Robert Channing is an amazing guy. Robert makes his living as a speed painter, mind artist, and motivational speaker (he also founded a successful speakers bureau, Power Performers), and he knows something about making decisions and taking action fast.
When Robert is onstage at a business conference in front of thousands of people, it normally takes him just four minutes to complete a painting of a subject shouted out by the audience (anything from The Statue of Liberty to the company's CEO). But when producers of the wildly popular TV show, America's Got Talent, booked Robert to perform on air, they told him that he would only have 90 seconds to perform his act.
Says Robert, "The opportunity was too big to pass up. In that split second, I made a decision that had the potential to change my life. I made the decision based not on fear, but on success--I can do it and I will do it. In that split second, I decided to head toward the challenge rather than to run away from it."
So, Robert told the producers, "Absolutely! I can do it."
And he did. Watch the short video at the bottom of this post to see Robert's amazing performance for yourself.
In his book, The Art of Split-Second Success, Robert Channing reveals the lessons he has learned for acting fast and creating positive results now. Here are just a few of Robert's tips for mastering the art of split-second success.
1. Get up early to get the upper hand
What would happen if you started your day even 20 minutes earlier? How many more sales calls could you add to your week, your month, and your year this way? How many projects could you work on proactively (instead of reactively)? Acting first is one of the secrets to succeeding fast. So, get out of bed sooner, and get a head start toward your finish line.
2. Do the things you fear first
Do you have trouble getting things going when you sit down at your desk each morning? According to Alok Bhardwaj, founder of the software startup Hidden Reflex, doing the worst tasks first will increase your productivity for the rest of the day. Try it. When you begin your workday, don't jump into your emails or spend time surfing the Web--instead, get started on the tasks you're dreading most. The rest of your day will suddenly look bright, and you'll be able to attack your responsibilities with energy and in good spirits.
3. Create an action environment
Where are you most likely to get into and stay in action? To find your perfect action environment, you have to know yourself and what works for you. You also need to be clear about what it is you are trying to accomplish. The perfect action environment for getting your car repaired is probably not the best environment for meeting suppliers to discuss your account. Your productivity will soar when you submerge yourself in the action environment that is ideal for you.
4. Do your homework
Getting all the facts will help you identify the action that will move your project forward the fastest. The time you invest in research up front can pay big dividends at the end. The same is true in life. Do the homework required to discover your next best move, and then make it.
5. Persistence pays
Sir James Dyson is the inventor behind the Dyson vacuum cleaner. When asked about his creative new approach to cleaning surfaces, Dyson said, "I made 5,127 prototypes of my vacuum before I got it right. There were 5,126 failures. But I learned from each one. That's how I came up with a solution. So, I don't mind failure." You may be only one failure away from a breakthrough, one rejection away from the opportunity of a lifetime, or one paint stroke away from a masterpiece. Don't give in to fatigue or depression or lack of motivation. Persist, and keep moving forward toward your ideal outcome.
6. Press play!
You are more likely to take quick action and succeed when you are having fun. Take salespeople, for example. People who like people make better sales associates because they are eager to shake someone's hand, or to connect with them over the phone. Following your natural inclinations puts a bounce in your step (and money in your wallet). Play breaks also are important if you have a large project to finish. After devoting yourself to your work for a reasonable amount of time, reward yourself with a few minutes of fun.
7. Lighten your load
If you want to capitalize on opportunities and generate momentum in your career, stop lugging your "stuff" around. Maybe your stuff is your fixation on getting a promotion, or your concern about not having access to the latest technology to do your work--or a corner office. Such worries sap your energy and divert your focus from what is really important: the task at hand. Don't let yourself get distracted by stuff. The lighter your load, the faster you can act with split-second clarity and power.
8. Multiply your results
Use the latest technology to advance your goals. If you're a business consultant, use your smartphone to take video of your meetings, conferences, and workshops and turn them into downloadable, shareable files to reach a larger audience. If you're a chef, build your personal brand by creating a YouTube channel with short, fun videos that teach people how to cook a variety of dishes in the comfort of their own home. By capitalizing on the speed that new technology offers in getting your product out to consumers, you'll also speed your profits.
9. Say "no" way more often
Learning to say "no" to other people's demands--or to your own tendency to get sidetracked or over-extend yourself--will free you up to focus on key activities that will produce bigger and better results. Since there are only so many hours in a day, the fastest way to get results is to spend most of your time working on things that get you closer to your end zone. Don't allow yourself to be drawn into other people's drama, or to take on others' problems as your own. You are the star of your own reality show. Set boundaries and keep them. You'll earn their respect, and you'll be ready to act and create rapid results anytime you want.