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26 Juni, 2009

Do you really WANT to succeed?

by: jonathan leger

Six months ago I weighed 225 pounds. I am now at 185, and in the best shape of my life. How did I do it, and what does my weight loss have to do with your business?

The "how" is very simple, as most things in life should be. I'm a big believer in Occam's Razor, which can basically be summed up as "keep it simple."

To lose the 40 pounds, I did two things: 1) ate less and 2) exercised regularly.

Everybody knows that to lose weight, that's all you have to do. So why are there thousands of weight loss supplements flooding the market promising to help you lose weight? Why doesn't everybody just eat less and get some exercise?

I believe it boils down to a lack of true desire. At the risk of offending the folks who have bought them, and putting the whole weight loss industry in an uproar, let me say this: I do not believe that people who buy weight loss supplements (as a rule) really want to lose weight.

I feel that way because people who are always looking for a "quick fix" to their problems don't seem to really desire to fix the problem. They just want a patch, a crutch to do the work for them.

With the exception of folks who have a medical condition that makes weight loss very difficult, I firmly believe that everybody who really wants to lose weight does.

Now, when I say that they want to lose weight, I don't mean they casually think "my, it sure would be nice to be thinner" as they stuff their face with chocolate cake and bonbons in front of the television. To me, those actions belie the claim that a person wants to lose weight. Those folks can take as much Hoodia as they want and they'll never lose an ounce.

People who really desire to lose weight (or accomplish anything else in life) take steps to make that happen. In the case of weight loss, it's a simple matter of wanting to be thin more than you want that piece of chocolate cake. You might want the chocolate cake, but if your desire to be thin is greater, you'll pass on the cake and lose weight. Period.

That brings me to your business, where your mentality can either cripple you or launch you to success. You really need to sit back and ask yourself a few questions:

Do I really want to succeed? Am I currently working my day job, comfortable in the "steady" paycheck and measure of security that my J-O-B brings me? Am I casually looking into the television of business while eating the bonbons of laziness thinking "my, it sure would be nice to be successful"?

Or is my success in business a priority? When I have a few extra dollars or an extra hour of time, do I put that money or time into working on my web site instead of buying that cool new app for my iPhone or watching my favorite sitcom?

It's important to do this kind of self-analysis and make sure that you truly want to succeed. Success needs to be more than just a "nice thought" of something you'd "like" to accomplish.

Of course, as with most things there is a good way and a bad way to accomplish your goals. Keeping with the weight loss analogy, you could just stop eating. Without a doubt, you would lose weight, but you wouldn't be healthy — and before long you'd be dead!

My wife and I have been using the Weight Watchers method of counting "points" to lose weight. It's not a diet, it's just a simple way to set manageable goals and learn how to eat better. It's very simple, and has been fantastically effective. Following their proven system helped me to lose weight twice as fast as going at it on my own.

We go to the Weight Watchers meetings, which are run by a person who has lost a lot of weight (and kept it off for a long time) using the system. So we've been taught by a person who knows how to succeed.

The same principles apply to your business. It's important that you establish a healthy routine that's been proven to work. Just doing whatever comes to mind isn't usually the best way to succeed. It's usually better to follow the patterns of success already laid out by people who have proven to be successful.

You can do that by reading a successful person's blog, or following them on Twitter to see how they manage their time throughout the day. You can read the reports they write and use the products they use.

Of course, following somebody else will only get you so far. Again returning to the weight loss analogy: I took Weight Watchers one step further and adjusted their system to cut back on my daily fat intake. Bringing my level of fat intake down to a healthy, but trimmer, 20% of daily calories caused an additional acceleration in my weight loss. I reached my goal weight a few weeks ago, and now it's just a matter of maintaining my current weight (which has not been a problem).

With your business, especially when first starting out you definitely want to stick to a healthy, successful routine that has been proven. In time, though, you'll want to start branching out on your own and adding your own twist that makes you unique and sets you apart from the crowd. Depending on your personality and level of success, how soon this happens for you will vary, but it will come in time.

So to recap, success in business requires three things:

1. A real desire to want to succeed that's followed up with actions.
2. Learning from successful people.
3. Finding ways to improve on what you've learned and set yourself apart from the crowd.

Make sure you follow that path, and I guarantee you in time you will achieve your goals.

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