The Magic Bullet for Business Success
By Bill Prosch
When I first started down the path of working as a business advisor, I was firmly convinced there was no magic bullet that would make a company wildly successful. After all, almost every client wants this. Even if they don’t say it out loud, I promise they’re thinking about it. Clients honestly believe there’s a secret successful companies know that they don’t—that if they just pay enough money to learn what that secret is, everything will miraculously come together.
For years I’ve followed this thinking and taught the absence of a magic bullet. In its place, there are only good, sound business practices such as creating a great culture; becoming goal oriented; maintaining solid recruiting, hiring, and training practices; having an incredible sales and marketing team; developing an awesome production department; etc.—all the things great companies have. But you know what? I was wrong. These things are the RESULT of knowing what the secret magic bullet is and putting it to use.
Yes, there really is a magic bullet! It is a trait, a behavior, that successful leaders and outstanding companies share. Great companies have an abundance of it. Good companies want it. Mediocre companies will never get it. But if you want it, you can have it. For free.
Webster’s dictionary defines this trait as “control gained by enforcing obedience or order; orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior; SELF CONTROL.” What we’re talking about here is discipline. Discipline IS the magic bullet. Discipline is what keeps us focused on the prize when desire or temptation tries to pull us in the opposite direction.
Do you remember THAT kid in high school? You know the one I mean. The one who in his or her sophomore year clearly stated what they were going to do with their life. The one at your ten-year reunion who was an engineer, working in the field they had announced they were pursuing thirteen years earlier. Or the one who wasn’t at the ten-year reunion because they were still studying but appeared at the twenty-year reunion and was an orthopedic surgeon. Sure, they were blessed with the gift of a high IQ, but, honestly, there are a lot of geniuses out there who have achieved nothing in their lifetime.
Why do some achieve at that level and others waste the opportunity? Perhaps Abraham Lincoln said it best when he said, “Discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most.” Those with discipline simply understand what’s important and remain focused on it. To them, everything else is just noise.
What gets in the way of success? Let’s face it; most entrepreneurs are “big idea” people. They are gifted with having that vision that most do not. Unfortunately, what gets in the way of these visionaries is the next big idea. And the next. And the next. They are typically great “starters” but lack the discipline to see one big idea through before embarking on the next.
I would suggest that the undisciplined entrepreneur winds up with a basket of great ideas and nothing in their bank account. But what if that big idea guy actually developed the discipline to remain focused on his big idea and didn’t allow himself to be distracted by the next shiny thing? It’s the entrepreneur who has mastered the skill of discipline who experiences the success his or her big idea was capable of producing.
Where to begin
So, where do we find this magic bullet—this elusive thing called discipline? Although it isn’t my idea, I would suggest you start by making your bed. This suggestion came from a commencement speech in 2014 at the University of Texas by Admiral William McRaven. (If you haven’t viewed the video and you’re lacking inspiration and discipline in your life, don’t do another thing until you go watch it on YouTube.) Admiral McRaven makes it very clear that discipline starts with the little things that build on each other, like making your bed each morning. Far too many of us attempt to take on monstrous projects without breaking them down into smaller, more manageable tasks.
So, make your bed. That’s discipline. Do it every day. That’s even better discipline. Plan your time, plan your day, plan your week. Then, stick to that plan without allowing yourself to become distracted. Are you getting the idea? The natural reaction is that all this discipline sounds restrictive. Just try it for two weeks and I bet you will find that it’s actually liberating. I’ll even go so far as to predict that your productivity goes up substantially. Jim Rohn said it best when he said, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
Is there a magic bullet that will make your company successful? You bet. Can you get it? Absolutely. All you need to do is build that bridge.
Bill Prosch, CR, is a Business Development Adviser forVioland Management Associates(VMA), a highly-respected consulting company in the restoration and cleaning industries. Prosch is a leading expert in operations and a Certified Restorer. He has a deep understanding of entrepreneurial challenges having owned and operated a successful restoration company for more than 30 years. Through Violand, he works with companies to develop their people and their profits. To reach him, visitvioland.comor call (800)360-3513.
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February 21, 2023