Tag Archives: business success

Success is a habit. How can we keep on winning?

Your morning cup of coffee: habit. Bedtime stories for your kids: habit. Daily perusal of favorite websites: habit. Early morning jog: habit. Success in life: habit.

Wait a minute. What? Yes, you heard right: Success is a habit, just like all those other routines. Sure, it takes a little more work to cultivate this one than, say, filing your paperwork before it overwhelms your desk; but nonetheless, if you train yourself right, you can experience that “I did it!” feeling over and over again.
The world is saturated with intelligent, highly educated, extraordinarily skilled people who experience ongoing frustration because of their lack of success. Millions of others spend their lives working hard, long hours only to die broke.… Success is a matter of understanding and religiously practicing specific, simple habits that always lead to success.

The secret to your success can be found in your daily agenda. Let’s look at five tendencies you need to become a habitual winner. John Maxwell, shares with us that the best way is to make it a habit.

1. Winners are passionate about what they do.

OK, I’m fudging my definition a little bit. I’m not sure passion is a “habit,” but I have to start there because it’s the cornerstone for everything else. Passion is the fuel and energy of life. It is the catalyst for self-discipline. It puts the fun in working. It’s impossible to succeed without it.

Here’s the common mistake: People look for outside influences to motivate them and fuel their passions. People ask me all the time, “John, who motivates you?” It’s the wrong question. They should ask what motivates me. If you have to wait for someone else to motivate you, you’ll spend a lot of time waiting. What gets you excited? What fires you up so much you have a hard time sleeping? What can you do that uniquely adds value to the world?

So why, then, do so many of us ignore our passions and chase money? Money isn’t a motivator for most people, no matter how often we equate achievement with wealth. I remember taking a job at a church in Sandiego. I was there about a week and a half when the comptroller came to me and said, “I’m bothered by something. You don’t know how much money you’re making.” I didn’t know and it didn’t matter. I went to that church because I had a passion for the job, not for the money I’d earn. If your work matches your passion, then it isn’t work at all. I like to say I’m a “workafrolic,” not a workaholic. It’s true—I can hardly distinguish work time from playtime. You can become one, too. If you make money at it, great; if not, then at least you’ve dedicated your life to something meaningful.
2. Winners value the process of winning.

People in the habit of losing overvalue victories and undervalue the process required to win. They want the thrill of the breakthrough, not the toil that comes before it. People in the habit of winning are the opposite: They find value and satisfaction in the preparation process.

Several years ago I led a group of friends and donors on a two-week trip to South and Central America. At the time I was working on my book Talent Is Never Enough. Since I knew I would spend many hours on the plane, I made copies of the outline and asked everyone for his or her input. We discussed what worked, what didn’t, and what could be improved. When we got home, one friend said, “John, we worked for you this entire trip! It was a lot of fun discussing ideas and contributing to your book. But more than that, I learned something important.” “What’s that?” I asked. “You got all the work done because you were prepared. I’m never going on a trip again without having a plan.”
3. Winners focus on their strengths and not their weaknesses.

If you want to be successful, you’ve got to work on your weaknesses, right?  Wrong! If you want to develop a habit of winning, you need to cultivate your strengths. Everybody does a lot of things badly, but everyone can be the world’s best at something. The trick is to find that something.

Now, there is one important question you must ask: What weakness is blocking my potential? Focus on the traits you can correct, such as developing a positive attitude, improving self-discipline or acting with more integrity. When it comes to skills, you don’t have much say—you’re naturally good at some things and not others. So focus on your strengths and stop obsessing over your weaknesses. Otherwise, you will be clawing your way up to average. Nobody pays for average. Nobody wins with average.
4. Winners focus on winning on the inside more than the outside.

If you want to win, you need to work on the inner you, not the exterior self you show the world. Remember this: If your inner core is weak, your outer self will eventually crumble, too. If it’s strong, that inner fortitude will shine through.

You can start by developing these three attributes:

Trustworthiness: You cannot win without earning the trust of those around you.

Discipline: The greatest competition you’ll ever experience will be between your disciplined and undisciplined minds.

Attitude: Believe you will win and you make it possible to win. Believe you will lose and you make it impossible to win. (Read more about John C. Maxwell’s thoughts on attitude in his piece The ‘Big 5’ Challenges People Face.)
5. Winners persist on their path toward success.

