"80 percent of success is showing up." - Woody Allen
If so much of our success depends on simply showing up, then naturally, all of us would like to show up. But what does it mean to show up, exactly?
Does mere physical presence alone constitute "showing up"? Is it enough to go through the motions?
I like to think that business--if not all of life--is like being in university. You may attend all your classes, but you still have to do the work to succeed. And doing the work is also required for one to be considered fully present.
Allen seems to have the same idea. In an interview, he said:
People used to always say to me that they wanted to write a play, they wanted to write a movie, they wanted to write a novel, and the couple of people that did it were 80 percent of the way to having something happen. All the other people struck out without ever getting that pack.
After years of supporting clients and students, I've observed that a person who's fully present displays specific behaviors. I've compiled these behaviors into something I call "Standards of Presence."
These standards apply in any other endeavor you may have, whether in business or in life. So if you want to show up for the most important parts of your business, then consider committing to the following:
1. Be flexible.
Life happens. Things will come up. People get sick, have to move, experience an unforeseen life event, etc. Expect the unexpected.
And if you get derailed, just get back on track. You've heard of people who begin a regular exercise program and then give up completely because they missed one or two workouts. That explains why they fail!
2. Take consistent, imperfect action.
Consistency is an entrepreneur's greatest asset. Keep trying, keep learning, and keep moving forward. Even if something won't be perfect (nothing ever is), do it anyway.
Some people fail because they don't take action until conditions are perfect. They wait until they have just the right certifications, just the right funding, just the right tools, just the right people. And then they wait for just the right timing.
Well guess what? Things are never going to be perfect, so take action today, look at your results, and make adjustments to get better results next time.
"You can't steer a parked car," author and speaker Tim Elmore has said.
3. Have an attitude of stick-to-it-iveness.
Some of your ideas will flop; it happens to every entrepreneur. If it doesn't happen to you, that means you're not really putting yourself out there. So expect failure.
Recognize failure as an opportunity, as just another stepping stone to success. Remember, everything is figure-out-able. Learn from your mistakes and failures, and be ready to pivot or change direction when things don't work out at first.
4. Go beyond your comfort zone.
Your comfort zone is not where you make money. To get the results you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before. And that won't be comfortable.
This process never ends. As you go beyond your comfort zone, it expands and you have to venture farther out. Each level of success you reach leads to the next boundary of your comfort zone. You have to keep expanding that boundary.
5. Put on the mindset of a scientist.
Treat everything as an experiment. Always be testing and learning something. Try stuff and see what happens.
Don't take the results personally; it's an experiment. Don't say, "Well that failed. That means I'm no good. I'm not cut out for this. I'm a failure." Instead say, "Well that didn't work. Let's see if this one will."
Even if you have other things on your plate that are valuable and interesting, commit to one endeavor to give yourself the best chance of success. Flitting from one undertaking to another can lead to distraction or overwhelm, and eventually, unfinished projects. Bring something to success first before moving onto the next thing.
Follow these precepts to "show up" for your business and your life, and you'll eventually experience success.