What Does It Take To Succeed In Business

What Does It Take To Succeed In Business

What Does It Take To Succeed In Business

By Mark Wager

One of the many perks of my job as a Leadership Coach is that the more I teach the more I learn. When I visit companies around the world to deliver leadership training it gives me an opportunity to spend time with a multitude of successful business people, many of whom have achieved the remarkable feat of turning an idea into a real successful business. 

During those years I've learnt many lessons from these successful business people and in this article I want to share the most valuable of these lessons.

Fall in love with the journey and not just the destination.

If you are chasing a dream whether it's in business, sports or in your personal life, there's one thing that is guaranteed and that is the journey is going to be tough, so tough that you are going to consider quitting and many do with nearly 90% of new businesses failing to exist beyond five years. I've seen a noticeable difference between the people who have succeeded in business and those who have given up and that difference is not down to how intelligent the person is, it's not about how much financial backing they have or who they are connected to. All of these are without doubt important but there is a much more important personal quality and that quality is perseverance.

The people who succeed in business have the perseverance to carry on when all around them are telling them to quit. What is equally interesting is the reason why they don't quit. We all like to consider ourselves mentally tough and like to believe we wouldn't easily quit but people do and it's because people fall in love with the result and not the process that is required to achieve the result. When people start out on the journey to realise their dream, they focus  heavily on the end result, whether it's living a millionaire lifestyle or having a business that is making a difference in the world. Its this end result that is so attractive, they fall in love with the end result, it fills their dreams and tempts them down the difficult road but the challenges that stand between the life they have now and the life that they want are so great that eventually they give up  their dream and content themselves with the thought that it wasn't meant to be. However,  with the people who succeed it's quite different. They live the dream and are involved in every step of the journey no matter how hard or easy it gets.

Know the small steps 

The people who succeed in business don't just fall in love with the end result they also fall in love with the process that they need to follow to reach the result and this is a crucial difference. Every journey no matter how long consists of nothing more than a series of small steps. It's the desire to walk those small steps that makes the journey possible. In business you need to know what your end goal is and you need to know what you need to do everyday in order make the goal a reality. You need to know your small steps. If you can fall in love with these small steps in the process then the question around achieving your goal stops becoming a matter of if it will be achieved and starts becoming a question of when it will be achieved. 

This reminds me of a story that I heard about Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Hollywood actor and former Mayor of California. Arnold Schwarzenegger is best known for staring in many successful action movies but what is less known is that he is also a successful businessman who actually become a millionaire from his real estate deals before he made it big in Hollywood. Before any of these careers, Schwarzenegger was a world champion body builder and one day he was working out in the gym and someone walked by him and saw him smiling as he was doing these strenuous and exhausting exercises. He was asked why was he smiling while working out especially when working out to the degree he was  isn't fun so why was he smiling? Arnold Schwarzenegger replied that each exercise and each repetition was a

taking him a step closer to his goal of becoming world champion so he embraced each step regardless of how boring or painful that step was.

It was this mentality that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a world champion, a millionaire in the business world , the highest paid actor in Hollywood and the Mayor of California. This is also the same mentality I see in all successful business people I have had the pleasure of meeting over the years.

If you want to achieve something remarkable in business then follow the advice that I was given by many people who have already achieved what you are seeking out to do and that is don't just fall in love with the destination instead fail in love with the journey, it's this love that will get you through the tough times and will help you carry on while others are quitting.

Posted: Monday 17 July 2017


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