My son has recently entered into the “why” phase of his development and I love it. For example, the other day I was driving with him in the car and he pointed to a streetlight and asked me what that was. I answered that it was a streetlight to tell the cars when to stop and go and he proceeded ask the greatest question there is…”why”?
As my son kept asking me “why” again and again until I had no more answers it hit me…I love doing what I do day in and out because everyone I work with, both my staff and clients, all share the same why as me.
I don’t remember where I saw the quote, but I had it written on my white board in my office when I started Par4Success “Do business with those who share your why”. (I apologize to whoever said this for not crediting you but thanks for it!) I can finally say that I am living this every day.
Now, it was no easy road to get here and there were many times I wasn’t even sure if there were enough people who shared my “why” for me to run a successful business. In fact, there were many nights I would confide in my wife that I wasn’t sure if I could do this. Thank God she always told me to get out of the proverbial “wallow pool” and do something about it. She never puts up with any of my whiny BS which is a blessing and I thank each and every one of her New York Italian ancestors.
I listened to her, did something about it and am now sitting here writing this for you.
For those of you out there who are working with clients or in a job with fellow team members who don’t share what you are about, I’ve been there. It sucks. You wake up every morning wondering why you are doing this and wishing you were doing something for yourself or at least in a place where you enjoyed working.
You have to start with Step 1…define your why. Why do you get up every morning? Is it for your family? Is it to show your kids what hard work is all about? Is it to make a crap load of money? Whatever it is there is no wrong answer. It is different for everyone but there is only one for each person. It is unique to you and if you are going to be successful, it is what keeps you going on hour 12 of a 14 hour day and still loving what you are doing.
Since I found my why and have built a business of people who share the same why, I can’t recall the last time I actually looked at the clock in the middle of a session to think to myself “when can I get out of here”. This was a daily thought when I was working in commercial PT practices for other people. Let me tell you, it is soooo much better getting lost in what I am doing rather than counting down the minutes until I can get closer to leaving.
Once you find your why, Step 2…grow a pair and pull yourself out of the wallow pool. Have the courage to step away from what you are currently doing and start to work towards being somewhere you want to be. For me, that was starting to build my own business; that isn’t the move for everyone. Some of you just need to put together your resume and shop around for another job that values your why and will be a place you enjoy going every day. Whatever your comfort level is, you will need to step outside of it which leads to step 3.
Step 3 – Get Uncomfortable If you aren’t uncomfortable at some point during the day, you aren’t doing anything worth doing in my opinion. People who exceed at what they do and are very successful have periods of overreaching. In strength and conditioning this is usually a planned phase of the program where the athlete is pushed beyond where they normally would be. In business, this is often a period where there is a lot of work to be done in little time. In a growing business, this is when you are pushing yourself and other team members to perform more than they usually would until there is a proven need for another team member.
All of these scenarios require that you are uncomfortable at some point in time. You are not punching the clock at 9 and leaving at 5 with a 90 minute lunch between to not think about anything until you return at 9 the next morning.
Step 4 – Get Comfortable Failing This was the hardest step for me. I didn’t like to fail when I started out on this venture. I, like most people, liked feeling as if I was successful and good at what I did. My mindset of success was not failing…boy how that has changed!
Failure to me was the opposite of what I was trying to achieve. Then I failed, and failed big. Since then, if I am not failing then I am not pushing myself to be better and I have become stagnant.
If you can become comfortable failing and in some capacity every day make sure you are uncomfortable then you can be sure you are pushing yourself to be better each day, even if only a fraction of a percent. Eventually those percentage points add up and so does your success.