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Training is the essence of transformation. Practice is the hardest part of learning.

There are 4 key drivers of business success: desire, discipline, dedication and detachment. Each is more difficult to master than its predecessor in the list. All require you to work from your heart, as well as your head.

Fair warning! This is not as easy to do as it sounds. Excellent training is available; the practice is up to you.

1. Desire

Creating a business from your concept or idea and positioning it for success requires a lot of work and lots of learning. You must be absolutely sure you really want to do this because, particularly in the early stages, it will become inseparable from your life. Indeed, it will BE your life for many years to come.

That’s because it does take 7-10 years to build a business you can rely on for sustainable income regardless of economic conditions. Such is the natural order of things. We are not the exception. (I will explain the business lifecyle in a future post to help you understand why this is the way it is.)

Everything starts with your “why”. Figuring it out is always the first step. This in itself is not easy. It’s just easier than what must follow — giving yourself permission to succeed. Countless business owners say they’ve given themselves permission to succeed, then follow it up with numerous acts of self-sabotage. That’s not going to be you, right?

Wrong. We all self-sabotage. Such abuse must stop. And I’m trying, I’m really trying. But hell, I’m human (so are you). In this we are going to help each other. Whenever the black clouds of doubt, frustration, or disappointment begin to form, go back to your why. Works every time. Just rinse and repeat, as often as needed.

2. Discipline

To move your business forward, you must to do what is necessary, when it is necessary, and how it is necessary on a consistent, reliable basis — whether you feel like it or not.

Sounds simple, yes? Well it is and it isn’t. Willpower won’t move your business forward anymore than it will keep you on a diet long term. Developing the habit of discipline requires honesty and commitment. A time-tracking tool like the one I use, Toggl, can help you with the honesty part — assuming you don’t lie on your daily task entries or fail to schedule time weekly to analyze your productivity patterns.

If you truly want results, you must first define your goals, and then commit to doing whatever it takes to achieve them. In fact, your commitment to your goals is far more important to your business success than the goals themselves.

How many times today have you broken your word to others? To yourself? We all do it. Perhaps not intentionally. Perhaps not consciously. But we still do it.

And every time we break a promise to ourselves or someone else, we chip away at our self-esteem. Those chips seed doubt and feed limiting beliefs that strip away our power. So practice being impeccable with your word.

Your word is key to how you create your business and your life. If you don’t believe in or can’t trust yourself, others won’t trust or believe in you.

Success requires change. Change involves commitment. Commitment to yourself first is key to making change last. There is no commitment without discipline backing it up. If you can master that you’re more than halfway there.

3. Dedication

Building a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint. You must train for it. Ask any successful person you meet and that’s what they’ll tell you. Guaranteed.

You need to be able to push through the wall of defeat and pick yourself up when you fall. You’ll be tested on this.  More than once and possibly hundreds of times before you get to the finish line. Which is, by the way, a line you never really see but, if you’re running your business right, you’ll know when you’ve crossed it.

It takes dedication to be a parent, to be an Olympic athlete, to be a writer, to be an artist. And to be a business owner. To be anything worthwhile.

There’s simply no such thing as overnight success. I promise you. Would you really want it to be any other way? Wherever would we find satisfaction in that?

4. Detachment

In my experience, this driver is the most challenging of all to master. Especially when you love your work, feel your products are your children, and think of those working with you as family. However, you must be able to maintain a state of being objective about your business and its outcomes to succeed in business.

I know you’ve been advised to follow your passion, do what you love and the money will follow, but this is some of the worst advice ever. Passion is a poor substitute for discipline and the fast track to staying poor. It creates a trap because we tend to shackle ourselves by thinking we can’t do anything with the business until we get our savings built up, the bills paid off, the kids into college or whatever. Or we say we can’t start working on the business now because we need to wait for a time when we won’t have any distractions.

None of it is true. It’s just a story we tell ourselves. In reality, passion often clouds judgement.

Another reason we must practice detachment is no one succeeds alone. Others are always involved. And when others are involved, expectations are often not met, differences of opinion occur and egos clash. Disappointment and conflict can result. Then, once you do reach a certain threshold of success, the trolls, haters and critics attack.

Detachment protects you from taking things personally. It keeps you focused on what is not what you wish things to be. But it takes practice. Lots of practice. There will be many opportunities for this. Will you seize them? I hope so.

Let your track record and the numbers tell your story. Not your emotions. Not your need to be right or make yourself understood. And definitely not your need for circumstances to be other than what they are.

The foundation of business success is relationships. Starting with your relationship with self. Practice detaching from crazy thinking. Vaccinate yourself from the opinions of others.

What can you do today to free your mind and start living your truth?

More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.

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