What would happen if the Coyote actually caught the Roadrunner? Does Wile E. Coyote think about what he’ll do after he catches his prey? Could he find excitement, joy or fulfillment after he achieved his goal? Or has chasing the Roadrunner become who he is?
If you are a driven, focused entrepreneur chasing your dreams of success, whatever those may be, there is a relatively good chance you’ll actually catch them. But then what? Have you even prepared for that?
When I speak at events for entrepreneurs about preparing for success, they, understandably expect I’m going talk about the strategies or methods to become more successful. And while I have dedicated most of my career to the pursuit of my business and financial goals, I now try to expose them to the idea that planning to be successful and preparing for success are two very different things.
Like most dedicated entrepreneurs and executives; I had spent my entire life plotting and strategizing how to become successful, but hadn’t practiced or spent a single day preparing for actually being successful.
A former boss and mentor said of me, “When Brant sets a target, he goes after it like a fearless soldier and nothing can stop him till he knocks it down. It’s remarkable and terrifying at the same time.”
He was right, and I know he meant it as a compliment. But I was becoming increasingly concerned about what the years of this relentless pursuit was doing to my values and expectations in life.
If my younger self could have seen our future, he would have thought this was the pinnacle of success. But that’s not how I felt. Why was I continually moving the goal posts? When would I feel like I had “made it”?
I decided I needed to make some changes. I set out to study and learn other ways to look at success in life from some of the entrepreneurs I admired most. >From Mark Cuban and Richard Branson to Kathy Ireland and Tony Robbins, I was able to gain incredible insight from some remarkable people.
One of the most influential people I spent time with was Ed Mylett. A hyper-successful entrepreneur turned speaker, philanthropist, and motivational coach. Ed grew up with the singular dream of playing professional baseball. When injury derailed that dream, he eventually turned his competitive drive to entrepreneurship. Soon enough, Ed’s financial services company had made him wealthy beyond any rational standard, acquiring more planes, cars, houses and toys than he could ever use. For 20 + years Ed had been so relentless in his pursuit of success, he had never stopped to feel successful. He found himself at the top of the mountain, having caught all the Roadrunners. There was nothing left to chase.
One day at dinner his wife happened to ask him. “When were you the happiest?”
His honest answer surprised both of them. “When I was at McKinley”. McKinley is a group home for boys that Ed had worked at in his early 20’s for minimum wage.
By the end of the night, Ed had made some life-changing decisions.
He refocused his life and dedicated himself to helping and inspiring others. Ironically, Ed has become massively successful as a motivational speaker and life coach. So he hasn’t lost his desire for high achievement, he’s just gained the ability to appreciate today’s accomplishments, while looking to ‘MAX OUT’ tomorrow’s growth.
I’ve incorporated Ed, Tony and others’ philosophies into my own journey. Like anything worthwhile, it’s taken practice and discipline, but the results have been ultra rewarding.
So while you continue to push hard towards your goals, here are 4 steps you can start taking today to prepare for the success you’re going to have tomorrow.
Success that isn’t defined is very hard to achieve and it’s even harder to enjoy . Don’t let it become a grey area. Write your goal down. Make it specific. Then make the conscious decision to not rob yourself of the joy of success by raising your standards before you even reach them.
Many entrepreneurs view home, relationships, and recreation as “downtime”. This creates a pattern where your work pursuits are the only elements in life that fulfill your hunger to achieve. Try bringing some of the intensity and drive you’ve mastered at the office to create personal and lifestyle goals to conquer.
Practice celebrating your current accomplishments and the wins you make along the way. Progress and success may mean your future goals eventually become your past achievements. So preparing now to appreciate your future success will pay big dividends when it becomes a reality.
Share your detailed financial and business goals with someone outside your immediate circle. While you keep your eyes on the prize, let someone continually remind you how impressive each step along the way is. Accountability is a powerful ally in this process.
As I’ve progressed in my journey I’ve learned that the thrill of the chase and the pursuit of success is something that makes us all better and forces us to grow. But learning to celebrate and appreciate that success is what makes us at our best.
With a little practice, you’ll find that appreciating and enjoying your current success can feel as good as chasing it ever did.