Business, Goals Edition Andrew Sparks
By: Andrew Sparks • 4 years ago •
SEVERAL YEARS AGO, I WAS LIVING A VERY DIFFERENT LIFE THAN THE ONE I DO TODAY. IN FACT, FOR 10 YEARS OF MY LIFE I WAS LIVING WHAT’S BEST DESCRIBED AS WELL ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS. FOR 10 YEARS OF MY LIFE I STRUGGLED WITH DRUG AND ALCOHOL ADDICTION.
hat started out as some simple late-teen behaviour, over time turned into full blown addiction and I was using copious amounts of drugs and alcohol on a daily basis. The worst part was that my behaviour had become normal in the circles I was rolling in and for many years the world as I saw it, was perfectly fine. My day to day actions, the drug use, the alcohol abuse, were, well, normal to me.
But then things started to change. Over time, I started to realise that this wasn’t the quality of life I had planned for myself and I realised that not only was the drug and alcohol use as high, in part because of the people I was spending time with, but I was using these things to mask a hell of a lot of hurt that I didn’t even know I had. Go figure…
As my mindset started to shift and I started to look at the world I was living in I realised that it wasn’t normal for most people, it was actually just the world that I had created for myself. The people, the places, the things; everything in my life I had put there and accepted into what had become my reality, but I knew I now wanted something different.
One of the things I used to do while I was coming down from a night out (or several of them combined together) was watch the Tour De France on TV. I was living in Canada at the time and what was the TV channel, OLN at the time, would show the race day after day for 3 weeks in July in the middle of the day. So when I’d come home from being out somewhere I would watch Le Tour and even in the state I was in would be astounded by what these men were doing, climbing those mountains on a self-propelled bicycle.
At the time, Lance Armstrong was on top of the world of cycling, and he was someone I looked up to as an inspiration. Who would have known a guy on drugs was watching a guy on drugs?
But what I took from Le Tour was the potential; the possibility. People achieving real, honest goals. Seeing these men climb through the French Alps and The Pyrenees, day in day out, and here I was going from house to pub, to party, to home. My world had become so small and I had become single focused and off track, but what this bike race instilled in me was a world so much larger than the world I was living in. More importantly, the potential I had was being wasted by playing small time and living a small life.
So it was time to change it, but to do that I would need something to aim at. Inspired by my idols on TV, I went and bought a road bike. It was a Cannondale Synapse and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Now I was still at the depths of despair in my life at this time and I bought the bike from a guy named Chris, who is still a great mate today. I took it home, got suited up and rode it for 5kms, then walked home exhausted. My goal was to make it 20 kms, but that didn’t work so well first time around.
I didn’t look at the bike for another week, then, after going off on a few more benders, I came back to the bike and I wanted to go 10kms. Success. I did it, but I came home even more worse for wear this time.
The same cycle (no pun intended) went on for months but gradually I was making changes for myself. I was using the bike to burn off the energy which would normally go into pounding down a couple of bottles of Vodka a night and a bag or two of this or that.
Over a period of about 12 months, I worked through this same routine of abusing myself and my body and then doing something good, like cycling. And as the months went on, the less I was living in the bad end of town, the more I was living in this new world that I was creating for myself.
For several years I went on a mission to educate myself in the world of personal and business development and I executed everything I learned and implemented it into my life.
For several years I went on a mission to educate myself in the world of personal and business development and I executed everything I learned and implemented it into my life. After learning these things to sort my own life out, it was a no brainer to share it with other people.
That wasn’t the last bike I bought and today I’m not only sharing the skills I learned as a business and life strategist, I’m also pretty deeply involved in the world of triathlon. Why is that important? Because the same person that used to ride 5 kilometres down the road and fall over in a heap, now rides up to 180 kilometres on the weekend during a training ride, week in, week out.
If we look at the experiences of my life and relate them to business, there are many, many lessons we can all take and apply to be better business owners. I thought I’d share just a few of the main ones here so you can apply them in the context that is relevant for you.
There’s a very famous quote from Jim Rohn who was huge in the personal development world from around the 1960’s that said, “We are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with”. You see, the biggest defining factor in whether someone will achieve their goals, is in direct proportion to the five people in close proximity.
You could look back at the brief story I shared about my life. That was normal behaviour. It wasn’t bad, wasn’t good, it just was. Now let’s relate it to business. If we spend time with people who think $100,000 is a lot of money, where do you think our benchmark will be? What about spending time with people that think $10,000,000 is a lot of money? I think the point is made.
2. Tiny Changes = Huge Results
There is something in your or your client’s business that needs to change. It could be new and better education; more or improved systems and processes; entering new markets for growth or anything else on your own radar; you may not need to smash the ball out of the park on the first pitch.
That’s right… what if you just made some small and incremental changes to the things you are looking to achieve on a daily, weekly and monthly basis? What if you broke down the oversized goals you have of going to $10m this week and planned it strategically over the next 3-6 months?
If you did that and looked back over a period of weeks, months or years, you will probably find yourself a hell of a lot further down the path, with a much better outcome. Remember the guy that could only ride 5kms day one, can now ride 180k on a Saturday morning. What you can achieve is mind blowing, if you stay the course.
Most businesses I consult to or mentor are great at having ideas. They’re great at having a lot of them. And the good thing about that is most of those ideas could be 7-figure businesses all alone. But where they fall down is on the execution of those strategies to the level that is required to achieve the sort of results they want.
In my own experience, I have invested over $300,000 into my own personal education. All that education would be absolutely worthless had I not applied what I learned and applied it to the level that allowed me to achieve some great results.
In business, you can go an inch deep and a mile wide or an inch wide and a mile deep. The latter will allow you to truly master something and to build a successful business, for your clients or for yourself. You need to master the area of execution.
So there you have it. Business… it’s a long play. If you’re trying to go to $10m in 12 months, chances are you won’t succeed. But if you lock down the strategies I have shared with you in this article, set some goals and apply them to your business, or your clients’ businesses, you will be a lot closer to where you want to be in 12 months.
And who knows, you just might fall out of bed one morning, hit your head and you go to $10m overnight.
Until then, surround yourself with the right people, set goals and make incremental changes in the direction you want to go and execute like any professional would and your dreams are yours for the taking.
Andrew Sparks is a Motivational Speaker, Peak Performance Expert and Founder of Australia’s #1 Business and Life Transformation Company, Sparks Elite.
After turning his own life around in what is an inspirational rags to riches story, Andrew had an insatiable desire to share his lessons and learnings with others, and over the past 5 years, he has shared his mindset, strategies and passion with people right across the globe. Andrew brings his best, because he wants you to be your best.
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