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Map to Success

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Follow these solutions to keep your New Year’s resolutions.

businessJan2014New Year’s Day comes around every Jan. 1 — the first day of the year, according to the modern Gregorian calendar used in the Roman Empire since 45 B.C. The Romans originally associated New Year’s Day with Janus, the god of gates, doors and beginnings, for whom the first month of the year (January) is named. As a modern society, we still associate the start of the calendar year with the declaration of our life-enhancing New Year’s resolutions. We start off strong and determined with our low-carb diets, family fun nights and career goals. But the truth of the matter is that only a minute percentage of Americans even come close to obtaining their desired outcomes. We simply revert back to old habits and unassuming comfort zones. People don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan. Manifestation takes more than a proclamation of goals; instead, a systematic approach will help obtain your objectives.

One: Determine Your End Game
What do you ultimately want your legacy to be? Many people drive through life on cruise control and later realize they’ve accomplished nothing substantial. Become crystal-clear on your end game, and design your life map around that diagram. When you realize the coordination of your destination, it is important to also be clear on where you are currently located. In life, it is impossible to reach a specific locale unless you know your present compass. It is imperative to consider your ultimate goal and to assign a time frame. Where do you want to be in one to five years? This exercise takes some soul-searching, meditating, contemplating and visualizing to determine your true aspirations.

Two: Ask “Why?”
Rather than being consumed with the outcome — thinking about what type of house you want to live in, what type of car you want to drive or what amount of money you want to make — it is important to instead discover the intentions behind your ambition. Once you are crystal-clear on the “why,” you will be extremely driven to accomplish the “what.”

Three: Reverse-Engineer Your Strategy
Most people start planning at the beginning of their journey to success and work their way toward the outcome. A better strategy is to use your life map’s GPS, starting at your end game and working backward by defining every intricate detail, twist and turn that it will take to reach your desired results.

Four: Create a Life Map
Be precise; review it on a daily basis; and, most importantly, take action. Speed of implementation is a key factor of success. Retrain your brain; become laser-focused; and visualize your end results. Practice until it becomes a movie that plays repeatedly in your memory bank. Believe you will achieve your ambitions, and visualize that celebratory moment of triumph. Olympic gold medalists, Academy Award winners and successful entrepreneurs constantly attribute a fraction of their glory to the visualization of accepting an award, giving an acceptance speech and celebrating their win. Review your life map daily; adjust accordingly; don’t detour from the path; and refuse shortcuts. People who take shortcuts rarely reach their destination; unfortunately, we have become a nation that is obsessed with instant gratification. The sayings, “No pain, no gain” and “Hard work pays off” are true — most people quit way too soon.

Five: Share Your Vision
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., famously affirmed, “I have a dream.” Dr. King not only had a dream, but he believed in it so much that he engaged the world to share in his vision. When you share your innermost thoughts and beliefs, they begin to materialize. Inform trusted ones of your end game and your intentions behind the goal. Engage and invite your inner circle to share your dreams, assist with them and hold you accountable to them until completion. Happiness is proportionate to how much we challenge ourselves and how much of a difference we make in the lives of others. The win is important on our score cards, but it is the journey that really matters.
Real Life Plan in Action

Business owner
end game: To sell his business for $15 million plus the
current value of $5 million.

Time frame: Three to five years.

Why: To help his wife fight her debilitating disease and find a cure for it.

Life map to achieve the end game: Increase adjusted EBITDA from approximately $1.4 million to $2.8 million or more.

Precise plan to increase earnings: Partner with a business owner who is in the same industry, but who is struggling in different areas (not a competitor).

Benefits include increasing revenues, adding congruent revenue streams, expanding the client base and increasing the talent pool. By partnering the two teams, the business will increase its experience in valuations, turnarounds, marketing and business sales. The plan is to then sell the business to a strategic multimillion-dollar buyer already existing in the buyer pool.

Share life map: By sharing his life map and enlisting the brain trust of authorities who can assist in accomplishing his end game, this business owner can expect to see his desired results: to sell his business for $15 million or more in three to five years, thereby helping his wife to recover and find a cure.