By Marc Beauchamp
We are now in the second domain of possibility. We are all creators; you are either creating intentionally or by default. I believe all things are created twice: first in the mind then in the physical world. When you are in the first phase of creation, discovering possibilities or vision casting, always start with the end in mind. Where do you ultimately want to end up?
As Mark Victor Hansen said, "You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own."
Why do the majority of business books address or discuss setting a vision or goals? Because goal-setting works.
If you don't know where and – more importantly – why you're moving in a particular direction, you'll never achieve the desired result. After all, aren't we striving to produce a result in some area of our lives? And, more importantly, consistent results?
I've been around this game for over 25 years, and I've seen a lot of ISOs charge out of the gate with great success but fail to sustain the momentum. They lacked the ability to produce consistent results, living in the world of peaks and valleys. The long-term producers are not swinging for the fences; they are getting on base, day in and day out. James Clears wrote about this concept, calling it the "aggregation of marginal gains" in his book Atomic Habits, which I highly recommend. He wrote, "It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis. Too often, we convince ourselves that massive success requires massive action.
Whether it is losing weight, building a business, writing a book, winning a championship, or achieving any other goal, we put pressure on ourselves to make some earth-shattering improvement that everyone will talk about."
(see Figure 1)
Meanwhile, improving by 1 percent isn't particularly notable—sometimes it isn't even noticeable—but it can be far more meaningful, especially in the long run. The difference a tiny improvement can make over time is astounding.
Here's how the math works out: if you can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you'll end up 37 times better by the time you're done. Conversely, if you get 1 percent worse each day for one year, you'll decline nearly down to zero. What starts as a small win or a minor setback accumulates into something much more (see Figure 1).
Jim Rohn put it this way: "Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day"
In 1979 Harvard studied a graduating MBA class, asking a single question. Have you set written goals and created a plan for their attainment? Before graduation it was determined that: 84 percent of the class had not set goals of any kind; 13 percent had written goals but no plan to achieve them; and 3 percent of the class had written goals and plans to achieve them.
The results? 10 years later, the 13 percent that had written goals but no plan to achieve them were making twice as much money as the 84 percent that had no set goals. But astonishingly, the 3 percent that had both written goals and a plan to achieve them were making 10 times more than 97 percent of the class.
Another study conducted by several well-known doctors demonstrated that goals are more likely to improve performance when three conditions are met.
I recommend setting goals or targets for 90-day sprints that are in alignment with one-year goals. Longer term, it's great to envision three years, five years and a big vision of 10 years or further in the future, but for execution, you must stay focused on producing results in a shorter time frame.
Here's the formula for success: clarity of purpose + clear outcomes + consistent daily action. Your goals and dreams need to get your blood pumping, create excitement and drive you to action.
Marc Beauchamp is author of Survive and Thrive in the Merchant Services Industry and founder of Bankcard Life, a community for payments professionals. He is offering a free copy of his book to all payments professionals at www.bankcardlife.com/greensheet. Marc welcomes your comments and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.
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