4 Steps To Greatness

Nevermind greatness. As a small business owner, I know what it’s like trying to master the many jobs you need to run your business effectively. Simply getting by is difficult enough. Whether it’s the job of a marketeer, accountant, sales person, administrator or product designer,  in the early stages, you do them all.

But even when a business is out of start up mode, many business owners continue to struggle on with all the jobs, because they feel they are still the best person to do them or they just don’t trust anyone else to do a good job.

If that’s you, then you need to seriously reconsider what jobs you do.

No doubt some of the jobs you will do very well.

Some of the jobs you will be terrible at.

And a few of them, no matter how good you are at doing them, you will hate with a passion.

But if instead of focusing your attention on doing a lot of jobs and concentrated on a few, and by concentrating on being the best you can on these jobs and achieved greatness, then your business growth would start accelerating beyond belief.

Here’s how…

Research by Gallup based on a 40 year study of human strengths, showed that if you focus your development on the things you’re good at, then you’ll have much more success than spending your time working on and improving the stuff you will only ever be mediocre at. 

The idea being that even a small gain or improvement on something that you’re already good at will have a much more significant improvement than a larger gain on something you’re average at.

But first of all you need to find out your top talents. You can do this easily by purchasing the Strength Finders book which includes an online assessment of your top 5 talents using Gallup’s online tool, or you can simply break down each task you do into one of the following buckets:

a) It’s a task you hate

b) You aren’t actually and good at it/ can’t do it.

c) It’s a job you’re good at

In both a) and b) cases then these are the tasks that you should look at getting someone else to do for you.  Whether that is outsourcing the task to a freelancer on  either on odesk or Elance or recruiting someone to do them, you definitely shouldn’t be doing them yourself.

But if the job falls into bucket c) – a job you you’re good at and it’s a job you as a business owner should be doing (which is a job relating to growing or running the business – not working in it) then here are the 4 steps to achieving greatness in anything.


4 Steps To Greatness In Your Small Business


1. Start wih what you want to achieve

Stephen Covey the original producivity “guru”, in his book The 7 Habbits of Highly Effective People, coined the phrase: “start with the end in mind”.  You have to know what you want to be great at, before you can start to be great at it. 

As Alice said to the Cheshire Cat:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

Lewis Caroll – Alice In Wonderland

Once you know what you want to be good at, then ask yourself why?

I always ask my clients why they want to do whatever it is they want to do. I ask them this, not to challenge them to understand what drives them to do something.  This is becuase the bigger the “why” is to someone, then that is a core inner value which will be the guiding light to make someone successful. The “why” is what drives you to work 36 hours straight or endless late nights to ahieve greatness.

If your why isn’t strong enough, then you’ll fall at the first hurdle (this is why most diets fail) – the reason “why” you’re on a diet is not important enough to you to resist temptation.

If you have a clear idea of why you want to do something then that why will always act as your compass to ahieve greatness in whatever it is you want to achieve greatness in.

2. Prioritise

Once you’ve decided on what you want to do, then you need to prioritise.   As Zig Ziglar said:

“if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it everytime”

You need to make room for it on the calendar.   For many people, this usually means squeezing something else into a busy calendar.  However, squeezing it in is not prioritising.   Prioritising means that this is important and you do this first. Which means that means you need to stop doing something else not add it in on the bottom of an already busy schedule as inevitably you won’t do it.

3. Avoid Distractions

In this “always connected” world it is easy to mistake email, Facebook, Pinstergram, or Twitter,  for “work” – but all of them are distractions from the job in hand.  If email is your distraction of choice, then you need to realise that when you’re reading and responding to email, you’re working on other people’s priorities, not your own.  See number 2.

4. Execute Relentlessly

Once you make a decision to become great at something then and you’ve made time for it on your calendar, then you need to do something about it. Reading, taking a course, experimenting, whatever it is you need to do, do it. Execute, execute, execute.  Don’t stop until you have  finished. Keep on going. When you hit the inevitable roadblock, which you will,  improvise as well as you can but above all keep on going.

Remember. You don’t have to be great at everything. Being great at what you do will set you apart from your competition. Make what you’re great at (customer service, design, experience) your point of difference from your competitiors.  Once customers start waking up to the fact that you’re great at something, then your businsss will start growing, fast!

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