Framework, V2I2

Five Disciplines of Success

“80% of success is showing up.”

— Woody Allen

I’ve always been a fan of this quote by Woody Allen. Just showing up can get you 80 percent of the way down the road.

A mentor of mine upped the ante. He used to say, “You can beat 95 percent of your competitors simply by showing up on time and working hard while you’re there. The last 5 percent is a dog fight.”

Whether Woody or my mentor are right, I do agree with their premise:

1) Every day you have to show up and be ready to work, and

2) You have to do what you say you are going to do.

Doesn’t sound too hard does it? Well like they say, some things are simple to understand but very hard to do.

So what does it take to really show up, and do what you said you would do?

  1. Get Your Mind Right

On his top rated podcast Tim Ferriss

interviews world-class performers,

attempting to deconstruct their daily habits and patterns that make them successful. One of the questions he asks everyone of his interviewees is, “What is your morning routine?” In other words, what do you do first thing every morning so that you can be ready for the day?

World-class performers develop a morning routine to prepare for the day—prayer, reading, meditation, or exercise—any routine that prepares you to win.

  1. Write Down Clear Goals

In 1979, interviewers asked new graduates from Harvard’s MBA Program the following question: “Have you set clear Hamptonwritten goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”

Here’s what they found:

■ 84 percent had no specific goals at all.

■ 13 percent had goals but they were not committed to paper.

■ 3 percent had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them.

In 1989, the interviewers again interviewed the graduates of that class. You can guess the results:

■ The 13 percent of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all.

■ Even more staggering – the 3 percent who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, 10 times as much as the other 97 percent put together.

Did the graduates of Harvard’s MBA program know they needed goals? Of course. Then why didn’t they all do it? Knowing and doing are two different things.

  1. Be intentional

Stephen Covey, in his book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People says the number-one trait of successful people is that they are proactive. They happen to things. Things don’t happen to them. Unless you are intentional with your day you will spend it being reactive. If a customer comes on your lot, you will react and you may or may not sell them your product. However, if no customers stop by then typically no sale is made.

As president of Woodtex, a nationwide shed builder, I spend the majority of my days dealing in the same two areas as many of you—sales and operations. I talk often to our salespeople about the fact that we simply cannot wait for “folks to drop by.” We have to be intentional about building relationships in the community. This can be as simple as making good use of time by picking up the phone and connecting with prospects.

  1. Be a Believer

I have a very good friend who is also in the shed business. We both have sales centers in the same general area. I let him know (just a little tongue-in-cheek) that it bothered me when someone bought from him versus us. They weren’t getting the best experience possible because they hadn’t chosen to go with Woodtex. Do I believe that? Absolutely. Should he believe the same about his product? 100 percent yes!

If any of my salespeople believed a customer would get the same experience and quality structure whether they buy from us or from a competitor down the street, they wouldn’t be very effective. If we don’t believe in our product, then why should the customer?

We believe a customer will have the best experience by purchasing a structure from us. You should believe the same about your product!

  1. Do What You Say You Will Do

Sounds simple right? So many organizations slack on this one though. Here’s the deal. When you don’t do EVERYTHING you say you are going to do, it seriously damages your credibility.

I was in a meeting once trying to renew a contract with a client. They were pushing back hard on their new advertising rate. In the course of the discussion, I found out that something we had promised them before had not happened. About six months into the deal, we had to tell them that we couldn’t actually accomplish what we once thought we could. At the time, they said “no problem,” leading our team to believe they were okay with this. Now, I was learning the hard way— they clearly weren’t okay with it. They felt like we hadn’t lived up to our end of a bargain. So, here I was, trying to renew the contract, telling them everything we were going to do for them, and in the back of their minds, they were thinking, “Will you really do that?”

If you promise something to a customer, you MUST deliver on that promise. If for some reason you cannot deliver, don’t just assume the other party is ok with it. Talk to them. OVER communicate with them about it and then go ahead and make the physical change to the agreement that you both sign off on.

Learn to Love Discipline

It was Aristotle who said, “Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.” Everything I’ve talked about here takes discipline. It’s not easy. But it’s required if you’re going to win in life and business.


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