6 Secrets to Business Success (Plus 1!)

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

~ Woody Allen

6 Secrets to Business Success (Plus 1!)

By Andrea Novakowski

Have you noticed that no one talks much about perfectionism anymore?

My business coaching clients used to tell me their compulsion to do everything perfectly was getting in the way of their success. But these days, with the fast pace of life, the constant stream of information, and the increased workload on everyone’s desks, our struggle for perfectionism seems to have largely disappeared. It’s not that people are feeling guilty or making excuses about not being perfect. It’s just gone from the conversation.

As Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg famously puts it:  “Done is better than perfect.”

So if we’re no longer chasing perfection, what should we strive for in its place? Here are six alternative ideals to which my clients are now turning their attention. You can, too.

Persistence. Successful people don’t get that way overnight. Instead, they create a plan and continually chip away at it. They break their goals into annual, monthly, weekly, and daily actions. Even if each day’s activities aren’t completed, these folks get back in the saddle the next day, ready to keep moving forward. What do you do to maintain your persistence?

Pacing. Sam, a hard-charging manager at a small company in New Hampshire, planned on retiring in five years. But when he met with a financial planner, he found out he was going to have to work eight more years in order to meet his goals. Sam realized there was no way he’d last eight years at his breakneck pace. Now we’re discussing how he can adjust his work habits so he can continue at his job enjoyably and healthfully. Do a double-check: does your pace match your goals?

Possibility. We’re all creatures of habit. We eat the same breakfast, take the same route to work, do the same things day in and day out. Today, make a point of trying something new and different. What gets your energy up? What has you thinking new thoughts? Coffee? Brain teasers? Collaboration with your colleagues? Where in your life are you taking time to think about what’s possible?

Play. Successful people take breaks during their day. Even if it’s only for a stretch or a short walk, they stop working for a few minutes and move their bodies. Increased circulation in your body means better blood flow to your brain, which produces clearer thinking. If you tend to sit glued to your desk for hours at a time, think about how you can build play into your day.

Power. We’re all naturally more skilled at certain activities than others. Are you a born communicator? A numbers whiz? As much as possible, do the type of work that plays to your strengths. While no one can (or should) elect to do only what comes easily, you’ll achieve more and go farther if you pursue the things you’re good at.

Positivity. You know the old saying: you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. People are attracted to people who are positive. Put a mirror on your desk so that when you pick up the phone, you’re reminded to smile. It sounds corny, but that attitude really does translate over the phone.

Need one more goal to replace perfectionism? How about pleasure? Think about what part of your job you really enjoy, and try to spend more time doing it. When your work aligns with your interests and values, it makes you feel good. And there’s no better definition of success than truly loving what you do.

Your Call To Action

Looking at the goals you have created for 2013,  what ideals from the above list do you want to focus on to increase the likelihood of successfully completing your goals? Please take a minute to share your findings in the comments section below.