How many of you are blessed with children, and how many have homework to contend with nightly?
Growing up you went through school, just like your kids, and came home with homework. Homework is designed to test, reinforce and condition what you've learned. It's also designed to expand your knowledge and your belief systems.
Children have homework right through high school for some, college and post graduate work for others. The fact is, homework is effective at improving your skill sets. Why then, do you stop doing homework, stop expanding and stop growing, learning and reinforcing the moment you graduate?
It's not because you've decided to stop growing and learning. It's because you've gotten so wrapped up in the day-to-day minutia of your professional and personal life, that knowledge takes a back seat. It's also because you've never been given a blueprint to succeed beyond the school systems.
What we know is from traditional education, and the focus has always been on structured academia. That works in the school systems, but in the real world, the professional world where you get downsized, laid-off and fired for not performing, this model simply doesn't work.
It's not enough to rest on your laurels any longer. Great performers get fired everyday, because there's a class of elite professional who constantly focuses on improving their industry and personal knowledge, professional skills, and mastering their relationships.
These elite members of all professions are safe, because they do their homework. Daily, weekly, monthly and annually they look for ways to improve. They're not satisfied with the status quo. They actively seek out the latest success books, industry journals, and related seminars. They network effectively, and their constant focus is on moving upward in all ways. They do their homework.
So, what homework will you do to dominate your company, market and competition?
Our middle child, Carter, has an incredibly valuable lesson he can teach all professionals. It's the lesson of mastery.
You see, Carter is a passionate movie lover. He completely and totally immerses himself in the experience; acting out the scenes of the characters, reciting the lines as they happen and mimicking every move the actors make. Its as if he's apart of the movie. As proud parents, it's so amazing to watch him in action.
I asked him why he does it. His answer was simple. "I want to be just like them, so I pretend and do what they do."
How profoundly intelligent of a six year old. That begs the question, if a 6 year old can master a character, why don't adults do the same thing?
As professionals, many people have already paid the price and achieved great success in every profession. So what can we learn from a child watching movies and pretending to be the main character?
Well if you want the same results as someone else, here's my recommendation:
- seek out who is the absolute most successful in your chosen field
- find a way to connect with them - use LinkedIn, facebook, their website, their blog, seminar, event, anything that puts you in their line of sight. There's always a way if you're determined.
- Be humble and ask for their guidance or mentorship
- Buy them breakfast, lunch, a cup of coffee, or pay them for an hour of their time and pick their brain
- Create an outline to implement what you've learned - they have a success plan, use it
- copy and emulate them - drink what the drink, eat what the eat, model their behaviors and actions, plan the way they plan, prospect the way the prospect, and so on - whatever it is for your profession
If they can do it, heck if a six year old can do it, so can you. Commit to mastery. It's not hard if your passionate about your profession. It's serious fun, and nets you serious results!
Top athletes, top business professionals, really anybody who's at the top of their game is typically performing at peak performance levels. With peak performance comes peak physical health and peak business health. Some of you might be saying, "but Greg, I don't have my own business. I work for someone else. Why should I care?"
It doesn't matter if you work for someone else. You're still running a business. You have to market yourself, you must master sales skills, you must know and manage your professional finances, improve your professional skills, and have enough fuel in the tank to manage it all.
I'll spare you the physical health lecture for today, and please know that it is critically important to the success of your business. Your business does have a health level. How often are you playing doctor and assessing your business health level? How often do you get your metaphorical checkup?
All businesses, all skill sets, all successful people are constantly assessing their business and how it's living, breathing and functioning on a daily basis. There are 6 critical areas to your professional and business health. Neglect or abuse any of them, and your business and success will suffer.
The six areas to master are:
- Professional Skills
Imagine your business is a high performance sports car, and that each of the 6 areas represents a section of one of the tires. Rate yourself and your business in each area on a scale from 1 - 10; with 1 being you're in trouble and 10 being you've mastered the area.
If you're 8 or better in all these areas chances are your business is very healthy and you're experiencing success. If not, your wheel is not going to roll smoothly and your high performance sports car, or business, is no longer high performance. It's time to go to work on your business.
So what can you do?
- First pick an area, any area that you need to improve
- Identify 3 key variables that will have the greatest impact on improving these areas
- Decide if you can either do them yourself, delegate them to someone else, or outsource them
- Then, execute that decision - make your plan and get it done.
Your health, your business and professional health must be constantly monitored. You cannot improve unless you take a step back and play the role of a doctor periodically. Find out where you are really, and then create and execute your plan to drive to where you want to go. Don't be too proud to get help elsewhere. Delegate and outsource whenever possible.
Make your professional life easier, more efficient, richer, and most of all - HEALTHIER!
Recently I made a major purchase, and I asked the sales representative a question he simply could not answer. Rather then choose to help me the right way and get back to me, this salesman obviously choose to improvise on the spot. He not only lied to help the sale along, but he really damaged the credibility of his company in doing so.
Needless to say I invested my money elsewhere, and unfortunately for him, his boss is one of my Winners Edge subscribers.
So that begs the question - Have you ever been asked a question at a sales meeting you don't know the answer too? Of course you have.
How do you react to it? Do you fumble your words searching for answers that make sense, or do you lie? Do you try and fake your way through it, or do you have a plan how to handle such situations? Well, if you're reading this my money is betting that you're a person of sincere integrity and character.
Here's the thing, you don’t have to have all the answers all the time. The moment you try and fake it, your prospect or client senses your disingenuousness. Let me say it another way, they know you're lying immediately.
So what can you do to turn the odds in your favor? Honesty and candor are always the best approach.
Simply respond by telling the truth. "I want to provide you with the absolute best service and results possible, and in order for me to do that I'm going to have to research you question further to get you the correct answer."
Your prospect or clients will respect your character and business integrity. This is true in all areas of life. So, my point in this week’s article is this: who do you know that engages in this type of behavior that you can immediately go out and positively influence? Who's professional life, and more importantly, personal character can you help transform.
Go forth and be a force for good!