Steps To Take To Stay On Your Mission Paying Attention Mental Preparation For Success
You believe you’re on the right track. You have defined a career mission, set up goals in line with your mission, and you’ve even set up a daily priority plan. Now effective time management should kick in and simply take care of itself, right?
Not so fast! As you become more productive, you may find that you’ll be forced to make choices.Some of these choices, if made properly, will lead you to even greater heights, or if made poorly will lead you to a career disappointment.
Let’s use Ted as an example. Ted is a composite character made up of thousands of salespeople from around the country. Let’s look at Ted’s career:
Ted has recently made some big changes in his career. These changes have expanded his prospecting skills and his presentation skills – so now several things are happening to him that have never happened before. First he’s got too many customers, so he feels pulled into many directions at once. Second, he can feel himself slipping on service with his customers. He’s not returning phone calls promptly, not following up, and basically dropping the ball. Third, he’s beginning to spend more time away from home, his children are beginning to become distant, and his spouse is becoming resentful of the business!
Sound familiar? Are these challenges you’ve faced? Unfortunately, when faced with these dilemmas, many salespeople resort to something we have all done at some point in our careers. They take steps to sabotage their own success.
Consider this quote from Dr. Joyce Brothers – “We cannot consistently perform at a level inconsistent with our own self image.” Is this true of you? Many salespeople view their new found success with suspicion. Why? Because they have rarely experienced it and may have a difficult time adjusting to a new self image. So instead of embracing success many salespeople will reverse course and begin to swim back to their old lives. How do they do this?
Most salespeople don’t wake up one morning and say “Well, today I’m going to start failing!” Instead most salespeople just begin making bad decisions. These poor decisions can lead to a bad case of self sabotage and a career crash.
So you may ask yourself how can I succeed in my business but also not feel overwhelmed? How can I continue giving great service to my customers? And most important how can I stop working 80 hour weeks and still be productive?
Let’s look at these ways to Stay on your Mission:
1. Relegate/Delegate/Terminate –
When studying your daily to do list (you have one right) you may find that you just have way too many items on the list to possibly accomplish. So what can you do? Apply the simple but effective RDT method.
Relegate – First decide which of the items on the list must be done to accomplish your long term goals. These of course, are your priorities. You must relegate yourself to the fact that these items must be done and most importantly done first.
Delegate – Next when reviewing your to do list ask yourself is there anyone that could be doing these items instead of me? Can you out source it, hire it done, or could some else be doing this work? Wise salespeople attempt to delegate as much as possible.
Terminate – What is on your to do list that does not have to be done? Are there items that are nothing more than busy work? If you can’t terminate them, at least, put them on the very bottom of the list.
2. Cut the Dead Wood
As your career begins to pick up steam you may find that you cannot simply work with every customer. You may need to begin choosing your customers. How? Qualify them harder. This may seem harsh at first, after all you want to work with everyone, but in the end you will unable to work with everyone. This is one of the toughest aspects of time management: Knowing which priority takes priority. All customers are good, but the fact is some are better than others. Here is a quick way to qualify your customers:
Motivation Level – Do they really want to buy?
Timing – Are they ready to act now! Or are they stalling?
Ability – Can they close the deal?
3. Deal with Paper Once
How many times do you move one piece of paper around on your desk? Come on, it’s more than just once! We all know we should do something about the piece of paper, but we decide that for now, it will look good in a new corner until next week (or the week after). So we keep shuffling, and shuffling, and shuffling. Sometimes one piece of paper becomes two pieces of paper or more.
So what can we do about it? Use the one touch rule. Only touch paper once before you do something with it. There are three uses for every piece of paper you have on your desk – Here they are:
File It – Put it where it needs to go – Which is off your desk!
Toss it – 90% of what comes across your desk is garbage!
Deal With it – If it requires your attention do something with it!
Now when it comes to item number three let me give you a tip: Deal with paper once a day! Set aside just one time during the day to deal with paper, deal with it and move on!
4. Automate Yourself
How long does it take to make ten phone calls? Believe me it takes some time. You have to look up the phone number, dial it, wait for it to ring, and then you have to talk to someone on the other end. What’s makes it time consuming is that you if you beat around the bush awhile until you get to the topic you really called about.
