Are You Embracing The Four Words That Define Your Success?


You’re in business – hurrah!

You want to be successful – double hurrah!

But what’s it going to take and how are you going to get there?

Well there are endless gurus, books, podcasts, webcasts, videos, webinars… In summary the whole world and his dog are desperate to offer you their take on the secret sauce that will help you achieve success.

But in the end all the advice in the world will boil down to 4 main factors – namely

  1. Clarity
  2. Planning
  3. Focus
  4. Action.

Get those sorted and you will have a framework around which the rest can fall into place.

The top 3 in the list are all inter-related and really merit a decent amount of your attention. Paying lip-service here just won’t cut it.

Action is obviously hugely important but without goals and planning coming from clarity, chances are you will waste huge amounts of time and energy and even opportunities, and never get to where you hoped you would be.

Define your goals

So – firstly you need to set some time aside and decide what the long-term goals are for your business (these may be the ones you wish to achieve over the next year, or maybe just over a few months). Secondly identify the short-term projects or ventures required to support them.

Write them down, those goals of yours. That will make all the difference between achieving them and not.

Business goals are often financial. And that’s useful because it’s easy to see clearly whether you have achieved them – or not. But be careful as to how you define them. Be specific. Are you talking about turnover or profit? And over what timescale? …

Identify what drives you

Some will say it’s not about the money, but very often, that’s exactly what it’s about.

That’s because those wanting to be able to spend more time with their family, for example, usually need to be making more money in less time to ensure this happens. Or maybe you’d like to be able to provide a service to those who really can’t afford to pay. You can’t do that unless you earn enough from fee-paying clients to cover the basics.

1.  Get clarity

And clarity?

That comes from having your business goals clearly defined.

Clarity gives you your direction. But there’s more to it than that. What’s your reason for doing what you do? Often there will be something that drives you that you don’t necessarily want to advertise to your prospects and customers, such as a deep desire to provide adequately for children or wider family.

But you will also have a reason for doing what you do that’s around helping people.

This drives you in your day to day actions and attitudes. In the corporate world we have mission and vision statements. We don’t need those, but we do need to remind ourselves of why we do what we do. What do we passionately want to achieve through our business endeavours? This will come shining through in how we interact and deal with people every day and also in our business communications. It will also remind you of your goals and why you need to stick to them , so very useful when you are wavering or dithering or have a decision to make,

2.  Set a timescale for delivery

Then don’t forget to add in deadlines.

Without deadlines and timescales, attached to your goals, the plans and actions that stack behind them will be a lot less effective than they might otherwise be. Make sure you schedule in the actions required to achieve your goals. Don’t just leave it to luck or chance that the tasks that are vital to your success get done.

You know how you wouldn’t let a piece of work for a customer run over-schedule? Well, if you’re equally fierce with yourself over deadlines around actions to meet your goals, then you will go places – fast.

3.  Avoid distraction

Once you have clarity and direction, remember to ask yourself regularly the question that Entrepreneur’s Circle founder Nigel Botterill recommends –

“Is what I’m doing right now, this minute, helping move my business towards where I want it to be?”.

If you have strayed off course, even for half an hour, this will get you right back on track.

Alternatively, if you choose to stay doing a less than “A-list task”, this question will allow you to acknowledge you’re wasting an opportunity to move your business on.

4.  Take action and monitor your direction

Regularly monitor how you are doing with respect to your goals and plans so you can choose to change course if required.

When you have clarity about where you’re going it’s then very easy, when you meet a new opportunity, to decide whether or not it’s for you. You’ll be able to see whether it aligns with where you’re headed or not.

In summary:

  1. Define your goals
  2. Write your plans
  3. Focus on achieving them within a certain time
  4. Don’t let yourself get distracted by the fluffy stuff that looks great …. But ultimately is a distraction.

Do this and you’ll be so far in front – the rest of your sector won’t see you for dust!

micro business actionToday’s Micro Action

Write down Nigel’s question and pin it somewhere near your workspace. Here it is again…

“Is what I’m doing right now, this minute, helping move my business towards where I want it to be?”.

Make it a habit to check in periodically during your working day to assess if you’re on track. If not, change your focus.