Are you setting yourself up for failure?
So you are a strong goal setter and high achiever?
You already know that by setting goals, well you can convert your dreams into reality.
You ensure you do all the right things.
You consistently look at your long term goals and break them down into shorter-term goals to move in the right direction.
You make sure that the goal is SMART. Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant and Time deadlined.
You make sure that before you set it that the goal is aligned with your life purpose (You have already got that written down right?)
You make sure you have a big WHY behind the goal as to the reasons you want to achieve it
You allocate regular time in your diary if required to do the actions
You look out for obstacles that may get in the way of the goal achievement
You promise yourself a “present” to celebrate when you achieve your goal and if you are brave a penalty if you fail
You make sure you start small, so you get positive reinforcement by making small steps in the right direction
You read relevant material or get lessons if more knowledge is required
In short, you do everything required to set yourself up correctly to achieve your goal
You start with a bang and yet a month or two later something has gone wrong – you are no longer making progress in your goal, or you have given up entirely
You start again and follow all the above steps building in what you have already learned from your failure to date, and yet one or two months later the same thing happens
- Are you useless?
- Do you simply have no will power or determination?
- Is it just current circumstance?
Have you set yourself up for failure?
If you recognise this process for many of the goals you set yourself – You have probably missed one of the biggest and most important steps to making sure you hit your goals (almost) every time
Whatever happens, this one additional step significantly increases your chances of hitting your goal.
What is the magic step?
In a word – Accountability!
Appointing a good accountability partner to help you achieve your goal is huge.
When you appoint an accountability partner, who reads your written SMART goal and independently checks your measurable results ( you have to set it up that way) the difference in results can be astonishing.
Sure your accountability partner does not judge you as everyone knows how difficult it is to achieve goals. They simply ask:
- How did you feel about your progress toward your goal this week?
- What action are you going to Start, Stop or Continue to take next week to move towards achieving your goal or Building a habit?
That’s it two questions to make all the difference in the world.
Nobody (in particular high achievers) likes to be seen as incongruent – saying one thing and doing something else. As such you will take the actions you said you would. Sure you will fall back some weeks by not doing what you said you would, but almost nobody can do that consistently.
This simple action can make a massive difference in your life. It stops you from setting yourself up for failure
I am lucky enough to own and run my own coaching company, and so I pay one of my coaches for an hour to ask me these two questions weekly.
Without a doubt the best investment I have ever made!
All my team have a 20 -30-minute weekly meeting with their Team Support Officer to help them with their goals.
Stop setting yourself up for failure
Try appointing one or more accountability partners yourself – if you are brave enough.
At Compass this accountability is built into our training program by appointing everyone an accountability buddy. You are accountable to your Buddy, and he or she is accountable to you for moving the needle on your declared goals. It works.
Enjoy the journey
A Coach for all. Your purpose identified. Live a great life benefiting others. Get Happy.
I have a purpose to help as many people as possible engage in the process of being coached.
There are many types of coaches — Fitness, Financial, Business, Motivational and even spiritual.
Overall though a coach should be about helping you find a path that works for you, heals your failings, builds you up and engages you to find your passions. It doesn’t need to be a specific type. We are all very capable of achieving so much once we find out what it is we truly want and discover how to use that passion for a greater good or purpose.
If coaching can be boiled down to its basic elements, it would include being an encourager, a guide to a better you and a lifter of spirits.
Not all will see it this way yet in essence, if you find a new desire you hadn’t explored before, and that desire is helpful to others and makes a difference, this is something that can be infinitely rewarding and beneficial.
I remember helping a young man follow his dream to be a teacher, and the hurdles were big, the subject complicated, and, as is often the case, seemed impossible or too hard to achieve at the time. He later went on the fulfil that dream, and the catalyst for his drive was the vision of what difference it would make to others rather than to himself. The fear of failure was high. The probability was against him, yet once he’d grasped the idea of the impact it could make, coupled with even if he didn’t fully achieve his dream, he would have made a big difference. He was so determined, he did, in fact, achieve his desire.
A good coach brings out the possibilities, the motivation and the ideas that may not have been obvious on the initial analysis. This can be achieved in any field and for any person.
