Everyone’s Looking For The Answer
The other day a good friend of mine packed his bags and flew off to some exotic destination somewhere in the Pacific Ocean to attend a seminar on how to be successful. In addition to his travel, he was paying five figures to attend a four day session.
I asked him how this event was going to be different from the one he attended two years before. He said he didn’t know, but would tell me when he got back.
No Magic Bullet
Over the last 25 years, I have been blessed with meeting and interacting with some of the most successful people on earth-US Presidents, CEOs, Actors, Professional Athletes, US Special Forces and a host of entrepreneurs.
What I have found is that they all attribute their success to the same process. They may have different names for it, but regardless of what it’s called, it boils down to the same 7 steps:
Step 1: Determine What You Want
What do you really want out of life. And when I say this I mean YOU, not your parents, significant other, friends, boss, or whoever else.
One of the problems in attaining what we want in life is that we spend the first part of it listening to others (primarily our parents) about what we should do with it. Don’t get me wrong, they have the best intentions for us, but too often we wake up at age 30 or 40 and discover that we’ve done a good job accomplishing someone else’s goals for us.
It doesn’t matter what it is you want- to become a famous heart surgeon or stand up comic, as long as it’s something YOU want.
Step 2: Develop A Written Goal
By this point in your life you’ve probably heard a lot about goals. There’s a good reason for this-they work.
Every successful person I’ve met at some point put their goals in writing. More importantly, they put a time limit on their goals. Remember, goals without time limits are just dreams.
Step 3: Commit To That Goal
This is the real test on whether you’re pursuing a goal that you really want. How committed are you?
Most people create “backup” plans in case they don’t hit their goal. This is essentially the same as giving up from the start. No president, Navy Seal or Olympic Athlete I’ve ever met had a “plan B”.
Step 4: Develop A Plan
A good plan is your road map to getting where you want to go.
For example, if you want to win an Oscar for best performer your plan might be something like:
- Move to Hollywood
- Research the best acting coaches
- Start taking classes
- Grab every performance opportunity
- Build a network of influential people
Don’t worry about your plan being perfect. The key is to just have a plan.
Step 5: Take Action
Most people do pretty good up to Step 4. However, 98% fall down at this step. They simply don’t take action. There’s no fancy way to put it. You need to take the first step, and then the next and so forth.
Again, don’t worry if your plan’s not perfect, just keep following it. Yes you’ll hit obstacles, but that brings us to step 6:
Step 6: Work Through Obstacles
This is another step in which people normally give up. Obstacles are inevitable. You’re going to have doors shut in your face. It’s part of the journey.
Every successful person I know had to overcome obstacles big and small.
What’s the key to getting around obstacles? Create a plan and then take action. If that plan doesn’t work, do it again. It really is a process of doing it over and over until you get through your current sticking point.
Step 7: Never Give Up
As you can tell by now, attaining success in your life, career or business is hard work. This is another reason why many people simply give up.
Yes you’ll get frustrated, yes you may run out of money, yes people are going to tell you you’re crazy, but you must never give up.
One athlete I met put it really well: I was rejected at every stage of my career, but I knew that the only real failure would be in giving up. 10 years after refusing to quit he’s still at the top of his game in the NFL.
That’s it-the guaranteed formula for success. And you got it without having to pay five figures and fly across the world.
Now what are you going to do with it?