mind your business: The Five P’s of Professionals
The difference between successful and unsuccessful business people isn't talent. The difference is having the guts to move forward, to take intelligent risks and to work harder than anyone else.
Every industry has its share of immensely successful people, its share of abject failures and a whole lot of people in between. The individual success of the people in most industries can be plotted on a classic bell curve, where the great percentages fall directly in the middle. Exactly how, then, do you move from the middle of the pack to the top of the charts?
Professional athletes will tell you the difference between first place and second place is incredibly small. To gain a little perspective, look at it like this: At the Daytona 500, the premier NASCAR stock car race, between 1995 and 2004, the average margin of victory was only 0.241 seconds. The difference between first place money and second place money—a whopping $452,116. That means the additional prize money for finishing first was an astounding 68 percent.
Small improvements can make a huge difference in your job. You simply need to focus on the five fundamental P's.
1. Purpose. Seeking, and recognizing, opportunities to serve others is your starting point. First, figure out who you work for. Is it your company? No. Is it your manager? No. Is it your boss? No. It's your spouse, your family, your customers or your co-workers. Humans are social animals and have a fundamental need to contribute to something greater than themselves. Your job—whatever it may be—is about providing a product or service to other people for their benefit. Your joy and success will come when you know that you have helped someone else. Sit down and write out your goals. Are they self-serving or the results of serving others?
2. Preparation. Read everything you can. Learn from others. Learn something new every day. Listen. Keep an open mind. Once an opportunity has presented itself, it's too late to prepare.
3. People. Your performance and your reputation often are determined by the people in your life. Your bosses, co-workers, subordinates, mentors, coaches, teammates and friends all have a huge impact on your ultimate success. Choose those people wisely and be fiercely loyal to them. Show them you care by asking them about them. Then, listen to the answers. In turn, they will care about you.
4. Priorities. Focus on the fundamentals, and the results will take care of themselves. Set aside time to do the things that contribute to your purpose and your goals. Remember that if you don't have time to do it right, what makes you think that you have time to do it over? Learn to adapt to your changing environment. Maintain a controlled sense of urgency. Being prompt, being reliable and contributing to your team will go a long way to ensure your success.
5. Persistence. Your attitude is a choice you make every day. So, choose to be positive. Don't get bogged down in negativity. The past is just that—passed. The future always is a question mark. What, specifically, can you do today to continue toward your purpose?
How many people do you know who wake up in the morning and ask themselves, "How can I fail today?" Probably none. People fail for a variety of reasons. They haven't focused on their purpose; they haven't prepared themselves to take advantage of the opportunities; they have made poor choices in the people with whom they associate; they have lost sight of their priorities; or, they may have given up and failed to be persistent.
By Jim Bain
James S. Bain, MBA, is an author, speaker, consultant and coach. He is the founder of the Falcon Performance Institute, a consulting and corporate training firm focused on productive performance. He has been a featured speaker at numerous regional and national conventions. Look for Bain's soon to be published book, Never Pass on a Chance to "P": A Road Map to Success. To hire Bain or find out more about the Falcon Performance Institute, please visit www.fpiteam.com or call (352) 854-4015.