Many years ago I met a very successful business owner in Virginia. This amazing gentleman shared a multitude of insights relating to his business success, struggles, highs and lows. I was new to business and was honored that a person who built his business from scratch to over 100 million dollars in less than a decade would take the time to meet with me. He recently sold his business for 250 million dollars. Life is good in his world.
Of all the things he shared with me, one thing was the spark that helped me build my business dream as a speaker, trainer, author and career-life coach. This one thing I have been sharing with business owners, heads of organizations, education leaders as well as many other customers who are trying to advance their dreams and goals. His statement, from my perspective was one of the greatest secrets to business success that I have ever heard–Don’t fall in love with the dream, fall in love with the process. He told me in our conversation, “Most people have big dreams and spend their entire lives dreaming about them. It is the people who work effective processes and systems, on a daily basis, that achieve their goals and dreams. I started my business with nothing, almost lost my home several times, but stuck to an effective and disciplined system that has led me to where I am at today.” His lesson gave me a new perspective on the message of dreams, “Dream big but work strategically.” It is the strategic minded people (who are dreamers as well) in the world of business, education, ministry and other, who achieve the fruits of their labor. As a career-purpose-life coach, I have found that these people have also turned the process into a habitual way of pursuing a goal. They do it over and over again until it becomes routine. Most people spend their entire lives like a yoyo–up and down and up and down. Inconsistency in business, leadership or anything else, will stifle progress. This does not mean that we don’t occasionally shift strategies or go in new directions–it does mean however that we learn to develop habits that produce successful outcomes. Thinking about the dream, telling everybody about it, but not developing successful systems to achieve it– will turn the dream into frustration. Eventually you will end up despising the thing that could have brought you lots of joy. The dream eventually becomes what could have happened instead of what actually happened.
My wife visited the YMCA the other day and a friend of ours was participating in a high intensity body-pump class, even though she is 6 months pregnant. My wife was amazed at the energy and stamina this pregnant woman possessed. What you need to know about this person however is that she does not miss a day at the YMCA in our area. She is in there everyday pushing herself to the max! She has developed an amazing system of working out and as a result, even though 6 months pregnant, has the ability to take herself to high levels. The message within the message here is that our friend is not in shape not because she had a dream to be in shape only, it is because she works a system of fitness everyday, that leads to achieving the dream of being in shape. Get it?
If you find that you are always admiring your dreams from afar, maybe it is time to look beyond the dream and into the process and habits you have established in pursuit of your dream. Who knows, with the right systems in place, shift of habits, many might wake up one morning and realize that the dream is now realized. People will ask you how you did it. Your response will be simple, “I fell in love with the process and magically, the dream appeared.”