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Stop Looking for that One thing That Will Make You Successful! The Truth About Achieving Greatness in Life and Business

There’s a reason why many people in life and business aren’t disciplined or consistent at what they do.

In many ways, society has trained us to want instant results. We have gotten really good at commoditizing the outcomes that we desire. Want coffee? Just wait in line at Starbucks for five minutes. Did you tear a hole in your shirt? Go buy a new one at Target today. The results we are seeking are easy to come by; these days we can get what we want with relative ease.

But this isn’t true when it comes to success. You can’t buy it, and it will never be instantaneous. Success requires consistent practice… the day-in-day-out grind. There will be aches in your back, and the early mornings and late days where you have to go at it alone. It’s going to be hard.

Hand drawing image of businessman. Business challenge

The effort that it requires is not as sexy as the flashy promises that people sell.

In a desire to commoditize success, “Tips and tricks” marketers would have you believe that the price for obtaining success is small and that you can get perfect results right away. “If you just buy this platform, or use this clever phrase, people will flock to your services,” this boisterous crowd claims.

These claims turn heads because people are looking for a magic formula. They are all too eager to be able to hit a game-changing home run without the hard work that comes with it. These business owners know that if the promise of instant success was true then everyone would be doing it, but they figure that this time will be different for them. They succumb to the illusion that they can easily achieve the success that they have always dreamed of.

These contractors are avoiding the real secret. I’m going to share it with you in hopes that it will empower you. Keep reading below for the real tips and tricks about success.

 

My Own Personal Journey

For the last 2.5 years, I’ve dedicated nearly every ounce of my physical energy to powerlifting. My aspiration has been to push myself to my limits—past the boundaries of the impossible—to accomplish the limits of what my body is truly capable of.

My lifting schedule has been very strict. I lift for five days every week regardless of how tired I am and take two rest days in between. I always make sure that I do each of my major lifts (bench, squat, and deadlift) twice a week.

Two weeks ago it was different. Life had caught up to me in unexpected ways and my depression had gotten the best of me. I didn’t work out at all that week and eating was a slog. Instead, I preferred to stay in bed and ruminate about the way that I wished things could be. Each day I tried to find the motivation inside of myself to get to the gym because not going was an anomaly and I was determined to put it behind me.

I made it back to the gym like I always do-- Last week I showed up and attacked my training with the same intensity and fervor that is normal for me. But damn, my body was just not having it. The joints in my knees were aching, and the amount that I was able to lift was significantly lower than usual. Every squat felt like a chore, and as my legs compressed with each rep my back would struggle to support the weight of the bar.

How could this be? I had only taken one week off. Had I lost all of my progress in just seven days?

I’m open to the idea that I’m being too hard on myself, but I think that there’s a valuable lesson to be learned: in the week that I took off, I started to train my body in the direction of a new habit. I was consistent at not doing the same routine with my body, so my body got consistent at not working out.

High angle view of male athlete exercising with dumbbells on weight bench

So here are the real hard truths about success—the real tips and tricks (these are just some of them), they aren’t comprehensive:

 

  1. You get consistent at what you practice— We are always getting consistent at something; it’s impossible to stay in the same place. We can get consistent at doing things bad, mediocre, or with true intentions. It’s important to be mindful of how you are doing things. By observing the course that you are on you can be mindful of the impact that your practice is having and adjust accordingly.

 

  1. Consistency builds habits, desirable habits build success— So much of our lives coalesce around routines. These routines are the culmination of good and bad habits that we’ve built over time. The things that you are doing today, if practiced over time will become a habit. Are you learning to be detailed in your cleaning and striving to do a little bit more at each job to make sure that your customer is happy? This will become a habit.

 

  1. There isn’t any shortcut for success— Success can only be achieved through continual development. It’s a constant journey that requires struggle and growth as a business owner. The journey refines you and offers insight and opportunities on how to grow each day. There are no shortcuts because shortcuts would make real growth impossible. Appreciate the fact that success takes work, and continue to invest in it daily.

 

  1. It’s the small things that matter— Tucking in your shirt for each visit, showing up on time, taking the extra five minutes to talk to a customer—these are the actions that add up over time. We are often so focused on the larger picture that we miss the journey. The small steps along the way are where you have the opportunity to truly make an impact. All of your small initiatives will compound over time and you will look back on having achieved something truly remarkable in your business.

 

  1. Success is never completely the result of luck— We all have obstacles we have to overcome, and we are all dealt different hands in life. In business, this can manifest itself in different ways. Maybe you are shy and have a hard time talking to customers, or you could have a hard time staying organized and showing up on time. Whatever it is, we all have to struggle to overcome some sort of difficulty. Luck will only intercede and favor us when we are at work doing our best.

 

  1. The same reoccurring themes will continue to challenge you—Do you notice yourself continuing to make the same mistakes? You’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for life to make us painfully aware of our weaknesses. Each time we are reminded of something that we aren’t good at is a fresh opportunity to rise to the occasion and practice. We will repeatedly encounter these challenges until we prove that we have mastered them. If you find yourself continuing to make the same mistakes at your job, lean into the mistake until you have mastered it.

Defining Business Success

You can never have a successful business by applying tips and tricks in an effort to get quick results. True success in business can only ever be a result of consistency.

Let’s take a step back and shed some further light on this:

Business= An organization that provides value at scale

Success= Consistent habits of excellence that scale over time

A Successful Business= An organization that consistently applies excellence to provide value at scale

In order for a process to scale it has to be replicable. In order for something to provide value, it has to be worth something to others.

If you have a service that is worth something to others you can have a business. If you continue to repeat this process and practice consistency, over time you'll have a successful business.  If you learn and grow from your mistakes and are continually trying to improve, you’ll have a profitable business.Success, it depends on you Hand writing with black marker on transparent wipe board-1

Key Takeaways

You may not know it, but a silent movement is occurring. Every day a greater number of people are standing up and telling their doubts, fears, and bad habits that they won’t win. You can join these brave individuals and push back against mediocrity, but the cost of admission is steep. You’ll have to bring grit and determination.

It’s a journey. Sometimes you will have to play games with your mind and tell the doubts inside of your head that everything is going to be okay.

The next time that somebody tries to provide a quick antidote to a problem you are facing, remember that nothing is quick. Their solution might be useful, but nothing can take the place of paying the debt that long-term consistency requires.

On a personal level, I know that my journey at the gym is not going to get any easier. There will be countless days that my back is sore and that I have no desire to have my legs feel like rubber. But I’m going to keep pushing. I want to be part of the invisible movement. I hope that you do the same with your business. See you at the top!

 

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this article are mine alone. I don't believe that hard work alone is always enough to overcome any challenging situation. The systems that we are a part of can have a heavy influence on outcomes.  I think that we are at our best when we work within our current constraints to strategically maximize our position, whatever that may be. As one of my mentors says "Think outside the box, work within the box, change the box as much as possible."

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