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100 Steps: Steps 1-10
The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!
The following is an excerpt from a previously unreleased book entitled The 100 Steps Necessary for Business Success by Walt F.J. Goodridge. It is provided exclusively to Saipan Tribune readers!
STEP 1: DECIDE.
Whether tomorrow is going to be your first, your five thousandth, or your final day in business, it represents the opportunity to take a step in a new direction. Every step we ever take in life is preceded by a decision. Therefore, each one of the next 99 steps will require a decision on your part in order to make it work for you. So decide. Decide now. Decide that you want to take each step. Decide now that regardless of the path and the direction you’re on right now, that you’re ready to take things in another direction. Decide that you will do whatever it takes to not only survive, but to thrive in business.
STEP 2: FIND your “why”.
This might be the most important step of all the 100 steps. Your “why” is the reason why you are deciding to embark on this journey. Perhaps it’s to provide a better future for your children. Perhaps it’s to be able to take care of our parents. Perhaps it’s to have more time to spend with your family. Perhaps it’s simply because you hate what you’re currently doing and want to do something more fulfilling. Perhaps it’s to fulfill a personal promise to yourself or to someone else to be the best that you could be, or simply for some other secret reason that only you will know. Whatever it is, your “why” is what will keep you going when times get rough.
It will give you the strength and courage to go on when all evidence suggests that it’s time to call it quits.
Find your why, for this will be your personal key to survival in business.
STEP 3: BECOME coachable.
Many others before you have taken these steps and became successful. Are you willing to hear, listen to and apply the directions you are about to receive? Are you coachable? Sometimes we would rather be right than successful. Sometimes we will argue and fight on behalf of our beliefs, rather than let go of them in the interest of success. If what you know was beyond question, you wouldn’t be reading this book. You are reading this book because you are open to new ideas. Continue that openness and apply it to your willingness to follow the steps closely. Ego and wealth are often on opposite sides of the seesaw of life. When ego is down, wealth is up.
STEP 4: COMMIT to personal growth.
Your success in business is a direct function of your mental state. Therefore, in order to succeed, you first must be willing to think differently. You will succeed to the exact degree that you grow as a human being. Your financial rewards are the measure of your success in doing this. You do not receive what you believe, or what you wish for. You receive exactly what you are. Accept that the real key to business success lies in what you become in the quest for success. The financial rewards of your business venture will be in direct proportion to the wealth consciousness that you adopt in the journey itself. The world is filled with opportunities and wealth. Becoming an entrepreneur is one pathway you can take to claim your share of it. The only reason more of us aren’t taking the plunge is due to fear of the unknown brought about by years of conditioning. You will need to dispense with these old habits, beliefs and fears. Those of us who are willing to think differently will grow beyond these old ways, conquer our fears, and eventually be able to live our dreams. Those of us who sit on the sidelines, will forever wonder what might have been.
STEP 5: FOLLOW your passion.
There’s truth to the saying, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” In fact, much more than money follows the decision to follow your passion. You can expect a brand of fulfillment that the average person may never experience in their lifetime. You can expect rewards that far surpass the satisfaction of monetary compensation.
There’s a reason you were put here on the planet. Your mission is to discover what that reason is, honor it, express it, and if you can make a living at it, you’ll be way ahead of the game.
To find your passion, pay close attention to what you enjoy, what gives you your greatest sense of satisfaction, what people notice about you, and what you are drawn to. Don’t limit yourself to currently held jobs, but use them as clues as to where your passion is hiding. Consider them “fact-finding” missions to get the experience you need to take the next step. In addition, don’t get caught in the trap of simply following your aptitudes. You may know enough about real estate to help people buy a house. But do you actually enjoy doing that? Remember, your goal is to follow your passion, not just your proficiency.
Once you find your passion, don’t limit yourself to just one for all time. Don’t feel that any decision you make today is written in stone, or that you are obligated to pursue this single passion for the rest of your life. Life is a process of discovery, growth and change. Live it with passion!
STEP 6: SET goals.
It’s a fact: those who set goals get further in life than those who don’t. The very act of setting goals and writing them down impresses them into the subconscious mind and sets in motion creative forces that work to bring them into existence. The act of formulating your goals in your mind also increases your awareness of daily opportunities for their realization.
Your goals should be clearly defined, quantifiable, and expressed as a positive statement, in the present tense. For example, “I weigh 150 pounds” is a great goal. It is clear. There’s a specific number attached to it, so you’ll know exactly when you reach it. And, it is expressed as a present-tense statement in the first person. Whereas, “People will not tempt me to eat too much anymore” is unclear, vague, negatively stated in the third person, and stated in the future. Other great business goals are, “I earn $20,000 in the first quarter of this year.” “I sell 5,000 copies of my book this month.” Set and reset your goals constantly, and as often as possible.
