We are all suckers of the prospect of a new year’s resolution. We plan to change our behavior to improve our lives. We feel as though we only need a goal and a momentous start date to propel ourselves to success.
So, why is it that the vast majority of such resolutions, just like new businesses, seem to fail?
If we have passion and vision, should that not be enough?
What do the successful business owners of the world know that we do not?
To shed some light on this common question of aspiring entrepreneurs, let me introduce Susan Moore.
Susan, a life coach and the author of What If It Does Work Out?, recently published an article in which she introduces the 100-Percent Rule. “Ninety-nine percent is hard – 100 percent is easy,” she says.
Makes sense… right? No? Okay let me explain.
When we make a decision to accomplish a task or develop a new habit, the 100-Percent Rule states that we will be more productive and successful if we fully commit ourselves to the task than if we only kind of try. So, being 1% uncommitted leaves you open to missing opportunities and not achieving your goal.
Take multitasking, for example.
Being an entrepreneur means you need to manage multiple tasks, conversations, and trade deals simultaneously. Many people make the mistake of trying to complete each task at once, because they feel like they have to. But, doing so causes their attention to be divided and their performance to fall.
In fact, a 2013 study looked at 212 individuals and found that self-caused interruptions, specifically multitasking due to frustration, fatigue, and obstructions (change in attention), reduced performance by nearly 14%. That is the difference between getting an A and getting a C on an exam. That is what 99% looks like.
So, how do you become successful with your business?
Many people do what you are doing right now; they read articles by people who have been there or know what they are talking about, hoping to find the secret to success. The only problem is that anyone with a pulse thinks that he or she has the answer.
To save you from a slow and mundane death as you search for the answer, let me just give it to you now. (You are welcome in advance by the way.)
Do you know why so many articles say that the most successful people are early risers?
It is not because of some secret aroma in the morning air or that they are genetically predisposed to waking up refreshed, even though it does help. Rather, they wake up early to follow through with a decision, no matter what. It is all about commitment.
The 100-Percent Rule shows what so many other opinions do not: why you do something is more important to the outcome than how you do it.
No matter what you do, while you are doing it, commit yourself fully to the task.
Talking with an investor? Then turn off your phone, stop thinking about what you must do after the meeting, and focus on the conversation at hand.
Need to wake up at a consistent time? Get an alarm without a snooze button.
Do not allow yourself the opportunity to decide against your commitment. This is what 100% looks like: leaving no room to act otherwise.
You see, successful people, early risers and all, are successful because they commit themselves to whatever they do. Their success is not due to any one or even ten habits; it is rather caused by what drives them to have such healthy habits. It is because they realize the importance of commitment.
So, stop trying to emulate the actions of successful people and start emulating their commitment to their responsibilities.
You will never become Warren Buffett by drinking five cans of soda a day, but you may be able to learn from him by always being mindful of your actions.
So, what strategy do you follow to improve your performance? What do you think of the 100-Percent Rule?
Have any questions? Please feel free to leave your comments or feedback below.
Featured image credit: Flickr