your goals in sight when you need to take on unplanned tasks. Always stay focused on the key things you need to achieve. Which three big achievements do you need to have this week? What is the one thing you need to do today? If you have a list of five things you need to do today, decide which is most important and do them in order of importance. 5. Say No – to yourself as well as to others The truth is, no matter how efficient you are, you can‟t do everything. So, one of the most useful things you can do is go through your “to-do” list and decide what you don‟t really need to do. The management guru Peter Drucker said: “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently something which shouldn’t be done at all.” Before you get into doing the things on your to-do list, consider whether they‟d be better on your not-to-do list. When you want to use your time effectively it is important to know what not to do, as well! Learning to say no is a vital time management skill. It can be pretty hard to refuse someone‟s request when they ask you to do something. We often feel bad refusing people, but saying yes when you want to say no will stress you out and send your time management totally out of focus. Agreeing to do something that you do not have the time for just makes you resent it later. It is better to learn to say no firmly and tactfully. It is always better to say no promptly so that you don‟t create false hopes. People often feel guilty about saying no to others, but it‟s a lot better to be honest and upfront about not being able to do something.
Otherwise your own priorities and projects will be sidelined so you can complete the task for the other person. Here‟s where your written plan comes in. When you need to stick to your schedule, and have already allocated time for different tasks, your priority is to finish your most important tasks first. Adding random requests to your list will just make your planning a mess. It is best to say no politely. Saying no to people When someone ask you to take on extra work, bring to his or her attention that you already have a list of priorities and try to find out if the requested work is equally important. If deemed important enough, then it can be scheduled in. Be clear about how much time you have to spare and agree only if the job will fit into that time. Otherwise politely decline – you can offer your help at a later date or see if there are parts of the work you can help with instead. Imagine agreeing to do it, and then finding that you cannot handle it! This will prevent you from doing anything properly and may also wind up hurting your reputation. Sometimes it might just not be possible to say no. In such instances you can agree, but suggest that next time you might discuss when to schedule it. You can probably get them to return the favor, next time you are pressed for time and need to meet a deadline. 6. Develop systems and processes If you have your work organized into clear processes, it makes it easier to delegate. It‟s also a better way of being aware of what you‟re actually doing so that you can use your time more efficiently. Productivity expert William Edwards Deming said: “If you can’t describe what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” You'll find it very useful to go through a task and write out how it is done in the form of a process, whether you‟re doing it yourself or delegating it to someone else. 7. Take care of yourself
If you are going to get things done and also to enjoy the lifestyle you want, you have to allocate time to doing things that you enjoy and taking care of yourself physically? Eat well, drink water, get plenty of sleep, relax, and take time off. If you have your own business and can‟t enjoy a great lifestyle, then it‟s probably better to get a job. Most of us come into business because we want something more, more excitement and greater reward out of it. But it‟s really important, as well as taking time to focus on business issues, to focus on taking time to consider your personal needs as well.
2: Doing it Now—Beating the Three Success Killers
“Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week's value out of a year while another man gets a full year's value out of a week.” Charles Richards Three things kill the potential success that many people are capable of achieving: Procrastination: Putting off things you need to do. Perfectionism: Waiting until it‟s 100% right before taking action. Prudence: Undue caution and unwillingness to take risks.
Success Killer 1: Perfectionism One of the reasons most people fail to achieve what they want is t hat they never get around to implementing the good ideas they have. If you have a problem with procrastination, the first step is often being honest with yourself about the real reason you‟re not doing it. When you can get to the root of the real reason, you can tackle the issue. Here are 10 reasons people procrastinate: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. The task seems too large or complex. They don’t know where to begin. They’re scared of people passing judgment on them. They’re afraid of failure or success. They just have poor organizational skills. They underestimate the time needed to carry out a task and start too late. They just don’t want to do it – maybe they’re resentful if they’ve been told or advised to do it by someone else. They may be full of good intentions, but they get easily distracted. Simple lack of time. Either they have too many things to do, or need to set aside a block of time to do this but can’t identify a large enough block. Some people simply need a deadline
Whatever your reason for procrastinating, here are 9 ways to overcome it: Recruit a support team There are different ways in which to use a support team: To provide accountability. To help you actually carry out the task. To assist in planning, organizing and structuring the task.
