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100 Steps: Steps 11-20
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 11: ADOPT a wealth consciousness.
One of the biggest obstacles to business success has nothing to do with market conditions, consumer trends, or the dollar’s buying power. No, the biggest obstacle is often our own scarcity mentality. It’s a fact of life that most of us have grown up in a state of “not having enough”. There may never have been enough money to provide the standard of living our parents wanted for us. As a result, there may not have been enough toys, food, clothing, time spent with mommy and daddy, patience and even love to go around. As a result, in our adult lives, we labor under a belief that there’s not enough wealth to go around. We believe that in order for someone to gain, that another has to lose. We hoard our money out of fear of not having enough. But true wealth is a flow in as well as out. When we hoard our wealth, we stifle the very flow that would bring even more riches into our lives. But, when we have a wealth consciousness, we give freely, because we know that that is how to create more abundance in our lives. When we have a wealth consciousness, we understand that there’s enough for everyone. There’s enough love, freedom, opportunity, customers and money for everyone to be happy. We don’t have to be jealous of another’s success because we know that there’s enough for all of us.
STEP 12: CULTIVATE relationships.
People will do almost anything for you if they like you. But, you don’t get people to like you by impressing them with wealth, status or intelligence. For people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. People will like you if they feel they know you, and feel that you know them. To truly survive and thrive in business, therefore, you need to cultivate supportive relationships with people who like you. One of the best ways to cultivate such relationships is simply to listen to others. People who are allowed to talk about themselves, and who feel they are being heard will develop a bond with you that will be the basis of every supportive relationship. Remember, the universe will
provide its assistance and success to you through other people. Most of the knowledge you will ever gain in life will probably came from other people. The wealth you seek in business comes from other people. Your suppliers will extend great terms to you if they like you. Your contacts will open doors for you if they like you. Your customers will surely patronize your business if they like you. Your creditors? Hmmm.. Even they may extend a bit of patience if they like you.
STEP 13: JUDGE not.
As an author, I often do book signings, workshops and outdoor fairs to promote my books. One day, several years ago, I found myself winding down from a slow sales day of one such outdoor event. As I started to pack, a disheveled, older gentleman came to my table to browse the selection of books displayed.
At first glance, I might have assumed he was homeless, as he carried his possessions in several shopping bags, and his clothes seemed quite worn. As he flipped through one of my higher- priced creations, we started to chat about people and their passions. We traded insights into the way of the world, and he began to share his life story with me in that no-input-from-the listener-required way that great storytellers do who have great stories to tell but no one to tell them to. As I listened patiently, waiting for a break in his flow of words, I noticed two women approaching the table.
I thought to myself, “Should I end my conversation with Mr. Homeless, and tend to these more affluent-looking prospects browsing the table?” Well, I had learned very early on in life never to judge, and never to assume. I also felt in my heart that even if I lost a potential sale to the women, that keeping the conversation going with Mr. Homeless would make him feel special, and that that was the right thing to do. I did, however, motion to the ladies and tell them that I would be with them shortly, as I continued to chat. Well, to make a short story just a bit longer, the ladies ended up walking away soon afterwards. Mr. Homeless, too, soon decided it was time for him to leave. He asked how much the book was. I told him the price. He put down one of his shopping bags, produced a neat billfold of cash, and peeled off a few to leave with me! I autographed his book. He smiled, thanked me, shook my hand, and walked off into the night. Judge not.
STEP 14: TAKE RISKS
Being an entrepreneur is about taking risks. Risk taking requires courage. It’s often said, however, that courage is not the absence of fear, but action despite the fear!
So what’s the secret to taking the risks in the face of choices that paralyze others? I’ve found that several beliefs have helped me to become a risk-taker. First of all, I have faith that I can always bounce back from any adversity. I also have confidence in my ability to get things done. I also know that the majority of the consequences of my actions are not life-threatening. They may be embarrassing, but beyond the discomfort of momentary feelings of inadequacy, there is nothing that I can’t get through. And, most importantly, before I take any risky action, I decide that whatever the consequences of my actions, I will be able to live with them.
