Work Harder or Smarter? Plan Your Success in 2011

If you were on a cross-country car trip from New York to Los Angeles and found yourself ‘lost in Bonkers,’ what would you do? Most likely you would stop, consult the map, and get back on the right road. In life, it’s hard to slow down when you are “maxed-out” traveling fast with a heavy load. You don’t have any extra time to stop, pull out your road map and reflect on your destination. In the race for “more and better” food, clothing, shelter, business commitments, customers and stuff, you’ll get lost, forget where you were going and often lose direction and focus.

Time management experts tell you to work harder, smarter, faster, and more efficiently and then you’ll eventually gain control of your life. By trial and error, you’ve learned this approach doesn’t work. To gain control of your life and business priorities, you must know the right direction to go and have a map or plan to get where you want to go. Speed is not an issue—only progress and balance are important.

I often hear: “There just isn’t enough of me to go around. I try to set clear goals and act in an organized manner, but things keep happening and getting in the way.” When you “max out” your business and personal commitments– physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and financial – there’s no time to live life ‘On-Purpose…On-Target.’ There’s only time to react to the stress and strain of your ever growing ‘to do’ list. The standard question you often get is “Are you busy?” In today’s “hurry up” society, “busy” means successful, important, making progress, healthy, and valuable. Do you think busy people are productive and happy?

Being busy is not my objective. Making active and balanced progress towards my life purpose is my benchmark. Being balanced does not mean being busy and doing something in every area of my life every day. It does, however, mean that I am making progress and moving towards a balanced life – being interrelated, fully integrated and entwined in all areas. A balanced life is the sum of the whole life working as a unit and rolling along smoothly towards your targets.

The World’s Formula Translation
Food                                                 Upscale or fast
+  Clothing                                          Expensive and trendy
+  Shelter                                             Big home in right neighborhood
+  Modern conveniences              Everything
+  Education                                      Expensive private college
+  Hard work                                     Overwork
+  Lots of stuff                                  Debt is normal
+  Important career                       Over committed
+  Bigger business                           Out of control
+  Involved in everything Other people’s priorities
=  Peace and happiness       Superficial power & prestige

Clear your plate! Eliminate!
As your ‘On-Purpose…On-Target’ life and business evolves, you begin to realize that more is NOT better. Less is better. Get Simple! “Stuff overload” causes too many distractions. Learn to say “Yes” to activities, commitments, and causes aligned with your priorities and purpose. Learn to just say “No!” to activities not aligned with your priorities. It’s much easier to discern what you want to do, purchase, and get involved with when you know where you are going and why.

Living life ‘On-Purpose…On-Target’ according to your priorities is a cleansing and freeing process. Right now, list some activities and things that you can eliminate from your personal and business life that hold you back, distract you, and divert you from keeping on track with your targets and goals.

Live life’s 6 F’s!
Several years ago, I went to a goals seminar to get control of my business and personal life. The following Monday morning, I got to work early and made a list of things to do. Then after a full day putting out fires, several panic phone calls, faxes, e-mails, interruptions, and an emergency conference with a job site superintendent, I hadn’t done one thing on my hot list! At 4:00 p.m. my best customer called and invited me to play golf the next morning and discuss signing a big construction contract. I didn’t have time to play golf with my best customer! I had forgotten my focus. I couldn’t even remember my priorities!

A business that works always is ‘On-Purpose’ and ‘On-Target’ according to your priorities. It gives you what you want! What will make your business ‘On-Purpose’ for you?  I want my business to always make a profit, create repeat loyal customers, be 100% run by my management team, grow my equity, create wealth, and allow me the freedom to enjoy the 6 F’s:


Do what you want!
Mike is a friend who of mine who owns a steel manufacturing company. He attended one of my Profit-Builder Circle boot camps for business owners. Afterwards, he asked if we could meet to discuss his management style. He told me he wasn’t reaching his personal goals and wanted to have more time off from work. After we discussed this goal, I asked him to be more specific. He admitted, “I would just love it if I could have at least four hours off on Sundays!”

Everyone is in a different place. But to get what you want, start by being specific about how you will balance your business and personal goals! Make a commitment and say, “I will leave the office at 5:00 p.m.” “I will not check my e-mails or voice mail from 5pm until 7 a.m.” “I will not get involved in decisions my managers or key employees are authorized to make.” “I will take a three or four day weekend off every month.” Be ruthless. Stick to your priorities and get what you want out of your business to enhance your life. Resolve every day to:

– Read and focus on your personal and business priorities.
– Make progress towards achieving your balanced life goals.
– Not postpone your life and family for business pressures.
– Live your priorities to get what you want.

Live life’s 3 R’s!
Putting your priorities first is tough. Each day of your life involves difficult demands and tradeoffs. To be ‘On-Purpose…On-Target!’ you must be ruthless about your decisions, choices, commitments and priorities.

Successful people say:         Losers Say:
“I can do that!”                                 “I could never do that!”
“I’ll do that!”                                      “I’ll try that!”
“No”                                                       “Yes” to other people’s priorities

What’s the best time to try new ideas and work different? (Hint: It’s not “ASAP.”) The best time is now! Trying new ideas and doing new and different things daily is hard to accomplish. But, forgetting old ideas and comfortable ways of acting and doing is even harder! Putting your priorities first is tough. Each day of your life involves difficult demands and trade offs. To be ‘On-Purpose…On-Target’ you must be ruthless about your decisions, choices, commitments and priorities.

Accept Responsibility!
The following responses to circumstances have become the norm in today’s society: “It’s not my fault.” “It’s just not fair.” “It’s not my job.” When business owners, entrepreneurs, and winners take on a job they get it done. Period. No excuses. No rules. No reasons why not. Need I say more?

Accept Reality!
Sitting and waiting for “it” to change is counterproductive to living ‘On-Purpose…On-Target!’ Accept your current situation as it is. You can’t change the past! However, YOU can change your future – starting now! Get on with it. Go for it. Make the best of what you’ve got and make tomorrow even better. Start making those slow but steady changes in how you manage your life. You can do it!

Accept Risk!
Most successful businesses were started by individuals with a clearly defined vision, purpose and goals. The definition of an entrepreneur is one who “assumes the risk” in a business in expectation of gaining a profit. Step up and step out in both your professional and personal life. Take a stand. Take a risk and act like an entrepreneur. Expect the best to become the best! Take that first step to get what you want. Yes, the first step is often the hardest. I encourage people in this predicament to ask: “What are you waiting for? What’s the worst that can happen?” If you never try, you’ll never achieve.

Failure Is The Key To Success!
As a youngster, my dad often took me snow skiing to the local mountains. I’ll never forget his instructions as I watched the expert skiers racing quickly down the slopes with perfect parallel turns. He’d say, “You’ll never better standing there watching and wishing you could ski like they can.” With that I would take off and swish down the mountain as fast as I could. My goal was to fall down on every run. This way I knew I was pushing it to the max. You don’t get better if you don’t fall down often. You get better and when you try new tricks and techniques. What new tricks have you tried in your business lately to make it better, to make more profit, or start hitting you long term goals?

Have you ever noticed in life successful people always get up when they fall down. And the really successful ones fall down a lot! Stay alert. Watch for opportunities. Be quick to change. Make your own luck. Always be ready and well prepared. Know where you want to go and let others know where you want to go too. Ask others how they did it. Seek advice. Stay informed. Keep improving. Stay on top of your field. And always go for it!


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