Do one thing you don‘t want to do every day There are sometimes things that you have to do in business that you don‟t like to do. If you can meet the challenge head-on and get what you don‟t want to do out of the way, you can move on with other things. Setting the challenge of doing one thing each day that you don‟t want to do helps you make progress. Break the task down into smaller units and prioritize Small tasks are achievable. Big tasks scare people. So take time to break tasks down into smaller components. When you set out the steps required, that‟s already your first step toward actually doing them. Adjust your standards We‟ll talk about perfectionism shortly but sometimes people set standards for themselves that make it very difficult for them to achieve what needs to be done in the necessary timeframe. Setting different standards can deliver faster results. Cut out distractions This makes a big difference. One thing that can work well is to spend chunks of the day away from your PC. When you‟re at your PC, it‟s easy to get distracted. You check your emails, surf the Internet or whatever. If you remove those sorts of distractions, you‟ll have more opportunities to do the things you need to do. Create a reward for success “If I do this, I‟ll go out for dinner or take a day off,” works for some people. For others, punishment for failure is more effective. “If I don‟t do this, then I will not go to the theater on Friday night.” Give something up What are the things you shouldn‟t do? Everybody gets scared and put off by their to-do list. One thing that works really well for some people is a “not to-do” list. What are the things you don‟t really need to do? Have you created a „not-to-do‟ list yet?
Set yourself an artificial deadline Some people just need a deadline and setting an artificial one – e.g. “I‟m going to do this by Friday,” so that it will be done and out of the way – can work. Focus on the goal not the task Take your eye off the task. Focus on the goal. Remind yourself of why you‟re doing it, not what you‟re doing. That helps you get through the task, particularly if it‟s less attractive for you to do.
In general when you‟re trying to overcome procrastination, it‟s good to make small promises to yourself about what you‟re going to do and keep them. Even if it‟s just to do one small thing a day, you‟ll get into the habit of having that success. Success creates success. If you take action every day, you‟re making it into a habit. It becomes built into your neurology and becomes the way you behave in the future. If you need to get yourself moving, use the Procrastination Buster checklist at the end of this book. Success Killer 2: Perfectionism The second success-killer is perfectionism. This is a real problem for a lot of people. They want to work really hard on something. They want it to be just right. But they never actually do it! If this applies to you, try thinking differently. “Done is better than perfect.” It’s better to get something done than to have it absolutely, 100% perfect. “Done” means you can move forward. You can improve in the future, but “done” means you’ve made a start. “Ready, fire, aim!” Get yourself prepared, then take action. Once you’ve taken action, you can narrow down the focus and get it more specific and right for the market you’re in. “You don’t have to get it right. You just have to get it going.” While it’s important to set a certain standard for what’s acceptable, perfection can usually never be achieved. “Good enough is good enough.” If Bill Gates was a perfectionist, he’d still be sitting his garage trying to perfect the DOS system. Instead, his business model is
based on getting things out there first, then improving them once they’re out there. Success Killer 3: Undue prudence Prudence is defined as “caution in managing your activity.” Of course, prudence is a good thing to have. It can be very sensible but business requires an element of taking risks if you want to move forward. If it was easy, everybody would do it. That‟s why successful businesses are the ones that actually take a little bit of risk in order to move themselves forward. Some people are put off because of fear of mistakes. Again, some quotes express the issue effectively: “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” William Shakespeare “It’s not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It’s because we do not dare that things are difficult.” Seneca the Elder (Roman writer) “Winners are not afraid of losing, but losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad author When most people look back on their lives, they don‟t regret the risks they did take. They regret the risks they could have taken, the things they could have tried. One of the ways to get over undue risk aversion is to practice taking small risks. Yes, some of them will go wrong. But the better you get at taking risks and making decisions, the more success you‟re likel y to have in the future. It‟s important to remember that once you start taking action towards your goal, there is no such thing as failure; there is only feedback. Some feedback will be negative. But you need persistence. For every problem you come up against, there is going to be a solution. In sport, you often find that the people with the greatest records and the most success are also the people who‟ve made the most mistakes. They‟ve gotten it wrong more often than they‟ve gotten it right. But because they‟ve been consistently trying, they‟re getting better and
have more chances of success. The most successful people are the ones who got it wrong the most. Many people are held back from taking risks by the fear of rejection. If that applies to you, follow the “SW4 Principle.” If you‟re worried about somebody saying „no‟ to you, think SW4. ―SOME WILL. SOME WON‘T. SO WHAT? SOMEONE ELSE IS WAITING.‖ If you focus on what you want – people saying yes – you‟ll have more chance of success.
