Stop Chasing Success

Stop Chasing Success

Oct 01

Yep, you heard me right. I’m telling you: “Stop chasing success and discover what really matters most to you!” I’ve found that quite a few business owners, and many other folks, have an uncontrollable urge to chase success. And why not? After all, according to lots of successful people like Thomas Edison who said, “Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”, the concept is one that has become embedded in our brains.

Many people, from time to time me included, often have trouble envisioning the level of success they most desire. One of the main reasons for this is that they haven’t done a reality check and defined success as they see it. Most of the time they use the monetary or material ‘yardsticks’ of others (yeah, that’s right – the Beamer, Hummer, ski boat, lake house, etc.)

So what should I do, you ask? Well, it’s time to do two things to start off the New Year.

Many of my clients make New Year’s resolutions. Others do not. If they do, I ask them to concentrate on two areas: intentions and self-imposed limitations. My experience is that when people stay focused in these two areas they likely make more money in their business or career, grow their customer base and have lots more fun.

However, I caution clients that resolutions should not be grounded in what they feel they must accomplish, but rather what their “intentions” are around those goals. I ask them this question: “What are your intentions for the year and what self-imposed limitations are you going to rise above in order to achieve those intentions?”

Then I ask that they envision themselves twenty, thirty or forty years ahead and look back on what they’ve achieved — what mark have they left on this earth or what legacy have they left behind? How would the 85-year old you view the you of the present? If they are satisfied with what they see, that’s good. If not, then they usually become quite motivated to achieve more of the right stuff. And that’s really where the coaching work begins

New Year’s Resolutions? I want my clients to think much bigger than a resolution. I want them to determine how many lives they can hugely and positively impact or affect. I request that they intensely and honestly question and let go of self-imposing limitations and beliefs, for as long as they are a part of you, they become part of your reality, just as they have in the past. Here are some things my clients question:

• How can I be more successful?
• How much many can I make?
• Can I really market, sell and attract more clients?
• How can I make a significant impact on those people who are closest to me?
• Can I find the time to do more?

People can tell me what they want from their businesses or careers. But normally, they can’t tell me what they really want. Early on in our work together my clients’ answers are at first, quite standard; money, security for retirement, new car, college tuition or eliminating tolerations (the stuff that keeps bugging us day in and day out). But I keep asking “What else?”, until they realize that they have some soul searching to do in order to find out what motivates them to do all that they do.

They then begin to think: about who they are, what they’re doing, and why they’re doing it (hence my company’s name “ThinkTank Coaching”).

Using the 85-year old scenario as a preview, you can create intentions, and amazingly enough, this is what many successful people do, because it gives them the outline for success. Plus, they don’t forget to write them down!

Professional life and business coaches like myself, understand that clear intention is at the core of making the quantum leap from an ordinary life to “superstar success”. Because those folks know the core motives for what they are doing, and they create a lucid and low friction path to success.

Brian Howe is a professionally-trained executive and business coach, writer and speaker, who owns ThinkTank Coaching. He is also a Certified Mediator, and holds the highest human resource certification, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). He has worked with over 300 business owners and professionals, coaching and consulting with them on leadership development and other aspects related to people in business. He can be reached at (770) 922-6007 or via his website