Top Ten Reasons Good People Don’t Always Win (Number 10 in a 10-part Series)

systems#10: Not Having Good Systems, Tools & Technology

Reason Number 10 why good people don’t always win is inadequate or non-existing systems.

I believe that most people are well-intended and want to do the right thing. Where I think they fail is they have systems that don’t support them or no real systems at all.

When I consult with business owners, we focus on where they want to go, how to get there and the things that need fixing in order to succeed. Often they blame their people for the shortcomings. But it’s usually the systems that are the problem rather than the people.

System Defined: any formulated, regular or special method, plan or procedure.

The First System I Remember
I was raised on a farm, and when I was about 4 years old, I remember seeing my father in our dairy barn with his hat turned backward. I know now that many young people wear their caps with brims facing rearward, but at that time it looked strange.

So I asked my Dad why he had his hat on funny. And that’s when he explained his “system”. You see, we had a bullpen with a watering tank for the bull. It had to be filled with a hose and it took a while to fill it. Rather than wait for the tank to be topped off, my Dad would go about other chores while it was filling. But it’s easy to forget to turn the water off, and I’m guessing he had done so before. But now, when the tank was full, he would turn the water off and turn his hat frontward again. If he forgot, when he got back to the house, he would naturally reach for the brim of his hat and if it wasn’t there, he’d realize he must go back to the barn and turn it off to prevent a small flood.

That was my early introduction to systems. And I’ve developed many of my own since then.

A system can be as simple as a . . .

  • checklist
  • place for your keys
  • mnemonic
  • PIM (Personal Information Manager)
  • formula

Or it can be as complicated as a project management program to build a nuclear power plant. But we all need systems to create and live our best life and grow our businesses with efficiency and effectiveness.

Years ago, I created an acronym for SYSTEMS . . .

Save
Yourself
Substantial
Time
Energy
Money and
Stress

Systems allow you to focus on what’s really important because systems handle the details. Systems make your life easier, make it easier to delegate and outsource, and make your business simpler to run—and SELL.

So what keeps someone from having good systems? Well, many people think systems aren’t important and/or they think they’re too small to employ a system. But that’s simply not true.

We can all regularly make improvements by remembering my SODA acronym . . .

Systematize
Organize
Delegate
Automate

One of the best systems or tools I’ve ever encountered for keeping track of information is Microsoft’s OneNote. Think of it has a system with an unlimited number of notebooks, an unlimited number of sections (and groups), an unlimited number of pages, and an unlimited size to all the pages.

Our latest product, The Best Life Navigator™, is built on OneNote. It’s a repository for all the information in your life. Here are just a few of the sections it contains:

  • CANI (Constant And Never-ending Improvement)
  • Finances
  • Goals
  • Inspiration
  • Journals
  • Network
  • Planning/Tracking
  • Projects . . . . and much more

Here are some examples of areas to consider developing or improving systems:

  • Filing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Marketing
  • Manufacturing
  • Mailing & Shipping
  • Events
  • Product Development
  • Storage
  • Hiring

What systems do you have? Have you ever listed the systems you have in place to help you achieve your goals?

Think. And then document what you do. Who? What? When? Where? Why? And how?

Shane Fielder, The Innovative Samurai says, “Never start something without a template”. Don’t re-invent wheels. And don’t start from scratch. Use templates. MS Office has tons of templates. Search for them online. Try them out. Save yourself time and effort. The Best Life Navigator is a template—a very thorough and advanced template for creating your ideal life.

Tools & Technology
It’s the same with tools. It’s all about leverage. A farmer with a tractor and a large plow is, of course, going to be able to accomplish much more than a man with a mule and a single-share plow.

So make sure you have the tools you need to get things done with more ease, accuracy and speed.

We must constantly be on the lookout to create and improve our systems and upgrade and replace outdated tools and technology.

Resources
The Best Life Navigator™ allows you to keep your personal and professional growth front and center. It has the tools you need for your success—all in one place.

