Change How You Think!
Some business owners and individuals look at the future and want more. They see the roadblocks, the challenges, the opportunities, and put plans in place to do their best. The desire is to get better and move the company forward. They are fully aware of how difficult it will be. The SWOT analysis has captured all of the information needed to understand the path they must take and what could derail them. They move forward - calculated, purposeful, and safe.
Other business owners, in the same industry, blow right past the first group’s results, accomplishing things others don’t even know are possible. They really aren’t taking any additional risks. They are fully aware of all the risks and have very clear contingency plans and predictive models to manage them. They are growing at an unprecedented pace, thrilled their competitors don’t understand why they are so successful.
The first group makes excuses for the second group’s success. They say, “My market is different. He is taking too many risks. She is lucky! I would rather do things my way than do what they are doing to grow!”
Are they right?
Five years ago, I started a “Mastermind” group of successful business owners from many different industries and backgrounds. We share a lot of best practices and continue to learn from each other. Running a meaningful Mastermind group that adds enough value to attract and retain successful business owners is difficult. However, while most successful business owners have developed discipline and habit’s that enable them to achieve success, they find there is still something missing? Accountability! Having a group of successful business owners hold you accountable stretches you, and helps you achieve results you never imagined possible.
Accountability, the Missing Link
Running a successful Mastermind group is tough, and may not be your cup of tea. Another way you can unleash the power of growth…get an advisory board. I decided to challenge myself and get people that would push our company. So, we brought on a ‘multi-millionaire’ to be on our board. The millionaire was self-made and grew his business and sold it. This guy made us think differently. We used to look at roadblocks as real roadblocks. We saw our future the way we had always looked at our future. We were safe. We were living in our constrained world and thinking the way we were comfortable thinking. This board member pushed us to think like a bigger firm. He would ask us, ’why not?’ on every aspect of where we thought we were not capable of going.
How often do we restrict our personal lives and our businesses because we can only think of what we know? We don’t really get in shape because we don’t know what is possible. We don’t sell to a larger client because we know all the reasons we will fail. We want to differentiate, but we are afraid of being different. We go to training and events and find where we can support that we are on the right track versus challenging our current beliefs and behaviors.
The only difference between the two companies mentioned above is how they think and having an accountability process in-place. Good habits and discipline will only get you so far, to reach the next level you need to add accountability to your business. Maybe you’re not a business owner, that’s not an excuse, they’re are plenty of successful Mentor’s out there that will hold you accountable. A good mentor will push you, and help you achieve new levels of success. Accountability can come dressed in many forms, but I found the most valuable is in the form of an Advisory board, Mentor, or a well ran Mastermind group.
What’s The Risk?
Too often, people are restricted - not by reality, but by their history and…how they think. As a business consultant I can give people a lot of tools to become successful and do great things. It is clear to me today, the greatest thing I can give to someone is to help them change the way they think! Looking at our personal lives and our business lives, we draw from all of our history, experience, and education in daily decisions. We can live a safe life and let what we know guide us. It’s safe! It’s comfortable! It will work. Or, we can change the way we think. What if we pushed past what was normal? What if we stretched ourselves to do something that hasn’t been done before? How would we do it?
Start pushing your boundaries. This stretching causes you to look at new contingencies and find new strategies to protect and be calculated on my journey. Fear keeps us from pushing outside. Knowledge will overcome fear! Using these simple “Accountability” principles I’ve been able to grow my business 20% each year over the last 4 years. That may not sound impressive, but the industry average is only 7% - 10% growth on average. However, the risks are not any more risky. They are bigger. But, the rewards are greater. I feel just as safe in this world with all of the items of clarity around my path as I did in the smaller world that was protected by knowing my environment.
About the Author: Bret Harding is CEO of Utah Insurance Solutions, a full service insurance brokerage. At Utah Insurance Solutions our success is predicated on our ability to make other business owners more successful at what they do.