You know them. They are the few who succeed, time and again. They are always excited about something, have limitless energy, and lead rewarding lives. They are what I call “Serial Winners.” However, I’ve found that Serial Winners aren’t any more talented, or privileged, or smarter than anyone else. So what’s their secret? Here are the five actions that Serial Winners follow to stay on track until they reach their goals. There’s nothing stopping you from developing them yourself.
- Decide. This is the most important step in the cycle of success. If you want to win, you have to keep moving forward. Winners know that hesitation will lead to stagnation, which always leads to failure. They know that “planning to begin” can go on forever and that no amount of information will ever give them a perfect map of the way ahead. Therefore they decide, in spite of their doubts or unclear information, and they take action. So get moving. Your first decision should be your decision to start, and don’t look back from there.
- Overdo. To be successful, winners don’t just do it; they overdo it, especially in the beginning. They launch into every project with a mindset and a plan to do much more than necessary right up front in order to generate the right kind of momentum to ensure their success. Think about it. In the beginning of any endeavor, you don’t know what lies ahead and how much effort you’ll need to succeed. Winners err on the side of giving too much right up front so they’re ready for anything that comes their way. How you start will make or break you in the end.
- Adjust. It’s easy to look at winners and assume that they’ve always been the way they are and that their success just came natural to them. But that’s almost never the case. Winners face the same adversity as everyone else (in many cases even more), but when things get challenging, they don’t quit. They adjust. They find new ways around their obstacles. Failure or bad luck doesn’t discourage them. They understand that success is a long road, so they learn from their failures. They adjust their goals, and they move in a new direction. Winning, then, becomes a series of adjustments.
- Finish. The world is full of people who almost finish. And almost finishing gets you almost nothing. Those that actually finish the job or the project are the rare ones. They are the true winners who can be counted on when the pressure is on. It’s often the case that it takes 98 percent of the effort to get the last 2 percent done. But if you don’t finish that last 2 percent, you’ll lose all the time and money and energy you invested in getting to that point. If you finish, no matter how small the task, you’ll gain confidence and start to build momentum towards your next win. Finishing is how you earn the great things in life—trust, respect, loyalty, opportunity, and even money.
- Improve. One of the biggest mistakes that people make after they accomplish something is to let up on the gas. The confidence they feel from that victory gives them a false sense of security, and they think that more and more success will start to flow naturally. But Serial Winners know this isn’t true. They understand that in order to avoid becoming a “one hit wonder,” they need to keep improving, to keep expanding their goals, and taking on bigger projects. Otherwise, that same attitude that allowed them to win will dissipate and they’ll find themselves falling into mediocrity. Serial Winners capitalize on the momentum of success and know that the best possible life is a life of perpetual challenge.
Serial Winners aren’t any more special than you or me. They weren’t born into the world with some kind of gift or unfair advantage that the rest of us do not have. Serial Winners become who they are through consistent action, commitment and a desire for ongoing success. This is something that anyone, including you, can start doing today.
Larry Weidel is the author of Serial Winner: 5 Actions to Create Your Cycle of Success (Greenleaf; October 2015). http://www.amazon.com/Serial-Winner-Actions-Create-Success/dp/1626342342 He has spent the past 40 years building a national financial services organization and helping the people on his team achieve the success they want. He helped grow A.L. Williams into the financial services giant Primerica. Weidel holds weekly coaching calls for leaders across the United States and Canada. Visit weidelonwinning.com