Quit, and you’re guaranteed to lose. Persist, and you’re on your way to finding success. You have to persist on the right path, however. If you refuse to quit that high-salary, low-satisfaction job, well, we’ve already addressed that mistake.

I remember the first time I spoke before an audience. It was 1966 and I was 19 years old. I knew right away that speaking was one of my strengths—I could tell people liked me and there was a good chemistry, but I had a long way to go to become good. So I worked at improving. I withstood my critics. I moved past rejection. I learned from my fumbles and failures. And when I found something that worked, I focused on improving it. How long did it take me to nail the art of public speaking? Ten years!

We seem to love stories of overnight successes, but the truth is there aren’t any. If you want to be a consistent winner, you’ve got to work at it every day. Success comes from developing the habits of winning.

Winning – As many of you know we love the correlation of success in sports and success in life and how closely connected they are.

We wanted to take this opportunity to say Thank You for your time this past year. We know how precious a commodity time is and that’s why we take equipment leasing so seriously. Our goal is to provide you and your customers with easy well- priced financing and we hope we have done that.

Have you ever heard this? “It isn’t whether you win or lose. It is how you play the game.” I am sure you have. But do you know who said it? Some guy who came in second place!

You see, I have a problem with that statement. It presupposes, or at least strongly suggests, that winning and playing the game “right” are mutually exclusive propositions. Perhaps we ought to have this as our goal as we pursue success: We want to win, while playing the game right! I totally disagree with the statement that we should win at all costs. Instead, we should do everything good that we can to win at this game we call life. And we ought to also do all that we can to help others win.

With all of that… here are some thoughts on being in the game—to win!

Any “game” worth playing is a game worth pursuing a win in. If I get into a game, I play to win. What nobility is there in playing like a slacker? What virtue is purposeful mediocrity? None! I live my life to be a winner—spiritually, financially, physically, emotionally, relationally—every area of my life! If it is worth doing, it is worth playing for the win!

It is good to win. We live in an age now where people have reacted to sore winners by saying that we shouldn’t strive for winning. Many of our schools have abandoned the idea of competition, and our educational scores show that. Kudos to all of the teachers out there who still tell their kids that they can be winners! It is good and noble to win! It is something to strive for. It is good to push ourselves, to stretch and reach for victory. It is a grand thing to want to win!

There doesn’t have to be a loser in life. Yes, in teamed competition, there are always losers (but more on that in a bit), but in life, we can all win! We can all strive for the best and give it our all to win.

Winners are the ones who move families, businesses, organizations, cities and countries ahead. Winners are the ones who push progress. You don’t think that couch potato is the one who will cure cancer or open up the next great technology do you? No. It will be a person who has chosen to be a winner!

Losing can mean winning. Just because your score in a game or contest is the least at the end of the game doesn’t mean all is lost. You can still be a winner in that you gave it your all, you competed at your highest level, you learned new skills and strategies, and you became a better player and person. That is winning in my book!

Winners help others win. That is right, good people, people who pursue winning by excellence, are also people who stop to help others so that they, too, can enjoy the spoils of victory. Pursue the win, but help others achieve all that they can as well!

Winners make everyone better. When I get into athletic matches I want to play against the best. Yes, I may come up short in the score, but I will be better because that winner will make me grow in every area of my game! Winners stretch the losers so they can become winners too! Thanks Chris Widener.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People Revisted

I have read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey on many occasions and find it useful to revisit the principals in Stephen’s book. This week we revisit those seven habits to spot check ourselves to make sure we are doing all we can to be effective in all areas of our lives.

I see seven unique human endowments or capabilities associated with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. One way to revisit The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is to identify the unique human capability or endowment associated with each habit.

The primary human endowments are 1) self-awareness or self-knowledge; 2) imagination and conscience; and 3) volition or will power. And the secondary endowments are 4) an abundance mentality; 5) courage and consideration; and 6) creativity. The seventh endowment is self-renewal. These are all unique human endowments; animals don’t possess any of them. But, they are all on a continuum of low to high levels.

Associated with Habit 1:

Be Proactive is the endowment of self-knowledge or self-awareness, an ability to choose your response (response-ability). At the low end of the continuum are the ineffective people who transfer responsibility by blaming themselves or others or their environment anything or anybody “out there” so that they are not responsible for results. At the upper end of the continuum toward increasing effectiveness is self-awareness: “I know my tendencies; I know the scripts or programs that are in me; but I am not those scripts. I can rewrite my scripts.” You are aware that you are the creative force of your life. You are not the victim of conditions or conditioning. You can choose your response to any situation, to any person. So on the continuum; you go from being a victim to self-determining creative power through self-awareness of the power to choose your response to any condition or conditioning.

