More often than not, I don’t recall my dreams. But last night, I had a scary dream that I recalled quite vividly when I awoke.
In the dream, I was a participant in a workshop. I recall walking by lots of other people who I knew quite well, but frankly, I didn’t recognize any of their physical features. But I knew that I knew them! I wonder if that’s somehow related to the notion that we are all connected intimately with one another!
The next scene I recall is being on the rooftop of the building we were in. The roof wasn’t flat, like a lot of buildings, but was steeply sloped, with multiple “peaks.”
I happened to look out upon the roof and, much to my horror, I spotted my youngest son, Jordan, out on the roof. Now, Jordan is quite the daredevil, but this was a bit much.
I instantaneously feared for his safety, yet realized that I was phyically too far away to snatch him off the roof. In the very moment that I experienced great fear, still in my dream, Jordan started sliding down the roof.
I realized that I was physically too far away to snatch him off the roof and back to safety. So, I remember closing my eyes and praying to the Great Spirit to take care of Jordan. I knew I could do nothing else, but to “let go and let God” take over.
When I opened my eyes, I saw that Jordan had slid onto an adjacent roof peak and was comfortably and fearlessly perched there, free from harm.
Upon awakening from my dream, I recognized how tightly I attempt to control and force outcomes. Especially when I’m uncomfortable and seek something other my current reality. It’s a habit we as human beings share.
Yet, my experience in sports, business, and life in general, is that letting go of my attachment and pinpoint control of outcomes gives me the greatest freedom to perform at inspired levels.
My dream was a vivid reminder to practice (and it is a practice) letting go of my human fears and desire to control. Letting go opens the door to great power and experiencing the extraordinary.
Most entrepreneurs are inspired to build the business of their dreams because they value their freedom to create and innovate, they have great products and services and they want to make a difference in the world through them. And, of course, they want to enjoy ever increasing levels of prosperity – financially and otherwise.
But without the right blend of structure, systems, and strategies, building the business of your dreams can quickly become suffering the worst of your nightmares.
Use the following nine steps as a guide to accelerating your business to greater levels of freedom, lasting contribution, and expanding prosperity.
- FOCUS first on what is most important for you to accomplish with your business, your work, and your life. Identify your compelling reasons why accomplishing this is so important to you and use this ‘compelling why’ as your guiding beacon through the inevitable ‘ups and downs’ of business and life.
- Identify the strength of your STRENGTHS, along with the strength of your blockers. This is your Net Talent (akin to Net Profit, which is Gross revenue, minus Expenses).
- Develop the business STRUCTURE (roles, processes, procedures, systems, etc.) that best allows you to focus on your two or three strongest core competencies and overall net talent. Build a team around you that complements your net talent. Delegate and outsource anything and everything else that is not one of your core competencies, even if you are accomplished at some of those things.
- SYSTEMIZE all the processes and procedures that are the most critical to your success (as defined by revenue, profits, value, and personal satisfaction) so that the business can operate sustainably and profitably without you having to be involved in every minute detail (as entrepreneurs are inclined to do). It has been said that, “If you are the major cog in the wheel, you are also the major clog in the wheel.”
- Implement STRATEGIES for leadership, marketing and sales, logistical operations, and delivery of your products and services that are integrated and supportive of one another and that optimize the net talent of you and your team. In other words, these strategies feed off of and support one another.
- Cultivate and acquire the SKILLS needed to transform your business from high-potential to high-performance.
- Develop internal and external SUPPORT structures and systems to help you stay focused on your highest-purpose objectives, strategies, and action plan. It is widely known that a spacecraft headed to the moon is off-course at least 80% of the time; as humans headed towards a target, do you think we are any better than that?
- Define near-term and longer-term ACTION PLANS for each of the areas of your business that are most critical for building freedom, revenue, profits, value, and contribution. Along with action plans, it’s vital to establish a structure of ACCOUNTABILITY so that you make sure you FOLLOW-THROUGH on your action items.
- Finally, TRACK AND MEASURE your progress and results in key performance areas. Use this information to make course corrections along the way.
These steps are like the “backbone” of any successful business. I regularly refer back to these very steps in my work with entrepreneurs around the world. And, I apply them to my own business.
By developing your business with each of these nine steps in mind, you’ll be well on your way to building a high-value business – one that provides lasting value to your clients and customers, produces outstanding profit, and allows you to contribute to enhancing the lives of others in meaningful ways.
