Welcome back to the 3rd blog in this 6-part series focusing on what it takes to succeed in selling. Based on researching a wide range of successful people intensively for more than 25 years I have recognised that they all have certain traits in common, and that more importantly, by using these traits, anyone can be more successful at whatever they want to be. We continue on with details of an additional 4 traits in order that you may act upon them and achieve more. As per the last 2 blogs you must take action upon all of these items, no matter how small.
- FOCUS – successful people are incredibly focused on achieving their goals. They do not let other people, issues, situations or distractions take them away from working on and arriving at what they want. Their goal and the steps it will take to achieve it are in their minds constantly. Not a day goes by when they do not think about it, which is the first step then followed by taking action to make it happen. Some use written goals or reminders to help increase their focus on a daily basis, some are able to keep it in their head constantly without such a prompt; it is there nonetheless. Even when it seems like their desired outcome can seem impossible to achieve they don’t and won’t lose heart or lessen their desire to achieve it. This is when it is most vital they remind themselves of what they seek and do something to bring it within their grasp. Critically this is a trait that clearly distinguishes successful people from the rest as it is when things get tough that most people give up.
Find a way that best fits you to focus your mind on your goals. Write them down on a readily accessible piece of paper, create a screen saver, set an alarm in your outlook, record a voice note … whatever it takes. Refer to them and/or play them back to yourself at the beginning and end of every day to focus your mind on achieving them. Ensure you spend a minimum time everyday (say 15 minutes to start, then increasing) where you think about, and take action towards your goals and let nothing interfere with this ‘focus’ time and watch your progress.
- INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY – as the saying says, “If you always do what you have always done you will always get what you have always got!” Successful people know that in order to get ahead you have to be different. You have to be open to new ideas, to change and adapt and evolve constantly. Bill Gates once said that a company that does not evolve its products and services risks becoming extinct itself. The same applies to us as people; we have to evolve our knowledge and skills. This doesn’t always have to mean massive change, often just tweaking a current skill, process or method is sufficient. And this doesn’t mean be reckless; instead everything they do will be thought through and whilst they may be taking a risk, for example in doing what has never been done before, they do it in a calculated manner. Then, with the change made, successful people move on to identify what else could be better and then do something about it.
How open are you to new ideas, to doing something differently? Many people are willing to learn something new, and yet stop themselves from doing things differently, even as a result of that learning. What do you currently do that could benefit from being tweaked (habits, skills and/or knowledge)? If you are working on this on behalf of your company think about your products or services, and/or the way that you deliver them. Look for opportunities and make them happen on a continuous basis.
- NO FEAR OF FAILURE – successful people have no fear of failure, it simply doesn’t exist for them. Things not going their way are recognised as bad results, i.e. something that can be evaluated, where errors can be identified which can then be corrected to produce a better result (success). They know they’re in control of the result whereas people who fear failure effectively aren’t. Failure is almost seen as a set of external forces that combined against them to keep them down.
Various psychological studies have identified that a fear of failure is really down to low self confidence, damage to personal ego and the dread of what other people will say about the failure and the person who perpetuated it. Successful people simply don’t care what anyone else thinks. They know that provided they keep on working at it, correcting whatever errors they may find along the way and continuously improving themselves eventually a good result is the only outcome possible. And when things don’t go their way, they have the ability, after evaluation to simply move past it, whereas the majority of people torture themselves repeating the failure over and over in their minds, each time making it a bigger and bigger issue that will restrict their ambition the next time around.
Forget about failure. We only ever fail when we give up on something before we succeed at it. A bad result is simply the material we need to learn something new. Correct it (and in doing so improve our ability to get it right more often) and continue on towards the good results we strive for. The FOCUS on the goal covered above earlier will help you keep going where others quit.
- CONFIDENCE AND ENTHUSIASM – successful people seem to have this in abundance. “Surely they were born that way!” most people exclaim; not necessarily though. In fact, many of the successful people I have researched had to develop these traits in order to become who and what they wanted.
Confidence is simply about your belief in your ability to succeed, and this typically only comes about as a result of having a go at it. Many people wait for their confidence to improve before they attempt something, yet it can’t improve until they take some action! As covered in a previous trait, if you have PLANNED correctly and thoroughly, coupled with enthusiasm this gets us started and allows confidence to be created. Enthusiasm however typically comes from loving what you do and being eager and excited to get on with it. Simply put, if you love what you do and you really want to do it, enthusiasm will ooze from you and it is infectious. If you don’t love it, people can tell and a lack of enthusiasm is just as infectious.
To develop your confidence, assess what you currently do and what you know about it. Compare this with what you need to know to succeed and then ensure you learn anything you have identified. Couple it with enthusiasm and get started, then confidence will improve as a result. With regards to enthusiasm how excited are you about what you do? If you are already excited and eager, simply express it (in an acceptable way) and others will be swept along with you. If you aren’t you need to become so; speak with your colleagues and customers, find out what they love about your products and services and be sold on it by them. If you still can’t get enthusiastic about it, it is probably time for a change.
Work on these traits between now and the next blog in this series and we’ll continue next time with 4 more additional traits guaranteed to make you more successful. I wish you every continued success!