STEP 7: KNOW that everything is doable.
Every goal that you will ever set exists at the end of a series of smaller goals and steps. As long as you can discover the steps, you can reach the goal. Similarly, if you don’t already believe this, convince yourself that any idea that you can dream up, any goal that you can set, any challenge that you will face, and any question that life will pose to you, can be implemented, reached, overcome, and answered. There is always an answer. Believe that you can find it. Everything is within your grasp. Believe that you can reach it. Every dream is achievable, provided you are willing to pay the price to get it. Failure is not an option.
STEP 8: MAKE lists.
All great achievers work from lists. Lists are my own secret weapon for accomplishing everything. I always end my day by making a list of the things I want to accomplish during the coming 24 hours. This gives my subconscious mind a chance to work on creative ways to accomplish each item on the list while I sleep. Then, when my day starts, I address each item one at a time. Whenever a new idea or task comes up, I add it to the list so that I won’t forget, and so that I won’t be sidetracked by the urgent rather than focus on the important.
Don’t attempt to hold everything in your mind. It requires too much energy to hold on to every single item of importance while you work on others. You’ll free up a tremendous amount of mental energy once you get into the habit of writing everything down on your list.
STEP 9: FEEL the fear and do it anyway.
There are only two causal emotions in the universe: fear and love. These are the only reasons we as humans do the things we do. Unfortunately, the majority of us act (or fail to act) due to fear. From working a job, to waging war, to following religion, to engaging in politics, to having sex, practically every aspect of what we call civilization is in response to some fear or another. Fear of starvation leads to the development of agriculture; fear of poverty leads to the pursuit of wealth; fear of the elements leads to construction of shelter; fear of death leads to the development of religion. Fear of losing freedom, identity, independence and territory leads to war. Therefore, if there is something you do or do not do, chances are it’s because of a fear of some kind.
The reason many people do not venture forth in business is because of a fear I’ve called Entrepreneurophobia—fear of being an entrepreneur. And while you won’t find it listed in any of the medical or psychiatric journals, it is a normal part of the entrepreneurial journey. But, don’t worry, even seasoned entrepreneurs experience it from time to time. The trick is not to let it scare you into inactivity and deprive you of your dreams. Overcoming these self-doubts and negative influences associated with Entrepreneurophobia doesn’t mean you’ll be successful either. In fact, overcoming fear of failure may be just the beginning of your “troubles.” Because, while many of us suffer from a fear of failure, an equal number suffer from a fear of success! It’s true. There are many individuals who don’t know how to handle success and, when things are going well, appear to do everything in their power to destroy everything they’ve worked hard to achieve. The superstar who seemed to have it all who then throws it all away on drugs, sex or gambling is the classic example. Even after we have achieved success, our own low self esteem may come back to haunt us. The public image we’ve created—the one that everyone else sees—doesn’t quite match the image we have of ourselves. We subconsciously do what we can to get the two images to match. We sabotage our own success in an effort to bring the two images into agreement. Eventually, the facade of wealth, confidence, and success comes tumbling down, to be replaced with the old self-image of poverty, lack and negativity. That’s what fear can do to you. The bad news is you may never get rid of your fears completely, the good news is that you can learn how to feel the fear and do it anyway!
STEP 10: DO something to make it real.
One of the best ways that I’ve found to move a project or product along to completion is to do something to make it real. When I’m writing a book, for example, I create a prototype. First, I find a book from my shelf or at the local library that’s the same size and thickness I envision my book will be. Then, by hand or using a computer graphics program, I create a mock-up front and back cover and spine of my book. Then, I tape my mock-up cover over the sample book. That way I have a physical representation of my goal that I can walk around with as I live the reality of its completion. You can and should do the same. Perhaps you’re just about to launch a business. You may want to create your business cards first so you can practice your opening line and your “hand off” as you say, “here’s my card.” Perhaps you’re inventing a new product. You may want to create a cardboard, or wooden prototype. Whatever your goal, you can devise a prototype, a model, a sample, or some other representation that can help you make it real.
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Next week, Steps 11 through 20. Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!—Walt
(Walt F.J. Goodridge is author of 12 books including Turn Your Passion Into Profit. Walt offers coaching and workshops to help people pursue and profit from their passions. Originally from the island of Jamaica, Walt has grown several successful businesses in the US, and now makes his home here in Saipan. To learn more about the Saipanpreneur Project and Walt’s philosophy and formula visit www.saipanpreneur.com and www.passionprofit.com. Send article suggestions, entrepreneur nominations and feedback about this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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