Are You Prepared for Your Defining Moment?

As the story goes . . . On a rainy Friday night, an elderly man and his wife entered the lobby of a hotel with the hope of getting a room and getting out of the rain. “We are all booked tonight, but I can’t send you out on a night like this,” the young clerk named George replied. “You can sleep in my room and I will make other arrangements.” 

The couple initially declined, but because of the young man’s insistence, they took him up on the offer. “You are the kind of manager that should be the boss of the best hotel in America," the man replied. 

Two years had passed and George received a letter in the mail from the old man inviting him to interview to be the manager of a new hotel that was just built in New York. As it turns out, the old man was William Waldorf Astor, and George C. Boldt would become the first manager of the original Waldorf Astoria hotel. 

On that Friday night, George had no idea that he was auditioning for his next level. Like George, you may be one conversation away from your breakthrough. So, what can you do to make sure you are ready for your defining moment?

What got you to your current level will not get you to the next one. That’s why great individuals and organizations are committed to continuous improvement. Set a goal to do something every day to get better at your craft and to reinvent yourself. 

The habit of reading inspirational books can give you an edge in your field and help you to grow. Studies show that reading three books in your specific niche will make you more knowledgeable on that topic than 75% of those in your field. Most books are available in audio format so that you can read while exercising or during your commute to the office. 

Every week, I set aside 30 minutes where I review my results from the previous week. I recommend scheduling an appointment with yourself for a specific day and time to ensure that your meeting happens. My time is Sundays at 8:30 p.m. 

During the review, I reflect on three aspects of my business that were successful, three that were not, and three specific actions that I will take to improve in the following week. This habit will keep you from repeating behaviors that don’t line up with your goal.

The daily reading and the weekly review disciplines will prepare you for your defining moment. When you succeed, your critics may call it a lucky break. The reality is that your habits prepared you for the opportunity. 

Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner

PS. For additional information on how to prepare for your defining moment, download my ebook, One Moment in Time

What Scares You?

“If you want something that you have never had, you must be willing to do something that you have never done.”

Thomas Jefferson

In 1998 actress Helen Hunt had reached the very top of the acting profession. She won the highly coveted Oscar for her role in the movie As Good As It Gets. She was asked by a reporter, what she planned to do for her next role. While her answer surprised me, it also helped me realize why she reached the top. She said, “I will choose the role that scares me the most." 

You Validate What You Fail to Confront
Fear is at the root of procrastination. I have discovered that people are most afraid of the unknown territory. The problem is that your goals and dreams reside at the end of the unknown path. You must go down the unfamiliar road to get there! 

For example, everyone would be a millionaire if the requirement was doing what you have always done. What separates the self-made millionaire from everyone else is her willingness to do the uncomfortable. She may be afraid but she faces her fears. Once a fear is confronted, it is no longer unknown. 

What scares you? Is it the thought of speaking in public? Is it the idea of making cold calls to generate sales? Could be the prospect of starting your own business? As you continue to read, I will teach you a technique that will help you face your fear. 

Practice Under Pressure
If you are able to practice in an environment that simulates the risk, you can confront the unknown. For example, back when I was studying karate, I always questioned if what I was learning would apply in a real self-defense situation. Initially, I participated in safe sparring sessions with my friends at the school, but the thought of sparring in an unknown environment scared me. 

To overcome this fear, I entered tournaments against competitors that I did not know at locations with which I was unfamiliar. To my surprise, I won more matches than I lost, and gained an understanding of how I would respond under real pressure. By facing my fear, it was no longer and unknown. 

Anytime I feel anxiety about delivering a big speech, I reflect on my karate experience with the knowledge that I can respond under pressure. What are some ways that you can practice? Below are some scenarios based on the most common fears that I mentioned earlier:

Starting a Business
Before launching out on your own, get a job in the industry that interests you. For example, if you want to open your own restaurant, get a job working at a restaurant so you can understand how they operate, the challenges of owning one, and practice interacting with customers. This would give you valuable experience, and make entrepreneurship less of an unknown. 

Public Speaking
Join an organization such as Toastmasters International where you can practice your speeches in a safe environment. The average club has about 20 members, so you can gain experience speaking in front of a group. You will have more confidence when making a presentation at work because you have already confronted your fears at Toastmasters. 

Cold Calling
Set a minimum goal of how many calls you will make each day and stick to it. Start with an achievable number like three per day in the beginning. If you stay with your plan, your ability will improve and you will find the calls easier to do. The key is to place more focus in completing the three calls each day than on the result of the calls. In 30 days you will have made at least 60 calls. You will be more proficient at call 60 than on the first call.

So there you have it. Doing the thing you fear is a key step to achieving your goals and dreams. If you commit to confrontation, you will be like Helen Hunt and look the part! 

Eric M Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner

PS. To get additional information on how to achieve your goals and dreams, download my ebook. 

Have a Competitive Edge Without Competing

Getting caught up in the rat race is a sure way to waste time. The rat race is an unhealthy competition based on the incorrect belief that there is a limited supply of resources in the universe. The rat racer believes that success must come at the expense of the competition. I am reminded of the famous story of two store owners named Joe and John that were in a daily battle for sales and customers. Their businesses were across the street from each other, and if Joe got a sale, then John would try to get two. 

One night, Joe had an encounter with a Magic Genie. The Genie informed him that he would be teaching him a lesson by granting any request he had with the condition being that John would get double of whatever he asked. If Joe asked for wealth, John would get double the wealth. If he asked for a new customer, John would get two new customers. After much thought, Joe made the request to be struck blind in ONE eye! This humorous illustration teaches us that an unhealthy competition can cause you to lose your VISION and waste valuable time. How can you have a competitive edge without competing? 

The best way to gain a competitive edge without competing is to find someone who has the results that you desire and duplicate their processes. In professional football, the team that wins the Super Bowl is usually the most copied team in the league. The other teams observe their practices, playbooks, and processes because they realize that the fastest route to success is to duplicate a proven system. I recommend the following two areas as great avenues for duplication:

1. Coaches
Having regular conversations with a coach who is an expert in your field will save you valuable time. There are two important keys to consider when looking for a coach. The first key is to find one that has the results that you desire. Think about it, if you aspired to start a business, hiring a coach that has successfully started twenty businesses would save you valuable time and keep you from making expensive mistakes. Secondly, make sure the coach demonstrates a pattern of continuous learning. Many successful coaches are also clients of a coach that they seek emulate. You would gain the benefit of their mentor’s knowledge and experience as a bonus. 

2. Colleagues
Whenever we see a colleague succeeding in an area that we aspire to, the normal reaction is to try to compete with them. Instead, we must apply my WHO/WHY/WHAT formula by asking the following questions: Who is consistently the top performer in your company or market? Why do they always produce the best results? What do they do that you could duplicate, to get a similar result? The best way to find out what the top performer does is to ASK them. I apply this formula whenever I go into a new business situation. It has saved me valuable time and kept me from “re-inventing the wheel.”

Seeking out a coach and learning from a successful colleague will save you valuable time and give you a competitive edge without having to compete. If you found this week’s tip to be helpful, please share it using the social media buttons at the bottom of the page. 

Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner