Monday, November 9, 2009

Flying Into Headwinds

By Brian Tracy

When you set off toward a new destination or goal, like taking off in an airplane, you will have an idea of both your departure time and your arrival time. You will set a schedule for yourself and expect to arrive pretty much on schedule. But as soon as you take off, you will experience what pilots call “unexpected headwinds.” The situation in your life is similar. As soon as you embark on a new journey, you will experience headwinds as well: everything will cost twice as much and take three times longer than you anticipated. You should estimate how long you will take to achieve certain milestones and then triple that time to get the actual time period required.

Types of Headwinds
Headwinds in your business and personal life will come from several sources. Your primary source of headwinds will be other people. They will disappoint you, cheat you, betray you, and fail to live up to your expectations, and turn out to be incompetent or indifferent. Your customers will be a major source of headwinds. When you start a new venture, you will be amazed at how difficult it is to get customers to buy your product or service for the first time. Your customers will disappoint you in that they will buy less than you expected, take longer to buy than you expected, pay slower than you expected, and complain more than expected. Remember that the customer is always right. It is not what you produce but what people buy that counts.

Financial Headwinds
Another form of headwinds that you will face has to do with money. Some people will tell you that it is easy to make all the money you want just by thinking positively and visualizing yourself as wealthy. Everyone wants to believe that this is true, and many people embrace the idea of effortless wealth with their whole hearts. But that doesn't include those people who have actually achieved financial success. People who have made a lot of money have learned through bitter experience that the only thing easy about money is losing it. As the Japanese proverb says, “Making money is like digging with a pin; losing money is like pouring water on the sand.”

Personal Headwinds
You will experience headwinds personally in that you will discover, much to your surprise that you lack specific talents, skills, and knowledge that you need to succeed. You may find that you are a poor time manager or that you lack self-discipline. You cannot seem to focus, concentrate, and apply yourself single-mindedly to your most important tasks. You waste time and feel overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time in which to do it. You may lack financial, analytic, marketing, or selling skills. You may not know how to plan and organize your business, advertise effectively and attract customers, or persuade your prospects to buy from you. Fortunately these are all learnable skills. But the starting point of mastering these essential skills is for you to admit that you need them. After that, the education can begin.

Action Exercise
Because of your incredible mind, you can learn any skill you need to learn to achieve any goal you can set for yourself. You must never allow yourself to be held back because you lack a particular skill. Figure out what skill you need to increase the quality of your life, and then set out to learn it.