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Failure is not an option
Small Business Opportunities And The Tens
You may find this Newsletter a little long winded but it's for a good cause: It's all designed for Your Success!
One of my favorite quotes is by Alfred d'Souza. It goes like this:
"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin, real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life." - Alfred d'Souza
What I love about the above quote is that it has a very strong yet well hidden message in it.
Let me attempt to have you get it!
Any business that belongs to you is better than any job where all you end up doing is making someone else's dreams come true at your expense.
However, where most people fail in business, as in Life, is when they find themselves waiting for their issues to get handled before ever even starting on their own road toward their very own dreams and aspirations.
You see; most people fail in business because they never get started in the first place. "there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first"
Hence they shut down their project prematurely, somehow justifying the act because of some circumstance that was in the way (not enough money, experience etc.) Yet, they fail to realize that this wasn't something new in their lives.
They get sucked in to the drift of being human. They give up! They abandon ship!
Most small business opportunities start-up as solutions driven projects, backed by much enthusiasm. Yet they end up as "just another string" of events and small bursts of activities (brilliantly executed with much success I might add) ending by making yet another "almost successful entrepreneur" right about his or her failure.
I have been working closely with YOU for many years now and this, I have discovered to be true.
The real challenge with small business opportunities as opposed to big business opportunities is that; with a small business, less is at stake making it easy to give up.
Big business means higher stakes. You can't walk away for big business the way you can from small businesses. There simply is no option to walk away...
Herein lies one of the best kept secrets in business (there are many others but this is one of my favorites. I call it the "NO BACK DOOR" approach. It requires a unique commitment to keeping your word. It also requires a further commitment to keeping that commitment of keeping your word.
Once your commitment is in place, all you need to succeed is to commit to it "NO MATTER WHAT". Success is inevitable inside this kind of commitment. Failure (the back door in this case) is just not an option. You are doomed to honor your WORD as YOUR SELF and you give your word to yourself.
"Yeah right", you say!
At least, I believe it to be one of the most profound truths about business... and success in Life for that matter.
So how does one apply a truth such as this in real Life?
First, there must exist "thinking" (and I mean original thought), not all this nonsense that you and I call thinking.
I refered, in an earlier Newsletter, to that "little voice" we listen to while we shower in the morning. The joke is that we believe these (automatic) thoughts to be thinking.
Sorry guys and girls! These are just thoughts. Quite different from thinking! Yours and my automaticity is our worst enemy as entrepreneurs. We must find a way to break the drift (of these thoughts) and replace it with a new kind of thinking. The kind of thinking that wasn't going to happen anyway. Therein lies, I believe, many more ideas and secret keys to lead you to whatever level of success you desire.
At this point, I'd like to share some guidance, some fundamental laws of business that if you put a little heart and lots of thinking into them, you will find yourself supercharged for success.
Small Business Opportunities are everywhere to be found. Whatever business opportunities attract you, remember to apply some golden rules. I must thank Quincy Scarborough for his great insights into the following passages.
Here are a few:
==>TEN RULES FOR SUCCESS IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM
Expect Volatility - We are witnessing an exponential increase in the velocity, complexity, and unpredictability of change. This increase creates a hyper-competitive international environment that bears little resemblance to the one that existed even five years ago.
Invent New Rules - Invent your own and make others follow you! Competitive advantages and profits will belong to innovators who transcend the existing parameters of competition.
Innovate or Die - Develop conscious strategies and mechanisms to promote consistent innovation. Resting on your laurels is simply not an option: winners are innovating and surpassing themselves constantly.
Break Barriers - 21st Century companies must dismantle the internal barriers that so often separate people, departments and disciplines. The boundaries between firms and their outside suppliers, customers and sometimes even competitors are also under severe pressure.
Be Fast - Implementation is everything and it better be fast. These days it's far better to be 80 percent right and quick than 100 percent and three months late.
Think Like an Entrepreneur - The days of depending on corporate size and reputation to drop opportunities in your lap are over. Entrepreneurs go out and make things happen and allow themselves to fail and improve because of it.
Think Global - The fastest growing markets in the world today are outside North America. Companies can and do now shop in a single global supermarket for just about everything.
Keep Learning - At the end of the day, the only truly sustainable competitive advantage will be your ability to learn faster and better than your competitors, and to turn that learning into new products, services and technologies before your competitors can imitate your last innovation.