Action Step 1: Procrastination Buster Checklist
Write down the real reason you are procrastinating.
Who can you recruit to your support team and how can they help you?
What is the one thing that you don‟t want to do that is holding you back?
Use the power of chunking to break the task down into smaller units and prioritize
Can you adjust your standards to get faster action?
What is distracting you and how can you stop it?
Set yourself a deadline for completion
How will you reward yourself when you complete the task?
What are you trying to do that is not necessary?
Write down the goal instead of the task.
Action Step 2: Stop the Spinning Plates
“In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.” Sir John Lubbock Often the biggest block to getting started is the pile of work sitting on your desk right now. It becomes a vicious cycle as the pile gets bigger – you don‟t get anything done as you have too much to do. It‟s often true that the most tiring work is the work you haven‟t yet done. If you are overwhelmed by the range of tasks and issues currently on your mind, set aside some time – perhaps a weekend – to complete this exercise and free up your mind to focus on what‟s important. Investing a little time in this exercise now could save you many hours in the future. Make a “to do” list setting out all the things you currently have to do and rate them in terms of importance and urgency.
Categorize them into 5 – 7 groups then take action to do, delegate or schedule everything important or urgent.
Clean your house / office.
Dispose of any possessions you don‟t need and haven‟t used in the last six months (but keep important documents such as receipts).
Organize all your papers and file or dispose of any you don‟t currently need. Make a list of all the friends and business contacts that you‟ve been planning to call and either call them or make a note to call them on a specific date.
Clear your desktop or working area so that you only have things around you that you need every day. File or dispose of anything you don‟t immediately need.
Sort out your finances – including filing any outstanding tax returns. Make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills and chase any money due to you.
List anything you have started but not completed. Either complete it, make a plan to do so or drop it.
Tidy the documents file in your computer so that you can easily find what you need and delete any files or old software that you no longer use.
List any other issues currently on your mind and resolve them, make plans to do so or forget them.
Set aside some time to relax and pay attention to your personal health and wellbeing.
Step 5: Focus on What You Want
The Power of Focus
How to Get Whatever You Want in 5 Easy Steps
How to be WISE About Time
“If you want to make good use of your time, you've got to know what's most important and then give it all you've got.” Lee Iacocca In the previous step, we focused on taking action to get started. This one is about staying focused on what you want by using your time wisely. If you are WISE about time, you are careful about how you use it. You have four choices: Waste it in doing things that are not in one of these categories. Invest it by creating products, marketing or personal development. Sell it to an employer or to a client willing to pay you a fee. Enjoy it, for example, through hobbies or spending time with friends and family.
The truth is most people spend most of the time in the first one. Successful people, on the other hand, take full control over time so that they earn more money in the hours they do work and also find more time to do the things they enjoy. Managing time is more about how you manage yourself than about how you manage time. This module is about how you take control of your time so that you use every hour productively and profitably.
1: Discovering How Much Your Time is Worth
“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” M. Scott Peck The first step in getting control over your time is knowing how much it‟s worth. There are various ways to do this, but let‟s just keep it simple. In the table that follows, write down your own details in each row. Start with your earnings and then add the number of hours you work. For example, if someone earns $100,000 a year and works five days a week, seven hours a day for 48 weeks, that‟s $100,000 divided by 1,680 hours. It‟s about $60 an hour. Step 1. Write down your annual earnings. (Either earnings for previous 12 months or most recent three months multiplied by four) 2. How many hours do you work a day? (A) 3. How many days do you work each week? (B) 4. How many weeks do you work in a year? (C) 5. Total hours worked in year. (A x B x C) 6. Divide your annual earnings from 1 by total hours worked in a year from 5. This will give your hourly rate. Example $100,000
7 5 48 1,680 $59.52
But, in reality, it‟s a bit more complicated than that. Here are two ways you can make the calculation work even more effectively for you.
