He’s no one hit wonder

 

Ben, it’s great to hear you enjoyed the holiday. Welcome back.

 

“Thanks, Charlie, I did enjoy the time away from the factory, I took the opportunity to do a lot of thinking …”

Holidays are good for thinking Ben, have another biscuit with the tea … what do we need to discuss?

Ok, I’m thinking of offering our tailor made line online, you know, the additional income stream you talked about? Networking is great although I’m not getting a lot of ‘hits’ with my engagement – any reason why do you think?”

Hits Ben? The online store is a great idea …

The efforts you put into your business, your people and your network are a progressive development of the ‘reliable, dependable, Ben.’ It’s about you becoming the person your contacts can rely on, not only for the so-called ‘hits’ but for direction, advice and support.

Sure, you will find and always welcome the odd single order for your fine, bespoke footwear although is that the end game here?

What do you mean? Of course, I want orders, that’s what I’m networking for isn’t it?”

Ben, anyone can buy a pair of shoes that suit the budget, we get free financial advice, accountancy solutions or websites in a box, logos for not much more than a fiver, it’s all ‘out there’ Ben.

The meaningful partnerships in business surpass all of the above. The reason those ‘in the know’ are networking is the fact that the road to fruition is that much shorter with the help of our colleagues. Even if your network is the slow-burn, the odd order here, the single referral there … think about what you are cultivating Ben.

Your scope of contacts – even over a short time networking while developing the relationships and trust is enormous. Think of the connections others have and who they are able to refer you to given the relationship. Never underestimate leverage. Think also of the advice and support, the range of services at your fingertips for the sake of caring about others a couple of hours per week.

It’s not about the ‘hits’ Ben, it’s about your leverage and quality of connections, who knows you and who may then introduce you to others.

Have faith Ben, you are no ‘one hit wonder.’

So, what else did you do on holiday apart from thinking about work?

What’s the plan?

Ok, here’s the plan. It’s Monday morning and Ben was feeling just a little apprehensive with this first day of being officially ‘unemployed.’

Now I don’t know about but first thing in the morning tea needs to make an appearance before I’m ready to go. My colleague was no different, we chatted and I soon had his ear … after all he had asked for my help.

‘Here’s a routine for you Ben.’

The face dropped …

‘Routine? I’ve just left a routine after 15 years Charlie, and I’m not looking for anything similar just yet.’

‘Trust me now Ben, here, take a biscuit … before we start the day, take a look:’

Decide...

Know what you will be doing before your day begins. This will be your plan. Without it, you’re just making things up as you go along.

Prepare…

Know where you need to be and what you need to have with you to execute the plan. For instance, if your plan is to follow up the old contact list, you need to be organised, you shall probably need the names, the numbers, a reliable phone and a notebook.

Show Up…

Be ready, get yourself to wherever your plan says you need to be – on time and ready.

Do the Work…

Execute the plan. You’ve made a decision, so now is not the time to question motives or skip the steps. Show up. Do the work.

Repeat…

You will soon get the idea. We’re back to the top of the plan with ‘Decide’ again. Tomorrow’s day plan will probably be slightly different but, let’s look at it this way…

Look at how professional athletes work Ben, they work on all aspects of their game to achieve success. Like us their own goals may not change, the larger plan is constant with the daily plan looking a bit different. It’s the routine, the willingness to decide again and tackle what’s on tomorrow’s plan.

Nice and easy, keep it simple. Keep showing up and repeat the process, put the work in and understand that of course it’s not about the goal, it’s the journey isn’t it?

The one golden nugget

What do you get reading about elite performers … about their drive, their discipline? It’s different feelings for each of us as we hear how others set out to achieve ‘best in their field’ status – learning more about themselves as they work at reaching those goals.

It’s great to hear of their dedication, their trials and the lessons in pursuit of accomplishments. Understanding how they’ve failed, they’ve developed.

It’s personal, that’s what is in it for me. That’s the ‘motivational nugget,’ the personal message.

