We are well into 2011 and as entrepreneurs it's good to take inventory of our priorities to ensure a good and productive year. Too many times, year after year, people make new year resolutions and do well for the first couple of days or even weeks, but after that, game over. Why is that? There's a reason and it's lack of mental preparation and setting realistic time frames to meet goals.
I was listening to Dr. Ian Smith last night who is an entrepreneur and a medical adviser to Rachel Ray (Both Pictured). His business is in weight loss and helping people overcome dieting challenges. If you want to see what he's up to, visit his website at www.50millionpounds.com.
I found Smith's conversation about dieting challenges and failure rates interesting, but not surprising as it was almost identical to that of entrepreneurship which is why I'm posting this on my blog.
My niche is not weight loss or dieting, however, the correlation between the failure rate of dieters and entrepreneurs shows me that mindset is what it's all about and therefore I felt it was relevant to my readers.
As we all know, most dieters do well the first few weeks and then you see people drop like flies from their goals. They can't handle change, challenges, obstacles and as a result, they end up in a self-sabotage situation. Only a few will go on and achieve their goals.
The same is true of individuals who decide they want to be entrepreneurs. Only 2% will ever walk the road and accomplish their dreams.
Smith was asked this question: "What are the top 3 priorities that you deem critical and absolute in achieving long term weight loss? Certainly there are many factors, but what are the absolute top 3 that one MUST deal with?"
The answers to these questions are the same answers to the question, "What are the top 3 priorities that entrepreneurs MUST deal with if they want long term success in their business?"
Here they are: The 3 top priorities for long term success:
1. Believe in yourself and your program (for dieters).
Believe in yourself and your product (for entrepreneurs)
Believe in yourself: You can fool others, but you can't fool yourself. You must truly believe that you can absolutely do what you need to do in order to accomplish your business goals. You may not know everything about marketing or branding or even all the intricacies of your business, but that's beside the point. The point is your answer to this question: "Do you believe in yourself without a shadow of doubt, your abilities to learn, to grow, to accomplish and are confident in who you are at the moment?"
Believe in your product: As a dieter, if you don't believe in your program, you'll self-sabotage and tout, "it didn't work".
As an entrepreneur, if you don't believe in the product or service you are offering to others, in the same way, you'll self-sabotage and tout, "it didn't work", or worse yet, many will give it an unfair label as a "scam" because it's sure easier to say that than it is to admit defeat. Entrepreneurs who fail often seek scapegoats to feel better about themselves and to save face with family and peers.
It's vitally critical to wholeheartedly believe that your product has value, is good for the consumer, it enhances lives and not only do you use it yourself, but
2. Prioritize and Have Realistic Expectations. Understand you need to make appointments in life about things that matter to you. For example, in the health niche, if you want to exercise, you must make time. In the entrepreneurial niche, if you want to build your business, you must make time to do that as well.
No more can you say, "I don't have time to do this". If you do, you simply are not committed and you're all talk. You have not cemented your commitment to success. Even though you may have had good intentions, good intentions don't get the job done. Hard core commitment because you want it bad enough is what it takes.
Entrepreneurs must make it a priority to learn, grow, implement, network, connect and build relationships. It must be a priority for success. Keeping appointments with yourself to do these things are critical. Time must be made. Period.
Here's an analogy:
People show up and get done what they perceive to be important on their priority list. For example, if a woman wants to get her hair and nails done, not only will she spend the time to do that, but she'll be willing to wait an hour if her stylist is running late and not think a thing about it. Furthermore, not much outside of a true emergency will keep her from this appointment. Why? Because it's important to her to look good and it's something she places a high value on.
It's all about setting priorities and deciding what is more important.
In terms of setting realistic goals, you want to see the big long term goal you're striving for, but that big goal should be made up of many small goals with rewards as each are accomplished.
For example, if your goal is to make $200K a year online, start with a small goal of making your first $1,000. Celebrate when you achieve this.
Oftentimes new entrepreneurs haven't seen and played out the steps to success mentally and until they do that and accept it, they can't do it in reality.
A builder doesn't begin construction until the blueprints are done.
An athlete sees him/herself winning the race before they get to the starting line.
A home business entrepreneur won't have long term success if they don't know the steps to get there. They may make a few bucks, but nothing life changing or sustaining.
A dieter won't achieve lifestyle change for long term success if they just are crash dieting to look good for their wedding or a class reunion.
3. You have to surround yourself with positive people. Scientific studies have shown that goodness and positive energy and conversations and action taking with like-minded people is key to your success. There is no room for negative naysayers and complainers while you're on the way to the top. The two won't mix and rather than you pulling them up, they'll pull you down. If you want success, hanging out with negative people who are going nowhere is like playing with fire. You will get burned.
There are several ways to connect with goodness, positive energy and like-minded individuals. My top recommendation is to get to networking and leadership events as often as possible. Build the cost of these into your business expenses. Plan for them.
Other ways are through Skype chat groups, Facebook Groups, Tribes, and mastermind groups.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Please leave me a comment and share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks so much.