Think about how much you‟d like to earn and put that number on the top line, rather than how much you‟re currently earning. Assuming your desired earnings are higher, the hourly rate will increase. Consider how many of the hours you work are really productive? Research shows that the average CEO has between 30 and 40 productive minutes a day. Few people have seven productive hours a day – we‟re lucky to have two or three. So, if you use a figure of three hours a day worked instead of seven, your hourly rate is going to be very different.
If you divide what you‟d like to earn by the number of truly productive hours, your hourly rate is going to be much higher. You also need to take into account the fact that somebody else who‟s more experienced than you in doing a task is going to take less time to do it. For example, if you could pay somebody $20 an hour to do in one hour what it would take you three hours to do at $60, $100 or $200 an hour, then you‟re getting an enormous amount of value. You need to choose what hourly amount you want to use for the value of your time. Then keep that value in mind when you decide how you want to spend your time. Once you decide to give your time its true value, you might discover that you start to earn its true value!
2: Make Every Minute Count
“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year - and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” Anthony Robbins Manage your day with time limits One of the most effective ways to take control of your time is to block out specific segments of your day to work on particular tasks. You may well discover that you achieve more by focusing on a specific task for a set period of time than you do over a longer period of less focused activity. The secret of using this time productively is to be prepared in advance with all the material you need to work on. Consider using a timer to keep yourself on track. Some people work well in short bursts completing specific 15minute tasks before moving on to the next one. For other people, different time limits work better. It might be 45 or 60 minutes. Sometimes it depends on what you‟re doing. Dave Lakhani‟s book The Power of an Hour provides specific strategies for how you can get the most out of focusing your time on one task for an hour. Make sure you control your email instead of letting it control you Email is now an essential business and communication tool. But sometimes, it can turn out to be a real productivity killer. One recent survey showed that two thirds of people spend more than two working hours a day on email-related activities. And, for a large number of people, it‟s even more time than that. So it seems most of us are spending at least a quarter of our working day responding to emails. While obviously some of that is important, it does suggest we can free up a lot more time by managing our email more effectively.
Here are 7 ways in which you can make your use of email more productive: 1. Stop checking your email every few minutes: The first step in getting control over your email is to stop checking it every few minutes and start checking it twice a day. That means you need to be logged out of your email account at all other times. 2. Set strict time limits on the time yo u spend checking emails: You should set a time limit that is appropriate for your other commitments but, for most people, a limit of about 15 minutes at a time is probably appropriate. Yes that is 15 minutes twice a day – which may not seem much. But you‟ll be surprised at how disciplined you can become. 3. Use separate email accounts for different purposes: For example, keep business and personal separate. And have one business account for important business contacts and another for less urgent ones such as newsletter subscriptions and mailing lists. 4. Scan first to decide what‘s important: It‟s important to deal with your email in the way you would read a newspaper. Look at the subject line and the name of the sender first. That should give you enough information to concentrate your time and attention on the most important emails. 5. Apply a one-touch approach to email: The secret is to handle it quickly rather than spending too much time thinking about it. 6. Use technology to make email management easier: One of the great advantages of email is that it comes with a whole range of time-saving technology built in but few of us make full use of it. 7. Create standard replies to common questions: Develop templates or standard wordings that you can reuse through a simple cut-and paste rather than wasting time creating the same message multiple times. Email can be a productivity killer or it can play a vital role in making your day more productive. It‟s up to you to decide which you prefer! Take steps to avoid interruptions You have set your goals. You are focused. You have a priority list. You are all set to get going with your tasks… and then you‟re interrupted.
