Carla Macleod is a defense woman for the Canadian women’s gold-medal winning hockey team. I met her at a luncheon where she was speaking about what it takes to be successful.
Hope is not a strategy
Carla first fell in love with hockey as a teenager. She played hockey endlessly, hoping of one day getting onto the World Cup team. Carla had passion for her sport, drive, determination and a willingness to play hard. She thought she had all the necessary ingredients for one day making the team. Carla caught the attention of the World Cup coaches and was considered for the team twice. And twice she was passed over. Carla learned that hard work and hope is not enough to achieve success. She realized she needed to set an intention and support it with a plan.
Many business owners start their business because they are passionate about something. They work hard and they hope for success. Unfortunately, this strategy often leads to exhaustion, burnout, estranged relationships, financial ruin and shattered dreams.
Set an intention, within your control, and set a measure of success
A few years later Carla was chosen for the World Cup Hockey Team, and then she was training for the Canadian Women’s Olympic Team. When Carla shared her story about preparing for the Olympics, she said the team set an intention not to win gold, but to be the best prepared team amongst their competition. They set this intention because they knew they could control the outcome of preparedness. Carla reminded us that in the end, hockey is a game and that winning can go either way based on the referees, the skill of the other players, and feeling “on” or “off” any particular day. Many of those factors were beyond their control. What they could control was their training and how well prepared they were, physically, mentally and emotionally for the game.
Setting an intention means setting a goal, with a plan for execution. What’s your intention for your business in the next 3 months? 6 months? 12 months? What’s the most important business project you need to focus on? How will you measure success of this intention?
Develop new habits
To prepare for the Olympics, Carla and her teammates adhered to a grueling training schedule. The team members were brought together in an isolated location for their coaches’ version of “Olympic Boot-camp”. The training program was designed to help every member of the team develop and strengthen excellent habits.
Many entrepreneurs exhibit destructive habits (often stress-coping mechanisms) that sabotage success. In regards to the intention you have set for yourself, what new habit do you need to develop in order to achieve your intention?
A fundamental element of Carla’s success and the success of the entire Olympic team, was that the girls had support. I’ve talked with many Olympians and every one I’ve met has been extremely grateful for the support they received from family, friends and especially their many coaches.
Why do so many entrepreneurs think they have to go it alone? Elite athletes tell us time and again that success does not happen in isolation. It happens from enrolling others in supporting us, and our vision.
Who will you ask to support you in achieving your stated intention? Do you need a mentor? A consultant? A coach? What kind of support do you need? Do you need fresh perspective? Or accountability?
Manage yourself effectively
Carla, high performance athletes and successful entrepreneurs know that the most challenging and powerful key element to success is learning to master your self. Learning to master our internal mental and emotional game makes all the difference in achieving success! Roadblocks are going to show up as we pursue our intentions. When we hit these walls, it’s easy to step down, play small and sabotage our best-laid intentions. Mastering how to lead our selves separates the elite performers from the wanna-be’s.
Stay committed to your intention
Carla had a one-time goal of playing in the Olympics. She committed to working hard and getting support for a set period of time, and she won gold. Entrepreneurs; your Olympics is your business, and you live it every day for years and decades! Your success will be determined by your commitment to the intentions you set, the habits you develop, the support you seek and the coaching you invest in to master your internal game and keep you stretching to new heights. Plan your performance like an Olympian and may you win gold in business and life!
Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides leadership, business, and communication coaching programs to entrepreneurs. Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support for new awareness, new choices and new results.
To learn more, call Laura Watson toll free at: 877-669-8684 or email her at: Laura@VentureCoaching.ca
Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides leadership and business coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they can create success on purpose! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.
How could your life and business be different if you did the same?
Laura Watson is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching, Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they create success without sacrifice! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.
Are you considering using Social Media to promote yourself and/or your business?
Are you overwhelmed, trying to decide how to keep up with Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter?
Millions of people are using social media and it’s easy to jump in, not knowing how to best benefit from the opportunity social media represents.
I recently created and shared this presentation that I hope you will find interesting and helpful.
I define my higher purpose as “being the best I can be”. This is what I strive to be myself, it’s what I support my husband and children to do and it’s my drive and motivation for the work I do with clients. I think the world would be a much better place if we all desired and worked towards “being our best”.
“Being our best” can mean a variety of things. For professional athletes, it could mean winning the gold. For business owners, it could mean building a multi-million dollar business. I define “being my best” as creating Success Without Sacrifice. Success without sacrifice means I pursue success in ALL areas of my life; successful business, successful marriage, successful family, successful health and leisure. I believe we can have it all and success without sacrifice means we pursue professional success without sacrificing any of the rest of our lives. This does not mean I think I have achieved it yet. Success without sacrifice is, I believe, a worthy goal and one worth pursuing.
Too many of us are pursuing success at all costs. While climbing our corporate ladders and building our businesses, we allow ourselves to get stressed out, burned out, over weight, under-rested, under-nourished and disconnected. And we justify it, convincing ourselves that all the sacrifices will be worthwhile, that our families will forgive us for missing important events, and we tell ourselves we will make up for lost time and recover once we reach our goal. Problem is, the goal is elusive. It’s like the horizon. While we continuously take steps towards it, it seems to keep moving further away and we feel like we’ll never arrive. Hence we take little or no time for what we say is important and we accept a stressed out life as our norm.
While pursuing Success Without Sacrifice for myself, I help my clients do the same.
My clients are busy, often overwhelmed entrepreneurs who are also passionate about making a difference and fulfilling their “higher purpose”. Because of their passion and because they are eager to make their businesses successful, they are often sacrificing the rest of their lives along the way. I show up and help them change this pattern. I help them accelerate their success in business AND in life, so there is no more sacrifice.
This blog is dedicated to the Success Without Sacrifice conversation. I intend to explore this idea so we all learn what it takes to actually achieve this BHAG (big hairy audacious goal). I will introduce tools and resources I explore in my own pursuit of this goal and I will ask challenging questions so you can engage in the conversation.
Join me on this crusade and together we can create successful enterprises, healthier, happier people, happier families and, I believe, a more sustainable world!