You’ve seen them; those people and businesses that rocket ahead. They might be your friend who’s climbed the ladder of success with their firm. Or a business in your sphere that just keeps growing; adding customers, building their team, expanding their borders and you think; must be nice… Poof! Overnight success.
It’s nice to see professional people and businesses making a positive impact, growing, succeeding, especially so when it’s someone you know or a product or service that you value.
You consider the spectacle of their accomplishment for a moment before you begin to wonder, “how’d they do it?” You need some of that pixie dust and that could be your business expanding its’ borders.
Intuitively you already know that there is no simple secret to overnight success. You also know that rarely is success found overnight. Time is commonly a major ingredient in the recipe of success; but, there is a recipe you can follow to make your own pixie dust.
The Recipe for Success
You need to know what you’re making
Assuming your goal is a meal that tastes good, it would be risky to just start cooking with whatever protein, spice, ingredients you happen to find in the kitchen at the time.
You need a plan. As Stephen Covey says in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Begin With The End In Mind.”
The Recipe for Success starts with having a Vision that inspires you to chase it with vigor and a Mission that allows you to effectively act on the Vision.
Too many business owners neglect to cast a Vision that informs them of the Mission to list the ingredients they will need and the actions required to bring those ingredients together before they start cooking.
Investing the effort to establish a clear Vision and Mission will pay back immensely as you evaluate opportunities and face challenging decisions along the path to success.
Gather the ingredients
Have you experienced the frustration of missing a key ingredient AFTER you started cooking an important meal? Tough decisions follow; can you do without? Any substitutes? Can somebody go to the store? Will the store have what you need? Is there time? Is my meal (business product or service) going to suck?
You need a Business Plan that includes what ingredients are required to fulfill your Mission. When we prepare annual plans with our clients, we include a financial budget to make sure we don’t run out of money mid-way through the business cycle… don’t want to have to send anybody on an emergency trip to the money store!
Your business plan includes your required resources of people, equipment and overhead; your required ingredients. The plan can be very simple for a small start-up business to a pretty complex plan where the business demands it.
We include our plans for marketing and how we are going to grow revenue, where we need to spend money to support growth, and any changes to our past activities where things need to be adjusted.
Gathering the ingredients means plan what you need before you need it. Making regular planning an integral part of your business, allows you to see needs emerging before you’re missing a key ingredient. A good planning discipline makes your business move faster and respond more nimbly to opportunities…. Sometimes overnight!
Have the patience to follow the recipe
I can’t count how many times I have grown impatient while working on a project and acted without consulting the design plan/instructions; the recipe. It rarely ends well and often includes re-work or wasted ingredients due to my lack of discipline for following the recipe.
Overnight success in business is almost always the result of years of planning, effort and discipline to develop a good plan and stick to it. Dave Ramsey shares a story in his book, EntreLeadership, where he received a very impactful pearl of wisdom.
“The Tortoise and the Hare…. Every time I read the book, the tortoise wins! We live in a culture full of hares, people who can’t keep their eye on the ball, who can’t be focused or intense for very long at all; they can’t keep their eye on the goal long enough to win the race. Slow and steady wins the race.”
The hares of the world are like squirrels you see as you drive down the road. The roads of the successful are paved with flat squirrels that couldn’t make a decision. There is no squirrel in our recipe.
If you invest the time and effort to create a solid Vision/Mission and commit yourself to the discipline of regular planning to assure all the ingredients for success are available, then you have the patience to stick with your plans… to make decisions with confidence that support your Vision. You know where you are going; you know you have the resources to go there; you have a plan that tells you the next steps and you take actions that your recipe calls you to take.
So if you have wondered about the pixie dust you could sprinkle on your business that would transform it into the success you see in your heart, try this recipe.
You will fulfill your Vision. It may happen quickly, but success usually demands sustained focus over time. The key is that you have the recipe and commit to decisive actions that will allow your business to find “overnight success.”