The Myth of the Final Hurdle
A lot of entrepreneurs (myself included) say things like “once ____ happens, everything will change.” As if it’s the final hurdle keeping you from turning a significant corner that leads to living the easy life.
From my experience over the past decade, each time you turn the corner, your pace of growth may change, but there are always more hurdles ahead.
- If you won a client, now you have to keep them happy.
- If you hire great people, eventually some of them will leave.
- If you get fat and happy, soon you’re out of shape.
- If you stop improving, soon you’re behind the times.
- If you focus on family, work suffers.
- If you focus on work, family suffers.
My prescription for lasting success:
#1: Plan for Obstacles.
Be prepared with adequate capital for obstacles to appear when you least want them to. Just because you invest in building your sales team, it doesn’t mean that your best talent won’t leave for another opportunity.
#2: Pace Yourself.
If you push too hard, you won’t have the energy to respond to challenges immediately. How well you respond to challenges determines how you’re viewed by your team and your customers.
#3: Never Stop Learning.
If you ever stop moving forward, you’ll be quietly moving backwards as the world advances around you.
#4: Live Below Your Means.
Just because you’ve acquired a certain level of success doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to maintain it. Most wealthy people have income growth that looks more like a stock chart than a steady climb that never sees setbacks. Be financially ready to do with less. A related tip: practice poverty, even if just one day a month. Then you’ll be less afraid of it.
#5: Watch Your Back.
What’s the market doing around you? What’s fueling your team’s culture and growth? How are your investments doing? Where are your bottlenecks? What are your weaknesses? While you can’t advance while you look backwards, efficient management of all aspects of your business is key.
#6: Embrace the Journey.
If becoming successful was easy, you’d already be there. Embrace the fact that it’s the journey that shapes you into the person you must become before success can occur. And once you find success, know that you must constantly exert energy just to maintain your current altitude.
#7: Reflect and Celebrate.
Whether you’ve reached your goal or not is irrelevant. There are only two questions that matter. First, have you made progress towards your goal over the last year? If so, celebrate your progress with your team, your customers, your family, and everyone who supports you. Then ask yourself, what are you going to do tomorrow to radically increase your results moving forward?
Don’t let the hurdle in front of you rob your momentum. Make a decision on how/when to leap, and act. Acting swiftly is more important than a perfectly executed jump. Making your moves at the proper time maintains momentum, while radical detours ensure you’ll wind up off course. Keep moving forward and never stop looking past your current challenge for the next hurdle. Keep your pace up and learn to love the challenge.
The bad news is that the hurdles will never stop.
The good news is that every hurdle you cross prepares you to conquer the next.
image credit: imgkid.com