As the year winds down and we look to develop our 2013 marketing plans, we look back on the past for guidance. Undoubtedly there have been many successes and some failures along the way. Don’t let the failures get you down, because given the right motivation, you can achieve all of your goals. Here’s how in six easy steps.
1. Surround Yourself With Positive People
Shleprocks are for the Pebbles and Bamm Bamm Show. Not for you. Avoid these downers like the plague.
The mind is fragile and exposure to the negativity can lead to second guessing your goals and worse—doubting them. Oftentimes with doubt, you may find yourself giving up and scrapping everything.
Instead, seek out positive people that will share your goals and help you mold them into the success stories that you know they can be! You will be amazed at how helpful a positive voice can be in your overall success. Remember when you stunk at (insert any youth sport here) Mom was always on the sideline cheering on her all-star?
2. Be Accountable
Achieving goals is a lot more than announcing them or putting them down in a marketing plan. I can proclaim that I will sell $10 million in travel this year; but unless I hold myself accountable for the successes and failures, it is all for naught.
Set measurable goals and hold yourself accountable—or perhaps one of the positive people in #1 can hold you accountable. If you miss a newsletter deadline, there needs to be some sort of repercussion. If it is a chore you dislike, maybe set aside a $20 bonus for every newsletter that goes out on time. But if you miss the deadline, the $20 goes to charity.
3. Have A Purpose
Are you really into the travel business? Or are you just trying to make a few bucks with the latest get-rich-quick scheme? If you have a sense of purpose, keeping it all together is a lot easier. If you are constantly bemoaning that your commissions are falling or your clients are not the type you want; then either do something to affect some change, or hang it up. To achieve your goals, you must have a sense of purpose!
4. Keep Score
No goal is achieved in one lump sum. It takes a lot of baby steps to get to the end. Pick a metaphor—you don’t win a marathon with a single step, you don’t win a swimming match with a single stroke, you don’t develop six-pack abs with a single visit to the gym, and lord knows that you can’t get to Saba with a single flight!
Make sure that your plans have defined plateaus that are measurable and attainable—not easy, but attainable. Reward your successes along the way, and punish your failures. And remember, there will be both—and that’s OK.
5. Take 21 Days
Research shows that it takes 21 days to develop a habit.
As your marketing plan progresses and you implement new strategies, make sure you give them time to work. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day; and neither are your successes. If you are bad on returning phone calls or emails, take that three week period and focus on that until it is second nature.
When you repeat things, they quickly become second nature. All too many people end up failing simply because they did not give it enough time to succeed. But, there is also the worry of allowing too much time leading to failure. Knowing the difference usually comes down to a gut feeling.
6. Turn Off The Autopilot
Routines are comfortable. Business is not. We love to wake up, get that first cup of coffee, read the paper and head into work. We do it 5 days a week and modify it a little on the weekend. It makes for a comfortable and predictable life. As we all know, business is anything but predictable. Get out of your comfort zone and make it work!
One of my favorite movies was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. And Ferris embodies most of these points. He had positive influences around him—Sloan and ultimately Cameron. He held himself accountable for his goals—leading a parade, taking the Ferrari, or crashing a restaurant as Abe Froman—sausage king of Chicago! He certainly had a sense of purpose as was evidenced by his every move. He kept score and he turned off the autopilot.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Success is never easy. It is a result of hard work and effort on the part of you and your team. But, managing it will give you a huge jump on the competition!