All too often we spend our time on day to day things or working on the tactical level without spending much time on stepping back and working on our business.
So I’ve put together 5 Rules to help you step back and think bigger.
RULE #1: GET CLEAR
Now, I used to think that ‘getting clear’ meant determining how many clients you wanted, how much revenue you planned to generate or even how much income you’d personally make.
Those can be part of it…but they’re not what I’m talking about in it’s entirety.
The thing you need to get clear on is what success looks like to you…what your Ideal Business looks like.
A subtle, but important distinction.
What does success look like to you? Do you know? Do you know what your Ideal Business looks like?
What do you want your life to look like? What is your professional mission?
You might think on the surface it’s to make some money or own a fancy training facility.
Often, we get tricked by ourselves to think that we’re in this industry to make an ok living training clients…to serve others.
But the reality is you want something more specific whether you have sat down and
deliberately figured it out or not.
Personally, I am very passionate about helping fellow fitness entrepreneurs build the business and the life that they want to have…while doing the same for myself.
I talk on the phone to clients constantly working on this. I fly around the country for meeting and conferences to accomplish this…and I’m relentlessly studying to find better ways to accomplish this.
This is my mission. This is Ideal for me.
Now, there are two phases to this:
Phase I: What is your mission…what does the Ideal Business look like for you?
Here are some questions that might help you do this:
• What will you sacrifice to make it your reality?
• What is truly important to you personally and professionally?
• What is the outcome you’re dedicated to?
For me, I’m willing to travel away from my family more than I want to in order to reach more fitness entrepreneurs or to learn better ways to serve them…
…and it’s important because I know that a lot of wonderful professionals in our industry make some serious sacrifices to serve their clients…and I think that being able help the clients you want to and being able have income, security and enough freedom to go on vacation or coach your kid’s Little League team shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.
It’s something that I’ve experienced from both sides – as the burned out coach, putting in ridiculous hours for low pay and no retirement…and as the fitness entrepreneur who can have a significant impact on the people I want to help while still enjoying a family friendly lifestyle and an income that matches the impact I have.
People are going doubt you…they’re going to try to kill your dreams.
You’re going to try things and they won’t succeed like you plan.
What’s going to keep you going? It’s that Mission…it’s your Ideal Business and all that it yields.
So get clear on it! When you’re clear on where you’re going lots of other things just fall into place automatically.
Phase II: Why is it so important?
My mission is important to me because I feel that 98% of fitness entrepreneurs settle in life.
They settle for less than they are capable of…less than they deserve.
They get up early every day, hustle into the gym, help dozens…even hundreds of other people reach their goals…enjoy and better, healthier, more fulfilling life…all while barely making ends meeting, sacrificing time with their family, failing to save money for the future, accepting that a large percentage of the people they train will be people they don’t enjoy simply because they have to pay the bills, rarely – if ever – taking a vacation, not having time for their family or their own personal interests…all this on the path to burnout or exhaustion.
Their only solace is that they get to have their own training business…even if it doesn’t at all resemble what they originally set out to build.
It’s important because I don’t want that for you and won’t accept that for myself.
So that’s my “why” and I can’t stand idly by and have the knowledge of how to
overcome that and not share it with fellow trainers and coaches.
It’s important to understand your ”why” as you think about what you want your Mission and your Ideal Business to look like…and my ‘whys’ are my family and to help other entrepreneurs.
The clarity that you have when you discover where you want to go and the “why” behind it – you’ll gain the the conviction and the drive to do all that is necessary for lasting success.
Because I can assure you lasting business success takes a tremendous amount of work but if you’re clear on where you’re going it doesn’t feel like work at all.
Writing the newsletters I write…coaching the fitness entrepreneurs I work with…they don’t feel much like work at all.
Now I’m not saying that some of what you do won’t feel like work because it will.
But if you have clarity of purpose. Clarity of mission. Clarity of what success looks like to you…then you’ll be exited about what you are doing because you’ll know that it’s moving your toward where you want to go and you’ll know what sort of impact you’re having each and every day.
One more point…
You also need to get clear to what you should be doing.
For me the 3 things I should be doing…the things I’m best at and most passionate about are creating, coaching and ‘ideation.’
Creating opportunities, resources, relationships and content.
Coaching…be it fitness entrepreneurs or baseball players.
And Ideation…developing ideas or recognizing opportunities, either for my own business or for others.
And the higher percentage of my time I invest in those things and the more of the things that fall outside of those areas that I outsource to people whose strengths complement mine…the faster I move toward my Ideal Business and the happier I am.
So, in addition to getting clear about what success looks like to you and what your personal mission is…you also need to get clear about what you personally should be doing.
