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Commitment and Motivation: 3 Rules For Success


My husband and I ride our bicycles every day to get exercise, take care of ourselves, burn calories, being at the time of life where just existing seems to put on weight. We also ride to relieve stress. We ride a lot of hills and I always sweat (oh, I am a woman, so I guess I don’t sweat, I “glisten”).    


As I push up a hill, I can feel my breathing get harder and my heart working. Okay, so I admit that sometimes as I pump up a hill, I picture that guy Arte Johnson that used to be on Laugh-In – you know the one who was on a tricycle and just keeled over to the side onto the pavement.  


So, by riding and pushing up the hills, I know I am doing "good."

There are days when I love being out, being on my bike feels wonderful, and there are days when it is a chore, but nonetheless, I do it.  


The interesting thing about riding a bike is the commitment. When you take off for a bike ride, you are committed to finish the ride… It is different than working out on a stationary bike or on a treadmill, where for me, it is very easy to give up half-way through and say I am too tired today to finish my workout, etc. Being out on a bicycle, you can’t quit halfway through… you have to finish to get back home. It might be that in order to finish the ride, you have to shift your bike into the lowest of lowest gears and practically slow to a walking pace to get up a hill and finish, but, the important thing is that however you do it, you get back home, having accomplished your goal. And inside, you smile because of this accomplishment.


Of course, I think about how this applies to my business and the motivation and drive to finish each task, even those that are really not my favorite things to do. And I also think about my commitment to my business in general. I admit there have been days, particularly in the beginning, where it seemed like nothing went right, and I just wanted to give up. Everywhere I looked there were successful businesses, and I doubted that I would ever get there. Then I thought about all of the quotes I had heard from very famous and successful people who talked about all the times they tried and failed before being wildly successful. And their one mantra and advice to give was “never give up.” And also, "learn from your mistakes.”


So, here is my advice and 3 Golden Rules to Success:


1.Keep track of your accomplishments.  At the end of each day, take 5 minutes (slot this in your calendar), to list the things you accomplished that day. They might be very small steps. It might just be that you cleared something off of your plate that had been hanging there forever because you didn’t want to do it. List your accomplishments. This does wonders for your mindset. First, it ends your day on a positive note, thinking about the good things you accomplished. And second, at the end of the week, you are going to have an entire list of things you accomplished during that week. And third, and most important, it will subtly shift your mindset. You will start to begin thinking each day about that accomplishment list and which items you want to put on that list at the end of the day. So you are creating positive motivation.


2.Admit and Use Your Failures: You are going to fail, because everyone does, and I mean everyone. The failure strategy is that you fail quickly and cheaply. What does this mean? Take small steps towards your goal and evaluate after each step to be sure it actually took you closer towards your goal. If it did not, or the step was not completely successful, then try something else, a different small step. Really learn from your mistakes. You need to truly understand what went wrong. This involves honesty. Evaluate and admit what happened, what caused the failure, and then what else you can do. This is really important. The total business failures are the ones that give up when things don’t go right. The successes are the ones that keep going, keep trying, keep practicing, until they get it right. So besides not being afraid of failure, you must acknowledge your failures, and then quickly move on.  


3.Flexibility is Key:  You must not fear changing your plan, and being flexible. This is key to success. Few entrepreneurs have a business idea and understand totally the right way to execute it from the get-go. Some change the market, some change the product, some change the delivery method, etc. So, being honest in evaluating what is working and what is not and being flexible enough to chuck your ego and change, is a high contributor to success. Even very big successful companies stumble on this one. They rest on their laurels, keeping an idea in place that worked at one time, but is no longer working, perhaps no longer what the market wants or needs. But they do not see the writing on the wall until it is too late. Always being flexible and being alert is a huge success rule. Change is important. Flexibility is key.


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