I think that most folks have their own ideas of limitations in their life. For some it may be the hard start we began with. Others may be living with regret of a previous failure or a fear of humiliation, while others still simply are frozen until they know enough to know they won’t fail. Some live with limitations in vision, in movement, in income, in historical events…we all seem to have some concept that we are limited in some way.
We learn as we go if we choose to take action to enhance outcomes. Sometimes that action is to pause, other times it is to analyze, and yet often it seems, the action taken is to do nothing to advance the outcome desired. So many parts of successful business only present themselves when a step is taken towards the goal.
Hmmm. The “I wishes” of my life, without a plan, have very rarely gotten me anywhere, how about you?
My friend shares daily practices of writing, for that is consummately who and what she is, a successful and oh so able writer. She writes when she is traveling, she writes when she is home, she writes on the good days well, you get the idea. She may have been born with one of the most extraordinary minds, but without the practice we would never have the gift of her books we do. We become what we focus our time and energy to, and that includes becoming simply a worrier, a spendthrift, or whatever else we define and believe are able to do or be.
I like to work with able folks. Do you know what qualifies that? The ability to say “I may not know that now but I am teachable and I’m able.” You see, if I go through a “What is…” conversation with a potential client, there becomes an invisible line that shows up on how the individual or team perceives their need. Each of us tend to affect our business and life outcomes by how we limit or expand our able-ness to succeed. If we believe we have to be able to do everything, we limit ourselves. If we believe we cannot learn, we limit ourselves. If we believe that no matter what, it’s going to go badly, we limit ourselves.
What if your desired success was simply a matter of determining it’s recipe, then, like a recipe for a brownie, gathering the ingredients and mixing them up until they are baking the delicious flavor of life you’d like to engage? Life is a good bit like that. You can learn. You can gather information. You can combine and engage new actions and retractions until your recipe is truly your path to the outcomes you see. It’s interesting how once you’ve got that initial outcome in your vision, how truly facilitative just that step is. However, I am also going to remind each of us that it’s important to not just work to “achieve, achieve, achieve” the next steps, but to pause, reflect, play, and see if this actuation of your life is the version you thought it would be. Goals are only truly met when they create peace and support joy, healthy relationships, and learning in your life. In the long run, if it’s simply about “more” you’ll be sorely disappointed.
I work with exceptional individuals and teams. They are exceptional because they have chosen to learn past their limitations. They have all been without, they have all been beginners, they have all made tragic and at times, debilitating mistakes. At times their hardships have been breathtaking to acknowledge but they faced them. They also keep going and sometimes the very hardships they endured set the stage for the success they experience. The rest of the story? They are successful because they are learners. They are teachable. They expect to make mistakes, they realign with new information and experience and they expect to find out what they don’t know. They also do not expect to do it alone. They are voracious readers, learners, listeners, communicators with others and they seek within themselves to learn as they grow their experience. Successful business people keep narrowing the focus of their next step needs as they actuate. They expect to then step back and expand next steps in learning as each area of their business lives becomes more successful.
It’s a bit like the difference between hoping and doing. You see, actions that matter may look like:
- Pausing to study the realm of where you are trying to go.
- Studying others that may offer clues to how to deconstruct what is required.
- Going ahead and putting up that landing page or imperfect logo.
- Choosing to monitor and adjust so personal opinion is balanced with objective measure of outcomes
- Asking, reading, or listening to others who have gone further than you have had experience to go. (You know, between articles, libraries, YouTube, TED Talks, and local resources like incubation centers for entrepreneurs, there are so many free resources we truly have no limits on what one can learn)
- Solidifying time spend on their work to a measurable time each week with focus on one task at a time.
- The ability to daily focus on living more than in one area of your life. Success requires whole health, whole participation in: living, eating, relating, playing, resting, fueling, learning, believing.
- Choosing carefully whom you surround yourself. This is a vital part of building yourself and your goals.
The recipes for success are fairly simple and learnable. It doesn’t make them easy, but they are indeed often simple. The real question is are you willing to learn, to try new ways of thinking, to learn to truly step back and see your options. Are you willing to let go of stinking thinking as Zig Ziglar would have said. When I am asked if I think an entrepreneur can succeed, or their new plan is doable, the most important question for success I ask is…
Are you teachable?
More than experience, more than financial fitness, more than connections and networks, the ability to be taught, to learn, and to keep learning is the determiner of success in my experience. The good news is, each of us were born with that capacity in amazing supply. What have you learned lately? How have you applied that learning? What do you need to unlearn? What has learning brought you?
If you have not been teachable, are you willing to consider it’s perhaps an awareness you need to have in every situation of your business. I’ll talk more on that another day.
But I’ll leave you with this thought: You can’t succeed until you are willing to see and know deeply that you are able.