Measure Performance Differently - Concentrate on key strategic and profitability drivers, ones that reveal the underlying dynamics of your business, focus your energy on what really drives the future success of your business.
Be Nice - The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and hands and then work outward from there. If we improve ourselves by doing good for others, we build a solid bridge for success in the 21st century.
==>TEN LAWS OF FOCUS
Your Focus Needs to be Simple and Clear - Think transparent. What you are aiming for should be obvious. Ambiguity has no place in your success
Your Focus Needs to be Memorable - Your mind should be stimulated by the smallest of coincidences, even if you are not thinking about your goals at the time.
Your Focus Needs to be Powerful - Power comes from clarity. The clearer you are about what you want, the more personal power you develop and the more energized you are to achieve it.
Your Focus Needs an Enemy -At each moment you are moving either toward or away from your goals. In addition to your desires, the things that move you away such as bad habits, competition, or the threat of mediocrity are the enemies you need in order to keep you motivated to do right or better.
Your Focus Needs Short and Long Term Objectives - Long-term focus and planning is more about understanding the consequences and impact of short-term focus and decisions than about long term decisions themselves. You need a healthy respect and understanding of the two.
Your Focus Will Not Appeal to Everybody - Successful is different to each individual. Don't be surprised if you receive resistance to your goals. Better yet, expect it!
Your Focus Will Not Be Instantly Successful - Life is a process, not an event. Maintain reasonable expectations. Rome wasn't built in a day, and they were using local talent.
Your Focus is Not a Product - The hand can not touch your focus, only your heart. Concentrate on the benefits received, the feeling enjoyed. That's what matters most!
Your Focus Does Not Come Without a Price - Success requires many things. Sacrifice is one of them. Be prepared do what you have to do to achieve your goals.
Your Focus is Not Forever - Everything changes. There is a shelf life, even to your goals.
==>TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOAL SETTING
Thou Shall Be Decisive - Success is a choice. You must decide what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it. No one else can, will, or should do that for you
Thou Shall Stay Focused - A close relative to being decisive, but your ability to sustain your focus from beginning to end determines the timing and condition of your outcomes.
Thou Shall Welcome Failure - The fundamental question is not whether you should accept failure. You have no choice but to expect it as a temporary condition on the pathway of progress. Rather, the question is how to anticipate failure and redirect resources to grow from the experience.
Thou Shall Write Down Thy Goals - Your mind while blessed with permanent memory is cursed with lousy recall. People forget things. Avoid the temptation of being cute; Write down your goals.
Thou Shall Plan Thoroughly - Planning saves 10 to 1 in execution. Proper planning prevents poor performance.
Thou Shall Involve Others - Nobody goes through life alone. Establish your own "Personal Board of Directors", people whose wisdom, knowledge and character you respect to help you achieve your goals.
Thou Shall Take Massive Action - Success is not a spectator sport - achievement demands action. You cannot expect to arrive at success without having made the trip.
Thou Shall Reward Thyself - Rewards work! Think of what you will give yourself as a result of your hard work, focus and persistence - you deserve it!
Thou Shall Inspect What Thou Expect - The Shelf life of all plans is limited. No plan holds up against opposition. Everything changes. Therefore inspect frequently and closely, it's an insurance policy on your success.
Thou Shall Maintain Personal Integrity - Maintain your commitment to your commitment. Set your goals, promise yourself that you will achieve them. Eliminate wiggle room and excuses. That's personal integrity!
==>TEN STEPS TO ACHIEVING ANY GOAL
Write It Down - Goals are specific, measurable, and time-bounded. Write your goals so that they reflect all three components.
List Your Personal Benefits - Identify exactly "Why" you want to achieve this goal. List all the ways you will you benefit personally.
Analyze Your Current Position - Success is information dependent. You need integrity in your information. Identify exactly your specific strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities as it relates to achieving this goal.
Identify Obstacles and Risks - List everything that could possibly prevent you from achieving this goal.
Identify Investments and Sacrifices - List everything, including time, money, and sacrifices that you can anticipate.
Knowledge Requirements - Identify what additional knowledge you need to acquire or have access to.
Support Team - List the people, groups, and organizations you may need help from as well as the specific role each one plays.