Schools should have life coaches. Universities, homeless centres, addict charities, the health service. ALL could benefit. ALL should have access.
My passion is helping others be the best they can be. This doesn’t need to be limited to a business, it can be for anyone. The YOU, that sits inside, that is awaiting the spark and has incredible potential for positive change, is there. It may need coaxing out or releasing, but it is there.
Some have already found it and love their lives and live according to their skills, desires, passions and purpose. Do you want to join them? A good coach will help you find that power and bring it out into the open. The how to achieve will take care of itself, once you find the true desire and drive you have for the things you wish to do. Once you find your uniqueness.
Inspire, save, unlock potential, create a big impact, enrich and many other types of descriptions come to mind. A coach is for all types of people for all reasons. A coach is a coach no matter what the subject.
What businesses are going to be the best in the future?
I was asked this at a business meeting last week, and although I thought I knew an answer, the number of different answers around the table made me question if I had even really considered it at all.
I work in a paper-heavy business and we are going through scanning 30,000 large files, to walk towards being paperless. Nothing new I hear you say. The obvious conclusion from that is programmers and scanners that relate to the many businesses that are paper and file dependent will have work for the foreseeable.
Looking through the costs and set up fees for the right scanner, software, training and servicing, it is easy to think that being in one of those is going to produce work for many years to come.
Yet the salesperson still had to contribute an understanding and interpretation, enough to help me get to grips with what I was signing this new lease contract for.
Would I be setting myself up to be trapped by the software provider, what about the scanner, after I have scanned the bulk of my files?
This thought led me to realise that the information we can find online is infinite, but the interpretation of how it works with each business is another.
One Will drafter was concerned that Wills would become digital in the years ahead. I do believe that to be so. However, the content of the electronic Will, video, signature, placement, style and even exclusions, will all need to be interpreted and structured or it can’t work.
The real work in the future is guiding. Helping people make decisions, reflection of goals, interpretation of facts, extrapolation of outcomes and even moral conjecture. These are difficult to digitise. I’d even say impossible.
The emotive foreplay before a decision is best seen through the eyes of others. Sharing ideas and weighing up the outcomes are often referred to as facilitating. This is something a coach does best.
The businesses of the future that will unlikely be replaced are creativity, coaching, teaching and motivating. Sooner or later we will find much of what we do replaced by computers. I know though that I shall be struggling to work big ideas or projects without the consultancy of wisdom from others.
I know that I rely on others motivating me and that I can get motivated by encouraging others. I’m amazed that 1+1 ideas often equals three ideas. That sharing problems halves them.
We all concluded that talking, listening, extrapolation, guiding, being a moral compass and even just asking the right questions, will all be currency of the future.
How does your business stack up to this? Is it congruent with your purpose and ethical stance? Does it fit your lifetime goals as being necessary or just wanted?
Just ask yourself, does your future look brighter knowing this?
Begin with the end in mind
‘The servers down’!!!!!
It seems like it’s the perfect excuse for not working or to take stock of the jobs that can be done when its down, that you may otherwise have decided was best not started.
Begin with the end in mind may not seem an obvious Stephen Covey quote to refer to when the server goes down, yet a recent event in my office led to the discussion about, what should we do when the satellites decide to play up.
One hour or five without the internet seem rarer these days. Our conclusion on the last event though helped us realise that we were distracted enough by our computers to have many of the ‘other jobs’ start to get behind.
One major benefit of this thinking is that it allows you to think of all that is needed for a job or project to be finished. Some of us are not good at following a job all the way through to the end, but some are.
Some of us use computers well and enjoy them. Some of us don’t.
It is helpful to think of a division of jobs that need tenacious computer types and jobs that need a tenacious other type.
A recent storage issue in one of my businesses helped me define a newer approach. Heavily paper based for over 20 years, made a big scanning project a necessity. To be frank the scanning should have been done years ago, but not being as tech based as the modern world requires, I kept putting it off.
Now I’m looking at selling this business, I am forced to face the challenge, that could have been easier had I been brave enough and thought end game more.
I ran the project by my team, and after a few ‘Luddite’ comments, I agreed I should not be the one running this. So, with the end in mind, I set the goal, I gave it to my tenacious computer-based people, and they are now charging through the job faster than I’d thought they would. With more enthusiasm than I could have mustered and with a better insight into how to get the job done than I could have. The end I have in mind seems so much closer.
