In his 2005 Stanford commencement address to the graduating class, Steve jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
It’s impossible to connect the dots looking forward. We have to learn to trust our gut instincts and move into the future with assurance we will make the right decisions or, at the very least, make the best decision with the information we have available.
So many business owners struggle trying to “figure it out”. You can’t “figure it out” and there is no easy road to success. It’s rolling up your sleeves, losing sleep, not playing as much golf, and, most importantly, trusting your gut. Trusting what you already know.
You already know what to do. How many seminars, information products, webinars, and all the other things that we have all spent time and money on, does it take for us to finally realize we know what we need to know to make money in our business?
The longer I’m in business, the more I realize the importance of trusting my gut. I’ve had and still have great mentors. I have been influenced and continue to be influenced by interacting with these amazing people. Because of their influence, I have confidence in the fact that I can trust my gut because of what I’ve learned and what I’ve experienced in my own business.
And I can’t stress enough the importance of having a business coach or a mentor, even if you have to pay someone. This is the best investment you will make in your business.
When you think about what it takes to succeed in business, it’s really simple. Here are six key components.
1. Know how to market and sell. This sounds obvious, but so many people want to find other things to waste their time rather than doing what needs to be done to grow their business. If you are saying to yourself, “I’m just not good at sales”, then either get a job or start studying everything you can get you hands on about selling. Get out there and have conversations with potential customers. Do whatever you have to do to get better at marketing and selling.
2. Follow up with the people you come in contact with within a reasonable amount of time. Work on building long-lasting relationships.
3. Don’t hang around broke people being influenced by what they are doing (unless you want to be one of them).
4. Develop the self-discipline to get up every morning and do what has to be done with no excuses. Plan how you will invest you time and efforts. Follow through with your plan.
5. Develop systems for everything. When making sales calls by phone, document what works so you can repeat it. The same applies to making in-person calls. If you do a direct mail campaign, create a spreadsheet to document how many you mailed, how many you followed up on, and how many responded. Develop systems, measure your results, and know your numbers.
6. Develop confidence in everything you do. Know you will make mistakes and sometimes fail. Don’t base your self-esteem on your results. Base your self-esteem on the effort you make towards achieving the result. You can’t always control your results, but you can control the effort you make towards attaining them. If you know you’ve done everything possible, let it go and move on. Don’t let it affect your self-confidence or your self-esteem.
You already know what it takes to be successful. All that’s left is to learn how to trust your gut, take action, and keep moving forward.