Develop Your Plan - List in chronological order each activity and their corresponding target dates for completion. Use all the information gathered in previous steps to develop your plan.
Set a Deadline - Determine on what date you will achieve this goal
Reward and Celebrate - Identify your reward for the achievement of this goal. You deserve it!
==>TEN MYTHS & REALITIES OF GOAL-SETTING
Goal Setting is Not That Important. Reality: Success Requires Goals - End of Story! A life of meaning needs goals and specific plans to achieve them. Success does not happen by accident.
Goal Setting is Difficult and Takes Too Much Time. Reality: Performance is accelerated by time invested in strategy. The game of life is won behind the scenes, in time spent on preparation.
New Years is the Best Time To Set Goals. Reality: There's no better time than now to take control of your life. Goal Setting is not about timing it's about decision. This life is not a dress rehearsal; it's the only one you've got.
Goals Don't Need To Be Written. You Can Keep Them In Your Head. Reality: Written goals clarify thinking, objectify their potential, and reinforce commitment. The palest ink is better than the strongest memory. Your mind can only take in new information at the expense of losing old.
Long-Term Planning Is A Waste of Time. Reality: Your Future deserves consideration. It will someday be your present reality. It's worth considering seriously.
A Good Plan Is All You Need To Be Successful. Reality: Success is active, not passive. All plans require action. Preparation is no Substitute for action. Commit to the philosophy of implement now - perfect later.
The Best Way To Achieve a Goal Is To Just Begin. Reality: Action without planning is the root cause of most failure Success is a choice. With a plan to lead you, you can figure out how to get where you are going.
All It Takes is Hard Work To Achieve Your Goals. Reality: Hard work is important, but working smart is mandatory. Quit trying harder, look for new solutions, and you will accomplish far more in far less time with only a fraction of the effort you have been giving.
I Can Do It On My Own. I Don't Need Help. Reality: Success requires cooperation. Nobody does it alone. In order to achieve more you must learn to help yourself. Success requires the cooperation of others.
Goals Only Need to Be Reviewed Once a Year. Reality: Inspect what you expect. Everything changes. Your goals must keep shaping, shifting and flexing to fit these fast-changing times. Adopt a regular and consistent Review process.
==>TEN GOALS WORTH PURSUING
Personal Development - The single best investment any of us can ever make is in our own personal growth and development. The accumulation of knowledge means everything to your future.
Excellent Physical Health - Your body impacts everything you do. Take good care of it through proper nourishment, exercise and rest.
Rest, Relaxation and Renewal - We must take good care of ourselves without feeling guilty.
Building a Loving Family - Family is the emotional core of our lives. We should make constant deposits into everyone's emotional bank account.
Intimate Relationships With Your Friends - Surround yourself with nourishing friends. Share yourself with them and let them share themselves with you.
Involvement In Your Community - The definition of a life well lived must include a commitment to serving others.
Excellence in Your Work - Develop a reputation for excellence. A sincere commitment to excellence is a noble goal.
Financial Freedom - Money is important. Exercise wisdom in all your financial dealings.
A Comfortable, Loving Home - The single biggest investment most of us will ever make should be comfortable and lined with love.
Peace of Mind - There is no substitute for peace of mind. Everything you do either supports it or takes away from it.
==>TEN REASONS WHY PEOPLE FAIL
Taking Action Without Planning - When it comes to your goals and future, impulsiveness is the mother of regret. Considerable thought must be given to the ends as well as the means of your strategy.
Planning Without Taking Action - Endless preparation is worse than action without planning. Accept that things will never be perfect. Questions will forever exist. Plan well and launch!
Unrealistic Timeframes and Expectations - Life is a process not an event. Nothing great was ever built easily. Exercise wisdom and learn to be patient. Unfortunately most things in life take longer and cost more than the best-laid plans anticipate.
Reasons "Why" Are Unclear - Why you want to achieve a goal is more important than the goal itself. Before taking action on anything it is imperative that you ask yourself this key question: "Why do I want to achieve this goal?"
Denial of Reality - It's far easier to deny reality than it is too accept it. And far too many people take the easy way Success is information dependent, when we deny reality for whatever reason, we devalue the integrity of our information, thus ensuring failure.