I love the concept of sharing goals, getting the right people doing the right jobs, getting a deadline agreed and overall, delegating things that are just not my forte.
Waiting until the server is down, to discover what you can do without these amazing things called computers is not the best strategy. The jobs that are needed to be completed to get a project finished are best split between those that can be best at doing them.
Remember the differing versions of style of skills and mindsets you have at your disposal and if “begin with the end in mind” becomes an ingrained habit, you will get there so much quicker.
I look forward to next satellite wobble and its effects.
Letting go of the past and moving on
It is never easy to let go of a secure hand or foothold but to be blunt, how can you possibly climb the wall unless you do?
It takes faith in the new foothold and belief that it will take you to a better position. Until you let go, you’ll never know.
Imagine looking at a climbing wall and seeing climbers stuck in the middle. You shout and encourage them to move on, but they stubbornly say ‘I can’t’ or ‘I won’t because I’m afraid’.
You can see the goal ahead of them, but their face is pressed against the wall, and they can’t see what you see. They will stay there until they fall off or die.
Sometimes people around them are saying the same thing, and they are stuck too! They keep each other stuck by saying, be careful, don’t let go, you may fall off! It might be worse on the next foothold. So, they feel reassured that it best to stay where they are.
Occasionally, people come from below, and pass them and ask as they pass, ‘why are you staying there?’ They can’t understand why people would play it so safe they would sacrifice the rest of their lives in order not to take a risk. Some do fall off, and it scares the ones rigidly hanging on. Some of those who fell, get back on and still climb past them. Some are never heard of again. From the perspective of the hanger on it is frightening.
The coach has climbed that wall already. The coach is at the bottom or in the middle or at the top, offering advice, encouragement, and being the positive ‘, you can do it’
Some coaches are watching from a distance so that they can see the goal, the hurdles, the best strategies and the dangers. They are like your Sat Nav in life. My Sat Nav in the car sometimes says’ Your route has been altered due to the current traffic situation’. Being stuck on the climbing wall of life is like saying to your sat nav, well I don’t care, I’m just going to carry on doing what I have always done.
It’s strange, but that is how some people live their lives. Whether that’s based on fear, laziness, apathy, contentment or even just plain stupidity, at some point, in order to move on, or climb, you need to let go. Deciding what to let go of is part of the solution. Listening to those that have been there and done it is another.
The story of the spider monkey comes to mind when I think of the amount that we give up, by just not letting go of what is holding us back.
The poor spider monkey is a beautiful creature, that is traded as a pet all over the world. They are hard to catch in the wild, without hurting them. So, us ever ingenious humans came up with a way to catch them that is based on their greed and physique.
Their hands are like clubs on the end of a very skinny arm. They love nuts as a natural part of their diet, and this is their unfortunate demise. To capture one, all you need to do is put a thin-necked sturdy bottle in a strong box and put a few nuts in it. The spider monkey can smell them and reaches in to grab some. He loves them so much, he will not let go of them, and his big hand is now too big to pull out of the bottle. He is trapped. His captor then puts a chain on him and he is no longer free. The captor breaks the bottle, because he knows the spider money will not let go.
The monkey has not only given up his freedom for the rest of his life, but it was for only a few nuts which he could have let go and still be free.
What are you holding on to? What do you need to let go of?
Who could help you identify what it is and has the wisdom to reason with you, to ally your fears?
A coach offers this and more.
Promise Keepers Rule. It is common for us to have customers that we enjoy working with as well as ones that we loathe or make our hearts sink. Your easiest way to improve this is always to be working towards duplication of the most favoured client.
You need to be focused on the type and preferred client, but also the desirability and need of a future income stream with them.
Repeat and growing business from the best type of client is the heavenly business.
So, let me ask.
What does that client look like to you?
Do you have any already?
Where could you find more of them?
What would you need to have in place to be easily referable to that type of client?
Al this relies on having a relationship. A strong and healthy one. Even if it is on the internet.
You need to ask yourself, how this can be nurtured? Do you know anyone who is doing this already?
One of the main reasons is that if you don’t, someone else will.
