Award winner holding business trophy

Four ways to find your winning zone

So you’re primed, hungry and ready for your big success (or at least that’s what you’re hoping). Is it really as easy as having a blind faith and loads of energy or is there more to it? In this blog I want to talk to you about finding your winning zone and staying there.

Part one is about finding and keeping your emotional state where it needs to be. Part two focuses on finding and keeping your intellectual state where it needs to be and will appear next month.

In your winning zone you will have a great balance between the emotional success factors you need (belief, faith, etc.) and the intellectual factors you need to make sure that your success plan isn’t just a gamble.

Tip #1 Get your own head space right

To be successful it’s most likely that you will need a consistent effort over a long period of time. Having a big emotional roller coaster won’t help this. You want to program yourself to be optimistic and not surging between massive highs and lows. These highs and lows will burnout not only you, but also your family and other associates. To achieve a good emotional state you will need to have an optimistic (but realistic) mindset. Believe in yourself and look for the positive in every situation. You will also need to accept that you are in control of your own destiny and be very wary of thinking that someone else (like your partner or supplier) is determining your outcome. When you think like this you will feel like a victim and this is bad.

A good way to think about your emotional state is like a camp fire; it’s very easy to think your camp fire is going well when the paper that you use to start it is burning vigorously. How often have you come to realise that it was just the paper burning and that you didn’t yet have a real fire, with no wood burning? What you are trying to achieve is a good slow burn where your emotions are not flaring up and will enable you to reliably and persistently focus on your plan.

Tip #2 Get your family (and other close) relationships in order

It’s very hard to maintain a good focused “slow burn” positive emotional state if your relationship with your family isn’t in good order. Remember that if you are starting a new business, job or other venture this is stressful for your family and close friends as well. Have you shared with them your plans? Have you asked them for their support? Be especially careful not to let your increased stress affect these important relationships.

If you can get these relationships to a really good place it will help you immensely, alternatively though, if you allow them to deteriorate it will become a significant hindrance. Making time to keep your relationships in a good place is a good investment.

Tip #3 Build a good support and mentoring network

Putting some planning into this network and relationships will pay big dividends. Many people don’t think about these relationships until they need them and often end up with the wrong people offering them advice. Getting poor advice can mess with your head space. Think carefully about your own strengths and weaknesses; build your network of people finding a good balance of not only like-minded people but people who have experience and strengths where you don’t.

A good example here might be your choice of lawyer if you were starting a new business venture. If your lawyer is so conservative that they see risk in everything you do they will really struggle to help you pragmatically identify important risk from other risk. You might bump into a problem, ask their advice and just end up scared stupid because they are not compatible with your risk profile. Ideally your compatible lawyer would understand what you are trying to achieve and help you identify and categorise the risks.

It’s also really important to have a good mentor network. If you are an overly optimistic personality you should find a mentor who is a little more conservative than you to help you with balance. The secret here is that they be like minded and just a little bit more conservative, although not so conservative that their advice won’t make sense. If being optimistic isn’t your natural strength you should find a mentor who is going to help you with this. Once again not someone who is wildly optimistic but someone who can help you find balance.

Tip # 4 Do regular self assessments of your head space

Where am I at right now? Am I balanced? Is this where I need to be?

Successful people are very good at monitoring their own emotional status and recognising when this status is working for or against them. Think carefully about when and how best you can do this. I do this on plane trips and most of the successful people I know have their own special place and way of doing this. If you recognise that you’re not where you need to be think about who from your family or support network is best placed to help you get there.

Real success will come from a consistent effort over a long time. This will require you to have a positive, “slow burn” emotional state. You can plan for this and manage it.

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