Been on a little bit of a hiatus, working intensely on a new course that I’ll be telling you about soon, but I’m re-surfacing to wish one and all a Happy New Year and best wishes for success and happiness in 2013. Go out and make some stuff happen, with your career, your business, or toward your personal goals.
George Lois is known as the one upon whom the Mad Men, the popular cable series, is based. In his recent book Damn Good Advice, he offers a number of tips for success, with foundations in the advertising industry, but applicable to all types of businesses. Some of those tips are summarized in this Fast Company online article, which includes excerpts from the book.
Sound advice from the guy who created the brand names “Lean Cuisine” and “Aunt Jemima”, and the cult ad phrase, “I want my MTV!”.
It’s Labor Day weekend; I hope you’re all enjoying it, before the school year starts up again in earnest. Thoughts of Labor Day tend to remind me that it’s labor that bears fruit. Success and results are rarely attained without the labor behind it. So if you’re considering a business method that sounds like “success with only 3 hours a week”, “6 figures with push-button software”, or “no experience necessary”, then it sounds too good to be true. And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Get your R&R this weekend, and resume your labor next week, to work toward your goals!
Apparently, exercise and working out make you smarter, according to information presented by OnlineCollegeCourses.com, as summarized by Morgan Clendaniel of the FastCompany Co.Exist website. Check out this point of view — it makes for another reason to keep up your exercise routine.
What a deal: work out, look better, and be even smarter!
The Olympics has offered many stories of athletes from all walks of life, all with the singular goal of leaving London with a medal. As different as all the stories are, I noticed yet again that there is one thing that stood out to me. Regardless of whether an athlete is favored to win or not, they all have their naysayers.
If the athlete is favored, there are people who will say that he or she is overrated. If an athlete is not favored, lots of people say that he or she has no chance, so why even bother. So, even athletes who are best in their own countries have to put up with this kind of talk from people who aren’t even athletes. Yet those athletes still go about their business, doing what they came to London to do.
Don’t let any naysayers in your business or personal life sidetrack you. Just go about doing what you’re supposed to be doing. That puts you in the same boat as Olympic athletes!
Come Sunday morning, we’re going to have to set our clocks ahead one hour again, bringing to mind the phrase used when I was a kid, “spring forward.” And that’s the story of all of us trying to make something happen … to spring forward toward our goals. But what if you’re springing for something that’s not in reach?
I hear lots of workshops and seminars talk about having big ambitions and creating big goals. There’s an acronym I’ve heard from several different places, BHAG, for big hairy audacious goal. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Unless you don’t know how to get from where you are to that big hairy goal.
That’s probably the biggest issue. There are plenty of people who can think up the big goal (“I want to become a millionaire, a billionaire, financially independent, well known and famous”, etc.). That only takes imagination. The reason why very few people make it to the big goal, is because most folks can’t connect where they are with where they want to be and develop an action plan. Some do develop the action plan, then never execute it.
That’s why I’ve always said, “Great ideas are abundant. Great execution is rare.” You must execute, and in order to execute, you must know what your steps are to get to your goal.
I hope the holidays and the ringing in of the New Year were good to you. I also hope you are off to a good start, for what you need to do to start the year. To be sure you’re off and running, look at what you need to do, or were planning to do, and do something. Not sure which of the 3 or 4 things you’re considering to start with? Just pick one — any one.
You could always change course if you need to. Just get rolling. More people miss their goals, not because they take the wrong action, but because they take no action.
As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Here in the Eastern time zone of the U.S., we’re a little over an hour away from ringing in 2012 as I type this, so I’ll keep this short. I hope the coming year will bring you closer to your goals and ambitions, whatever they may be. Remember that goals and ambitions start with dreams and are realized with actions. In 2012, strive to do something every day, every week, or at least every month, that gets you closer to your goals. Just DO something … take SOME action. Don’t just dream about it.
Happy New Year!
With yesterday evening’s sad news of the passing of Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs at age 56, I recall an excerpt from his 2005 Commencement Speech at Stanford University:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” (–Steve Jobs, June 12, 2005)
So I encourage you, whether your goal is to start your own business, to find your next great opportunity, or to make a career change, to remember these words from one of the greatest innovators in history. What made him great was not only the ability to come up with ideas that resonated with millions, but also the ability to motivate others to turn those ideas into reality through execution. As I have always said, great ideas are abundant, but great execution is rare.
Find out what your heart and intuition are saying, and have the gumption to do something about it.
Dream. Act. Thrive.
I recently saw a sound byte on YouTube from Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire owner of resort and casino properties in Las Vegas and around the world. He summarized his advice for success as this: “Just do things in life, the way other people don’t do them. Change the status quo.”
And that’s what I mean too, in the subtitle from my latest book where I say “don’t be a part of the pack, be apart FROM the pack.” Whether you’re looking for your next job, looking to grow your business, or hoping to start one, think of doing things in ways that make you stand out. Don’t do what everyone else is doing.
Here are just a few things to get you thinking:
- Send a handwritten thank-you note instead of sending an email.
- Pick up the phone to call someone you haven’t spoken with in awhile, who isn’t someone you want something from.
- Instead of complaining about something, think up a solution for the problem.
- Don’t be a victim of whatever situation you’re in. Take charge and take action.
- Know what you’re good at, then seek or create opportunities for you to apply what you’re good at for someone else’s benefit.
C’mon, stand out from the pack! Do things differently.