You may have already my two articles exploring the best strategies for effortless business success. In the second article we explored what success actually means - and in the first, I suggested four specific steps anyone in business - from the "one man band" to the multi-national - can take to achieve the kind of effortless success we're talking about. In this article, I want to add a couple of further incredibly simple steps to the ones we've already covered - add these and your effortless business success starts today.
Let me start by telling you Mike's story. Many years ago, in the days before email, Mike, the Executive Chairman of a well-known mid-size company, went through a painful and traumatic divorce which left him with sole custody of his nine- and eleven-year olds. Mike decided that his greatest priority at that moment in time was his two children. Consequently, one Sunday evening, he 'phoned round his co-directors telling them "I won't be in tomorrow - or for the next three months!" There was adequate management expertise and depth in the organisation to enable it carry on without any major disruption.
Three months passed and Mike returned to find his office piled high with memos, documents, reports - as I said, we're talking about the pre-email era. He promptly left the office again, went to the nearest grocery store and bought himself a roll of ten large refuse bags - and threw everything in his office out. As he subsequently said to me "Of all the crap that crammed my office, only one thing came back to haunt me." The moral of the story - we spend vast amounts of time and energy doing things that we shouldn't be doing - but, in the process, convincing ourselves that we are busy and important.
Yes, we're busy alright - doing the wrong things.
In my previous two related articles, we talked about how a business might define success and how, then, you might "visualize" that success in a five-sensory way. But, after that, the most important thing you have to do, to achieve effortless and exceptional business success, is to focus on the important in the here and now.
There are two important points in the last sentence. Number one - cut the crap out of your daily routine. That includes engaging in destructive gossip - gloating over a competitor's misfortune, joining in the sorry social club that's comprised of all the sad people who apparently take delight in discussing and re-discussing the current economic situation or re-reading the sports pages that cover some event you've already seen. That includes doing things that you've paid other people to do - some call it micro-managing, some call it attention to detail - but if you're supposed to be driving your business forward, in the fast lane to success, you can't be wasting time tinkering about with an engine that probably doesn't need fixing! That includes doing anything that isn't on your short list of priorities - and I don't know who it was who said that, if you've more than three priorities, you've none! Everyone knows what they're doing that they shouldn't be doing - we all know the things that waste our time and energy. If you want to achieve exceptional success, you're going to have to start acting differently - and this is an easy and obvious place to start.
Less obvious, however, is the most important piece of advice that I could ever give any client - be they a business person, sports person, scientist, artist... Assuming you're doing the right thing - in other words, the things that are most relevant and important to your success - the most important thing you have to do in all of your life is what you're doing now.
When I explain the importance of focus and single-mindedness to my clients, they often initially assume that I am championing the importance of being focused on your goals. No. It is focus and single-mindedness to the present moment that sets great achievers apart from everyone else on this planet - in whatever their field of endeavour. The great mass of people only focus 1% of their mental energy into what they're doing (years of psychological research support this fact). Consequently, normal people are the exact opposite of focused and single-minded - normal people's minds are all over the place.
Abnormally successful people are more than 1% focused - what percentage that is, who knows - but the key point is that the University of Chicago estimates that if you were only 2% effective (twice the norm) you'd be 2000% more effective. Wow - what a huge return for that little investment. But the level of mental investment is abnormal and leads to abnormal living and abnormal success.
If you are abnormally focused in the present moment, if you are more present - you will automatically display one of the key traits of abnormally successful people - you'll have presence. Presence is impressive, presence is inspiring, presence is the key to leadership and success.
So, how do you become abnormally focused, abnormally single-minded? Like everything worth doing, you need commitment - commitment to training yourself to pay attention to the here and now. You're already fully equipped to do this - you have five senses (to which normal people pay no attention) start using them. Nothing could be simpler - nothing could be more empowering - nothing else will lead you so effortlessly to exceptional success.