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Disciplined for Success

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It is very interesting to me that in most success formulas for entrepreneurs, one of the most important ingredients is often left out. That ingredient is discipline. Of course this is probably because discipline is not as fun to talk about as leadership, creativity, technology, marketing, innovative products, building relationships with customers, etc. Discipline is usually considered a dirty word by those who consider themselves “free spirits” or just don’t like structured environments. Nevertheless, without this component as a core part of their business DNA, many entrepreneurs will never reach the ultimate goals that they have set for themselves.

Success equals opportunity plus preparation and discipline is at the center of that preparation. Discipline allows for us to streamline our focus by cutting away the “fat” (unnecessary stuff) from our lives just like an athlete would who is preparing for his/her upcoming season. The fat represents all the trivial things that keep us from fulfilling our potential.

Most environments that we encounter in life are undisciplined and they allow undisciplined people to operate freely. There are very few environments, besides the military, that can “shape” someone into a disciplined person. Therefore, discipline must be a choice that starts in a person’s internal environment, i.e. character. When a person develops and practices discipline in their habits, time management, health/eating, work ethic, relationships, etc., the result is that person can go into any undisciplined environment and thrive. The disciplined person can keep from being negatively influenced by other undisciplined people.

Discipline does not happen overnight. It must be developed over time through practice and conscious decision making. The challenge is that the process of discipline can be hard and lonely. It’s hard because it forces us out of our comfort zone and makes us do things that we have not yet developed a taste for (or may never). It’s lonely because much of it is done behind the scenes and often other people, who aren't pursuing discipline in their lives, can’t relate to us.

Discipline takes focus, sacrifice, and commitment to your vision. When things become difficult, you must shift your focus to the purpose of the process and not the process itself, with the purpose being you positioning yourself to achieve your long-term goals. Only focusing on the process eventually will become discouraging. However, focusing on the end goal provides motivation to endure and appreciate the process. Short-term pain results in long-term gains.

Your success as an entrepreneur (and in life) is directly correlated to your willingness to be disciplined in the following areas:

  • Time management
  • Financial decision making
  • Utilizing your gifts and talents
  • Relationships (family and business)
  • Speech/conversations
  • Thoughts

Think about the areas in which you are undisciplined and develop a plan to get better. You may need to get a coach or an accountability partner. This ultimately will help you to not waste energy and maximize your resources. Don’t shortchange yourself or give yourself excuses for not being disciplined. Your success depends on you.

Practice makes perfect…

Paul


Tags: , entrepreneur, discipline, success, leadership, empowerment,

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