For example, when I decided to walk away from my civil engineering career to pursue my passion for writing, there were those who thought I was crazy. They felt I was taking a big risk. A foolhardy risk as far as they were concerned. I, on the other hand, knew that I wasn’t happy, and that the only way for me to get myself on the road to happiness was to quit my job. At the same time, I was comfortable with what I saw as the two possible outcomes. I would either succeed, or I would have to eventually return to a job in the corporate world. While I never really contemplated the second option, I knew on some level that if I had to, that I could. In fact, in the years following my initial decision to pursue my passion full-time, I did, in fact take a few “temp” assignments to generate income. It hurt my ego. But, I recovered.
As long as you can deal with the outcomes, a risk is nothing but the chance to succeed. Eventually, what others will consider your fearless approach to life, you’ll know simply as a commitment to success.
STEP 15: AVOID television.
People have called it the “idiot box.” Now, while I know that in and of itself, the medium of television is a great thing, and that there are great informative, inspiring and otherwise positive programs, it is, for the most part, a barren wasteland of negativity, sensationalism, morally offensive programming and insulting advertising, all of no great socially redeeming value.
There are many documented benefits to cutting down the amount of time spent watching television. It’s been shown that reducing the time watching television can make children less aggressive toward their peers. Less television has been shown to curb obesity. And almost every successful business person will tell you that they watch little to no television. Coincidence? I think not! The average consumer can easily spend 4-5 hours each day watching television. That’s about 35 hours each week. Think about it. That’s like having another full time job!!!! Stay especially far away from negatively-skewed news programs which have been shown to adversely affect optimism and creativity. When the tube is on, the mind is off. When the mind starts to fade, no money will be made.
STEP 16: SURROUND yourself with winners.
Misery, as well as failure, both love company! Stay away from negative thinkers and align yourself with people who are on their way to, or are already where you want to be! The people you keep in your social and business circles have a tremendous effect on who you will become. Hang out with people who challenge you. Seek out people whose ideas help you to think differently, and whose lives give you something to aspire towards.
Be prepared to lose some of your current friends behind as you take each step forward. You may even have to say good-bye to family members, spouses and even lifelong associates as you endeavor to change your life. Fortunately, you may find that this separation happens quite naturally as you begin to change your thoughts. As your goals change, your thoughts change. As your thoughts change, so will the people you attract and who are attracted to you.
STEP 17: DEVELOP a mastermind team
Above and beyond the winners with whom you surround yourself, you will also need a mastermind team. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, defines the MASTERMIND as the: “coordination of knowledge, experience, energy and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people for the attainment of a greater definite purpose.” A MASTERMIND Team is a special group of people, sort of like a professional board of advisors. The purpose of a professional MASTERMIND team is to create a powerful resource bank, thereby creating access to a large support group of professionals.
With this unique set of people, will come access to a unique set of thought processes, mental outlooks, support, financial resources. There’s a unique energy that is created when people of like mind convene to tackle challenges.
STEP 18: START small.
Gaining the courage, experience, and skill to survive and thrive in business takes time, practice and determination. It may help, therefore, to start with easier challenges and work your way up to bigger ones. Set believable goals and work your way up to the bigger ones. For example, if you’re currently earning $30,000 per year, to set a goal to make $1 million within the next 30 days may be a bit of a stretch. It may be difficult for your conscious mind to believe. Set something a bit more believable, say $45,000, and you’ll find that the confidence that comes from achieving this smaller, more realistic goal, will help you to raise your belief level so as to make the grander goals more achievable.
STEP 19: DO daily affirmations.
An affirmation is a statement of a desired outcome stated in the present tense. “I am a successful entrepreneur.” “My company is making enough money to support me.” These are examples of effective affirmations that you can write on 3"X5" index cards and read them to yourself in the mornings and in the evenings. They help your mind resonate at a frequency of thought that attracts new possibilities into your life. Here are some affirmations you can use:
• I am calm as I proceed towards my goal.
• I act in complete faith that the universe will provide.
• I am confident.
• I have the ability to achieve all that I desire.
• I make decisions quickly.
• I am confident and focused even in the midst of
criticisms, doubts and all negative influences.
• I am financially independent.
• I earn money on my own terms.
STEP 20: FOCUS on the good.
Like seeds that respond to water, whatever you focus on in life tends to grow. Therefore, focus on the good in all situations that come your way. Look for the seed of opportunity hidden within every adversity. Concentrate single-mindedly on whom you wish to become. Focus on your desires, not on your fears.
Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!--Walt
Send article suggestions, entrepreneur nominations and feedback about this article to email@example.com. 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
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