I was listening to a motivational speaker the other day and he said something that I think we can all relate to at some point in our lives—especially if you do any type of consulting or coaching.
He said, “Don’t ask God to guide your footsteps if you are not willing to move your feet.”
Oh, how right he is.
Of course, he’s far more poetic than I am. For years I’ve had this sign displayed in my office…
Want to know something funny?
Almost everyone who sees it chuckles and comments on how funny it is and how much they hate it when people do exactly that.
Yet some of those who comment about it do the very thing they’re saying they hate.
Sure, we’re all hypocrites in some form or another, and I’m not here to point any fingers.
In fact, I’ve been guilty of this in my own life and business.
The problem here isn’t whether you take advice and do nothing once in a while or not; the problem is when it’s a pattern that gets repeated over and over again.
It’s one thing to get advice and decide against it, it’s another for someone to continually ask advice for the same problem, receive the same solutions, agree that they should act on those solutions, and still do absolutely nothing about it.
Let’s change angles for a second…
Are entrepreneurs BORN or MADE? That’s a question that gets asked all the time. What do you think? Personally, my answer is always “who cares.” If I tell you that they are born, how in the world are you going to determine if you were born one or not? The answer is irrelevant. If you want to be an entrepreneur, ask yourself this: “what would an entrepreneur do?” Find the answer, and do that.
I really don’t know if they’re made or born, but my experience has been this: Yes, some are just “born with it,” but I’ve also seen some “get it” along the way. It’s not one or the other.
Now, there is one thing that I do know for sure…it’s that the difference between an entrepreneur who makes it big and one who struggles day in and day out is found in their ability to apply what they know and learn.
I used to say that ACTION was the difference between failure and success, but I’ve learned through the years that many people are active, they’re busy, they’re working 20 hour days, and getting absolutely nothing of value done.
Action alone doesn’t equate to anything. And if your action is in the wrong direction, pouring more action into it is only going to get you to failure quicker. If you’re driving down the road in the wrong direction, driving faster won’t help; you need to evaluate and adjust.
I’ve found that the real key to success, if ever there was one, is this simple strategy….
Learn – Apply – Measure – Adjust
And repeat that over and over again.
Let’s say you’re trying to start a business and want to start some marketing. Your journey may look something like this…
1 – Learn: You pick up a marketing book and pull out a few marketing ideas.
2 – Apply: You hit the streets and put into action these new ideas.
3 – Measure: Now that you’ve applied some of that new found knowledge, measure the results and see if it’s working or not.
4 – Adjust: Based on the feedback you received in step 3, adjust accordingly.
And of course, REPEAT. This is the part many forget! They start something, it starts going well and they stop learning, they stop trying new things, they stop innovating.
Once you’ve got something good going, don’t stop. It’s easy to rest while you’re ahead, but that’s when you become soft and vulnerable to being lapped. I know, you’re worried that if you try something new it’s going to mess up what you have going on… and that’s exactly why you should only allocate a chunk of your resources to new directions. Keep the main thing the main thing, and work the side to discover new opportunities.
One last thing… Once you’ve identified something that works, do MORE of it, and stop doing what doesn’t work. A lot of companies stop running perfectly good campaigns because the BUSINESS is sick of looking at it, they get bored of their own ads, but often the public is NOT. Don’t stop something just because you’re tired, stop it because it stops working. If it works, run with it.
Bringing this full circle, you must apply what you’ve learned. Don’t be one of those people who brag about reading massive amounts of books yet has never once applied any of what they’ve learned. Or worse, someone who’s always asking for help yet doesn’t put in the work to apply the solution.
Get out there and APPLY.
To your success,
CEO RYS Group
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RYS Group Inc.
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