We all want it – but why do so few actually achieve it?
And why is it so difficult to achieve what we dream?
I’ve actually said this before but I think it really bears repeating; as a business consultant, I’ve spoken with literally hundreds of entrepreneurs over the years and in many cases, it was because they wanted to grow their business but they weren’t actually getting anywhere.
And that’s when they’d reach out to me to ask:
Why is my business not growing?
Or in other words, why am I not as successful as I wanted to be?
This is where the harsh part comes: the reason was simply that they weren’t doing enough to achieve these objectives. They wanted the results but weren’t willing to put in the work or invest back into their business.
You can’t achieve amazing things if you’re working a normal 40-hour week. It won’t work if you don’t wake up first and stay up later than everyone.
That said, there can be a number of other reasons behind why you’re not getting the success you want; and the best part is, when you know what those reasons are, you’ll know exactly what steps you need to take in order to overcome this challenge and reach success.
But first, here are some of the most common reasons that could be keeping you from achieving success:
- You don’t have a clear goal or plan – which means you lack focus. In order to reach success, you first need to know what it means for you and then, identify goals and build a plan that will help get you where you want to be
- You’re not working strategically: or, in other words, you’re having trouble with time management. You’re working long hours and yet, you’re not getting the results. In order to reach success, you need to maximize your time by using it in the best ways possible
- You’re scared of risks: fear can be a powerful deterrent. And it’s natural to be afraid, sometimes even unconsciously, of taking that next step towards success and of taking risks
- You’re not putting in enough effort: as I mentioned earlier, this is a big reason why many fail (or rather, never even start): because they’re not ready to work the long hours to get what they want
But whatever the reason that’s keeping you back from success, I recommend you try the following strategies to help you become more organized, more focused and more motivated to reach success:
Learn to set goals for yourself the right way
Where do you want to be in 5, 10, 20 years? What does success look like for you?
Goal-setting is actually a very important step in reaching success; it provides you with a clear focus and it helps you plan and strategize so that you can reach your ultimate objectives; i.e., where you want to be in 10-20 years.
However, in order to get enough value out of your goals, you need to know how to set goals the right way, using the SMART goal-setting template.
In other words, your goals need to be:
- Very specific and clear – not vague like “I want my business to grow” but highly specific, like “I’m going to increase business revenue by 5% in 3 months”
- Measurable – in other words, you need to be able to track your results
- Achievable – make sure your goals are challenging enough but at the same time, that you can actually achieve them
- Relevant – your goals should be relevant to your long-term objectives; use them to slowly but surely make steps towards achieving your ultimate goals, 5,10 or even 20 years later
- Timely – always set a specific deadline for your goal
This method of setting goals is much more effective because it allows you to properly plan your strategy to achieving those goals and it gives you better focus, helping increase your success rate. So, here’s what I urge you to do:
- Write down 1-3 long-term goals that you want to achieve (5+ years later)
- Based on your long-term goals, come up with 5 shorter term SMART goals that will help take you closer to achieving your long-term goals
Work with a purpose/work harder
Are you working enough to achieve your goals? How good is your work ethic? For many people, not reaching success comes down to one simple thing: they’re not putting in enough work.
So, the question is: are you putting in enough work? Or should you be doing more to reach your goals?
Be honest with yourself because if you truly want it, this can be the element that makes all the difference:
- Use a time tracking app to audit your time and find out how you spend it
- Make a note of your hours of active work
- Determine how much time you’re spending procrastinating
- Finally, set a working schedule for yourself: write down the number of hours you want to work each day, what you’ll be spending that time on and even when you’ll be relaxing/spending time with friends and family
Work on your time management skills and improve your productivity
Successful people work strategically – and know how to manage their time so that they can get the most out of it.
And in fact, this could even be what is keeping you from success: if you’re too much off a perfectionist, for example, or don’t outsource enough of your tasks or you’re spending too much time on the wrong tasks.
It’s so easy to lose yourself in work and then feel like you’re not getting anywhere at the end of the week; and this can really affect your success.
After all, if you’re working long hours but not getting enough output, it’s impossible to progress fast enough.
So, what can you do?
Quite simply, you need to work on your time management skills.
In fact, every entrepreneur – or aspiring entrepreneur – should work on this important task because you only have so much time that you can realistically work and therefore, you need to maximize it as much as possible and get more done in less time.
Like with the previous exercise, it all starts with auditing your time to find out where your time is going:
- Are you too much of a perfectionist? Learn to stop if you’re never happy with the end result (trust me, I relate) because chances are, you’re the only one who’d even notice the difference
- Which of your tasks can be outsourced? Outsourcing is an important lesson to learn; you need to trust others enough to give them certain tasks so that you can focus on the things that only you can do
- When are you at your most and least productive: we all have different times when we’re more – or less – productive. For example, I’m at my best early in the morning: I love working when everyone else is still sleeping and that’s when I get the most work done. When are you at your most productive? Try to find out when so that you can work more during those times and less during the times when you’re at your least productive