Today we will look at three techniques to achieve results that will help you get started and stay on track with any goal you desire to achieve. Too often we get a brilliant idea but when we start it, we never follow through on it. The key to succeeding is to take everything in baby steps. For without baby steps, the goal would feel too large to handle and that quite often is the reason for failure.
Take yourself back to the year 2000, when “the dot com” era was in high gear. Companies were forming left right and centre and they were getting millions and millions in funding for a simple idea. That idea, such as buying pet food or groceries on-line was enough to get enough money to buy a Superbowl ad commercial. But what happened in the end? We saw companies close up shop as fast as they opened. Why? Because an idea wasn’t enough to achieve success. It was a start, but not enough. A solid plan needs to be in place to get to the next level. To produce that plan, we need to ensure we take baby steps – whether it be a relationship, a personal goal or a business goal.
Today, we’re going to look at 3 keys to achieve results and build success, to building a goal and following through. Today we will look at your baby steps.
You will pick up these 3 keys through:
- Starting small
Looking back at the typical failure of the dot com startup, it involved starting a brand new company getting a few million dollars in Venture Capitol funding and blowing it on expensive office space, office furniture and Superbowl ads. A few months later they ran out of money with no customers and no future.
Ross Perot, on the other hand, started EDP industries by starting with one client and one computer and grew into a multi-millionaire. Decades later, he sold EDP to GM for over 40 billion dollars.
When I was starting my masters degree years ago. I never saw myself finishing it. I always assumed i would fail out at some point. So I kept the mode of thinking of one step at a time. To break that down. I started off with taking one course at a time, and I broke that course down into taking things one week at a time and finishing the requirements for that week. Soon weeks passed and eventually terms and courses passed and eventually I graduated with a degree I never thought I would achieve. If I can do it, anyone can!
So start small, grow with one achievement at a time. But once you’ve started small, how do you ensure that keep small thoughts in mind and not end up with your own Superbowl ad? Well the answer is to Bootstrap!
I learned about Bootstrapping from Brian Tracy. He talks about the concept of Bootstrapping most of his speeches.
Bootstrapping is the idea of working within your means. So if you start a business, you don’t necessarily need to go and find a few million dollars in financing, start with what you have. It will force you to be frugal with every penny you have. It will force you to think outside the box for getting clients and making money. Continuing with the Ross Perot story, he started off by borrowing $1000 from his mom in order to travel to prospective clients. He negotiated with his first client to foot 50% of his bill so that he could purchase a computer to do the work.
When I started by software business years ago specializing in smartphone apps (check out my latest app at http://www.jojoandtoto.com when you get a chance), I started with nothing but the computer and my savings. I’m starting to see the fruits of my labour now with thankfully almost no debt.
So make sure you approach every new adventure with a bootstrapped approach. So now after you’ve decided to start small, then you’ve opted to maintain a level head by bootstrapping, whats next? Well how do you ensure you keep going? How do you ensure that you don’t bore or burn yourself out before finishing or seeing the fruit of your labour. Well its easy, its my favourite one, celebrate each victory.
Every time you achieve a small goal, whether it be getting that first client or finishing your first course or giving that next speech celebrate it! Celebrate it with your favourite cheeseburger, or buying yourself a DVD or a night at the movies. Try and avoid violating the bootstrapping rule by not splurging on a Vegas vacation though!
Darren Lacroix used to celebrate each time he gave a speech or comedy show gig by buying a new CD. It kept him going through the tough times and the good times. So celebrate each victory. It’ll keep you going through the tough times.
So once you’ve started small, you’ve bootstrapped your way to keeping things in check and you’ve celebrated each victory. You’re now ready to go and achieve any goal you want. How do you know you’ll achieve results? heres how:
When I started off as a Toastmaster back in 2006, I heard about the entire program and that there were all kind of designations and levels and projects. It all seemed so overwhelming. The highest achievement, the DTM (stands for Distinguished Toastmaster – an achievement that requires you to complete the entire program), seemed like an impossible achievement. Statistics show that out of 4 million past and present Toastmasters, only 12,000 have ever achieved this milestone. So when I was awarded this honour in April of 2011, it was such a humbling experience. But how did I achieve this?
- I started small – by taking the program one speech project at a time and one leadership project at a time, I was able to complete the first designations, the Competent Communicator and Competent Leader levels within the first year. I budgeted myself to complete one speech and one leadership project per month. I later took that time line and applied it to future designations.
- I Bootstrapped – I didn’t go out and break the bank. Instead, I focused on spending money on my club dues and on books and CD’s / DVD’s that I thought would improve my speaking that weren’t expensive.
- I celebrated – I went out for lunch or checked out movies whenever I achieved a milestone. But the bottom line was that I rewarded myself.
So there you have it, how will you achieve your next goal? I challenge you to take yourself to the next level using these three steps to success.
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