by George Hedley
Several years ago, I went to a goals seminar to get control of my business and personal life. The following Monday morning, I got to work early and made a list of things to do. By 8:30am, after several phone calls, faxes, e-mails, interruptions, and an emergency conference with a job site superintendent, I hadn’t done one thing on my hot list! At 4:00 p.m. my best customer called and invited me to play golf the next morning and discuss signing a big construction contract. I didn’t have time to play golf with my best customer! I had forgotten my focus. I couldn’t even remember my priorities!
A business that works always is ‘On-Purpose’ and ‘On-Target’ according to your priorities. It gives you what you want! What will make your business ‘On-Purpose’ for you? I want my business to always make a profit, create repeat loyal customers, be 100% run by my management team, grow my equity, create wealth, and allow me the freedom to enjoy the 5 F’s: family, friends, faith, finances, and fun. What do you want?
Prioritize and commit!
A business friend told me he wanted to have more time off from his business. After we discussed this goal, I asked him to be more specific. He admitted, “I would just love it if I could have at least fours off on Sundays!” Everyone is in a different place. But to get what you want, start by being specific about how you will balance your business and personal goals! Make a commitment and say, “I will leave the office at 5:00 p.m.” “I will not check my e-mails or voice mail from 5pm until 7 a.m.” “I will not get involved in decisions my project managers are authorized to make.” “I will take a three or four day weekend off every month.” Be ruthless. Stick to your priorities and want you want out of your business and life. Be ‘On-Purpose’ and ‘On Target!’ Resolve every day to:
- Read and focus on your personal and business priorities.
- Make progress towards achieving your balanced life goals.
- Not postpone your life and family for business pressures.
- Live your priorities to get what you want.
Successful people say:
"I can do that!"
"I'll do that!"
"I could never do that!"
"I'll try that!"
"Yes" to other people's priorities
What’s the best time to try new ideas and work different? (Hint: It’s not ”ASAP.“) The best time is now! Trying new ideas and doing new and different things daily is hard to accomplish. But, forgetting old ideas and comfortable ways of acting and doing is even harder! Putting your priorities first is tough. Each day of your life involves difficult demands and tradeoffs. To be 'On-Purpose...On-Target' you must be ruthless about your decisions, choices, commitments and priorities.
The 3 R's to Live Life 'On-Purpose...On-Target!
- Accept Responsibility
- Accept Reality
- Accept Risk
Accept Responsibility – The following responses to circumstances have become the norm in today’s society: “It’s not my fault.” “It’s just not fair.” “It’s not my job.” When winners take on a job they get it done. Period. No excuses. No rules. No reasons why not. Need I say more?
Accept Reality – Sitting and waiting for “it” to change is counterproductive to living ‘On-Purpose…On-Target!’ Accept your current situation as it is. You can’t change the past! However, YOU can change your future - starting NOW! Get on with it. Go for it. Make the best of what you’ve got and make tomorrow even better. Start making those slow but steady changes in how you manage your life. You can do it!
Accept Risk – Most successful businesses were started by individuals with a clearly defined vision, purpose and goals. The definition of an entrepreneur is one who “assumes the risk” in a business in expectation of gaining a profit. Step up and step out in both your professional and personal life. Take a stand. Take a risk and act like an entrepreneur. Expect the best to become the best! Take that first step to get what you want. Yes, the first step is often the hardest. I encourage people in this predicament to ask: “What are you waiting for? What’s the worst that can happen?” If you never try, you’ll never achieve.
Failure Is The Key to Success!
As a youngster, my dad often took me snow skiing to the local mountains. I'll never forget his instructions as I watched the expert skiers "wedeln" down the slopes with perfect parallel turns. He'd say, "You'll never better standing there watching and wishing you could ski like they can." With that I would take off and swish down the mountain as fast as I could. My goal was to fall down on every run. This way I knew I was pushing it to the max. You don’t get better if you don’t fall down often. You get better and when you try new tricks and techniques.
Have you ever noticed in life successful people always get up when they fall down. And the really successful ones fall down a lot! Stay alert. Watch for opportunities. Be quick to change. Make your own luck. Always be ready and well prepared. Know where you want to go and let others know where you want to go too. Ask others how they did it. Seek advice. Stay informed. Keep improving. Stay on top of your field. And always go for it!
"Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you."
Have you ever noticed that successful people who have their lives in order are also more active, involved, and generous with charity, church, and volunteer organizations? They find time to make giving a top priority in their lives. The fact is your success is an outcome of how much you do for others. Your deeds have lasting impact, not your stuff, power, position or busy schedule. Successful people make more time to serve others. Becoming a success is directly proportional to what you give. It’s a fine line–some people give to get—but that won't work for most.
What you GET is a RESULT of what you GIVE!
I receive an overwhelming return on my investment every time I give my time, talent, and money. Giving is the outward expression of your inner commitment, character, and dedication. There is a direct conduit between your heart and your wallet. A banker once told me that the first line he looks at on a loan applicant's tax return is "contributions." He tells me he can usually judge a person’s true integrity and sincerity by looking at that one single entry. People who donate money generously and on a regular basis can be trusted. People who don’t find time or money to give to others are self centered and can’t get everything in life they want. People who don't give are the only ones who complain about giving. Give giving a try. I guarantee you will get more in return than you ever give.
Albert Einstein said, "Only a life lived for others is worthwhile." I built my business with the slogan: "Do a good job for the customer and the money will come." Putting others first always works in both business and life. So go out and give, get and enjoy what you’ve got!
George Hedley is the best-selling author of “Get Your Business to Work!” As a professional speaker and business coach, he helps entrepreneurs and business owners build profitable companies. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org to request your free copy of “Everything Contractors Know About Making A Profit!” or signup for his e-newsletter. To hire George to speak , attend his 'Profit-Builder Circle' academy or find out how he can help your company grow, call 800-851-8553 or visit www.hardhatpresentations.com