These interruptions eat into your time and set you back. Not only do they keep you from effectively managing your time, they stress you out by slowing you down. Interruptions can show up in many forms – they can be phone calls, they can be emails, chit chat in the corridor, people dropping by unannounced, the kids running into your home office, or just about anything you were not expecting, that distracts your focus from what you are involved in. The most difficult part is for you to resume what you were doing, before the interruption, since you have to refocus your mind. What can you do about this? One way is to be aware of likely interruptions and decide whether they are necessary. You can either be prepared for them, or think of ways to tackle them so that they don‟t keep you from achieving your goals. Here are some tips to minimize the effect of interruptions: Working with an open door invites interruptions. One of the best ways to prevent interruptions is to shut the door. It is really as simple as that. Preferably tackle your most important jobs first thing in the morning so that you are not only on schedule with managing your time, but also have a chance to complete them before likely interruptions It is okay to let people know that you don‟t want to be interrupted during a particular time. If someone asks you for a few moments of your time in the middle of a task, suggest a more convenient time and offer to contact them then. If you need to be in contact often with others, it is best to fix a time on your calendar during which you hold meetings, conference calls etc. You can help shorten the interruption of a visitor by standing up to talk, discouraging the person from settling into a chair. You can also walk them to the door as if you were also about to go out. Try dropping a hint by looking at your watch when you‟d like your interrupter to leave. If possible you can offer to go to your visitor‟s office, then you are in control of when you leave. You have to ensure that while you are focusing on managing your own time that others don‟t perceive your dedication
negatively. So make sure you let them know when you will be available. And remember that informal meetings can often achieve a lot more than a formal meeting that may take up more time. But be aware of the difference between a productive visit and an interruption. Set up your working area for efficiency A well-ordered and neat office or desk can go a long way in helping you achieve your time management goals. Arrange your office so that it is convenient for you to work comfortably. Whatever you need in the course of your workday should be easily accessible. Good lighting helps you work efficiently. Well-designed chairs and desks are a pre-requisite. Physical comfort and aesthetics are also important. Clutter is one of the biggest time wasters. Imagine a desk piled high with papers, coffee cups, dust, and depressing decor! When you organize your workspace, you function more smoothly without the pressure of having to search for things. The right colors, the right furniture to keep you comfortable, the right storage can all go a long way in keeping you working in harmony. Clear your desk of paper clutter. Many people tend to have stacks of paper on their desks in the form of piled up to-do lists, files, letters, phone messages, in-trays, etc. Always make it a habit to trash paper you don‟t need. Answer the phone because you want to—not because it is ringing If you know how to use the phone to increase your productivity, it can go a long way in saving you time. Rather than emailing someone and waiting, sometimes it is far quicker to interact over the phone and get your answers immediately. There are certainly times when email is better, especially if you have to send a lot of details, but that is a matter of judgment. Here are some tips for managing your telephone calls: Always keep a pad and a pen handy. Have a list of points on what you want to say and what you need to find out. When you need to make many phone calls, do them all together. Never agree to be put on hold - call back or leave a message.
When someone is not available, find out when you can call back and leave your number. If you need to call someone regularly, fix a time when both will be expecting the call and make it more productive. Be sure to leave effective voicemail and answering machine messages. Say your name and number first, give a quick sentence on the purpose of your call and end again with your name and number. Ensure you speak clearly and loudly enough for your message to get through easily. It is okay to tell your caller if you are pressed for time For home-based businesses, it‟s preferably to have a separate line for business calls. This greatly limits non-work related distractions during work time and means work-related people are able to get through. You also don‟t need to wait for an open phone line to conduct business. Surf the web productively The Internet is a wonderful resource. But, unless you are disciplined, it‟s extremely easy to find yourself aimlessly surfing the web when you should be working. Studies have shown that many people waste as much at two to three hours in surfing the web without purpose. Rather than being sucked into this massive time waster, you need harness the power of the Internet to help you work more effectively. Set aside a specific time for conducting Internet research or browsing for information. Then focus on your goals and do your best to resist the urge to surf. This one change will make your efforts a lot more focused and productive. Here are some tips that can help with surfing the web effectively:
For people who write content, instead of surfing at random to collect information, do the research within a particular timeframe that you decide on in advance (This also motivates you not to get sidetracked). Do enough research on a particular subject so that you can save time the next time you need it. Save all your frequently visited webpages in your favorites folder so that you need not search for them every time. Use a software program to remember all your passwords and usernames. The Autofill feature in the Google toolbar is quick and easy to get you started. You can also set up a special (password protected) homepage where you can store all your regularly visited links, saving you a
lot of time getting to these pages. This also keeps you from getting distracted while browsing. If you are Internet savvy, there is a lot of time management software out there that is working very effectively for a lot of people! Make use of automation There is a wide range of technology available for carrying out many tasks. Whether it‟s using automated software to send out your emails or to keep your website up-to-date, or automating the issue of your invoices, it can save you considerable time and money. Also consider creating standard emails that you can issue – perhaps automatically – in response to specific inquiries. And, if you have a web site, make sure you publish the answer to common inquiries there to minimize unnecessary questions.
