As we lived past the first year of COVID in 2020 and we are into 2021, we all want to consistently be looking at how we can create wins and build momentum toward taking the right actions—and of course, that includes how we can motivate ourselves to take those actions.
One of the very best ways to do that is with a concept called strategic preparation. We invested months in producing a new book with that title and just released it.
Here are eight selected highlights we hope you will consider that will impact you.
1. Thinking Ahead: You’re better prepared personally and organizationally when you think deeply about your values, your purpose, and your goals, and you make thinking on these an intentional habit. By gaining clarity on what you want to accomplish and then on the action items that will take you toward your goals, you evoke a pulling power in that direction. Thinking ahead and then writing down and visualizing your goals activates your reticular activating system (RAS), which is your brain’s way of filtering out what does not matter and guiding you toward what does. You not only see the goals in your mind; you also begin to see things around you that will help you achieve your goals. If you don’t write down what you’re thinking, then your brain is not as clear about what is important, and your RAS filters out things you might need to help you achieve your goals. Decide what you want and plant that goal in your mind. Then be intentionally strategic about everything you do, and that will lead to better and better results.
2. Investing in Yourself: According to super achievers, including people like Warren Buffett, the best investment you can make is in yourself. We believe you must make a commitment to yourself and prepare every day for your future, and part of that plays out in delayed gratification. For example, as I was writing this article, we had just come off a Zoom call where we were brainstorming about the title of a book we were writing for one of our clients. We realized we had not invested the time to build a tool that presents the fifteen or twenty attributes that really make a title of a nonfiction book work. We immediately decided to build such a tool, which can harvest great dividends for the future. By investing the time to do the research and build that tool now, we are better prepared to help a client find the right title when that conversation comes up again. Often when we invest in creating tools for our toolbox, we’re investing in ourselves, which positions us to create better and faster results.
3. Helping Others Win More (doing favors): When you help people win now, it creates winning opportunities for you in the future. (That’s pretty obvious.) People like to be led by and do business with people who do things for them and who work to build a platform of trust. And an additional perk is that often when you are helping or doing favors for others, you build an internal vibe, or energy, which produces an excitement that enables you take more action yourself.
4. Saving Financially: Practicing delayed gratification and saving financially (e.g., having a reserve budget for your business) often puts you in a position where you can take the right action at the right time instead of settling for a shortcut. Or it can sometimes allow you to be more thorough in what needs to be done. If you have the reserves to invest, then you can buy a tool—maybe an audio series, a video course, or even an app—that would allow you to supercharge your team.
5. Inspiring Yourself: Own this little nugget. Inspire yourself with intentional actions and by deploying good habits. Think of the actions you could take now that will align with your goal achievement. These actions could include simple things like.
- Getting up early and working out
- Going to bed early and reading
- Developing your to-do list daily—both the night before and again the next day
- Constantly be inspiring yourself by getting things done fast and marking the X’s in the box. “Done” is one of my favorite words that inspire me.
6. See the Other Person’s Perspective: So many times, we filter the world around what matters only to us versus filtering it through what matters to others. And “others” can often be team members who are teaming up with you to help you take action. Be more strategically prepared by taking the time to really get to know your team members’ priorities and perspectives, and do your best to fulfill wins for them. In many cases, you can create what we call an elegant solution, where you’re so mentally prepared that you can accomplish not only what you want, but you can help the other person accomplish what they want at the same time. That may involve building their career, their arsenal, their thinking, or even just their experiences.
7. Building Tools: Tools work! The bigger your arsenal of tools, the more leverage you have available. Having the right tools at the right time can make a world of difference in preparing you and your people for success. When you have a powerful tool chest, you’re supercharging your potential. You don’t have to recreate the wheel each time something needs to be done. As direct selling becomes more and more the business model of choice in these times, business executives are doubling down on tools because tools really matter!
8. Study More Often: There is no doubt that learning should be a lifelong pursuit. I read books and glean wisdom daily, and I’ve actually been coached by the same guy for over three decades. Learning strategically from the wisdom and insight of others helps you be more successful, period. How are your study habits? Are you being coached? When you sharpen your thinking, you get better results. Wise advice can also help you avoid pitfalls that could derail your top actions for success. If you want different results, you need new and different thinking—it’s that simple. New information stimulates both your reasoning processes and your creative juices and helps you think and prepare better. Prepare for extraordinary results by seeking advice from people who have produced the extraordinary results you want to duplicate
Pick a few of these to zero in on that fit you and highlight them. Heck, take a photo of this page to remind yourself to work on implementing them in your life.
I’ve just shared with you what I’ve learned over the years of my own personal journey in becoming more strategic. I hope it’s impacted you and maybe given you an “aha” or even an epiphany about the importance of being strategic and using it as a major component in your own journey to success.
Cheers to strategic preparation, helping others win, seeking and taking good advice, and really preparing now so your future will be even brighter.
Let’s make 2021 a year full of many wins.