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100 Steps 21-30

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 a continuing 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 21: DON’T tell the world right away

Keep the energy of your new idea or new goal within the incubator of your mind. Give it time to grow in the energy of your commitment and positive expectations before you introduce it to the world and the possible ridicule, judgment and speculation of well- intentioned, but small-minded visionaries.

Beware the “dream stealers” who will want to discourage you from achieving your dreams so that they may be more content in their own failures.

When I made the decision to quit my job, I decided that I wouldn’t tell my family right away. Though they all wish me the best, many would not understand that what I needed at that moment would not be questions undermining the practicality of my decision, but encouragement to solidify my resolve. They would not understand that doubt alone has been responsible for more business failures than market conditions, consumer trends and a fluctuating economy.

I made the mistake of telling a few friends who proceeded to question whether I was doing the right thing. Some asked outright if I was crazy.

Remember, regardless of their good intentions, your friends and family can only give you advice culled from the experience of their own reality. Someone who has never succeeded in business simply does not possess the wherewithal to advise you on how to succeed in business.

STEP 22: DECIDE what success looks like.

Before you can become successful in business, you must have an idea of just what success looks like. Define it for yourself. Is success the recognition of your contributions to society by your peers? Is it the cover story in the newspaper that validates your accomplishments? Is it the sense of peace that comes from knowing that you are financially self-sufficient? Is it the toys and luxuries that the money will afford you? Quantify it. Find or create pictures of your definition of success that you can use to focus your vision. Post these pictures on your wall over your desk. Use them to remind you of your “why” for seeking to survive and thrive in business.

STEP 23:FIND someone who is already there.

One of the most effective ways to survive in business is to find someone who is successful and make them a mentor. The person you select can be dead or alive. If they are not among the living, their story alone can be your guide. Model their personalites. Draw strength from their determination. Duplicate their accomplishments. When faced with obstacles and challenges in your own journey, ask yourself “what would Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump, Martha Stewart or Reginald Lewis do in a situation like this?”

If the individual whose success you’re modeling is more accessible, perhaps you can incorporate them into your winner’s circle of friends, or into your mastermind team. It may be the successful photographer down the street whose sense of personal and professional value you’ve always admired. Perhaps you can pay him to be a consultant or your personal coach. It may be the convenience store owner who has established an impeccable reputation among her customers. Perhaps you can simply invite her to a business lunch to pick her brain.

STEP 24: TAKE advice only from those who are where you wish to be.

It almost goes without saying, then, that once you find others who are further ahead on the path you wish to travel, that you should heed the advice of these people. What may not be as readily obvious, is that you should be wary of directions from “he who has not traveled the road.”

It’s been said that when you accept someone’s opinion, you accept their life-style. That being the case, before you take someone’s advice, you should simply ask yourself, “is this someone whose life-style, status, position or accomplishments and success I wish to emulate. Stop taking real estate investment advice from your broke uncle Fred who lives in a trailer park!

STEP 25: ADOPT the image of who you wish to become.

Spiritual author Neville says that in order to create the reality you desire, you must “live from the feeling of the wish fulfilled.” In other words, you must think, feel, speak and act as if you are already living the reality you desire.

So, how would having your business surviving and thriving affect you? How would you think, speak and act if things were unfolding just as you envisioned? Take some time to feel just as you would feel, and then make a decision to live there for as long as you can. The more you can train your mind and body to live in that state on a regular basis, the more quickly it become real.

It’s like creating a new habit. You do something over and over long enough, and it becomes a part of you. Live in the feeling of your desired objective, and you, through the creative machinations of your subconscious mind, aided by the people around you, the universe, will attract the circumstances, recognize the opportunities, and act appropriately to bring the objective into reality.

According to the book Lessons In Success:
What would I see from a millionaires view?
How would I act if my dreams now came true?
What would I do if I simply believed?
How would I feel if my goals I achieved?
Where in the world would my happiness lead?
Who would I lift up in word, thought or deed?
To make that world real here’s the formula how:
the only sure path is to be that way now!