RULE #2: WORK
One of the biggest misconceptions about the concept of building your Ideal Business is that it doesn’t require work.
Anything worth having requires work.
But most people…even most business owners…they don’t do strategic work that will move them to their goals.
They substitute busy work…and no one ever achieved any great success by spending most of their time on busy work.
If you read this and then just sit around and reflect on what you learned without doing anything, you’ll actually lose ground and be further from your goals because you’ll have wasted your time.
We all already know things we could take strategic action on and here’s why it’s so important in the bigger picture of achieving success.
When you do strategic work you have confidence. Action breeds more action. You feel
good about yourself and your ability to achieve success.
If you want to feel unstoppable, do something that moves you toward your goals. Play to your strengths and do something specific that moves you toward the business you want. Do it and see what happens.
Measure the results.
Do it every day.
If not for the immediate results, do it for what happens in your mind when you do it because you go from thinking to doing. You’re making progress…no matter how small.
Your identity becomes someone who does and it becomes routine.
Once it becomes routine, it leads to expansion for more action. And, the only way to
achieve lasting success is constant action.
You have more potential that you can probably imagine, but unless that potential is fed by
the best beliefs, attitudes, and resources… then followed up by consistent action, it
Tony Robbins has a Success Cycle that I think is spot on:
Potential > Action > Results > Beliefs
What happens is you have this potential, and based on that, you take action.
Based on the action you take you produce results. Then, based on the results you get, this feeds your beliefs about what you think your potential is.
You can impact this cycle positively at any point.
If you feed your mind with new beliefs, you activate your potential for greater results.
When you put that potential to the test by taking new actions, you’ll get more and better
This turns into more positive beliefs and attitudes you hold about yourself and your
ability to succeed.
These new beliefs and attitudes will unleash even more of your potential, leading to
better actions, better results, and on and on. This spiral of success builds incredible momentum.
So if you start taking action, you’ll start to get results and this will feed the whole cycle.
When you take action, it gives you confidence so when you’re confronted with failure
or negativity, you can withstand it and not get derailed.
So focus on investing time in work daily that moves you toward your goals…toward your Ideal Business. Plan your day the evening prior and schedule time to work on building the business that you want.
If you can schedule time for others, then you can certainly schedule time for you.
Start doing at least a little of this work daily and you’ll create momentum that will make you virtually unstoppable.
RULE #3: EMBRACE SIMPLICITY
If you want to achieve your goals and have lasting business success, then you need to simplify things.
If you try to make things too complicated, you won’t execute them and others won’t be able to follow your plan.
In fact, if things are too complicated it leads to overwhelm and paralysis.
Sure, you need to make educated decisions…but you can’t let the burden of too much…to much information or too much on your task list…you can’t let it slow you down.
As a entrepreneur you have an advantage if you choose to use it…you are relatively lead and you can act quickly. You can move much more quickly than bigger, more bureaucratic businesses…but it’s up to you.
As a small business owner trying to affect positive change, there’s a lot going on.
You can’t have clutter.
You have a choice…you can be overwhelmed and struggle to get your massive list of things done or you can do a few things and be extraordinary at them.
Imagine an airline pilot with all the stuff he’s doing also trying to keep track of the latest
gizmo or shiny object. He’d crash the plane with all 700 people on it.
The drivers in your business are important. Everything matters. So you need to simplify.
In fact, I try to simplify business as much as I can…so here’s how I look at business in a very simplistic, 3 step way:
- Step 1 – Lead Generation
- Step 2 – Conversion
- Step 3 – Delivery
Sure – each of those are comprised of various parts, but to keep things simple you can ask yourself each day…did you generate leads? Did you sell? Did you fulfill or deliver on your promise?
If you lose focus and become distracted by overwhelm…you’re not the best version of you in any way. So simplify.
Here’s another part of simplification…and one that’s going to sound strange coming from me …
Clear out the information overload.
You can’t study a dozen different ‘experts’ in business and a dozen in training and actually execute.
Pick a couple, learn from them and apply.
The others get put on hold for a while. Ignore them. Put them into a folder…or (gasp) unsubscribe.
Focus on execution instead of simply gathering information.
Identify your mission – what success looks like to you – and come up with a plan.
Then you have to commit to that plan.
You can refine the plan or update it…or better yet – simplify it.
Then it’s time to focus on execution.
Simplicity leads to Clarity. Clarity leads to the ability to take rapid, decisive Action.
Anything else will slow or even kill your progress.
Keep it simple and take massive action.
RULE #4: BE BOLD
Most people lead average lives…because they aren’t bold.
To achieve anything extraordinary you have to be bold.
You have to be wiling to get a little uncomfortable and challenge the norms.