3: Earn the True Value of Your Time— How Outsourcing Helps You Earn More Every Hour
When you run your own business, it‟s easy to be busy all the time. You can soon find yourself working long hours and often being busy doing tasks that don‟t make you money and that you don‟t enjoy. But, if you‟re working round the clock, you don‟t really have a business, you have a job working for yourself. One of the key points of having your own business should be giving yourself the freedom to do what you want to do with your time. Your business hours should be spent profitably and, ideally, enjoyably – freeing you up to make the most of your quality personal time. The value of your time If you know how much your time is worth, you can easily ask yourself if what you are doing is worth your hourly rate. If not, it‟s easy to find someone else to do it via outsourcing. The quality of your time But it‟s not just about the money. Another valuable step is to complete a “Business Loves and Hates” exercise. On one side of a page, write down all the things you love about your business. On the other side, write down all the things you hate. If it‟s on the right hand side of the page, you should find someone else to do it if at all possible and reasonable. If it‟s on the left, you can spend more time on it – unless you can find someone else to do it more cheaply. Why outsource? Outsourcing can make your day a thousand times easier and more profitable. Here are some of the advantages: It allows you to focus on your priority tasks. You cut the learning curve by employing an expert. They can probably do the job faster than you. It frees you up to do things you enjoy. Outsourcing can help you get projects making money faster. The outsourcing providers take on some of the risks involved. You get a fresh injection of thinking and creativity.
What can you outsource? You can outsource just about anything you can think of, including: Customer support. Website design and programming. Graphic design. Copywriting for websites, scripts, advertising and eBooks. Research. Accounting. Software development. Search engine optimization. Press release writing and distribution.
You can also employ a 'virtual assistant' to help in a wide range of tasks. How to outsource Through the Internet, somebody in another part of the world is in a position to help you - probably at a fraction of the cost you‟d pay someone around the corner. The best way to find vendors is to get recommendations from other people. If you can‟t get recommendations, try them out yourself with small tasks before you give them anything big or important to do. Here‟s a little tip. If you‟re asking someone else for a reference about a vendor, people tend to be very polite. They say nice things, or they‟re very vague and don‟t say much. A great question to ask is: “What is the one thing that you wish this person would do better?” It‟s a powerful way of helping them identify the person‟s weaknesses to help you decide if the person is right for you to work with. There are several websites (some of them are listed below) that provide access to outsourcing services. This is how they generally work: You post details of the project or service you need help with. The more detail you can provide the better and it‟s usually possible to keep some details confidential. Vendors or freelancers who have the ability to do the job for you will post responses or bids.
These services are usually free to buyers with the vendor paying a fee to the site when they are awarded the work. You select the vendor most suited to your needs, based on their proposals and on your view of their portfolio of past work. You agree payment terms – which may be part payment in advance or use of an escrow account, which ensures that payment is only released when the agreement terms are met and work is completed. You keep in touch with them until the project or task is completed.
Use the accountability sheet provided to help manage the project. Action Points Which tasks could you could get someone to do more cheaply? What do you hate doing in your business that others could do for you? Which ones could someone else do better? Which providers of outsourcing services meet your needs best.
Appendix A: Making the Most of Your Day
Plan your day in advance. That to-do list of things again – write everything down. Prioritize. Categorize. And schedule a time for it. Tackle your tough jobs during your best time of the day. Set yourself deadlines for all your work and stick to them. Unpleasant tasks must be handled. Don‟t postpone them. Postponing does not make them better. Have specific times during the day for various jobs like checking email, surfing the net, making phone calls, etc. When you start a task, avoid interruptions. It will take you twice as much time to do it if you are disturbed. If you can‟t get your visitors out of your office, exit yourself. Take your breaks when your energies are low. Evaluate your use of your time. Make changes when you need to. Routine matters must be planned for a particular time of the day. Don‟t panic thinking about the jobs you haven‟t done. Make sure your most important job is done by the end of the day. Always clean your desk at the end of the day and plan for the next day Make sure you take scheduled breaks, including going for walks and eating regular healthy meals. Balance your home/family time and work effectively.
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