So what is the solution? Force yourself to focus on the reason for your call, and in a polite, tactful way, cut to the chase. Your contact at the other end will appreciate you not wasting their time as well.
Email is another simple solution. How long does it take to email those same ten people? Not long, especially if your message is the same to each one.
Superstars learn to condition their customers to the fact that they will be communicating with them primarily by email, with a few sporadic calls mixed in. The truth is most of them will be relieved. Why? Because they don’t have the time to talk to you either!
5. Time Log
Can you remember what you did five days ago? Hey, I can’t remember what I did five hours ago! But when you are trying to improve your time management skills you must have the ability to measure your actions against your results. Within the investment world we call this the ROI or return on investment.
What is your return on investment for your time? The only way to measure this key aspect of your business, is to take periodic stock of your business. Do this with a time log. A time log is a simple notebook, in which you record all of your business activities for a week and then compare your success with your actions. If you find that your actions did not equal success then it may be time to reevaluate your time investments.
Being a spiritual teacher has continually frightened me. Not because I don’t want to do it but that I don’t feel adequate for the job. And yet, the role unwittingly is engaged by me as I seek out truths for our lives, who we are, what we’re here to do, and other such questions.
The biggest problem is that while it may be easy to tell someone what to do, we can often times recognize that doing it ourselves is not always so easy. This can be a good thing though for the teacher to experience. It permits the student the luxury of receiving compassion from a teacher who understands the difficulties that this quest will involve.
As I wondered today about some simple events leading to these thoughts, I found myself querying the lack of progress in my life in the past. What came up was, “Have I been paying attention?” I realized immediately that a significant part of the problem was that I had not been paying enough attention. For that matter, I think most of us don’t pay enough attention.
Paying attention to what? Good question to ask. I don’t think that we pay enough attention to ourselves. We’re so busy trying to do something, prepare for something, get ready for something, compete for something, to get ahead, to fit in, be a part of the crowd, wondering what other people think, that we forget to pay attention to the most important person in our life: Our own Self. How do you do that?
Oh… good question! Really good question! How do you pay attention to your own self? Well, I have noticed that when I stopped trying so hard and slowed down long enough to pay attention, I began to notice something extraordinary going on in my mind. Yes, many conversations happening within the creative mind: Interesting, conflicting, fearful, worrying, funny, fantastical conversations with two to three sides. Ever notice that? I’m sure you have.
Here’s the real kicker. When you can notice all these internal conversations that you’re having with yourself, try to notice the quiet one. There is another part of self that sits and watches all this crap going on and around “itself” inside your mind. Who do you think that quiet one is? Really? Who?
That’s the spiritual you. The one that wishes you’d stop bickering with your self, your life, and stop listening to all the crap the outside world fed you. That is the one that wants you to trust you – that quiet you – the one that knows who you are and what you are here for. Have you learned to trust that quiet one? We always seem to pay much more attention to the noisy shouters in our minds. I challenge you to pay closer attention to the real you.
Congratulations! You have decided to start your own online business! That’s great. There are many online money making opportunities that you are going to be able to take advantage of. I know how you feel right now and what you have done up to this point. You are eager to get started, you can’t wait. You have already done some research and it seems that you are pretty sure that you know which way you want to go. You have a detailed checklist that will allow you to get to a fast and organized start. You have set realistic goals that will help you focus on what you need to get done and how long will it take you. You have calculated your budget and know exactly how to spend your money to achieve the best results. That’s awesome! It seems that you have done a great deal of important preparation that will allow you to launch your business successfully.
So here you are, looking straight ahead at a long road that awaits you. Your e-engine is ready, just needs you to punch the gas. You are ready to put it in first gear and start your first day of work right away. You check your gauges, everything seems to be in place, you are ready, it’s an exiting time! You know it’s going to be a heck of a ride! Here you stand, as the countdown begins…
Ready? Set! STOP!
“What happened? I saw the green light “-you must be asking yourself right now-“I checked my gauges and everything seemed to be in place. I did very good planning and preparing to get off to a good start”. Yes, you did great preparing yourself to start off right, and that is a very good thing, you should be proud. All the planning you did not only means that you have your head in the right place, but also that you are building a good foundation for what you hope will become a successful business. Planning for success demands something more, though. Let’s find out.
