Showing posts with label Implementation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Implementation. Show all posts

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pigheaded Discipline and Determination – 3 Insights from Chet Holmes

Chet Holmes
I first heard the phrase “pigheaded discipline and determination” when I listened to Chet Holmes being interviewed in 2010. I could tell he was someone worth paying attention to as his story unfolded.

Early in his career, he doubled sales three years in a row for a publication owned by Charlie Munger (Warren Buffett’s business partner). But that was after four months of having NO response from the marketing initiatives he’d implemented. Here was a man who never gave up. He spoke with such conviction, confidence and knowledge that I was sorry when the interview concluded.

I immediately grabbed a copy of his best-selling book, The Ultimate Sales Machine, and invested in the audio version as well so I could absorb the information during my commute. It continues to be one of my favorite business books, and I keep it on my desk as a daily reference.

Chet’s key principles are closely aligned with our own approach to learning and mastery of skills. No matter what field you work in, you can apply his words to achieve greater results in your life.

Three of my favorites…

“Any area of achievement in your life required you to stick with the basics until you became great…Becoming a master of karate was not about learning 4,000 moves but about doing just a handful of moves 4,000 times.”

Are you busy trying to implement every new idea you hear? The key to success is to recognize that you have to become really good at only a small number of things, not everything. In fact, when you constantly flit from one activity to another, you’re not investing enough time in practicing and repeating the few that will make the biggest difference and get you the best results.

What are the “basics” for you, and are you working on them?

No one gets good at anything without repetition. Karate requires tremendous discipline. You’re just repeating moves over and over. This is true of tennis, golf, or any other sport. Practice, practice, practice and then, when you’ve begun to master your moves so that you know what to do automatically, it gets exciting. But pigheaded discipline comes first.”

Achieving mastery of any skill requires you to create strong neural connections in your brain, and that only happens with lots of repetition and practice. And that requires a real commitment to follow through – to do what needs to be done, every time, no excuses.

What have you committed to master? Are you putting in the necessary practice every day to make sure you become excellent?

“The missing ingredient for nearly all of the 1,000-plus clients I have worked with directly to improve their businesses is pigheaded discipline and determination. We all get good ideas at seminars and from books, radio talk shows and business-building gurus. The problem is that most companies do not know how to identify and adapt the best ideas to their businesses. Implementation, not ideas, is the key to real success.

It’s not enough to know WHAT to do. You have to take action. That’s what separates the wanna-be’s from the real achievers. Nothing happens until you translate a good idea into observable behavior.

What idea is still in your head that you want to turn into a reality?

If you’re ready to learn business strategies from a master, make time to listen to this audio interview that JW Najarian conducted with Chet Holmes for On Purpose Magazine. Then get Chet's book, study it and implement the ideas.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Four Downsides of Being a Lifelong Learner

Anyone who knows me well will be stunned to read the title of this post.

How can I say there are negative aspects to ongoing self-development? I’ve always invested heavily in my own personal and professional growth – both financially and experientially. And my software company has been publishing assessment and development tools for over 17 years.

But as one for whom learning is a passion, I’ve discovered there are four downsides.

#1 – Accumulating a lot of knowledge without applying it in the real world

I admit that I rarely read novels. I prefer business books on topics like marketing, sales, leadership and personal development. That’s because I absolutely love my business, and I’m always interested in learning how to improve systems, relationships and of course, our bottom line. But sometimes I start on the next book before I’ve taken time to analyze and use the insights gleaned from the one I just read.

Lesson: For every book or program you go through, list the ideas that make sense for your situation. Then commit to implementing the one strategy that will make the biggest difference in your business or life, and hold yourself accountable for doing it.

#2 – Getting overwhelmed with too much information

As I read books and newsletters, watch DVDs, and listen to CDs, I can get paralyzed. There are so many directions to go. Is it possible to organize the mass of ideas into a cohesive action plan?  And how do I deal with conflicting opinions and determine whose approach will get the best results?

Lesson: It’s about quality, not quantity. Determine the one subject, program or book to focus on, and dedicate time to it. Then use your gut as well as your rational mind to evaluate the concepts presented. Which ones sound and feel right for your business? Just one book with one idea can transform the way you do things and the outcomes you achieve. Look for the nuggets.

#3 – Spending money on the next hot idea before mastering the ones already purchased 

Falling into this trap contributes to the situation described in #2. Some people call this tendency the “bright shiny object” syndrome. I’ll hear about a great solution to a business challenge, and I sometimes want to dive into that when I haven’t finished going through the materials I’ve already invested in.

Lesson: Use self-restraint and self-discipline. Say “no” to any attractive offers that come along until you’ve fully digested the one you’re consuming now. Unsubscribe from mailing lists that continually blast you with the next great offer promising to double or triple your results. Find someone who will require you to justify your reason for wanting to make a particular purchase.

#4 – Experiencing the uneasy feeling that you’re still not ready or good enough

When I’m studying the work of people who’ve specialized in a particular subject for many years, I sometimes feel inadequate. I’ve postponed taking action because of thoughts like, “If I just get a little more information about this, then I’ll be able to do that.” The truth is, there’s no end to the comparisons that could be made where I would fall short.

Lesson: No matter what field you’re in, there’s always room to grow and learn. You’ll never reach the end of what you can become, but don’t let that stop you from using the knowledge, skills and talents you already possess. Give yourself full credit for what you already have, and recognize that when you try things, they don’t have to be perfect.

The Bottom Line

Despite the drawbacks I’ve described here, I intend to continue my pursuit of becoming a better version of myself. The process of thinking about and articulating these four downsides has made me more keenly aware of their potential to harm instead of help me in my journey. As a result, I’ll keep my eyes wide open and be more careful to avoid these traps going forward.

Because in the end, it’s not about what you know. It’s about what you do with what you know.