It’s a challenging journey, no doubt, but the payoff can be enormous – ultimate freedom.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a habit as “a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.”
Now nearly 100 years-old, my yoga master and WWII fighter pilot ace, Dr. Michael Gladych has frequently reminded me that “repetition is the key to mastery.” At the age of 93, he underwent cardiac bypass surgery – without general anesthesia. Do you think he’s mastered a thing or two in his lifetime?
In their course syllabus from The Principles of Financial Freedom: Duplicating the Nature of Spirit in Your Financial Affairs, Reverends Lloyd Strom and Marcie Sutton write that:
“The old adage that “practice makes perfect” contains great wisdom. Whenever we practice anything, our entire psycho-physical being reorganizes itself toward perfection of performance. Consequently, we will always become skillful in anything that we practice. This is because the divine intelligence within us responds to our willingness to change for the better, by changing us for the better. Our willingness for this change to occur is demonstrated by practicing. When we are unwilling to practice, we are unwilling to change, and the “status quo” will always prevail. Every great human achievement has come to those who have engaged in practicing the disciplines of their chosen endeavor.”
It is commonly stated that “successful people have successful habits.” Unfortunately, this statement is an oversimplification of an extraordinarily critical success factor.
Your habits are a product of your beliefs, thoughts, and feelings.
Successful people have developed habits that enable them to be successful, given their particular combination of beliefs, thinking power, emotional intelligence, and style of taking action.
Note the emphasis on “… given their particular combination of beliefs, thinking power, emotional intelligence, and style of taking action.”
Each of us possesses a unique blend of beliefs, thinking power, emotional intelligence, and style of taking action. And this is why what works for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for another.
Some of these beliefs, thoughts, and feelings work for us. Some of these beliefs, thoughts, and feelings work against us.
And so it follows that if we develop habits, based on those unproductive beliefs, thoughts, and feelings, these in turn, result in outcomes that are less than desirable at best, and catastrophic, at worst.
So what can you do about this?
Make a list of habits that work for you. And, make a list of habits that work against you. Some of the habits that work against you will be habits of “not doing something” that actually would benefit you.
Once you’ve created these lists, start with the list of habits that work against you. Then, identify the limiting beliefs, thoughts, and feelings behind these non-productive habits.
In addition, be sure to make the list of habits that work for you and identify the beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that work for you. This is an important counterbalancing exercise, so don’t overlook its value.
This simple exercise of creating a list of desirable habits along with a list of undesirable habits holds great power – the power of acknowledging one’s self for productive habits and the power of awareness of those beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that no longer serve you or honor who you really are at your core.
Five Simple Steps to Habits That Lead To Freedom
- For those habits you desire to eliminate or change, becoming aware of them is the first step toward freedom.
- Commit to altering or eliminating those habits that no longer serve you.
- Commit to adopting productive habits to replace the old ones.
- Address the beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that keep those non-productive habits in place.
- Establish a structure of accountability to ensure that you are supported in following-through on practicing your new habits and getting support and encouragement when you get stuck.
This five-step approach to altering habits is simply said, though not as easily done. But if you are truly committed to adopting habits of success that jive with how you are uniquely ‘wired,’ repetition is truly your key to mastery. And, you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.
The Sufi poet, Rumi, wrote:
“Out beyond ideas of right and wrong, there is a field and I will meet you there.”
That ‘field’ he mentions is a field of infinite possibility, the one where inspired creation happens.
Wealth consciousness exists within that realm of infinite possibility. But wealth consciousness is not merely about financial wealth; it is much, much richer than that.
Wealth consciousness is the awareness and ownership of your innate ability to readily fulfill any and all of your genuine intentions and desires. While those intentions and desires may include financial and material wealth, so much more is possible.
Expand your beliefs, thoughts, and feelings so that your intentions and desires include the spectrum of physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual desires AND material wealth.
Streeeeetch….Allow yourself to expand beyond what your current beliefs, thoughts, and feelings.
And, if you want to explore this further with other like-minded people, I invite you to participate in the “Conscious Leaderpreneurship Tele-Conversation Cafe” every Thursday at 12 noon Pacific.
There’s no charge to participate; the only thing you’ll need to do is register after you click on this link and go to the bottom of the registration page: Conscious Leaderpreneurship