Often times the word ‘great’ is not only overused, but used mistakenly. We know when we see greatness but what is it that makes up this mystical level of performance? Is it in the genes? … Is it luck? … Perhaps something bestowed to us by some higher power?
While it is certainly possible that some these do have something to do with being a top performer, I would hate to think that they are solely based upon things I can’t control!
When we look at great athletes or entrepreneurs reach the pinnacle of success, what they all seem to share in common is that they are wired with heaping spoonful of skills and wills. They simply have not achieved these peak levels with just one of these traits, as they have all needed the combination of both skill and will to put themselves ahead of the pack.
Skills with no Will
Having great skill is a necessity in reaching great success, but that alone is just the price of entry. Improving and building skills are something anyone can do – it just takes consistency and effort. Will makes up the other half of the recipe and it is just as important as the sugar it takes to make a cake. Will is mental, and it dictates our physical. Our efforts to succeed or fail comes down to whether we can overcome setbacks, challenges, failure and even fatigue.
Try to think about these people without will. It should be a rather hard task:
- Michael Jordan
- Steve Jobs
- Tiger Woods
- Mark Zuckerberg
- Mohammed Ali
- Oprah Winfrey
Wills with no skills
We’ve all heard the story of the “The Little Engine That Could” and indeed it’s a great story of mental toughness overcoming physical constraints, but we don’t want to live our lives by exceptions. Great skill signals great work ehic and sacrifices. Those of you who have put the work and effort into a specific craft know what this sacrifice means!
Now re-imagine those same people in the list above with no skill. They simply wouldn’t exist as we have come to know them today without it…
Success is hinged on both the physical and mental which if developed properly will increase performance and fulfill your maximum potential.
Here are 5 skills and 3 wills that, if worked on consistently, will propel you into the ranks of greatness no matter what you are trying to achieve:
Authenticity – Letting people not only understand what you think but how you feel builds connectivity. Allow your personal and business story be heard. Almost all areas of business requires interaction with people, and being true to yourself can win you fans that will help your business grow. Get people to believe in your cause !
Decisiveness – Michael Dell once said, “Being indecisive can be an idea and business killer.” Making decisions for your business can be emotional much like decisions you have to make for your kids, and making no decision can be as hurtful as making the wrong one. Progress can only be made by making decisions, so don’t mull around a decision to the point of exhaustion and confusion. Like Steve Jobs said, “Think with your heart, but check it with your head.”
Armadillo Skin – The one thing entrepreneurs must endure in their journeys is rejection. Not everyone is going to believe in you or your idea. The great news is that your belief doesn’t require anybody else’s belief. During the rough times, re-visit your ‘Why’ and don’t let anyone try to deter or snatch your dreams away . It’s yours to win or lose – there’s nobody else to blame. Stay Strong!
Networking – As an entrepreneur your time is extremely valuable and often times full of ‘To Do’s.’ Connecting with people remains the #1 skill of an entrepreneur. If you think about the many business success stories, there always seems to be a moment where a connection made the difference in success. Do not under estimate the power in people resources. Get from behind the computer or phone and cultivate partnerships and alliances.
Stress Killer – When you combine passion and stress together you get a deadly cocktail of poor thinking and bad decision making. Energy is an invaluable asset as an entrepreneur, and one way to wipe out your energy is not having the ability to manage your stress. Make time to ‘de-stress’ yourself. Walk away and come back anew!
And Now For The Wills…
Perseverance – This is the mother of all wills. It is almost slim-to-none that your pathway to success will be void of challenges and doubt. Your ability to navigate and assess different situations that arise in your business will become essential in your success. How you react and respond to the various obstacles your business will encounter, is a mental exercise worth working on. Push through it and gain confidence!
To Succeed – It’s one thing to dream about success, but visualizing it means making it real, almost as though it’s already happening. It’s just like when you were a kid playing sports or being successful at something, you put yourself in that position and acted out how it would be. In my case, it was hitting game winning basketball shot and I would re-enact the situation as though it was real. Business success is the same.
Improvement – The great college football coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant once said, “It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” Your ability to prepare and get better everyday will be a direct reflection of your success. The greatest athletes and teams spend the majority of their time on the practice field/court to only perform for a couple of hours. Put the time in to achieve the outcomes you desire.
To be an elite entrepreneur work on your physical as well as your mental game. Success depends on it!
Work Hard, Work Smart & Stay Humble!