Conflicting Values - When we have not clarified our reasons why or defined what success someone else's definition. When that occurs values are sure to be in conflict and progress is short- circuited.
Diffusion of Energy - Attempting to do too much is a recipe for mediocrity. Rather than doing an excellent job at a few chosen goals we spread our energies over a vast terrain and diffuse what matters most; time and energy.
Lack of Focus - Success demands focus. It is the hallmark of all truly great people. Your ability to get and remain focused or lack there of is perhaps the key determinant of your success.
Trying To Do It All Alone - Nobody goes through life alone, we all need the cooperation and assistance of others. Put your pride aside and learn to ask for help when you need it. Learn to leverage and share knowledge for your own well being as well as for others who are dependent upon your cooperation.
Fear Of Failures - Fear of failure is The "Grand Daddy" of them all. Far too many dreams have suffocated and died because of it. Fear resides where knowledge does not exist; the more you know about anything the less intimidated that you feel. Replace your fears with knowledge and watch your performance leap.
==>TEN INSIGHTS ON FAILURE Failure & Perception - Put failure in the right perspective, it's an opportunity for regrouping and evaluation while accepting the experience as part of the journey of success. Rich lessons are the fruit of failure and your can extract them at will.
Failure & Change - Change depreciates the value of past information, thus making predictions difficult, ambiguous, and correspondingly risky. In the presence of change, you must adjust your course-of-action to align with desirable new realities.
Failure & Limitation - In a world of limitation, the fundamental question is not whether people should accept failure. Rather, the question is how to anticipate failure and redirect resources to grow from the experience.
Failure & Information - Information scarcity will present itself somewhere, somehow, sometime. The key is to learn from what this new failure teaches and prevent it, if at all possible, from happening again.
Failure & Perfection - Perfection is unattainable, but failure is always possible! Any assumption regarding perfection stands at odds with the most fundamental premise of success: failure is inevitable.
Failure & Planning - Because the future is so hard to predict, we must attempt to pierce uncertainties fog as best we can. Your goal is to estimate and anticipate failures with tolerable precision.
Failure & Execution - Failure is not only the output of an unsuccessful activity; it is also the input of a successful one. Performance only changes and improves to the degree that you change and improve.
Failure & Mistakes - Those with an eye for success respond first by anticipating mistakes. Second, we accept responsibility for them. Life is for learning lessons and mistakes are some of your best teachers.
Failure & Consequence - Some look at failure as an extremely blunt instrument and surrender their dreams because of its potential consequences. Although tempting, do not allow the consequences of failure to harden your heart.
Failure & Progress - The world is littered with the victims of failure. Yet failure leads to victory. Use each failure as feedback in your constant progression toward your goals. Our world is one of adjustment, of conflict, and of mutual gains and losses. In short, of failure and progress.
==>TEN PRECONDITIONS OF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Intellectual Curiosity: A passion to understand the changing forces swirling around you, an eagerness to learn them faster, and recognition that learning is an unending journey.
Humility: A pervasive acknowledgement that no one can have all the answers. You must have a willingness to learn from others.
Self-Criticism: A logical extension of humility. A constant questioning of conventional wisdom and a keen awareness that success invariably sows the seeds of failure.
A High Tolerance for Ambiguity, Complexity and Change: Learning is experimental. Thrive on change; don't allow yourself to be intimidated by its rough and unpolished exterior. Complexity and ambiguity are simply part of the 21st Century condition.
Experimentation: It is only by experimenting with new approaches, monitoring the results and incorporating the feedback into new initiatives that learning takes place.
A Hunger for Feedback: A genuine eagerness to reach out and get performance feedback from a variety of sources, and a willingness to listen to it and make changes.
Learning by Doing: Have a bias towards action. The use of real-world tests is a much more fertile source of learning than abstract speculation.
An Appreciation for Failure and Mistakes: Learning is more a product of failure than success will ever be. View experiments as desirable, mistakes as inevitable and failures as the raw protein necessary for success.
Systematic Methods of Data Collection and Distribution: Intellectual capital is rarely created and shared by accident. Conscious mechanisms must be put in place to, acquire, disseminate, and leverage knowledge.
Creative Self-Destruction: No advantage lasts forever. Render yourself obsolete before others do it for you. It's the price world-class innovators gladly pay for staying ahead of the pack. Go out and multiply yourself in 2005!
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