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23August2016

Are You Living The Dream?

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The Olympics in Rio have shown us some of the most extraordinary achievements, regardless of whether people have won a medal.

Just to reach this level of competition is a true testament to commitment, hard work, dedication, getting up over and over again after a fall, living with the highs and the lows, living with pain and ecstasy, risking injury, healing injury, being frustrated, winning (and more often losing but never giving up), never stopping believing in the dream … and having a support team: the coach(es), family and friends who believe in your dream right there with you.

And this is what it takes to be in business and be successful.

If not, what is there instead?

Showing up when the mood feels right, reacting childishly to criticism, bills piling up, disgruntled employees, fearful of taking risks, sulking when losing a contract, giving in to the pain of the down times, aimlessly drifting, lost in the hustle and bustle … and doing it on your own. Does that really work?

Yet as business people we are told to do what we need to do to make our business work: get up early, go to bed late, do all-nighters, hustle, don’t be negative, be positive – all the time – and so much more.

I’m sorry, but this list really pees me off.

Why? Well, let’s take the expression ‘hustle’. Now, it can mean a variety of things including being active and taking the rough and tumble of business – all good so far. But it can also bring up connotations of being defrauded – that means doing or saying anything to make a sale, doing anything to make money. And to do this, it may include burning the candle at both ends, doing the all-nighter.

Now I’m not saying never burn the candle at both ends or don’t do the all-nighter, because there are times when this is needed. But there is a difference between ‘on occasion’ and it being so regular that there is nothing else.

To go to these extremes and do anything for the money or the dream, to hustle your way there is like being a drug cheat in sport. It goes way below the line of trust and respect, not only for yourself, but for others. It may gain short term success, but it does not deliver on long term sustainable business results or a healthy reputation.

So what’s the answer?

Any high performing athlete will tell you, without hesitation, how important it is not only to do the hard work consistently, but also to include recovery time, eat well, sleep well, have time out AND have it planned.

They know all too well that they cannot go flat out 24/7.

They understand the importance of pacing their training, using all of the energy systems – just not all at once! – and the importance of working on their weaknesses while also building on their strengths. They practice working their body and their mind so they work together, not separately.

They also know when it’s time to take a break without guilt.

And it needs to be the same in business!

Make sure there is consistent hard work, have time out with friends and family, make time to exercise and eat well, be grateful, have a great support team – your coach, your team – and believe in your dream.

You can be a high performing competitor in your industry.

All it takes is the dream, the commitment, the plan, the next plan and the next to help build the systems in your business so you are taking action, purposely on purpose, every day, going for gold.

It’s called living the dream.

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