Take Action

1. Get and start using OneNote and master it with www.SuccessNetRecommends.com/uim
2. Order The Best Life Navigator™ with Goal Planner
3. Create at least one new system this week

Please Tell Us What You Think
We’ve published this article and previous ones here on my Blog. Please add your comments, questions and suggestions at the bottom of the post. Your feedback is important. If you disagree with anything, say so. If you have questions, ask. If you have additional insights or resources, please share. I promise to read every one. Thank you.

Previous installments of this series are located here on my Blog.

1. Insufficient Desire
2. Lack of—or Erroneous—Beliefs
3. Confusion, Lack of Clarity
4. Lack of Focus and Concentration
5. Inadequate Support
6. Fear
7. Poor Tracking
8. Poor Disciplines, Bad Habits
9. Insufficient Planning

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Insufficient Planning (Number 9 in a 10-Part Series)

Goal PlannerA big reason why many people don’t reach their full and unique potential is they simply don’t plan well and leave too much up to chance.

Many people think you don’t need to figure out how you will achieve a goal. All you have to do is write it down and “attract” it.

I think that works some of the time. I’ve written things down that I wanted, put no effort into accomplishing them and sometimes never even thought about them again—until they happened.

So yes, I think there is some power in just being clear on what you want and expecting it.

But for important goals, I think your confidence and your expectation of achieving them go up dramatically when you’ve done the proper planning.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything”.

He understood that especially in the heat of battle, no plan is perfect. But planning does focus you on the process and can avoid many of the pitfalls and obstacles that can get in the way.

How do you set and plan your goals?

Do you decide on what you want and then hope it will happen? Do you write them down? Do you formulate a plan of action? Do you know the critical elements of that plan?

My experience has shown me that less than 3 percent of people have a written plan. And I’ve seen studies where only about 3 percent of people ever achieve any significant success.

Coincidence? Maybe, but I doubt it.

Does a clear, specific and well-thought-out plan guarantee success? No, it doesn’t. But I’d bet on the plan over the no-plan every time.

So if planning is so important, why don’t people do more of it? Here’s a few things that people let get in the way:

  • They’re not sold on the value
  • They aren’t sure how to do it
  • They’re too busy doing instead of thinking and planning
  • They think it’s too hard
  • They believe it’s dull and uninteresting

But none of these excuses match up to the many benefits of good planning.

One of the simplest and most powerful means of planning is to begin with the end in mind and work backwards. What will it take to create the outcome you envision? What has to happen to create the intended results?

Breaking the overall plan down into strategies and tactics creates more confidence. Having more confidence that your goal is achievable increases the likelihood you’ll take consistent action. Good planning allows you to determine and allocate resources and delegate certain components to move the project along faster.

A good plan enables you to be proactive, rather than reactive. It stimulates forward thinking, builds teamwork and expertise and helps establish and manage priorities.

Planning Resources:

What we came up with is a goal planning system. We then beta-tested it with our entire Diamond Club team and made further revisions. The result is The SuccessNet Goal Planner. And it’s a good one—a VERY good one.

We borrowed the best of the best, innovated, kept it simple and made it easy to use.

Here’s just some of what you’ll get from this system:

  • clarity on what you really want out of life
  • raise your belief as to what’s possible
  • more balance in your life
  • feel more confident and have more passion
  • prioritize your goals and work on what’s truly worthwhile
  • checklists to keep you on track, focused and consistent
  • access to other valuable resources
  • and much, much more . . .

You can learn more about the Goal Planner and get yours on this page . . .

However, for a limited time, The Goal Planner is included as a no-cost bonus when you order
The Best Life Navigator.

As I’ve often said, “Ideas are worthless. Intentions have no power. Plans are nothing . . . unless they are followed with action. Do it Now!”