I was walking off a beach the other evening and bumped into a local triathlete, it was around 7pm and ‘Bea’ having been in the water for the past hour, was off to bed. We had a little banter about ‘staying the distance’ and the sometimes obsession that the elite athletes have with gain, with beating the clock and the physical peak that seems to make up most of the cause.
As impressive as all the athletes are, behind each is a story. With Bea she talks about lots of stuff, including the toll her sport takes on her now 27-year-old body. She trains up to 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. It’s a level of physical dedication most of us find hard to fathom.
Just as Bea was making her way home for a well-earned rest, she hinted:

“People don’t realise how mental it is. As much as I pursue my passion, I feel like I have a really, really, good workout, just once a month.”

Bea loves the sport, amongst the dozen or so locals she trains with she will be the senior member of the group although she ‘hangs in there.’
But in the course of 6-hour workouts, 5 days a week, over an entire month, Bea only credits herself with having one good workout.
Bea makes a point of saying she is a perfectionist, that her own high standards are why she feels as though she only has one good workout a month. The rest let her down. … let… her… down?!
While her pursuit of perfection are admirable, she also certainly has a large margin of forgiveness. How else could she show up so often and put in that many hours on the understanding that most of what she does is not really any good.
I had to disagree with Bea on something though – I think most of us DO realise that routine and pursuit of goals is a mental challenge. It’s the harder part.I simply think we don’t know how to manage the mental aspects of our efforts with consistency and confidence.I think we’re conditioned to believe that every workout should be good, the best.
We tend to beat ourselves up if we don’t perform at peak, skip an hour or miss a particular circuit routine and we’ve failed.

The good news is, our own efforts rarely need to be as finely tuned as our triathlete. Our success is not dependent on such a high level of perfection. In fact, our ideas of perfection are merely perceptions that evolve with increased experience and competence. As we develop, we expect more.
One advantage (just one?) most ‘dedicated’ athletes have over us, is that in most cases someone has gone before them. There are rules, expectations, and often, established paths that when followed, aid in their growth. Of course there are no guarantees in the results they may be looking for but by following the plan, they’re well on their way to measurable results.
You and I though, not quite such the ‘elite athlete’ perhaps as we juggle our own daily challenges, find it difficult at times to choose who to listen to or what system to use. We’re distracted by every new idea under the sun, thinking there must be an easier way. We want to hear of the new trick to get us more sales or a better app to help us be more organized. We try a new social media platform believing it will magically change our business, and if we don’t try it, we will surely fail.

Lets just keep … it … simple.

Like I said, I love individual stories. The personal draws me in.
There are patterns everywhere if you look for them. The patterns tell their own story and interestingly enough, they reveal the easier path almost every time.
Here is a great ‘routine’ given to me by a friend … see what you think:

Decide – Know what you will be doing before your day begins. This will be your plan. Without it, you’re just making things up.

Prepare – Know where you need to be and what you need to have with you to execute the plan. If your plan is to make 50 sales calls, you gotta get organised, probably need 50 names, 50 numbers, a phone, and a notebook.

Show Up – Get yourself to wherever the plan says you need to be, on time and ready.

Do the Work – Do whatever the plan said to do. You’ve made a decision, now is not the time to question the plan or skip the steps. Show up. Do the work.

Repeat – You get the idea. Decide again. Tomorrow’s plan will probably be a bit different. Athletes work on all aspects of their game to achieve success. The goals may not change. The larger plan is constant. The daily plan may look a bit different. It’s time to decide again what’s on tomorrow’s plan.

OK, so you missed a day? Something happened to derail the plan? You only made about half the calls?
That’s no problem, because you’re not done. You didn’t mess it all up, it’s part of the plan …
Keep it simple. Start at Decide and go at it again tomorrow.
Let’s stop making it harder than it needs to be. Let’s stop winding ourselves up about this new app or that new method.

Find your ‘motivational nugget’ and let’s stop allowing a bad day to spoil the whole effort.

You don’t need to be perfect. In fact, you probably won’t be. Keep showing up, doing the work and understand that of course it’s not about the goal – it’s the journey on the way to that one golden nugget.