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Better Business Idea #31

Want To Change Your Results?
Change What You're Doing!

November 21, 1999

Sometimes people find themselves in a vicious cycle. They are working hard, but not getting the results they want.

Working with their understanding of how to succeed in their business, they work harder and harder, as if doing more of the same is the solution to their problems. But it's crazy to do more of the same and expect to get different results.

People may go to the "flavor of the week" business seminar. They may get excited and motivated. But they implement few, if any of the ideas they received.

They are suffering from "FTI" disease – a failure to implement.

How can you break out of this cycle?

As Steven Covey says, you must "Begin with the end in mind." Get a clear picture of what you are trying to accomplish. What role do you want your business to play in your life? How do you want your life to look in five years? A worthwhile goal is to have your business work independently of you in five years. Then you can choose whether or not to sell it. Your life should no longer revolve around the business, and your business should no longer revolve around you.

Then you can start to chart the steps to accomplish this vision.

How will you develop the self-discipline to make this happen?

You must develop a deep emotional desire to drive you to take action. You have to want it so badly that you'll overcome your own inclination to procrastinate. What are the things that you hate about your current situation? Write them down. One of them may be the loss of control of your life. Identify the "dragons" that you must defeat. One might be that you lack confidence in your ability to achieve your goals.

Also write down the benefits of accomplishing the change. What is the "carrot" that will drive you to make the change? Maybe one is to spend time with your loved ones. Another one might be to take that trip with your spouse or significant other that you've wanted to take for so long. You may want to be home when your children come home from school. To spend more time with your grandchildren. To be able to care for your parents or grandparents. To go fishing or play golf when you want to.

Carry index cards with these lists in your wallet. Paste them on your mirror to remind yourself about them when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed each night.

Take a few moments each day visualizing enjoying the benefits of accomplishing your goals. Imagine the satisfaction and confidence you will feel from achieving self-control. This should be a vivid, emotionally-charged picture. What can you include in the picture that you can "anchor into" to really drive you? It could be something as simple as enjoying eating lunch with your family, or it could be something more exotic, like climbing a Central American pyramid.

Then start taking action. Start with baby steps. Get some successes under your belt. Then layer on more and more significant steps.

You might need to hire specialized help, such as a marketing consultant, Web consultant or an organizational development consultant to help guide you in the process. Create an implementation team of champions of change.

Monitor your changes at least quarterly. Keep a success journal. Consider working with a "coach," buddy or mentor to help you keep on track.

Some of the changes that you implement may not work. Look at them as an experiment. You just found another way that didn't work. Move on to the next one.

Remember that you are the only one responsible for your own life, so you must choose to take control of it. You are or can be a leader of your organization, but you must develop the vision or direction and then take action to make your dreams a reality.

We are seeking opportunities to work with clients to help them in this process. If you would like our support in this effort, call Mike Gray at (408) 918-3161.

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Michael Gray, CPA
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