How to Succeed in Business
What do you need to succeed in business (or just about any other endeavor)?
While there are lots of ingredients and factors, there are three that stand out as primary.
1. A viable plan
2. Acting on
There are lots of components that make up even those three and plenty of other contributing factors, but,
reduced down to its bare essentials it is those three. Let's take a closer look at them to see what I
A viable plan
In spite of the fact that it's easy to have a
plan, I encounter lots of people who have hope, who have dreams, who have positive intentions, but no plan.
Then, I encounter a smaller number of people who have a plan but it's not a viable plan. What do I
mean? Back in my computer programming days, there was a cartoon that went around. It showed a flowchart
with various steps in it, but right in the middle was a step that was labeled "Then, a miracle happens here."
That's a plan, but not a viable one.
The punch line of the cartoon was the professor pointing to the "miracle" step and saying, "It needs a little
more work here." If your plan depends on a miracle, on winning the lottery, being struck by lightning, or
winning the Nobel prize in order for it to work, it needs a little more work.
Too many small business owners I encounter don't even have a plan… or their plan is vague. It is
frustrating to me to see it and (although they don't know it) it is frustrating to them because they aren't making
I encourage you to look at your plan and make sure it is a viable
Acting on the plan
You can have a beautiful plan. You can
have a well-thought-out plan. You can have a masterful plan. But, if you don't act on that plan, it
does you no good.
Once again, I encounter too many people who have spent all their effort on their plan. It is plan they are
proud of. They have spent tons of time working on it and getting it just right. It may even cover every
But, they never put the plan into action.
Usually it is for one of two reasons. One is that they have spent all their energy creating the plan and
they don't have any left over for implementing it. It seems too overwhelming.
The other (and more common) reason is fear. They are afraid to try to implement it.
Why would someone create a plan but never implement it? They fear they may fail. They are afraid of
what people will say if the attempt it and they fail.
Others are afraid they may succeed. (Yes, fear of success holds a lot of people back.) They are
afraid of what they might become if they succeed, or of the responsibilities they will have to shoulder if they
If this is your issue (either overwhelm or fear), then I encourage you to go ahead with your plan. Take
the first step. Then the next (small) step. Then the one after that. You don't have to be
responsible for the whole thing, just the step in front of you. This helps deal with overwhelm AND with the
To get to success, persistence is required.
The plan provides the roadmap. Acting on the plan is like getting in your car, starting it, and driving down
the road, consulting the map and following it. Persistence is continuing to follow the map until you reach
This is much easier said than done. Life is hard. Business is hard. We all want things to be
easy. We all want to stop when we encounter resistance or when obstacles get in our way. This is how
humans are wired.
BUT, we are also wired to be able to persist. It takes effort. It takes choice. It takes
staying connected to the reason we picked that destination in the first place.
When I do a consult with a potential coaching client, we spend a significant amount of time identifying their
destination and why they want to be there. We delve deeply into the why. And then we look at the why of
I do that for a couple of reasons. One of them is so that I can find out if they have a big enough reason
to actually do the work that will be required to achieve their stated goal. If not, they are wasting our time
and their money.
But, the main reason I do it is so that they can see what is behind this goal. Most of them have never
made the connection to that deep-seated reason. It is always eye-opening for them. And once they have
made that connection, their life changes (whether we ever work together or not).
Now, they have a motivation to make it happen. And, frankly, they are going to need that motivation and
they will need to revisit it periodically. Why? Because it is hard to persist when things get tough…
unless you have that deep motivation to draw on.
Remember that in the section "acting on the plan" (above), I mentioned taking one step, then another, then
another? You have to take that series of steps… and keep taking them. That is persistence. If you
keep doing that, you will succeed (reach your goal.)
The best way to be persistent is to have help. Find someone to encourage you, to provide accountability
for you, to brainstorm detours around obstacles, and to walk alongside you (or to help navigate if you prefer the
driving metaphor.) It is so much easier when you aren't trying to do it alone.
If you are looking for someone to help you create that plan, overcome that fear, and walk alongside you as you
journey toward success, remember that I am here to help you. Contact me and let's talk about how I might