Associated with Habit 2:

Begin With the End In Mind is the endowment of imagination and conscience. If you are the programmer, write the program. Decide what you’re going to do with the time, talent, and tools you have to work with: “Within my small circle of influence, I’m going to decide.” At the low end of the continuum is the sense of futility about goals, purposes, and improvement efforts. After all, if you are totally a victim, if you are a product of what has happened to you, then what can you realistically do about anything? So you wander through life hoping things will turn out well, that the environment may be positive, so you can have your daily bread and maybe some positive fruits. At the other end is a sense of hope and purpose: “I have created the future in my mind. I can see it, and I can imagine what it will be like.” Only people have the capability to imagine a new course of action and pursue it conscientiously.

Associated with Habit 3:

Put First Things First is the endowment of willpower. At the low end of the continuum is the ineffective, flaky life of floating and coasting, avoiding responsibility and taking the easy way out, exercising little initiative or willpower. And at the top end is a highly disciplined life that focuses heavily on the highly important but not necessarily urgent activities of life. It’s a life of leverage and influence. On the continuum, you go from being driven by crises and having can’t and won’t power to being focused on the important but not necessarily urgent matters of your life and having the will power to realize them.

The exercise of primary human endowments empowers you to use the secondary endowments more effectively. We will now move from Primary to Secondary Endowments.

Associated with Habit 4:

Think Win-Win is the endowment of an abundance mentality. Why? Because your security comes from principles. Everything is seen through principles. When your wife makes a mistake, you’re not accusatory. Why? Your security does not come from your wife living up to your expectations. Your security comes from within yourself. You’re principle-centered. As people become increasingly principle-centered, they love to share recognition and power. Why? It’s not a limited pie. It’s an ever-enlarging pie. The basic paradigm and assumption about limited resources is flawed. The great capabilities of people are hardly even tapped. The abundance mentality produces more profit, power, and recognition for everybody. On the continuum, you go from a scarcity to an abundance mentality through feelings of intrinsic self-worth and a benevolent desire for mutual benefit.

Associated with Habit 5:

Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood is the endowment of courage balanced with consideration. Does it take courage and consideration to not be understood first? Think about it. Think about the problems you face. You tend to think, “You need to understand me, but you don’t understand. I understand you, but you don’t understand me. So let me tell you my story first, and then you can say what you want.” And the other person says, “Okay, I’ll try to understand.” But the whole time they’re “listening,” they’re preparing their reply. They are just pretending to listen, selective listening. When you show your home movies or tell some chapter of you autobiography “let me tell you my experience” the other person is tuned out unless he feels understood.

But what happens when you truly listen to another person? The whole relationship is transformed: “Someone started listening to me and they seemed to savor my words. They didn’t agree or disagree, they just were listening and I felt as if they were seeing how I saw the world. And in that process, I found myself listening to myself. I started to feel a worth in myself.”

The root cause of almost all people problems is the basic communication problem people do not listen with empathy. They listen from within their autobiography. They lack the skill and attitude of empathy. They need approval; they lack courage. The ability to listen first requires restraint, respect, and reverence. And the ability to make yourself understood requires courage and consideration. On the continuum, you go from fight and flight instincts to mature two-way communication where courage is balanced with consideration.

Associated with Habit 6:

Synergize is the endowment of creativity, the creation of something. How? By yourself? No, through two respectful minds communicating, producing solutions that are far better than what either originally proposed. Most negotiation is positional bargaining and results, at best, in compromise. But when you get into synergistic communication, you leave position. You understand basic underlying needs and interests and find solutions to satisfy them both. You get people thinking. And if you get the spirit of teamwork, you start to build a very powerful bond, an emotional bank account, and people are willing to subordinate their immediate wants for long-term relationships. With courage and consideration, communicate openly with each other and try to create win-win solutions. On the continuum, you go from defensive communication to compromise transactions to synergistic and creative alternatives and transformations.

Associated with Habit 7:

Sharpen the Saw is the unique endowment of continuous improvement or self-renewal to overcome entropy. If you don’t constantly improve and renew yourself, you’ll fall into entropy, closed systems and styles. At one end of the continuum is entropy (everything breaks down), and the other end is continuous improvement, innovation, and refinement. On the continuum, you go from a condition of entropy to a condition of continuous renewal, improvement, innovation, and refinement.

