The Formula for Success

“The successful person is the individual who forms the habit of doing what the failing person doesn't like to do.”

– Donald Riggs

It has been said that there are no new ideas.  And to a great extent, I believe this.  For the most part, I simply discover someone else's idea and find a way to adapt it to fit my situation.  This could be an idea for a speech or a presentation – or even a topic on which to post to my blog.

Actually, getting the idea is the easy part.  It is the execution of that idea that trips most people and companies up.  And developing the habit of successfully implementing and executing these ideas is the secret to success.

Because, as the quotation from Donald Riggs points out, most people just do not like to complete all of the details that will lead to the successful implementation of a promotion, sales campaign, training program, etc.

I am reminded of this admonition to “… form the habit of doing what the failing person doesn't like to do,” because I have just returned from two full weeks of meetings.  I head lots of great ideas;  I met many interesting people; I had several meetings which could lead to future business for me.

But… unless I work hard at developing the habit  of “following up” on these ideas and initiatives, why should I have even bothered to attend the meeting in the first place?

Following-up and following-through are very difficult tasks for most of us to accomplish.  It is one thing to attend a seminar and become excited about a new idea; and quite another thing to actually work on implementing that idea in your business – it is all of those nasty details that need to be attended to.

Likewise, it is fun to be introduced to some new people at an industry gathering.  It is easy to exchange business cards and say, “let's get together soon to talk,” but… what happens next?  If you are like most people, those business cards just sit in a pile gathering dust – piles of good intentions gone for naught!

I admit it – I do not excel at follow-up and follow-through.  But I am getting much better at it.  I am starting to get into the habit of writing the “thank you” notes; entering the contact information into my database; making the phone calls to schedule the next meeting, writing the article that I promised, etc.

This all takes work – and most of it is hard,tedious work.  It is not glamorous work; it is not particularly creative work.  But, I have noticed that as I develop better habits of following-up and following-through that I am becoming more successful.  I am getting more clients.  I feel a lot better personally and professionally.

Several people have commented to me that they enjoy getting my “thank you” notes – via postcards and email.  Usually, the add, “It is so seldom that people write to comment.  You stand out from the crowd with your follow-up notes.”

Wow!  It really is that simple.  By simply doing the things that most people do not like to do, you can achieve a great deal of success.  When you realize that most people do not like to do a lot of the things they need to do… Well, that opens the door all the way for you.  This opening, shows you the path to success:

“The successful person is the individual who forms the habit of doing what the failing person doesn't like to do.”

– Donald Riggs

Or… as the NIKE slogan says:

“Just do it!

The more that I work on forming these good habits, the more success I am achieving.  I have a lot of follow-up to do today.  Knowing that this is a path to success makes it so much easier to do it.  I can envision the good results and it makes something that could be tedious a pleasant experience.

Let me know if you have had similar success.


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