Let us go back to the very beginning, the time when you first decided that you wanted to start your own business on the Internet. Look back and try to remember when the thought first came to your mind. Can you remember what triggered it? Was it the need for a source of extra income? The desire for a career changing opportunity? Did you want the freedom and control of having your own business? Remember? Good! Keep that thought in your mind, go get a pen and paper and write it down. Keep this paper handy. Look at it everyday as a reminder of the reason why your efforts are not worthless. This action will be the first step that you will take to mentally prepare yourself for success.
“Mentally prepare myself? Is that what this is all about?” You are probably a little lost and confused at this moment. Don’t be. Mentally preparing yourself is not only one of the very important first steps of laying down the foundation to your business, it could mean the difference between the success or failure of it. Yes, it’s that important. Think about it. A lot of businesses that begin the right way and execute the right strategies still end up failing or disappearing, specially on the Internet, with so much competition surrounding them. A lot of factors could have come into play for these sad results, and one of them could have definitely been the mental strength and preparation of those that were in command. How so? Most of them probably weren’t ready for the roadblocks that came their way, simply because the thought more about clear skies and smooth sailing than about stormy weather. They had probably planned to have everything in place for the good times, but when the unexpected bad times came, the ship sinked. Mental preparation plays an important factor in this case. With this in mind, let’s continue analyzing the steps that follow to have the right mental strategies that could help drive your business straight to the top.
To recap, you have already completed step number one: Having clear in your mind the reason why you started your business, and writing down on paper to remember on a continuous basis. This factor will be your drive, your motivation, your rocket fuel. Remember to keep it handy, both on and off your mind, because there will be times you will need to remember the reason why you really started your business and how far you have gotten since you decided to do so. It will help you overcome many difficulties along the way that could have the ability to make you want to give up.
Now, step two: Visualization. Yes, you must visualize yourself running your business all the way to your desired level of success, battling the bad storms that might arise, and never, ever giving up, not even when the very future of your business seems uncertain. You must visualize yourself succeeding, overcoming the bad, taking advantage of the good. Close your eyes and really see yourself getting filled with joy and a great feeling of accomplishment after you have achieved one of your greatest goals. Savour in your mind the great feeling and sense of fulfillment this gives you. Now, with eyes wide open, get right to work, one step at a time. Believe it or not, many professional athletes have been known to use this method right before they have accomplished their greatest performances, and it has be scientifically proven that visualizing your tasks will help you perform them better.
Here we go with step number three, you have probably heard this one before: Mind over body. Trust me, this is an important one, specially for us Internet Business owners. Why? Usually we work on our business from the comfort of home, and the comforts of home can really play a good part in getting us distracted and off track. I remember when I used to get home from my regular job after a ten hour shift, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of the computer and work on my business for another three to five hours a night. I had to push myself, I had to push my body and make sure I spent the limited time I had achieving productive results out of the tasks I was performing. Some times it was really difficult, specially when my body just wanted a nice hot shower, and plenty of hours of replenishment. Most of the times I won the battles. My success over my own “weaknesses” played a huge role in the overall success of my business. Don’t let your body take command over you, know exactly what your daily goals are and don’t go to bed without having reached them.
For my fourth and final step in mental preparation, I would like to quote Roger Crawford:
“Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional”
Wise words that you could very well apply to your business moto for success. Face it, you will have set backs, problems, issues and circumstances where giving up could seem like the only option. You will have challenges. As Roger Crawford said and applied to every aspect of our lives, being challenged on a daily basis by difficult situations is out of our hands. It will happen! How we react to these issues and what measures we take to solve them really determines the outcome of the situation. It is up to YOU to succeed, no matter what, it is up to YOU to make it happen, to break the barriers and keep running all the way to the end, to your final destination, your ultimate goal.
You now know how to start mentally preparing yourself for success, starting with a good foundation and staying strong all throughout your quest. Congratulations! Your checklist looks more complete now. Looking at that long road ahead, once again, you know. It is time to punch the gas, to begin your career, to start climbing all the way to the top. I know. You can’t wait. Neither can I. Good luck to you, and your quest for an online business that will flourish tremendously..
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