Our hope in revisiting the Seven Habits is that you will use the seven unique human endowments associated with them to bless and benefit the lives of many other people.

Have a great week unless you choose otherwise.

3 Legs of Success – Ability: Motivation: Attitude…. Are you winning?

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz

There are three primary aspects of your life that will determine whether or not you are successful in your endeavors. You will not be successful if you have only one or two. You must have all three working together. Consider them like the three legs of a “stool of success.”

Ability – the level at which you are able to actually do things. Your skill level. If you have a high level of skill, that´s good. And the better you get, the better it will be for you. To the degree that you can perform your actions at higher and higher skill levels, the more and more success you will find in your chosen field.

Motivation – the level at which you are able to find “a reason to act.” This is the internal drive that you find that enables you to exercise your abilities. To the degree that you can find a way, or ways, to keep yourself motivated, you will see yourself right in the thick of things, carrying out your actions to the best of your abilities and succeeding accordingly.

Attitude – this is the mental state that you have while carrying out your actions to the best of your ability. It is the way you view the world around you and choose to see it, either positively or negatively. To the degree that you can maintain a positive attitude about yourself, others, and the circumstances you find yourself in, you will see yourself achieving greater and greater things.

“But can’t I get away with just two?”

No.

What if you have high skills and motivation but a rotten attitude? People will stay away and hinder your success. What if you have a good attitude and motivation but poor skills? People will like you, maybe even root for you, but go to someone else with the skills they need. What if you have great skills and attitude but no motivation? Well, you’ll be sitting on the couch like a lazy slug while the go-getters are out there making your money and achieving your dreams!

No, it takes all three. So let’s ask some questions:

Ability: How highly skilled are you? Is your skill level holding you back? How so? What could you achieve if you just took your skills to the next level beyond where they are right now? How would improving your skills improve the bottom line of your success?

Motivation: How motivated are you? Why do you answer that way? What would your spouse or close friends say? Would they say you are as motivated as you say you are? Why or why not? Why do you have the level of motivation that you have? What could you do to find a higher level of motivation? What would happen if you became super motivated for the next period of your life. What great things would happen?

Attitude: Do you have a good attitude or a poor one? How would you rate yourself? What about when things go wrong? Are you more of an optimist or a pessimist? What would happen if you took your attitude to the next level for the next 60 days? What if you just chose to have an incredible attitude? What would be the ramifications?

“The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it is what a man or woman is able to do that counts.” Booker T. Washington

This is so true. People will judge you on what you accomplish, not what you know or what you talk about. In fact, if you know a lot or talk a lot but do not accomplish anything, people will wonder what happened. So the question is whether or not you will take the actions necessary to deliver on your potential. To do so, you will need to focus in on the three legs of the stool of success: Your ability, your motivation, and your attitude.

Take some time this week to give serious thought to these three areas. Your success depends on it!

For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards. That’s one of life’s great arrangements.

Here’s a unique part of the Law of Sowing and Reaping. Not only does it suggest that we’ll all reap what we’ve sown, it also suggests that we’ll reap much more. Life is full of laws that both govern and explain behaviors, but this may well be the major law we need to understand: For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards.

What a concept! If you render unique service, your reward will be multiplied. If you’re fair and honest and patient with others, your reward will be multiplied. If you give more than you expect to receive, your reward is more than you expect. But remember: the key word here, as you might well imagine, is discipline.

Everything of value requires care, attention, and discipline. Our thoughts require discipline. We must consistently determine our inner boundaries and our codes of conduct, or our thoughts will be confused. And if our thoughts are confused, we will become hopelessly lost in the maze of life. Confused thoughts produce confused results.

Remember the law: “For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards.” Learn the discipline of writing a card or a letter to a friend. Learn the discipline of paying your bills on time, arriving to appointments on time, or using your time more effectively. Learn the discipline of paying attention, or paying your taxes or paying yourself. Learn the discipline of having regular meetings with your associates, or your spouse, or your child, or your parent. Learn the discipline of learning all you can learn, of teaching all you can teach, of reading all you can read.

