Move Your Business Forward Into Success With These 10 Steps

We can only achieve as high as we think we can. As we move into the next season are you achieving the goals you had set in the New Year so far?

According to an article on Success Harbor only 66 percent of small businesses will survive the first two years in a Small Business Administration (SBA) report.

While this may be a daunting statistic it’s good to know that you can be a part of the percentage who create long-term results for years to come.

Today I have ten ways you can supercharge your efforts and even improve your personal focus for a more successful and profitable year.

The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.

~ Bruce Lee

Step One – Start with you

If your mental beliefs impose limits on your physical stretching, it make sense that they’ll limit your mental and spiritual achievement, too. So you need to ask yourself what limits you’re putting on your:

The first step to changing your boundaries is to “up” your deserve level. Here are three things that block you from accepting that you deserve the best:

  • Envy. Envy is the result of a scarcity mindset. Realize that whatever anyone else in this world has – from a great body to a great family to a great career – you can have it, too.
  • Fear. Fear is one of the greatest demotivators. All growth takes place outside your comfort zone. You must push your own limits, by definition. Get comfortable with discomfort – see it as a sign of growth, much like aching muscles indicate you worked out hard and are getting stronger.
  • Laziness. If you want an extraordinary life, you’re going to have to go to some out-of-the-ordinary measures. Whatever it takes you need to motivate yourself to move beyond “average.”

Step Two – Surround yourself with success

It’s been repeated so often that it’s basically internet law at this point: Your income will average that of the five people you hang around most.

Whether it’s literally true or just sort of true, it doesn’t really matter – the point is, if you want to be successful, you have to surround yourself with successful people.

There are many reasons to hob-nob with people who have achieved the goals you aspire to:

  • They show it can be done. Often we think that success happens to “other” people, not people we actually know. By demystifying those who live and breathe where you want to reside, you gain a realization that you can do it, too.
  • They know what it takes. We tend to believe the “overnight success” stories. Once you stop believing that luck determines your success, you’ll see that if you’re willing to put in the time and the sweat, you can have whatever you want.
  • They want you to succeed, too. Being surrounded with people who have an abundance mindset will help you think of all you can have in this life, not all that you can’t.
  • They show the gaps in your knowledge, skills, and behavior. Model yourself after those you admire and you’ll find yourself becoming more like them, success and all.

As the saying goes — if you want to soar with eagles, you may have to limit your time with the turkeys.

Step Three – Keep moving forward

You’ve done this before: You make an informed decision. You look at all sides of the matter. Maybe you even make a “Franklin List” where you list all the pros and cons. You consult a friend or an expert or two. Then you decide.

And you immediately second-guess yourself. You assume you made the wrong decision. You wonder, “What if…?” You may even try to change the original decision, whether it is returning a new car, second-guessing your business decisions, or just wondering if dinner would have been better at Fridays.

Then you put yourself right back to square one – agonizing over that decision again. Not only are you right where you’ve started, you’ve also managed to kick yourself in the self-confidence and waste some time, too.

Instead, go through the same careful process of decision-making, then let it go. Tell yourself you’re stuck with it. Assume you made the right decision instead of the wrong one. Move forward, move upward, move onward.

Step 4 – Leave no room for doubt

In order to take yourself to the next level, you need to let go of doubt. Accept that you’re working with imperfect knowledge and that you’re a smart cookie and that you will indeed make some mistakes along the way. But tell yourself that whatever happens, you can handle it.

You can hustle, work extra hours if need be, commit to working things out, or even end up selling the business and thanking the benevolent heavens for giving you the opportunity to learn some lessons along the way.

Commit to doing whatever it takes to ensure your choice was a good one. And don’t doubt your own ability to make it so.

Step 5 – Find the right mentors

Don’t select a mentor just because they’re the “guru du jour,” or the one that seems to be everywhere or has great on-screen presence. Instead, here are some things to think about:

  • Where is my business now, and what do I need to get to the next level?
  • What specifically am I hoping this coach or mentor can help me achieve?
  • How do I work best – with weekly check-ins, daily updates, monthly in-person calls?
  • Do I need someone to give me “tough love” or be a sympathetic guiding presence?

Different coaches and mentors have different styles. Some are non-nonsense taskmasters; others have a more gentle approach. Some are great cheerleaders, while others are better technicians. Some are great connectors; others are in-the-trenches comrades. No style is right or wrong; there’s only “right” or “wrong” for you. If you need someone to help you figure out how to set up a website and online shopping cart, a cheerleader isn’t going to do you much good.

