I know you have all heard the expression “learn from your mistakes.” There is a longer expression that says “the smart person learns from their mistakes, but the wise person learns from the smart person’s mistakes.” Since I want you all to be as wise as possible, I hope you can learn from my mistake which involves a recent hike I took.
I live near the Las Trampas Regional Park. I often take hikes on the trails exploring the area. I happened to take a look at a map of central Contra Costa county and noticed that St. Mary’s College in Moraga (where my step-daughter will attend in the fall) is only 6 to 7 miles due west from my house. So I had the bright idea that I would hike with my fiancée from the St. Mary’s campus to our house. I had done numerous hikes around St. Mary’s and dozens on the Las Trampas Trails so I just needed to put all the legs together to be successful.
So we set out at 11:30 from St. Mary’s. We quickly learned that we had forgotten our map. I decided this was not an issue since we just needed to head due east. I knew the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so we just needed to follow the sun. What I didn’t realize was that it was the middle of the summer, therefore the sun has a southern exposure. About two hours into the hike, when I thought we should have reached a recognizable landmark, I began to worry, especially when I saw a large body of water that I knew was not supposed to be on our path. It was only then that I discovered my phone had a compass on it. Long story short, after a little over 3 hours and 12 miles, we found ourselves in the heart of Castro Valley – perfectly south of Moraga. The good news is that even though we ended up in the wrong place, we made great time getting there.
The business moral to this story is this: to be truly successful, you need to have more than a vision. It is not enough to say “I want to make x amount of money” or “I want to close x amount of transactions.” A clear VISION is certainly important but you must also have a detailed PLAN or map to help you get there – your Business Plan. Look at your “map” monthly, weekly, daily, even hourly to help you going along the right “trail.” Tweak it if you have to, to keep you heading in the right direction. The third part is making use of your TOOLS and RESOURCES – your compass – to help you execute your plan – coaches, CRM’s, your sphere of influence, trainings, and technology. So use your Tools to help you execute your Plan that will help you achieve your Vision. Use all three and learn from my mistake to make you more successful.