Success – Wanting It Badly Enough

Let me admit it outright: I’m hooked on those competitions on Cable TV’s Food Network.  It started when I stumbled onto one of the shows, Iron Chef America, around last Thanksgiving.  Anyone who’s seen the cooking show knows of the frenzy and craziness that the competing chefs generate as they race to create multiple gourmet courses – in one hour while incorporating the “secret” ingredient of the day.

 

The first time I watched the show, I had no clue what the running around and frenzy was about.  But after the kitchen smoke, literally, cleared, and the chefs faced the judges (oh, those judges!!!), it began to make sense.  Timing, finishing, taste and appearance were everything.  Winning was everything.  I’m not a cook, but just watching these chefs perform is simply wild in an awesome sort of way — a virtual vicarious delight.  These culinary experts carry you along and you find yourself rooting for them throughout the contest, particularly when they are at the judging table.

 

Well, the Iron Chefs got me hooked on the food network and soon thereafter, another show, Cupcake Wars sealed the deal.  “War” is an apt title for this show because the competition is tough, and the judging is brutal.  Cupcake bakers compete for a monetary prize and the “privilege” of serving their cakes at a gala event at the end of the contest.  Before I started watching these wars, I had no idea cupcakes were so hot!!  However, from all indications, they are – literally the hot item in pastry land.  It explains the presence of so many flavors and choices of cakes and their many colorful bakers!

 

It’s amazing how each contestant manages to create an indelible impression during the brief period they are on the show – even those who are eliminated early in the contest.  They’ve certainly captured my interest – even though I’m not a cupcake eater, which leads me to the purpose of this article.

 

What is it about these reality/competition shows that caught my attention?  I know it’s not the foods and desserts per se.  I think it’s the personalities of the contestants and the way they make you catch a glimpse of their soul within such a sort time.  There’s something admirable about these non-celebrities, ordinary individuals who take the chance in pursuit of their business ambitions.  They put themselves out there and dare to dream.  These enterprising people dare to dream “out loud” as it were, by entering and participating in these strenuous contests.  They are to be commended for acting on their hopes and aspirations.

 

Watching these contestants perform make me think of my own business goals and how much effort I’m willing to exert to translate my dreams into reality.  How willing am I to dream aloud, pursue my goals and extend my comfort zone?  This is the real food for thought.

 

How about you?  Do you have goals that you hope to achieve this year?  I’m sure you do.  Every small business owner knows that running a successful business is like being in a contest every day.  Challenges and risks are part of the game.  How well we play, determines our outcomes.

 

We should be in it to win.

 

Let’s get this year started by saying NO to inertia and YES to action.  Action is the best way to silence those pesky personal doubts and gain confidence.  Action is the key to creation and the realization of all good things.

 

Let’s make this year one of dreaming, daring and doing – one day at a time.

 

It might not be easy, but it is doable with courage and perseverance.  Remember: Courage is the ability to disregard fear.  Courage is grace under fire.  Courage is a great companion to have on this year’s quest.

 

Let’s go out there and ACT ON IT!!!

 

 

 

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009-2011.

 

Keeping Your 2011 Plan Simple and Doable

This year I decided not to make any New Year’s resolutions – at least not in the traditional sense of a creating a list of wishes, do’s and don’ts.  Experience has shown me that those types of resolutions are transitory.  They survive only for a few weeks and before long are buried in the field of the forgotten.  Why bother?

 

So this year, I opted to create a simple plan with a better chance of surviving throughout 2011 and hopefully beyond.  I’m labeling it “simple” because the details are few and easy to remember.  Sure, I have a written copy, but I won’t have to keep looking it up to recall what needs to be done.

 

It is a plan because I’ve structured it into manageable parts, which when completed, will move me closer to a clearly defined “big picture” goal.

 

Yes, I know – there’s nothing novel about this idea.  Anyone can do it, and in fact should do it.

 

The great thing about it though is that it makes accountability easier for me to track.  I consider accountability a big deal.

 

I consider accountability a business priority.  It feeds into how many projects I win, how I interact with my clients, and the overall quality of my product.  In short, accountability is critical to the survival of my business.

 

It is, therefore, important that I have a way, preferably an easy way, to track my operations and account for my progress.  This is the underlying motivation for my 2011 Simple Plan.  Right now, it looks good and doable.  In fact, the doing has begun.

 

The best part is you don’t have to invest in any sophisticated software or program to create a plan with accountability as a central component.  The key is to keep it simple and meaningful for you, after all, it is not meant to be a showpiece.  It is a work document.

 

Let’s suppose that your business provides professional services.  Your 2011 simple plan could be based on the following hypothetical considerations:

 

Big Picture:                      Grow my business

 

Specifically:                      Add $50,000 in net income

 

More specifically:             Win ten new projects in X industry

 

This can be refined further by specifying a sub-set of companies in X industry as the focus of your marketing efforts.  You may want to allocate your target project wins among the prospects (in a way that improves your income potential) and set time targets for each win.  You get the idea.  The goal is to keep it clear and manageable.

 

Accountability begins by asking and answering this question:  What am I doing now to win the first project?  The remaining nine projects don’t matter quite yet until that first one is won.

 

Accountability is what you do each day, week, and month to raise your company’s profile, stimulate the interest of your target prospects, and make project wins possible.

 

Not everything has to scream FOR SALE or BUY FROM ME.  Ultimately, we sell (whatever it is) when we deliver what buyers want (whatever it is).  We are able to deliver what buyers want by getting to know them

 

Thankfully, the various social media make it doable even for a small business on a zero or tight marketing budget.  Just start with one thing (say interacting on Twitter) and build on it.  A small business owner has the same chance to interact with the “big guys” in the industry, as do any other businesses.

 

Perhaps better than any other size business, those of us who are solopreneurs are well suited to put subtle, yet powerful positive word-of-mouth recommendation to work for us.  We can distinguish ourselves by tightening our niche and by consistently cultivating our presence and expertise day by day.

 

I believe that the best-selling experience occurs organically.  It is sustainable.  Accountability, developed through consistent action, makes it happen.

 

Just keep it simple and doable this year.

 

 

 

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009-2011.