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Find the Path to Success in These 8 Steps

January 24 2011

be differentHave you ever been startled to sitting up when you've read an article? That happened last night to me while reading "In Praise Of The Purple Cow" by Seth Godin printed in the January Fast Company magazine. I almost spit out my coffee in uncontained excitement as comprehension finally crashed over me as I read, "Today, the one sure way to fail is to be boring! Your one chance for success is to be remarkable."

To be remarkable...that's the brass ring we leap for as it swings just outside our grasp. That's where the problem lies. How do we know when we're being remarkable?

A whole slew of questions rebound in my mind: What if we are too self-absorbed or busy to recognize brilliance in a simple process-altering idea? What if our brains constantly generate new revelations, but it seems like everyday common stuff to us? How do we know we haven't had a remarkable idea, and then blew it off because we were bored by it?

What if being remarkable is a state of mind we already live in but fear of failure keeps us pinned down? I don't know about you, but I don't want to be boring! I want to live—jump out of the moving train, stretch out to clasp the brass ring and cling for as long as it takes to make the goal, swinging in the wind of change and totally exposed.

You and I both understand that when we take chances, public opinion can go two ways...part of the crowd will think we are idiots. Pure and simple. They won't hold back letting us know how stupid we are to give up a great job with a solid income to pursue a dream that is so filled with competition that we are bound to fail. The head-shaking dismay is enough to make us run for cover.

However, it's the other fraction that fills the sails for the journey. Their eyes light up, genuine smiles of pure promise drive straight into your heart. And we can breathe again. They will never think we are boring or unsuccessful. We had the guts to try.
I watched the first installment of 2003 American Idol last night. The focus of the program was how many purely awful singers and wannabes there are out in the world. And they were held up for our ridicule and laughter. Granted it was sobering the number of individuals who never should have auditioned.

But audition they did. That is what kept me watching. Over 50,000 people vying for the one American Idol spot...and they still tried. Now, that's remarkable! Are you ready to be remarkable, yet still frozen by the possibility of failure? Well, you must have read facts gleaned from the U.S. Small Business Administration. There are about 22.4 million businesses as of 2001 and 16.15 million of these were small businesses without employees. Two-thirds of these businesses survived at least two years while 50% were open at least four years.

Let's face it...success is determined by the level you place on the achievement you expect. Facts and figures are only that. Many of those who closed their doors told the Small Business Administration that they were successful when they ended the business. Circumstances and priorities change. So, who says you won't have the one "out of the box" idea that will carve a new direction for business? If I got through to you today, you won't say "Me!"

8 Ways To Avoid Failure On The Road To Remarkable:

  1. Structure your idea around your area of brilliance. Believe in the possibilities.
  2. Make sure you have the passion and ability to move your idea forward.
  3. Have a vision of what your idea will look like. Keep your description simple as you identify how your idea will transform the market.
  4. Plan carefully and do your research. Learn who, what, where and when.
  5. Trust the right people. Negotiate relationships with professional resources (attorney, accountant, and marketing guru).
  6. Gain a thorough understanding of the legal knowledge regarding your idea.
  7. Seek funding by considering a variety of sources: savings, loans from family and friends, business loans from financial institutions, government grants, sponsors, partnerships, sell corporate stock and barter.
  8. Maintain discipline in doing your documentation and tracking profitability.

I urge you to become totally focused—like a dog with a steak bone; once they get a good grip on the bone, a dog will shake off all outside influences that try to take it away. They are tenacious about maintaining a tight hold on the prize. Get a grip. Be remarkable.