steps to success

The fourth quarter is approaching–make it count! I’ll tell you everything you need to know to get your biz on track, just read my column below which originally appeared in The Tennessean.

 You’ve heard the old adage; the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. What you may not have heard, because I came up with it, is the second part of that saying: Doing the same thing and expecting the same results is just as absurd.

Not only will the result not be the same, it will be less of the same.

Think of it as it relates to your fitness routine. Let’s say from January to March you had an exercise regimen that delivered fantastic results. Since your quarter-one routine worked so well, you decided to stick with it through quarter two. You noticed though that your strength wasn’t increasing as quickly. Fast forward to quarter three—not only is the same routine not effective, but the progress you made in the first quarter is almost non-existent.

Your business is a muscle. While you’re repeating the same business routines from quarter to quarter, your progress declines. If you want to take your business to the next level, take the advice of any fitness trainer and challenge yourself. You need to change your routines and set new goals because different results only come from different activities. Trust me, your competitors are out there trying new exercises, lifting heavier weights and getting stronger.

What better time to switch up your business or workout routines than October 1, the start of the fourth quarter? This gives you the opportunity to complete the year on a high note and set the stage for a bountiful 2013. Here are four steps to success to get you out of your rut and get stronger:

  1. Set three growth targets— These are three outcomes that you will commit to accomplishing over the quarter. Set the bar high. Identify those goals you’ve been putting off because they seem too difficult to achieve or because you’ve just been too busy. Maybe you want to complete a marathon or perhaps you want grow your business by 20 percent. Only by setting and then executing those goals in small consistent steps will you reach the next level of success. Hey I never said this would be easy, after all, if it were easy, everyone would do it.
  2. Create a comprehensive list of tasks— These will lead you toward fulfilling each target. Make sure each task is clearly defined and simple enough to conquer within a couple days or weeks versus months.
  3. Select a set number of tasks each week to tackle— When selecting, be sure to set a solid timeline and due date for each one. To ensure follow through, take it a step further and enlist an accountability partner or personal trainer to coach you through your last few miles or tasks.
  4. Identify potential obstacles— Think about what might keep you from completing your tasks and reaching your end goals. Most goal setters forget this preventative measure, which ultimately leads to their failure. You must pinpoint potential roadblocks and devise a plan to address them if they materialize. If we were talking about your fitness goals, your potential obstacle would an injury. If we were talking about your business goals, your hurdle may be a key team member resigning. Complications will always arise, but if you’re prepared, they won’t derail your progress for long.

Quarter four signifies the year’s end but it could be your business’s chance for a new beginning.


This article was originally published in The Tennessean.