Back in my baseball coaching days I spent my first two seasons playing it safe, doing things the way that everyone else did them…and the results were pretty average.
But when I was willing to challenge convectional wisdom and approach things differently, that’s when we became a Championship program.
Then, to achieve success in my first business, Holly, Tyler & I lived in a basement for a year. This wasn’t in my early twenties…I was 33.
Something that most others would be unwilling to do.
A bold choice.
I could have stayed in coaching baseball…I had job offers at both the collegiate and the professional level, but while that would have been the comfortable option – it wasn’t going to get me to the success I was looking for.
And I had a few job opportunities in sales that were certainly ‘safer’ and more secure…jobs that would have been more financially rewarding at the time.
But again…that wasn’t my dream…my mission.
To do anything big, you’ve got to be bold.
Most recently, moving on from an organization I’d been building for a decade to pursue my Ideal Business and start focusing on a few things that no one else was teaching (and many thought were not possible)…helping you create your Ideal Business…again, it was bold.
But with no risk comes no reward.
And you’re going to screw things up. You’re going to make people mad. You’re going to
fail. I’ve done all three more times than I can remember.
I’ve had so many fails that it’s nothing more than a bump in the road when it happens now…it’s just part of the process.
Professionally, I look back and my first and biggest ‘fail’ was being forced to resign after a 4 year battle with a Vice President of the University where I coached.
I’d built a successful program with some really, really meager resources and being the baseball coach was my entire identity.
Resigning…or essentially being fired, was crushing. My self-esteem was at an all-time low.
But instead of playing it safe and avoiding risks…in an attempt to avoid feeling like a failure again, I took even bolder steps moving forward, recognizing that the pain associated with my first big fail was just a knockdown from which I could dust myself off from and get back up.
Oh…and 10 years later that same University held a baseball tournament named after me and also named me the University’s Distinguished Alumnus.
Failure is only a bump in the road…it’s a test to weed out the uncommitted.
It’s in the moments when you get back up that your fortune is made. That your goals are realized.
You will have challenges, struggles and failures. Just deal with it. Accept it. In fact, welcome it and know that overcoming it will separate you from those who are average.
Now, the formula that allows you to do this really goes back to the first step when we
clarified what success looks like to you.
Because when you have a mission that’s truly meaningful to you, that’s the
only thing that will pull you through all of the inevitable obstacles you’re going to
encounter along the way.
I can assure you, the rewards of being bold outweigh any benefit of playing small.
When you’re crystal clear, everything else unfolds.
You get the willingness, the drive to take action, the ability to make the right decisions
and you’re able to get past the obstacles in the way.
RULE #5: EVERYTHING MATTERS
What I mean by this is that every single choice or action are moving us closer to or further from our goals.
We’re a product of our choices.
Our businesses and our lives are reflections of the actions we did or didn’t take.
Are your clients getting the results they should be getting? If not, it’s almost always a reflection of the choices they’re making. Eating things that aren’t congruent with getting results. Too many drinks on the weekend. Not enough sleep.
The same is every bit as true with us and our goals.
Every day we have the option to plan tomorrow or to simply wake up and react to what comes our way.
Every day we choose how we’re feeding our mind…what we’re reading or learning from.
Every day we decide how we’re going to engage (or fail to engage) with the people in our lives…from our family and friends to our clients and prospects.
We decide if we’re going to take specific actions to move toward our goals or put them off until tomorrow.
In truth – we decide whether we believe success is even possible. Our self talk is often the first domino for many of the choices we’ll make.
We decide who we spend out time with…and I’ll tell you that if you spend your time with negative people…you’re going to be negative.
If you surround yourself with others who play small…so will you.
And you don’t really get to pick and choose which decisions actually matter. Which choices will be important.
You never know how you treat someone on a given day will impact you, your relationship or even your business a year down the road.
You never know when the seminar you attend or the book you read will be the one that changes everything.
I’ve seen people’s lives ruined…or even ended…by a poor choice.
I’ve seen people’s lives forever improved by a single, seemingly simple choice too.
So anyway, it’s a powerful reminder that everything little thing we choose affects us.
Sometimes we just become so numb to it, we don’t realize how powerful of an effect it’s
really having on us and how we’re moving toward or away from our goals.
Every single thing matters.
So there are The 5 Rules of Lasting Business Success:
Rule #1: Get Clear
Rule #2: Work
Rule #3: Embrace Simplicity
Rule #4: Be Bold
Rule #5: Everything Matters
They’re not tactical.
They’re not magic bullets or quick fixes.
They’re the foundation that any success you want to have can and will be built on.
Embrace them and virtually any goal you set out to achieve will ultimately be yours.
By Pat Rigsby
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