I have had the pleasure of meeting some very successful entrepreneurs and leaders over the years, and I spent some time picking their brains to find out what makes them successful. In doing so, I discovered 3 things that all of them shared. When it comes to being successful not just in business, but also in leadership, family, friendship, hobbies, and life in general, here are the three things they all focused on.
Motivation. Direction. Action.
1. Motivation. It is critical that you have a clearly discovered and stated WHY. What drives you? Why are you doing what you are doing? Entrepreneurs and leaders build companies and organizations around a common purpose, not necessarily a pursuit of profit. This is not a cheesy mission statement, but a deep-rooted purpose that many times has been born from a particular struggle, challenge and pain the entrepreneur faced. Mike Michalowicz, business author and keynote speaker, clearly states on his website that he exists to “eradicate entrepreneurial poverty.” This purpose came from a time where he was living and existing there. He knows the pain personally and wants to make sure other entrepreneurs are free from that pain.
2. Direction. Have you ever seen someone that is clear on their motivation and why, yet they have no direction? They are inspired and driven; they just don’t know where they are driving to? Along with motivation, you must have a clear direction and destination. 7 years ago, I met Rick Scadden. He was recently released from prison, and was determined to change his life for the better. He was on fire for God, and with his past life of crime, drugs, and illegal activity behind him, he was clearly motivated and knew why he was doing what he was doing. However, it was not until we sat down for a coffee in 2014, that we discovered he has never been introduced to any kind of visioning exercise. We sat for an hour and walked through the steps of creating a vision statement for his life. Coming out of that, he had a clear direction of where his life would be in 2017…and guess what? In 2017, we looked back to that vision statement, and everything he visioned came to life.
3. Action. This is the place where many can and do fall short. Have you ever met one of those big dreamers who, for some reason, never accomplishes any of their dreams? They are extremely motivated and fueled with purpose, and possess a strong vision. What they lack is a degree of taking action, and staying committed to those actions, to accomplish their vision. Arriving to your destination does not just happen. You have to work for it. Typically, there are a particular set of action steps, habits and events that must happen to accomplish your goal. Take Rick for example. He knew he wanted to become a part-time pastor by 2017, and a full-time pastor by 2020. He took the actions necessary of plugging into his church, studying for seminary, and working countless hours to show his church he was dedicated to this goal.
Success happens when all three of these things consistently play out. Remember, motivation and direction with no action will leave you really inspired but rooted right where you are.
Direction and action with no motivation may accomplish you many big goals, but it will leave you unfulfilled as you lack a deep sense of purpose and why. Action with no motivation and direction can burn you out quickly and leave you feeling deeply unfulfilled.
I hope this blog challenges and encourages you to explore your levels of motivation, direction and action in your own business and life.
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