I wish there were a formula for success. I would love for someone to outline the specific plan that would lead us to amazing results.
But there isn't.
The best we can do is learn, observe, and do the things we need to do so we have the best chances of getting what we want.
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While there is no step-by-step formula for success we can follow, and although I tried to share the ingredients here, there are things we can do to be more successful. If you survey and study the winners out there, the ones who achieve amazing things, you'll notice a trend in their behaviors.
If you want to grow your business and if you want to make more sales or be seen as an expert or leader in your industry, ask yourself these three questions.
3 Questions that Will Determine How Successful You Are
How Much Time Do You Spend Practicing & Getting Better?
Successful people don't waste a lot of time talking about what they want to do.
They do it.
If you were born to do something, nothing should keep you from doing that thing. It shouldn't matter if nobody buys the end result of your work; if you're an artist, make art. If you're a writer, write. If you're a salesman, sell something. If you're a filmmaker, make films.
When you love what you do, nothing will stop you or get in the way of you doing it. And that will make you better, and getting better will make you successful.
Preparation and practice are two primary ingredients in any plan for success. Find ways to do what you love and work them into your daily life. Weave your practice time into your schedule so you improve every day.
If you want to play at the highest levels, you've got to spend more time practicing and getting better than everyone else.
How Much Time Do You Spend Studying the Competition?
There are two schools of thought when it comes to how you should look at your competition.
One side, the side with Gary Vaynerchuk on it, will tell you to pay no attention whatsoever to what your competition is doing. They'll tell you to focus, keep your head down, and do the work you want to do.
The other side, the side with Art of War author, Sun Tzu, on it, will tell you to study your enemy and know his tactics.
So, which do you choose?
I kind of fall on both sides of the fence. As with anything, a middle ground here is preferred over either extreme.
When I look at what I want to create, I focus on the result I want to deliver to my clients. I try to inject my personality, skills, and strengths into everything I do, and that has made me fairly successful.
However, I also look at what my competition is doing and how they're doing it. If you don't watch the market and see what's working and what isn't, you're no different from an ostrich that sticks its head in the sand.
Study your competition. Learn from what they're doing well, and see if you can adapt their methods to what you're doing. Don't change who you are, but be aware of how things can be done, and learn from other people's mistakes.
How Often Are You Researching, Studying, or Learning Your Craft?
If I asked you to name one successful entrepreneur who didn't spend time every week reading books about business, I bet you couldn't do it. I don't know if it's possible because I doubt that owner even exists.
Just like making time for regular practicing, successful people research, study and learn about how they can get better at their craft. Artists study the way different types of paint react to various types of surfaces. Photographers study lighting techniques. Chefs experiment with new ingredients and exotic styles of cooking.
Every time I've invested time, energy or money in myself or my business it has paid off. In entrepreneurship there is almost zero waste; everything we learn can be applied to a dozen different areas, and every failure is something we can learn from.
Sometimes I think my clients think I'm kidding when I tell them to study, practice and learn more about their business. But I'm not.