Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Real Reasons We Succeed or Fail

The other day I was talking with one of my business advising clients, and he asked me what the ONE THING was . . . the one thing that meant all the difference for me and my success as a contractor. That one thing that he needed to focus on in order to be successful in his own business.

A really tough question, but it did give me a ‘WTF moment.’

The real answer lies in the answer to the question, what makes that difference.

I would have to say for owners of construction businesses it is “opportunity cost.”

Wikipedia says that opportunity cost is “the cost related to the next-best choice available to someone who has picked among several mutually exclusive choices.”

I want you to stop and think about this for one moment. Life is all about the choices we make. If we make the right choices, we succeed, if we make the wrong choices, we suffer.

And cost is not just restricted to financial. It could be the cost of what is easy, desirable, painful, risky, pleasing to others, time and any other choice we could have available to us at the moment.

I like to call this “opportunity choice.”

For most, especially right now, capital is limited and it bears heavily on making the right choices to help themselves or their businesses.

That means picking the right choice is HUGELY important. Making the wrong choice can be painfully costly, but remember this.

What is even more costly is something called “decision split.”

Decision split can sink a great opportunity. You become frozen in your evaluation process. You let all the positive reasons go because you choose to follow the path of negative thought. One is always money. If you worry about spending the money to help yourself, you are actually accelerating your failure. You’ve failed to properly access the value of its relative worth to your success.

Never underestimate the value of improving your business situation.

That is why I said that the answer lies in the answer to your question, what makes the difference?

It’s like the contractor who told me he can’t afford marketing because he has no sales. Duh? See the decision split?

I’ve even had one tell me he couldn’t afford to come to the SUPER Business-Building Conference because he wasn’t making any money. Another Duh? moment.

What he was really saying is this. I’ll stay home and make no money, continue to lose it, rather than go to an event that will show me how to make money. See the decision split?

All the excuses like, this won’t work for me, I know what I’m doing, it costs too much, or the insidious – “My business is different” are self-inflicted wounds for failure.

You see, doing nothing doesn’t contribute to the success of your existing business situation. It’s actually a self-defeating decision or an action of self-sabotage.

You have to make a choice to create opportunities, not suppress them.

You also need to understand that . . .

Choices have a cost attached to them, one way or the other, and that is why I said in the beginning of this blog that the answer lies in the answer to the question. You have to make a choice, so make one that makes a difference.

Inaction, doing nothing or procrastinating is NOT the right choice. By doing nothing, you are compounding the cost, and it becomes far greater than you can even imagine in time, money and opportunity lost.

The real answer in making choices is evaluating the effect or opportunity created for you from the choice. This is often called “opportunity flow.”

See if I can explain it better with this scenario.

I’ve been working with a lot of contractors under my new Business Advisory Service. What I am seeing is profoundly rewarding for these individuals. By making a decision to get help, to open up to new ideas or methods, to increase their business skills, and to do something positive in their business, they have created opportunity flow. Deals are now coming to them.

This is what successful people understand. Once you make a choice that makes a positive difference on your situation, you create ‘opportunity flow’ and even more deals come knocking on your door. That is why doing nothing creates nothing for you; it is the universal law of action VS. inaction.

Opportunity flow is a GOOD thing. That’s how the rich get richer. That is the one of the reasons my construction business was successful. I was not afraid to invest my time and money into creating opportunity flow.

And the ultimate beauty of creating opportunity flow is that you can have so many opportunities coming at you, you can pick and choose which ones are the best for you.

What hurts most is “Mindset Cost.” By having the wrong mindset, believing in the wrong mindset, acting on the wrong mindset, usually costs the individual heavily. Decisiveness with a focused sense of what makes the difference is far more rewarding than indecision.

The most tragic pain one can suffer is that of life’s lost opportunities because they were too afraid to “put it out there.” Understand that moving ahead is always better than doing nothing. At least it doesn’t create a whole bunch of lost opportunities that are lost forever. Learn to do the things that matter for your success.

Because . . .

Having no opportunities for your business really sucks!

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