I’ve been involved in fitness for as long as I can remember. My fitness regime of choice has always been running and going to the gym to life weights. However, in March, I was visiting my brother in Palm Springs for the weekend and he introduced me to an extreme fitness program called P90X. And even though I thought I was in pretty good shape, it kicked my butt. I was so sore after two days of doing P90X, that I KNEW what I HAD been doing, wasn’t really working anymore.
So I ordered the DVDs and in March I started my own P90X 90-day extreme fitness challenge. Two and one-half months into it, I am feeling better, I’m in great shape, I’m having fun, and I’ve learned a lot…not just about fitness, but about life and business.
Here are 3 key lessons I’ve learned that can be applied to your business:
1) Doing the same thing for too long results in plateaus and diminishing returns.
I’ve been running and lifting weights for as long as I remember. Yes, it was good to have a consistent exercise habit. But what I hadn’t realized was that it was no longer improving my fitness levels. When I switched things up and tried something new, my results improved dramatically. While I was spending the same amount of time, and in some ways still doing the same thing ( I was still exercising, just doing it differently), I was able to really improve my results.
How does this apply to business?
I have realized that when we find something that works in our business, we very often make it a habit and just keep doing it, often not looking closely at whether it’s still getting us the same results. And odds are, if we were to step back and take a look, it’s probably not getting us the same results as it did when we first started doing it. After all, over time we change, our clients change, our marketplace changes, everything changes … so we need to evolve our business with the changing environment if we want to keep growing and improving.
I did this in December when I decided to stop publishing my ezines, something I had been doing for 5 years. But I realized I wasn’t enjoying it anymore, and I wasn’t getting the same results from them either. When I switched to writing blog posts and sending out email blasts when I felt inspired, or had something to share, I started connecting more effectively with my clients again, and my results started to improve.
What are you doing in your business that has become a habit, that you might need to “shake up a bit” in order to start getting better results?
2) Habits can lead to complacency.
Related to point #1, when we are doing something for a very long time, we do tend to get complacent about it. It becomes something we do because “we’re supposed to do it” and not because we’re inspired, or because we enjoy it, or because it’s working.
In business, we can never take anything for granted. Not our clients, not the idea that our programs or services will always be desirable, not our marketplace, not our mailing list. As soon as you take something for granted, and find yourself just going through the motions, you’re NOT putting your all into it. This leads to complacency, and complacency leads to stagnant results.
In the last 10 months I’ve stepped back and re-evaluated what I was inspired to do. I’ve talked to LOTS of my prospects and clients to find out what they really wanted and needed. As a result I’ve revamped my business to allow me to do what I love most, and I’ve created new programs to fill the needs my clients have NOW. And the results have been incredible.
How in touch with yourself and your market are you? Are you doing what really inspires you most? Do you know what your clients really want and need? Maybe it’s time to step back, re-evaluate, and make some changes so you can enjoy your business more, and you can serve your clients better.
3) It’s extremely important to do what’s RIGHT for YOU.
When I do my P90X workouts every day, I have noticed there’s one thing the instructor, Tony Horton, repeats over and over on the DVD’s: “Do what’s right for you. Do what works for you. There’s variety and it’s a beautiful thing.” And he always shows different variations on each exercise, so you can choose the one that works best for you.
The same thinking can be applied to your business. It’s not always about doing what has worked for someone else. If you’ve heard me speak recently, you’ve heard me say that I’m not a big fan of modeling or the idea that if you want to do something, just find someone who has done it successfully and do exactly as they have done. There are just too many instances in my business, and in my clients’ businesses, where that has NOT worked.
You are a unique individual. Your business situation is unique. Your experience is unique. Your personality is unique. Everything about you is unique. And that’s why it’s so important to find what works for you. Find what you love doing. Find what you’re good at. Look at what others have done successfully and draw from it, but run it through YOUR filter and only keep what fits you. As Tony Horton of P90X says, “Do what works for you.”