“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.” – Tim Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Work Week”
Let those words sink in. Go ahead and read that again. For us in the eCommerce industry, we’ve suddenly found ourselves at the busiest time of the year. This is the time of year at which the doers are differentiated from the talkers. It’s the time of year at which some will make more money and grow their business while others won’t see anything.
If you want to be successful and reach your goals, then please read on.
Finding Your Happy Place
In what place or situation do you find yourself constantly in a state of happiness? How does a “happy place” help you reach your goals? Being able to relax, and clear your mind is just as important as putting in a 10+ hour work day.
Your “happy place” is simply the term used to describe a comfort zone in which you find yourself in a state of pleasure, and a clear mind.
For me, my happy place is grabbing my phone, blocking all calls, putting in headphones, and drinking either a cup of tea or coffee while sitting outside on my balcony with a view of the early morning sky. Starting my day off on the right foot is simply irreplaceable. For those that say this is cliche, it might be, but it also works.
Start making time to visit your “happy place” at least a few times a week. If you can, while you are in your “happy place” try to reflect on your success and failures.
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou
Creating The Right Environment
The environment in which you find yourself working and living has an astounding effect on your production and happiness. What is the meaning of environment? In this case, it’s a reference to, among other things, a positive feeling of the combined:
- Your workspace,
- The people that surround you on a daily basis,
- And your daily routine
Together, these three are what I like to call, the “environment triangle”. By defining and actionably making all three of these points efficient factors of your life that create a sense of positive and “can-do” feelings, you put yourself in the driver’s seat to reaching your goals.
How do I create a working environment that helps me thrive and improve? I went paperless. Instead of using tons of paper to track my every move, I went wireless. Less paper, means less clutter, which leads to more focus on my screen.
One element of the environment that I work in that helps work become a walk in the park is the team that I work with. There is constant feedback thrown around every day, and I don’t need to attend weekly meetings. It’s an environment that enables and empowers myself – and others – to do better.
This quote from Ed Catmull, President of Pixar and author of Creativity Inc., sums up the result of a great environment.
Images from BPlans
A lot of people talk about motivation and habits as the keys to success. Although the two are important, neither one will be of much help if you don’t have the battery that makes them stay active: self-discipline.
“We are what we repeatedly do.” – Aristotle
Let’s get practical. You’ve had monthly sales of five to six thousand dollars over the last three to four month. Over November and December you want to make eight thousand in each month. Can you keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing until now? Probably not.
How do I make sure that I am self-disciplined? I’d like to think that this is something that I have worked on for years, from my years as an athlete, until today. My self-discipline is a direct result of the fact that I believe that the results I bring to the company are what should define me as a worker and not the number of hours I work. This mindset, keeps me motivated and trying to create better habits.
Are you going to cut other things out of your life for this short period of time so that you can kick things up a notch? The answer should be yes.
The importance of prioritizing cannot be overstated. Focus is the key to success, and with focus comes prioritizing.
I have a goal: grow the reach of the StoreYa blog – as well as improve different statistical metrics. Knowing that, I then create a path, based on importance and expected results, that will help me reach my set goal. There are thousands of things I could do to reach my goal, but as I have learned, I can’t fit everything in. Thus, I prioritize based on a bundle of considerations.
Over to your work, without creating a solid base upon which everything else builds on, you won’t be able to create sustainable growth. Having a marketing plan and overall business plan written is one part of you base. Only when that is done, then you can start marketing and building your business.
How do you prioritize? Work your way from your goals to creating a plan, just I like pointed out about my own work. Once you’ve created a plan, you can create a path that guides you to your goal. If you start with the path and then the goal, you’ll have a business built on half a base.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey
Setting Personal Bests
Imagine you’ve discovered your “happy place”, successfully created an effective work and life environment, you are more disciplined than you were a few months ago, and you are now prioritizing tasks like a true professional. The next step is to start attempting to reach your goals.
The way to your goals is through improving on your own results, time after time, and not by sprinting to the goal. Think of it as learning to walk. First you start with “baby steps,” and after that you take normal steps, and finally you learn to run. The same thing is true in the case of your business. These baby steps and improvements are what can be called “personal bests”.
As a runner, I want to win races, or finish in one of the top places. That’s a great goal, but the only way to actually do that is by constantly beating my own times. From race to race the most important thing is to run faster. If I beat my last personal best, how can I complain. Constant improvement is awesome!
“Competing at the highest level is not about winning. It’s about preparation, courage, understanding and nurturing your people, and heart. Winning is the result.” – Joe Torre
Time To Get To Work
The result of actually acting on all of this, and not just saying that you’ll act on them, is priceless. That I can guarantee! You need to take a look in the mirror, and decide how you want to continue: to be great or just okay. If the answer is “great”, then the ball is now in your hands. Good luck, and be sure to let us know if this was helpful for your work.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt DisneyBusiness & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community