Weekly Column: Your Second Habit


“Nothing will work unless you do.” Maya Angelou (1928 – ) US author & poet

The fact is this: there are no shortcuts to success. No matter how you define success, whether it’s all about the money, happiness, position, or even health. You can’t get anywhere worthwhile in life unless you do the work.

What you may not expect is, the work doesn’t always have to be hard labor. It’s okay to enjoy your efforts. Case in point: I actually like writing. Sure there are times when I get writers block or just don’t feel up to typing anything today. But the truth is, you can find satisfaction in a job well done.

First, identify the main goal and visualize your success. Creating a post on this blog is a goal of mine that takes work. I need to decide on a fresh topic in an area I believe will be of interest to my audience, and see it published in my mind. Your goal may be to start a business, find customers, or create a presentation. Once you have that goal and can see it’s result mentally, you need to move to the next step.

Second, act on that next step to move you toward your vision. For me, open WordPress and start typing. You might want to start with a Google search about your topic, or draft out an idea for how your business will work. Don’t try to make all of the steps at once, just pick that next step and go do it. Once you are done, then look at where you are and prepare that next step. Note: Some steps will be harder than others. The trick is not to let that difficult step #9 (you foresee) stop you from doing step #1 right now.

Third, ignore the shortcuts. In so many cases, including yours, those shortcuts will result in a lower-quality product, or complete failure. I’m not suggesting to ignore new technologies or superior tools. I’m saying that get rich quick ideas aren’t quick (unless you count failing fast), won’t make you rich (even if you see short term gains) and really aren’t even ideas (they are schemes).

The opening quote was simple, yet clear. If you don’t do the work, your idea, plan, or strategy won’t work either. The first habit was to find out what your customers want, then give it to them. When it’s time to provide the product or service they want, you are going to have to do the work to make sure they are satisfied.  – Make that your next habit to success.

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