STEP 26: DETERMINE what makes you special

Business consultants refer to it as your Unique Selling Proposition. I call it your Wow Factor! What is it that makes what you have to offer more desirable than anybody else’s? Why should I buy what you’re selling rather than give my money to someone else? When you can answer this question confidently, you’ll be one step closer to surviving as well as thriving in business. Many business owners never ask or adequately answer that question. Or worse, they respond with a self-centered response that puts their own financial gain at the center of the equation for business success. Remember, what makes you special is almost always something that you can do for others. Not what they can do for you. You become successful in business by fulfilling a need that someone else has. Therefore, what makes you special must, by deduction, be a special way in which you fulfill that need. Is it your attention to detail? Is it the your speedy service? Is it the way you make your customers feel? Is it the mood you create in your place of business? Is it your masterful knowledge of your products?

Know what makes you special, because that, more than anything else on your shelves or in your repository of business expertise, is what you’re really selling.

STEP 27:DETERMINE your strengths and weaknesses

Some people are better at coming up with ideas. Some people are more creative than others. Some people are better at research than others. Some people are better at marketing and promotion. Some people are better salespeople than others.

You may indeed be a Renaissance man or woman with the unique distinction of being equally talented in just about every talent or skill needed to survive and thrive in business. On the other hand, you might be like the rest of us who realize that there are just some things that other people are better at. At the very least, you may have come to the realization that there are just some things you SHOULDN’T be doing if you want to concentrate on surviving and thriving in business.

Once you come to that realization, network with, partner or hire people whose skills or personality strengths complement yours.

STEP 28: REALIZE that it doesn’t take money to start a business.

It’s true. It doesn’t take money to start a business. It takes value. Once you understand this important point, you’ll be free to do things you previously thought impossible. Let’s say that you have an idea for a doggie clinic, but you have neither the location nor the equipment to launch it.

Ask yourself, “what sort of people and customers will my business attract?” What sort of products will they be looking for?” “Which companies exist which provide these products and would be interested in reaching my customers?” “Can I create a proposal to encourage these companies to sponsor my clinic?” “What sort of cash, products or services can I request from these companies in return for the opportunity to reach my customers?”

Can you see how with just the right way of viewing the situation, you can create the forward motion you desire without needing a lot of money up front? Can you not see that a dog food seller with deep pockets just might have an interest in your clinic? Here are a few actual examples of how this type of thinking has helped other entrepreneurs.

- Manufacturers have financed inventors who are creating products with high customer appeal.

- Book printing companies have printed books in return for advertising space in these books.

- Consumer product and service companies have provided meeting space for organizations whose members represent their target demographic in return for the chance to make a sales pitch before each meeting.

STEP 29: BRAINSTORM constantly

Brainstorming is simply the process of posing a question and coming up with answers. Start with a clearly worded and framed question or challenge, and then simply engage in free-association to come up with as many possible answers and solutions as possible. In a brainstorming session, the quality of the answers and solutions is of less importance than the quantity. The goal is simply to come up with anything and everything first, and then sift through them later. Brainstorming sessions can be conducted alone, but they’ve been found to be much more effective if you have two or more people involved in the process. It’s important that the people you involve are of the same mindset, understand the success attitude, and understand the goal involved: quantity, not quality.

STEP 30: CREATE a plan to get there.

Every accomplishment lies at the end of a sequence of steps. A plan is nothing more than a series of steps designed to produce a specific outcome. The challenge, of course, is determining the type and sequence of steps which lead to the desired outcome. But, it may not be as difficult as you imagine. Here’s a technique for coming up with a working plan to survive and thrive in business. Let’s say that your plan to financial success will have 100 steps, with the 100th step being the ability to write yourself a check for 1 million dollars. Therefore, begin with the end in mind, and continually ask yourself, “What needs to happen in order for this step to occur?” What would have to happen (step 99) just before I accomplish step 100? Keep asking yourself that question as you move backwards and by the time you get to step 1, you’ll have your plan in place. Then simply get to work on step 1 right away!

Now, this is very important, as we work our plan, we should be prepared to revise it as necessary every single day. As soon as we take even a single step, we, as well as the landscape immediately change and may require us to rethink not only our directions, but our desired destination.

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Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!—Walt


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