Success in any endeavor cannot be achieved without some sacrifice.
We all live full, busy and active lives. It always feels like there is not enough time to squeeze into one day everything that we want to accomplish.
But, what if you want to achieve more in your life? If you want to increase your chances of success at anything you do in your life, as a salesperson, as a wife or husband, as a parent, as an athlete or an artist, you have to invest a significant chunk of your time to to improve your craft, enhance your fitness, elevate your skills and increase your knowledge.
Where are you going to find that time?
If you set your sights on running a marathon you need to find the time to train. (If you want to be like my friend Dan Waldschmidt, and become a champion ultra-marathoner, while simultaneously building a thriving international consulting firm, then you need to really find some time.) What are you doing now, that you are prepared to sacrifice, in order to have the time to go on your daily training runs in pursuit of your goal?
If you finally commit to writing that book, the one that you’ve been meaning to write for the last 15 years, you’ll need the time. If you want to get the message that has been burning a hole in your brain out onto the printed page, what are you doing now that you’ll give up to in order to create the time in your daily schedule to fulfill your dream of writing your book?
If you want to be the sales person who consistently achieves quota and makes a good living, then you’ll need time. You’ll need time to thoroughly learn your product. And it takes time to build your knowledge of your prospects, their business and their requirements for your product. And it takes time to read books and blogs and attend the training to absorb the knowledge you’ll need to elevate your sales skills. What are you prepared to sacrifice in order to succeed at your work?
You can’t magically conjure up additional time in your day out of thin air. If you budget time each day to write that first book, you’ll have to take that time away from other activities to make it happen. So, what are you going to sacrifice? Would you give up an hour of watching television each night in order realize a long-held ambition? Would you wake up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later? Would you sacrifice an hour of random Internet time per day?
Here’s a simple but effective way to measure your desire to succeed.
1. Establish a goal for whatever you want to accomplish. It could be work related (achieve quota) or personal (complete your first triathlon).
2. Outline a plan to achieve your goal. This could be a training plan for a triathlon or a sales plan for your territory in which you detail out the activities that you’ll have to perform in order to achieve your goal.
3. Estimate the number of hours that the activities will require on a daily and weekly basis.
4. Answer this question: what am I doing now that I’m prepared to give up in order give me the time I need to achieve my goal?
If your answer is “nothing,” then clearly you’re satisfied with the status quo. Keep your expectations low.
But, if your answer is “whatever it takes.” then you’re ready to achieve any goal and surmount any obstacle you encounter along the way.