Many people show up each day to the gym and get their workouts in. They feel good by doing the work. But despite their efforts, many fail to get the results they want. The same can be said for success in business. It takes more than hustle to build a meaningful business that creates financial freedom and impact in the world.
As I study the leaders that have created massively successful businesses, you begin to see the patterns of thinking that make them high-achievers. Many of these CEOs are committed to their own physical health. You can see it in powerful celebrities like Jessica Alba and even Oprah Winfrey, both of whom have created business empires. Both of these women are committed to their fitness as much as they are to their business.
I have spent hours in the gym before, and although none of that time has been wasted, it could have been more effective if I'd taken advantage of these three strategies I've since learned. I know too that my success in business would be greater, too.
1. Use rituals to your advantage.
Ritual will always win out, because as we all know from spending time on a treadmill, initial motivation fades fast. One moment you will be fired up for your goals, and the next you're binge-watching Netflix, promising yourself this is the last episode of Game of Thrones for the night.
Let's look at how a former personal trainer who turned into a professional blogger sees the power of rituals. Alex Nerney started a health and wellness blog in 2015 with his business partner, Lauren McManus. After turning that blog into a six-figure money-maker within the first year. Nerney told me, "The only way to navigate to success in fitness or business is to learn to move in spite of emotions. Rituals are the cure."
Every day, Nerney puts a list on his nightstand of what he's doing the next day. Its purpose is to keep him moving forward, but its real value is in the ritual he created. It represents what he needs to get done despite how he feels.
Your business needs rituals to improve lead generation, business development, customer service, and strategic partnerships. In every area of business, rituals allow you to reduce emotional barriers created "when you just don't feel like it." Rituals drive the intended results.
2. Be objective in your assessments.
Nerney said he noticed a common type of person in the gym that seemed to never get real results. This type of person showed up like clockwork, but their body had stopped changing. When he said this, I realized how many times I've been stuck in that same physical stagnation despite my efforts at the gym.
The cure from stagnation requires you to look at your progress with objective analysis of the data. How many calories are you eating? Are you following through with weekly measurements and photos? These things will guide you to further growth when you realize you're going nowhere fast.
The same goes for business:
Are your numbers moving in the right direction, or are you just hoping they are?
Does your business plan actually have financial merit?
Is your current strategy actually moving the needle with the effort you are expending?
3. Craft the right plan for you, not anyone else.
People in the entrepreneurial space will always talk about hustle and working hard. And that's great. But there's something you need that's just as important: a plan.
The person working the midnight shift at your local gas station could be an incredibly hard worker, but they have the wrong plan if wealth is something they want. The same is true for someone working their butt off in the gym with no direction on their diet. Lifting heavy weights will help you build some muscle, but you'll stagnate without the right plan.
"Without a plan, your hustling will be in vain," Nerney said. "So the key is to find someone you trust who has a better model or plan."
If you're a lifelong runner who's developed foot pain, reach out to someone who's into cycling, yoga or any other kind of low-impact activity to regroup. If you're running a startup and having trouble meeting your goals, ask for help from someone who's been there before.
They might help you get back on the right track.