While these metrics are a great way to gauge success, they are not the means to attaining the outcome you desire. Bringing the results you want to life comes down to shifting from an outcome-focused mindset to a preparation-focused mindset. This involves navigating a sequence of events, executing choices made, and building partnerships.
In many cases, having a focus on outcomes isn't your fault. We are wired to focus on outcomes from a young age in school. If you've ever crammed to get an A on a final exam, chances are you immediately forgot everything you learned after walking out the classroom door. Business can be viewed from this same lens. If you focus only on outcomes, you'll never get the results you want in the long run.
No matter what, you can't always control the results, but you can control how you prepare. Here are three areas of focus to shift seamlessly within your business and the world around you.
1. Focus on being your best self.
Good leaders aren't married to a single outcome. They are dedicated to being the best version of themselves in every moment. Showing up perfectly every day is the only thing you can hold yourself accountable to.
The best athletes don't walk onto the court focused on getting a win. If they did, they likely wouldn't play well. During the competition, their mind is absorbed in their technique, reading their competition, and responding accordingly. They become hyper-focused on how to perform at their optimal level with every passing moment of competition. The side effect becomes a potential win.
Hone in on the few skillsets you really have within, and then find avenues by which you can apply them daily. I have come to recognize that I am naturally able to clearly see the larger picture. The more I apply this ability to my daily life, the better everything around me becomes. Dedicate your days to what lights you up and the results will follow.
2. Focus on being prepared.
If you are prepared in every moment, the outcome is not your burden to bear.
Even before the presidential election results were determined this year, before I checked my computer and read the news, I knew I had taken the time to prepare my business for both outcomes. I knew that no matter what happened, we would have a plan in place to act upon moving forward.
A large part of having a solid plan comes down to looking at the right metric in the first place. You must first understand what actually moves the needle of your business forward. This will vary business to business, but it may be your conversion click-through rate online, or perhaps your revenue is directly linked to the number of customers who simply view your ads. It may even be directly connected to who and where your suppliers are. Take the time to determine what is impacting your business the largest, and then create an accurate execution plan based on what may occur.
If you can look at a potential impact on your business, know what the possible outcomes are, and prepare for both, you can seamlessly move forward. You can rest assured you did what you could despite what may occur. The more prepared you can become, the less stressful fast decisions and challenges will feel.
3. Focus on how to be better.
At the end of the day, ask yourself: Did I do everything in my power to get here? If you did, and the outcome wasn't what you wanted, then you are looking at the wrong metric, or simply aren't ready to reach it yet. You can't beat yourself up for not getting the result you wanted if you can honestly say you put every effort forward to attain it. Use this as a lesson and an opportunity to step up even bigger.
It is easy to get wrapped up in the race and the hustle to get to your shiny goal. The best way to do that is to shift your focus and care about the results and more about the actions. Chances are, you'll end up at the top of the podium before you know it.