It is easier to court the great client and have them come on board, than it is to keep finding ‘ones that will do for now’ clients.
It is more productive, satisfying and meaningful, as well as being the only way to go to have a future business you can rely upon. The future of your relationship with your client will be exposed by your competitors as well as social media. It is the new secret weapon and is easier than you think.
Dinosaurs didn’t see what was coming but we can.
It’s amazing to think that there are many companies out there that have yet to embrace the need for a digital platform as well as a relationship built on trust and reliability.
How often are we caught out by the service providers who promise the earth, then do not deliver? Just by keeping our promises, we can shine.
We can shine by showing we care, showing appreciation and going the extra mile. This alone will keep us above the 90% that do not do it. To be blunt, it is easy to be ahead of the competition than you think.
Amazon, deliver. Fed Ex deliver. Domino’s, deliver.
They promise, and they deliver. Why? It works that’s why. It’s no good thinking, we’ll deliver our promises most of the time, and then just be mediocre at it.
Once you get known for not keeping your deadlines, your integrity becomes questionable.
The preference to refer to you is will be less than it was.
Your option for price increase becomes tougher. Your confidence is tainted, and clients start to feel unloved. It is that simple. It’s not hard to promise something and then do better. What is hard is to be unsure about what you can deliver, and then making it up as you go. It is the hardest way to run a business.
Being great is easier and a lot more fun. If you were to forecast the future of your business based on the clients you deal with now, where would you be? You can choose that destination.
The high road or the low road?
- I felt I could make more money doing (what I do) myself
- I wanted to be in control of my own time
- I did not like the way I was treated at my last company
- I had a great idea that I wanted to put into practice.
This skill of understanding how to run a business well is significantly more important than knowing how the work of the business is done.
Review your company goals – are they set around the high road or the low road?
Muhammad Ali – Inspirational thoughts
Muhammad Ali – I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.
I must admit to being very surprised when I first came across this quote. “Hated every minute of training?” and yet he still went on to become what many would regard as the greatest boxer who ever lived? He was certainly an icon who transcended his sport.
Muhammad Ali must have spent thousands of hours training to become the best at what he did. This training is a testament to his basic beliefs. If you want outstanding results in your field of endeavour you have to train long and hard.
Many business owners wonder why their business is not progressing. They believe it should be performing better. And yet they have spent very little time training as opposed to “fighting in their ring.” They seem to believe their business is completely different to all other businesses. They ignore the benefits of a great training and coaching program.
This is a misplaced point of view. Every business may indeed be different. Indeed, every athlete is different. If those athletes want to become great, the same principles of coaching apply to all athletes. In business, the same applies. Coaching will help you to develop as a person and a business owner.
How much time do you spend in the training zone?
How much time do you spend in the performance zone?
The training zone gives you help and feedback to improve your skills. In the performance zone, you have to achieve excellent results.
Nobody wants to have an operation done by a surgeon who is in training.
You want him to have trained to an excellent standard beforehand and then produce outstanding performance in your operation.
Allow yourself time to train to be the best you can be. This investment in yourself is the best investment you can make.
The results of such a change will have a huge positive impact on your life and business profitability.
If every great athlete like Muhammad Ali in the world has a coach why don’t you?
Do you know your clients? Yes, but do you really know?
We often think we know our businesses, and its true most us have a handle on the numbers and the history. However, Sir Clive Woodward, at a recent conference talked about ‘The Data’, and the story behind the data is not often a true explanation of the facts.
Get the Facts. Truly, deep down can’t get any more data Facts.
You can look at your ROFE, yet behind that could be just a handful of great profitable customers that are masking the truth behind the vacuum of profit customer. Averages help get an overview but break them down and the character of the good bad and the ugly, start to show.
Ask your team, who is a pain to deal with, and why is that so. A client may serve you better by being referred to a nearby competitor. That client may have come from them in the first place.
I remember letting a client go once, and he was horrified. He got quite angry too. So, I explained to him that my average customer spent 20 hours a month of my time and gave me £300,000 turnover a year. I explained that my profit from my average customer was £100,000. On the other hand, he gave me 30 hours work a month and only contributed to £80,000 to my turnover.
