Shifting your mindset matters and makes all the difference. This same theme is chronicled in the popular 1930s tome, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. While some anecdotes are dated (please excuse them to history), most of the concepts are timeless and serve as powerful reminders.
As we move forward most of us are undoubtedly thinking about what we’d like to accomplish in the days and years ahead. And while there’s no magic formula, here are some pointers, many inspired by Think and Grow Rich, to help you begin living the life you’ve imagined for yourself:
1. You are what you think you are
Our mind guides our behavior, and our behavior determines what we become. We can’t overstate how important it is for our minds to actually visualize our desired outcomes. Personally or professionally, how do we achieve what we set out to? While effort is an important part of the equation, the first step is to quite literally train our brain.
2. A roadmap is essential
Almost as critical as No 1., creating an actionable plan—and sticking to it—will distinguish the walkers from the talkers. No matter your company size or industry, setting sales goals and objectives and identifying a roadmap for achieving them is key. A plan can take virtually any form. If you’re looking for some help with structure, quite a few sales plan templates are available online. If you belong to an industry association, ask the member services team if they offer any templates specific to your field. At AIA, for example, we provide our Owners with Cloud-Based sales planning tools and direct access to an Owner Success Manager to provide a real-time look at their sales performance and a personalized coach to help them meet their goals.
3. Be part of a community
Napoleon Hill called them mastermind groups. This notion is built around the idea of surrounding yourself with a group of like-minded people (he recommends 5–7) who think like you do, are eager to share ideas and are invested in your success. Nowadays, we may call these individuals mentors or industry peers. This community can be local, such as your area Chamber of Commerce, or national, like a trade group, or, many times, both. Consider online groups too—many local business and industry-specific groups on LinkedIn and Facebook offer real-time, peer-to-peer counsel and support.
4. Find a routine that works
We've found that creating a set of habits, and having the discipline to follow through with them, is a huge differentiator. Through trial and error, establish a schedule that allows you to prioritize certain tasks. This could be a morning routine that includes exercise and meditation, followed by time to sit and plan before jumping into work to-dos. Or maybe you carve out 20 minutes in the afternoon to not work on your business, but simply think about it—taking stock of where you are, considering the bigger picture and asking yourself what you need to do to make it all happen. Referencing your plan (No. 2) and working toward your goal(s) on a regular basis, even if just in small amounts, needs to become a conscious part of what you’re doing.
Here at AIA, we’re continually looking for ways to propel ourselves forward. As part of our culture, we challenge complacency and think beyond the status quo to better serve our network of nearly 300 promotional products distributors and 3,000 suppliers. The beginning of a new year can be an ideal time to not only visualize what you want to achieve, but to also set specific goals that you’ll work towards in the coming months.
Whatever it is that you set forth to do, remember to dream big, believe in yourself and work relentlessly to make what you want a reality.