Building a successful business much like building a healthy body is more mental than it is tactical. With this knowledge in mind, building that successful business or body starts with a tiny seed planted that eventually sprouts up into something remarkable.
I couldn't think of a better example of this than Serena Williams and her climb to tennis royalty. In fact, I saw a recent Nike ad that showed clips of her practicing and playing at nine years old interspersed with her professional work.
While athletics and entrepreneurship exist in different spheres, the principles about what it takes to succeed in either one are much the same. If you desire to make a huge impact and stand out from the pack, here are two underrated habits that must be included along your journey.
1. Practice daily visualization
When you hear the word visualization, you may be tempted to roll your eyes and overlook this. But, visualization is a powerful tool that has been used by Olympic athletes and first garnered notoriety in Dr. Charles Garfield's book: Peak Performance: Mental Training Techniques of the World's Greatest Athletes.
In that book, Dr. Garfield discussed a study on the effects of mental training (including visualization) on four groups of world-class Soviet athletes. The training regimens were:
- Group 1 - 100 percent physical training
- Group 2 - 75 percent physical training, 25 percent mental training
- Group 3 - 50 percent physical training, 50 percent mental training
- Group 4 - 25 percent physical training, 75 percent mental training
To the surprise of everyone, group four displayed the fastest improvement. This mental training was beneficial because athletes were able to craft the exact images of their particular movements needed in their sport along with their desired result.
During the video, you see a young Serena practicing while her dad is whispering "This is you at the U.S. Open."
Dedicated training combined with this kind of positive language is creating certainty--it's not a maybe, but only a matter of time.
I incorporated this while working on my book, delivering my first workshop, and continue to incorporate this every morning as part of my morning routine.
To get started with visualization doesn't require any sort of complex actions. In fact, simply setting aside ten minutes every day at the same time to be in solitude and start crafting out your desired outcome in detail is more than enough.
Accomplishing your goals starts with training your mind.
2. Create a mission statement
It's quite evident in the video that the goal is to not only play professional tennis, but to become a legend at it.
Top performers like Michael Jordan, Jeff Bezos, and Lebron James aren't the best at their specific crafts by accident. Instead, they operate with a sense of a mission, which has propelled them to separate from everyone else.
A mission statement (not the cheesy generic types) is important because it creates focus around the choice of your goals. As someone who has a tendency to jump from project to project, a mission statement combined with my specific personal philosophy has allowed me to stay focus and ultimately grow at a faster rate.
Building a business or accomplishing any sort of big project is an emotional rollercoaster that can often times leave you devoid of motivation. One of the benefits of taking time to get specific on your mission is that you can control your own energy and generate that much-needed drive on days where external motivation is missing.
In a world where tactics, surface-level tips, and hacks dominate the headlines and attention spans of the masses, resist this. You can't afford to be like the masses if being great and ultimately getting what you want is the goal.
With the resources available today, being good is achievable for anyone, but being great is still for the select few because few will set aside time for the little, but powerful habits that are necessary.