To really move forward towards your goal, a mentor can be a perfect springboard, helping you move past obstacles and other blocks. But not all coaches are created equal: Find the one that matches your needs.

Step 6 – Find patterns of success

Looking at your own history will be a huge clue as to how you can replicate your own patterns of success.

Here’s what to ask yourself:

  • When did I set this goal? Did I consciously set it, or was it an unconscious goal?
  • How analytical was I in charting out my path?
  • What kinds of obstacles and challenges arose, and how did I handle them?
  • Who helped me along the way? What specifically did they do to assist me? (Concrete skills, advice, sounding board, cheerleading…?)
  • Was I accountable to someone along the way? Who and how?
  • Did I track my progress? How?
  • If I were going to give someone else advice about how I achieved Goal X, what would I say?
  • If I were to go after this goal again, the one thing that I would do differently to speed up my progress would be…?

Step 7 – Review each day

You should review your day every 24 hours.

Why so frequently? After all, you could do this once a week or month, or even once a quarter. Well, you should review your progress at different time frames, but there are several reasons to review your activity daily.

If you wait too long between assessments, you can find you’ve let weeks or even months go by when you could have been making consistent, positive movement towards your goals. It’s easier to correct a minor slip-up — making the fix now means you won’t have to deal with the big problems later. You will also eliminate the intimidation factor of assessing longer activity, and this will keep your actions fresh in your mind.

Here’s what you should ask yourself at the end of the day:

  • What did I do today that I was proud of?
  • What one item on my to-do list made the most difference in the achievement of my goal?
  • What one item on my to-do list is left over, but I should have done it?
  • What took longer than I anticipated?
  • What took less time than I anticipated?
  • What did I enjoy doing the most?

Step 8 – Keep Your Goals – and Your “Why” – Front and Center

If you’re finding yourself mired in muck, longing to jump forward to success, it could be a matter of not having strong enough motivation, or not reminding yourself of why you want to achieve your goals.

Here are some ways to keep your goals in front of you:

  • Create a vision board. Cut photos, words, and other images from magazines and glue them, collage-style, on a piece of poster board. Hang it somewhere you can see frequently.
  • Write it big. Write your goal on a large piece of paper, or on the whiteboard in your office. Keep it in front of yourself constantly.
  • Write it everywhere. Put post-it notes on your car’s dashboard, on your bathroom mirror, on your checkbook, in your day planner or calendar. The constant visual reminder will keep you focused.
  • Go audio. Record your goals on a digital voice recorder and play it back, or read it out loud each morning and evening.
  • Make it vivid. Make your reminders emotion-laden. The more completely you can view your future, the easier it will be to latch onto it and use it as a guiding light.

One of the keys here is experimentation. If you’ve always tried positive motivation, maybe it’s time to change things up and brandish the stick instead of the carrot.

Step 9 – Remove distractions

If you want to make big progress, you have to cut the distractions – no matter how worthwhile they seem. Here’s how to keep your eyes on your prize and your seat in your desk chair (or wherever it belongs):

  • Make a list – and stick to it. The to-do list is like marching orders from your general. Make it and stick to it.
  • Do the tough stuff first. Get the hardest (and usually most value-packed) tasks out of the way early in the day. That way you won’t be distracted by the minutiae of daily life that seem to breed and multiply with each passing hour.
  • Give yourself regular breaks. Give yourself regular mini-breaks of 10 minutes a few times a day to take care of calls to the vet, kitchen floors, etc.
  • Keep a list of short tasks. Instead of allowing your imagination free rein, have a ready list of activities related to your goal that take less than 15 minutes.

Be ruthless about banning any distractions from your life. Each minute you reclaim is like a huge stepping stone towards your goals.

Are you ready for the final step for business success?

Step 10 – Allow no excuses

Do or do not: There is no try.
~ Yoda

Whether you finish your novel, run the triathlon, start your business – they’re going on about their life, without much regard to you and your goals.

What it really comes down to is that it’s all about you, and it’s all up to you. That’s a little scary, but it’s also very empowering. That means once you make up your mind, no one can hold you back.

We all have the same amount of time. In fact, someone who is busier than you are is doing what you want to do, right now. It’s never the right moment, because there is no right moment – there is only now.

Excuses are nothing more than a matter of opinion. Change your mind; change your life.

Use these steps to move your business in a positive and more focused direction. When time allows take a personal break to refocus and refresh, which allow for more creative ideas to flow.