I love doing strategy sessions. I get to hear men and women tell me about their dreams and goals. I work hard to ensure that each person leaves with valuable knowledge and clear steps on how to move forward. Then I watch what happens.
It is easy to be excited about an idea when you are thinking about the big goals you want to achieve. It’s not hard to imagine the happy ending when you have a fabulous business, your product has been manufactured, or your team is working in perfect harmony. However, the journey forward will require stepping outside your comfort zone, following up on lots of boring details, and doing research you may not enjoy. You may even need to learn new skills, meet new people, or periodically work harder than normal while taking specific action steps forward. I can often predict the success of the individual by watching their actions.
I do not subscribe to the thought process that consistently working harder is necessary to achieving success. There are lots of memes about the supposed nobility of out-working everyone else, of never taking a break and the necessity of doing everything on your own. In fact, a lot of the work I do focuses on teaching people to work smarter not harder, building in breaks, and leveraging a network of help to achieve success.
However, success does require consistent, targeted action that is aligned with long term goals. Too often, when the excitement dies down and reality sets in, time slips away with little or no action. That is when a dream withers and dies.
Les Brown said, “The graveyard is the richest place on earth because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”
If you have aspirations of success, the key is taking consistent action. Even one little step forward each day makes more impact than inconsistent periods of action followed by periods of inaction. This means creating a very specific plan that breaks your bigger goal into much smaller steps that can be done in relatively short amounts of time. Then, all you need to do is pick one thing off your list each day and get that done.
In many ways, this is like the parable of the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise took consistent action and beat the hare who, theoretically, had more natural talent, skills, and abilities. The tortoise was successful because he was consistently moving forward. There’s a lot to learn from this story for achieving your own goals. It doesn’t matter where you start, or how big or little your advantage is. What matters is what you do with what you have.
Charlise Latour a business coach and owner of Accelerate Your Success. She works with each client to determine what their goals are and create a plan so they can achieve them. She is actively involved in Dancing & Singing With The King which raises money to promote dance education including working with local schools to offer dance classes during the school day. This is a natural fit as she is an avid ballroom dancer.