For each discipline, multiple rewards. For each book, new knowledge. For each success, new ambition. For each challenge, new understanding. For each failure, new determination. Life is like that. Even the bad experiences of life provide their own special contribution. But a word of caution here for those who neglect the need for care and attention to life’s disciplines: Everything has its price. Everything affects everything else. Neglect discipline, and there will be a price to pay. All things of value can be taken for granted with the passing of time.

That’s what we call the Law of Familiarity. Without the discipline of paying constant, daily attention, we take things for granted. Be serious. Life’s not a practice session.

If you’re often inclined to toss your clothes onto the chair rather than hanging them in the closet, be careful. It could suggest a lack of discipline. And remember, a lack of discipline in the small areas of life can cost you heavily in the more important areas of life. You cannot clean up your company until you learn the discipline of cleaning your own garage. You cannot be impatient with your children and be patient with your distributors or your employees. You cannot inspire others to sell more when that goal is inconsistent with your own conduct. You cannot admonish others to read good books when you don’t have a library card.

Think about your life at this moment. What areas need attention right now? Perhaps you’ve had a disagreement with someone you love or someone who loves you, and your anger won’t allow you to speak to that person. Wouldn’t this be an ideal time to examine your need for a new discipline? Perhaps you’re on the brink of giving up, or starting over, or starting out. And the only missing ingredient to your incredible success story in the future is a new and self-imposed discipline that will make you try harder and work more intensely than you ever thought you could.

The most valuable form of discipline is the one that you impose upon yourself. Don’t wait for things to deteriorate so drastically that someone else must impose discipline in your life. Wouldn’t that be tragic? How could you possibly explain the fact that someone else thought more of you than you thought of yourself? That they forced you to get up early and get out into the marketplace when you would have been content to let success go to someone else who cared more about themselves.

Your life, my life, the life of each one of us is going to serve as either a warning or an example. A warning of the consequences of neglect, self-pity, lack of direction and ambition… or an example of talent put to use, of discipline self-imposed, and of objectives clearly perceived and intensely pursued.

to read the entire article go to http://assuredlease.lifestyleezine.com

Are You In It To Win It? Winners are the ones who move families, businesses, organizations, cities and countries ahead.

Have you ever heard this? “It isn’t whether you win or lose. It is how you play the game.” I am sure you have. But do you know who said it? Some guy who came in second place!

You see, I have a problem with that statement. It presupposes, or at least strongly suggests, that winning and playing the game “right” are mutually exclusive propositions. Perhaps we ought to have this as our goal as we pursue success: We want to win, while playing the game right! I totally disagree with the statement that we should win at all costs. Instead, we should do everything good that we can to win at this game we call life. And we ought to also do all that we can to help others win.

With all of that… here are some thoughts on being in the game—to win!

Any “game” worth playing is a game worth pursuing a win in. If I get into a game, I play to win. What nobility is there in playing like a slacker? What virtue is purposeful mediocrity? None! I live my life to be a winner—spiritually, financially, physically, emotionally, relationally—every area of my life! If it is worth doing, it is worth playing for the win!

It is good to win. We live in an age now where people have reacted to sore winners by saying that we shouldn’t strive for winning. Many of our schools have abandoned the idea of competition, and our educational scores show that. Kudos to all of the teachers out there who still tell their kids that they can be winners! It is good and noble to win! It is something to strive for. It is good to push ourselves, to stretch and reach for victory. It is a grand thing to want to win!

There doesn’t have to be a loser in life. Yes, in teamed competition, there are always losers (but more on that in a bit), but in life, we can all win! We can all strive for the best and give it our all to win.

Winners are the ones who move families, businesses, organizations, cities and countries ahead. Winners are the ones who push progress. You don’t think that couch potato is the one who will cure cancer or open up the next great technology do you? No. It will be a person who has chosen to be a winner!

Losing can mean winning. Just because your score in a game or contest is the least at the end of the game doesn’t mean all is lost. You can still be a winner in that you gave it your all, you competed at your highest level, you learned new skills and strategies, and you became a better player and person. That is winning in my book!

Winners help others win. That is right, good people, people who pursue winning by excellence, are also people who stop to help others so that they, too, can enjoy the spoils of victory. Pursue the win, but help others achieve all that they can as well!

Winners make everyone better.When I get into athletic matches I want to play against the best. Yes, I may come up short in the score, but I will be better because that winner will make me grow in every area of my game! Winners stretch the losers so they can become winners too!

If your business needs help becoming a winner, give us a call. We’re here to help.