Once I had explained the ‘Facts’ to him he calmed down and realised why I was making the decision and that had he known more, he would have looked at what I offered differently.
The result with this client was that I offered to charge him an hourly rate. He declined as he knew he could go and take advantage of a competitor, without paying the fees for his time. So, we agreed to no longer work together.
Unless I had got to the bottom of his way of dealing with us and backed it up with enough comparable facts, I may have continued to be bossed around by this client. It turns out the staff loved that I had ‘let him go’ because he was the proverbial heart sinker. A double win.
Working with clients you like is always a bonus. Ones that are profitable as well make a great business.
The sweet spot of what you offer is one number crunching exercise. Looking at clients who could be ten times more profitable than your average is another.
Which of your clients have the capacity to do so much more? Fewer clients to deal with could be a new option. The numbers will reveal them.
It could be that your top clients are not top clients. It could be that your low turnover/profit clients are capable of so much more, or, would refer you to others that can. Getting to know your clients in depth is important.
By getting ALL the numbers, the decisions are so much easier.
Yes, it felt good to remove Mr Pain. It was easier than I thought because I had got the facts. Numbers never lie if you dig deep enough.
So do you know your clients well enough?
Celebrate being a procrastinator
We all do it. We don’t like to admit it. We consider it a failing and would hate to have a reputation of being a prolific procrastinator. I heard someone say, ‘ I used to procrastinate, but I keep putting it off now ‘. That’s a much better view.
However, it is ok to stand up and admit that you are. We all are to some extent. So, what is it that this seemingly poor habit creates in us and how is it best to deal with it?
When you analyse what procrastination is you start to uncover that your decision to avoid doing something, is pointing out the following three things;
- That you need more information
- That you may need to learn a new skill
- That you may need help from others to be able to move forward.
Your cautious self is struggling to decide for fear of making a bad decision. That’s natural!
You don’t know what you don’t know and the importance of the decision or action could be very far-reaching. So, first, let’s look at the need for more information.
If you can’t decide which of the two candidates for a job to make the offer to, it maybe that you need to dig a bit deeper into their character or their abilities to help you sway your decision. If you put off finding out more, you procrastinate more and the postponement of choice, could mean you lose both candidates because they get snapped up by someone else.
If you made some more enquiries or another phone call and sought more information, you can help break through the procrastination. Find out all you can.
You may need to learn some new skill or read more about the subject.
Procrastinating about going to the gym, maybe because you do not have a routine that benefits your needs and goals. Going to the gym is too easy to postpone. If you had a plan that had been taught you by a great trainer, you would be more motivated to act. Knowing that the benefits would be far greater than just muddling along with what you already know, you start to avoid procrastination because you have learnt a new skill that helps your performance.
In other words, learn about what can be improved to enhance how efficient you can become. Learn a new skill or technique that will help you avoid the procrastination.
You may need other people’s help, opinion or ideas.
Their point of view will be different to yours. They may be able to offer help, to take you forward or give you an idea you previously had not considered. Some people are so inspiring that your natural hesitation gets diminished and you become spurred on.
Others may even know other people that would be useful for guidance, counsel or just a kick up the backside. Read a book, talk to those that have faced your hesitation before too.
Procrastination is a positive thing, if you use it to develop a new skill, seek help, destroy a fear, gain a new insight or even decide not to go any further. It is a sign that you can progress if you just recognise why you are doing it.
Ask yourself why you are procrastinating. It is a great question that changes your habits and your ability to eliminate too much procrastination.
Using a very strong system of accountability built into our Giant Leap program will help you avoid procrastination and eventually build a habit that will reduce it significantly in your life helping you to achieve your goals and dreams.
- The 7 year itch
- Directions on the path
- I am curious
- Your ideas and story
- Anti – testimonial
- Key people in your company and life.
- When is losing really winning?
- Holidays vs Time out
- Eight biggest mistakes of business owners
- What is bothering you?
- Do you want a new computer?
- Are you setting yourself up for failure?
- A Coach for all.
- What businesses are going to be the best in the future?
- Begin with the end in mind
- Letting go of the past
- Promise Keepers Rule Ok!
- The high road or the low road?
- Should I put a hammer through my TV? – The power of rituals
- Muhammad Ali – Inspirational thoughts