Mindset in Business
Achieving success in business starts with your mindset.
Burn the boats
One of the keys to reaching your goals is to eliminate any escape routes. It is tempting to retreat to safety and comfort when challenges and difficulties arise. To avoid turning around and abandoning your goals, you must make going forward more compelling than going back.
When striving towards a goal, you must focus on what you want to obtain and avoid the impulse to go back to what you know and to what is comfortable. When Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez landed in Mexico, one of his first orders to his men was to burn the ships. Cortez was committed to his mission and did not want to allow himself or his men the option of going back to Spain. By removing this option, Cortez and his men were forced to focus on how they could make the mission successful.
Eliminating an escape route creates a compelling reason to focus on the goal and to keep moving forward. However, it is important to keep in mind that although Cortez had his men burn the ships, he did not have them burn the food and supplies. Cutting off an escape route to increase motivation and create the desire to press on where you might otherwise give up is totally different from throwing caution to the wind and taking undue risks. Reaching your goals still requires prudent planning and managing. All goals contain a certain degree of risk, but it isn’t necessary to create undue risk and stress by not properly planning and thus lacking the necessary tools and supplies to achieve your goal. Take risks, but don’t be careless or foolish and simply hope that everything will be okay.
Before you decide to burn your ships, make sure you have the supplies and tools necessary to achieve the goal. Something like quitting your job might sound like a good way to close the escape route, but it might also be a fast way to bankruptcy if you don’t have the resources to carry you through. Creating a savings account or having a journey job (a job that is a stepping stone to what you really want) allows you to take the risk of leaving your current job without creating undue risk.
Close off the escape routes and make sure that you have a compelling reason to move forward. However, at the same time, make sure that you plan for the risk and have the tools, supplies and resources you need to achieve your goals. You can’t eliminate risk but you can plan for it. Don’t just jump in without thinking through the process and having a solid plan for moving forward.
Do what you love.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I’m sure you were asked this question at least once when you were a youngster. When asked the question, did you have an answer at the ready, or did you need a few minutes to think about it? We all had dreams of becoming something great, like a fireman, a teacher, or a rock star, just to name a few. Well, how did you do? Maybe you never aspired to be what you set out to be or said that you would become. But then again, things change. The older we get, our tastes change, our view of the world changes, even our goals change.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned during my career path is to do something you love to do. Why is this important? I feel that if you enjoy what you make a living at, you end up being happy in more ways than one. Life itself becomes much more interesting and fun. You find yourself speaking passionately to others about your work. The experiences you have along the way become much more rewarding, and enrich your life in many ways. You meet fascinating people. I know people who have turned favorite hobbies into small businesses, and have succeeded. Sure, they may have had to sacrifice a steady paycheck for their happiness, but not one of them either turned back or gave up. Their passion carried them through to success.
While no job or business is perfect, the important thing is to enjoy it, even learn from it. If you are unhappy in your current situation, why not take steps now to change it? Somewhere out there is a job or business that is perfect for you. If you are already there, I applaud you. If not, realize that it may take some time to figure out what you really want to do, and even more time to actually get there. That’s all right! I can tell you from experience that finding and doing what you love is absolutely worth it, every step of the way. All of the research, training, and hands-on experience has made me a stronger, happier person. Feeling in charge of my own destiny…well, there just is no greater feeling.
Do what you love, and love what you do, whatever that may be. You’ll be happier for it, trust me. I promise you will never look back.
10 Tips for Effective Time Management
Have you ever thought to yourself that there aren’t enough hours in the day, or felt overwhelmed at the tasks facing you? If you have, this article can help you!
- Clarify your goals and strategy
Be very clear about your aims and ambitions, both short and long term. Write them down. Once you know what you really want to achieve (and why) it’s easier to make decisions about what needs doing, and to plan accordingly.
2. Focus on your top priorities
You’ll be more productive and profitable if you identify and focus on the areas most important to your business. Work on the fundamentals first. The Latin word ‘fundamentum’ means foundation – so take action, build strong foundations and the rest should follow.
3. Schedule time
Literally write an appointment in your work planner (you do have one of those, don’t you?) to set aside a realistic block of time for your priority actions. This reduces anxiety over not having enough time and keeps you focused.
4. Say no!
Consider Jim Rohn’s suggestion. “Learn how to say no. Don’t let your mouth overload your back.” Always check your schedule before committing to anything new. Don’t allow others to divert you from your objectives.
5. Create supportive systems
This includes systems for filing, management information and communication.
6. Take a reality check
Will your current activity have a positive outcome, or are you doing it to avoid something else? Ask yourself – will doing this take me towards my goal? As Peter F Drucker observed “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”
It’s tempting to do something yourself when you think you can do it faster and better. But consider the long term – delegation now will save time in the future, and if done appropriately can motivate your staff, boost their confidence and help them develop their skills.
8. Repeat your success
Remember the last time you went away on holiday, and how you got so much done in those few days before you left? What strategies and techniques did you employ that made you so effective and focused? Can you repeat them? Alternatively, imagine you are going away tomorrow and work through today accordingly.
9. Balance your life
Formally schedule personal activities too, so you make time for family, friends, your health and fun because having a balanced life reduces stress and increases energy levels. Time management is really about life management!
10. End the day
At the end of the working day, tidy your desk, make notes about what needs doing tomorrow and prioritise those tasks. You’ll worry less that evening and be prepared and focused the next morning