- THE MAGAZINE
A man wearing orange pants and pink socks stood on a chair and asked the small audience at a mastermind I was attending, “Are you just interested in reaching your goals or are you committed to reaching them?”
For the next 15 minutes, he pounded on the subject.
Over the past few months, I’ve been walking you through my “5 Levels of Being Phenomenally Successful.” No one is consistently successful over a long period of time without going through these levels. No one. To recap:
- Level 1 - Awareness: You become aware of an idea you want to pursue, a skill you want to develop or a habit you want to change.
- Level 2 - Willing To Change: You become willing to change as you weigh the benefits of changing and the sacrifice required. As my friend Ellen Rohr says, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”
- Level 3 - Controlled Attention: You become focused on the idea, the skill or the habit. A good example of this is you become aware that it’s a good idea to wash your van everyday so that it is consistently super clean. You focus on it every day and all goes well until it rains, you have an early appointment or it’s just one of those days that you just don’t feel like it.
Now on to Level 4 - Commitment. The commitment level is the level of consistency. At this level, habits are beginning to form. Things are happening a little easier and you’re developing a rhythm. Your new skill is coming along. You’re feeling more comfortable with the new routine. You’ve had some wins. You’ve had some base hits and maybe a few home runs. It’s kind of like hitting that perfect golf shot. Now you’re hooked!
At this level, you’re also gaining confidence. Confidence breeds motivation and inspiration. John Maxwell says, “Commitment is being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action… commitment is dedication.”
When you’re committed, you take action. You invest time developing your idea or skill because you value it. Every level reveals your values. This is what is so powerful about this process. Whatever level we find ourselves in helps us to evaluate where we are on the journey.
Zig Ziglar said, “Commitment helps you overcome obstacles.” People who are committed expect to win, therefore they plan and prepare to win.
Being committed is a powerful thing, but you’re still vulnerable. May 1st of 2005 was a significant day in my life. It was the day I made a definite decision to be healthy. I became painfully aware of my physical condition. I was willing to change and I did. I began to focus on eating right, began strength training three times a week and played basketball every Sunday. I moved into the commitment level. It was now a lifestyle. Or so I thought. After 6 years, I fell off the wagon.
I stopped training. I was too busy. I was having my supplements picked up or shipped, so there was no interaction with my nutritionist.
To stay committed, we need support. We need a “dream team.” The reason we need a dream team is that we can easily fool ourselves. We fall into the trap that success came automatically. We forget how much we had to sacrifice to get here. Now it seems easy. We need our dream team to encourage us, to support us and to help us stay accountable to do the things that got us this far.
We need dream team members in each area of our lives. I fired my trainer and didn’t hire another one. I was too busy and I was bored. It wasn’t fun anymore. I lied to myself by telling myself that I would do the work on my own. I didn’t.
The Key to the 5 Levels is Support
Jim Rohn said, “You’ll be the average of the 5 people you hang around. Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay?”
He also said, “You’ll be changed most in life by the books you read (what you put into your mind) and the people you meet.”
What will help you move through the 5 Levels more than anything is your dream team. We all need encouragement, support and accountability. You need your dream team around you. Coaching and mentoring has made a bigger difference in my life than anything else. It has taken me through the 5 Levels in all 7-core areas of life.
Zig said, “Encouragement is the fuel people run on.” We all need accountability. We all need it and were created to need it. Proverbs says, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” You may not have “bad” company, but you may not be keeping the kind of company you need to keep. People who will keep you accountable will encourage you and will support you - people who believe in you.
One of those people for me is Rick Jones. Rick was with Dale Carnegie for 33 years and owned the Houston franchise for over 20 years. My wife Denise, who sells radio advertisements, called him and became friends with him. As it turns out, Rick is from my hometown Mobile, AL. We became friends as well and I invited him to speak at my conferences once in a while. After selling his franchise a few years ago, he began searching for something meaningful to get involved in. Please understand that his financial needs were taken care of and his experience afforded him the luxury of doing just about anything he wanted to do.
He was looking into other franchises. I asked him to have lunch with me so that I could share with him what I was doing with Zig Ziglar and how my coaching program impacted small business owners. He really loved what he saw and decided to join my team.
Rick has poured into my life personally and professionally. He taught me how to present better from the stage and how to be a better coach and trainer. He showed me my gifts and encouraged me that I could be as good as any of them out there. Rick mentored me, coached me and encouraged me every step of the way.
It wasn’t a job to him. Before he started, he wanted to spend time with me first. Over a six-month period, he came to my events and we attended leadership conferences together. We went to see John Maxwell, Henry Blackaby and many others. We talked about life, leadership and our purpose in life. He told me that he had already made money and built a career. His new goal was to find a place where he could have a positive impact on people.
Before he chose us, he tried it out for six months. He began coaching our members using my systems. He refused to be paid for six months! I kept asking him, “When are you going to let me pay you?!”
After six months, he agreed that this was what he wanted to do. What I learned later not only encouraged me, but also floored me. I was facilitating a small group of our coaching members on John Maxwell’s Put Your Dream to the Test. Rick was not in the room and one of our members who was coached by him said, “I once asked Rick what his dream was. (It’s) to help Howard be successful.”
I still tear up when I think about that. To have a man with his wisdom and experience believe in me and to pour his life into me and our community overwhelms me.
To stay committed, stay plugged into your support system. It’s too easy to think, “I’ve got it from here” or “I don’t have time for that.” Remember, we all need support, encouragement and accountability.
Every successful professional has coaches, consultants and mentors. Are you just interested in success in your business or are you committed? To stay that way, you need a coach. Hire one today. Hire a coach that has already done what you want to do, that has a proven system and that has the values you respect.
Be open and accountable. Ego, pride and a poor self-image keeps many cleaners from being as successful as they could be. This author included. When I finally began learning from those that had already done what I wanted to do, my career took off. I hope you reach all of your dreams in life and business.