Take Action

  1. Order The Best Life Navigator with Goal Planner
  2. Map out a plan for one of your top 3 goals
  3. Have someone you trust review it for clarity and effectiveness

Please Tell Us What You Think
I’ve published this article and previous ones here on my Blog. Please add your comments, questions and suggestions at the bottom of the post. Your feedback is important. If you disagree with anything, say so. If you have questions, ask. If you have additional insights or resources, please share. I promise to read every one. Thank you.

Previous installments of this series are located here on my Blog.

1. Insufficient Desire
2. Lack of—or Erroneous—Beliefs
3. Confusion, Lack of Clarity
4. Lack of Focus and Concentration
5. Inadequate Support
6. Fear
7. Poor Tracking
8. Poor Disciplines, Bad Habits

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Poor Habits & Destructive Disciplines (Number 8 in a 10-Part Series)

habitsThe eighth reason good people don’t always win is that they have destructive disciplines and unsupportive habits. Instead of their habits helping them, their habits make progress more difficult and, in some cases, sabotage their success altogether.

But as I’ve often said, if you develop the habits of success, you will make success a habit.

In this chapter of this series we’ll examine our habits—both helpful and not. Because I want you to get just how powerful and important good habits and proper discipline is when it comes to winning.

We’ll also examine some of the challenges to changing our habits and discover ways to replace those that don’t serve us.

And finally, we’ll encourage you to commit or re-commit to acquiring the habits needed to win and replacing those habits that keep us from living our best life.

But first some basic premises . . .

  • A Habit is a wonderful servant but a terrible master
  • Bad habits are easy to form but hard to live with.
  • Good habits are hard to form but easy to live with.
  • When you sow and act, you reap a habit. When you sow a habit, you reap a character.
  • And when you sow a character, you reap a destiny.
  • We need to work as hard on ourselves as we do at our job or on our goals.
  • We first make our habits; then our habits make us.
  • If you don’t conquer your bad habits, they’ll eventually conquer you.
  • Habits are at first cobwebs . . . then steel cables.
  • How you do anything is pretty much how you do everything.
  • Easier to replace a habit than eliminate one.
  • We have habits because they served us.
  • Everything matters.
  • What’s easy to do is also easy NOT to do.

“The beginning of a habit is like an invisible thread, but every time we repeat the act we strengthen the strand, add to it another filament, until it becomes a great cable and binds us irrevocably thought and act.”

—Orison Swett Marden

Obstacles

Here are some of the obstacles we must overcome in directing and changing our habits:

  • Change is usually hard
  • Ingrained brain patterns
  • Taking on too many at a time
  • Not realizing how powerful they are
  • Not having big enough reasons
  • Other people
  • Environment

Strategies for successfully changing habits and developing good disciplines:

  • Choose carefully
  • Don’t take on too many at a time
  • Be precise
  • Enhance your reasons for change
    • Exacerbate the pain ~ the cost of NOT changing
    • Pile on the benefits ~ elevate the payoffs
  • Make sure it’s worth it
  • Track your progress, be accountable
  • Celebrate your successes

One of the ways to explore habits you wish to change or install is to go through a More/Less, Start/Stop exercise. Simply answer these questions with as many things as you can think of:

  • What do you want to do more of?
  • What do you want to do less of?
  • What do you want to start doing?
  • What do you want to stop doing?

Something else you can do is to look at your top 3 goals and ask what habits and disciplines does their accomplishment require. Ask yourself what kind of a person do you need to become in order to achieve your most important goals? Because who you become is almost always more important than what you achieve.

Winning Habits
Here are a few of the winning habits of people who consistently win:

  • Urgency – Do It Now
  • Deciding quickly, and changing decisions slowly (if at all)
  • Good planning
  • Speaking positively, no complaining
  • Telling the truth, operating with integrity
  • Order

Habit Ideas
Here are some ideas for habits YOU might like to acquire, change or improve upon:

  • Daily vitamins
  • Up early
  • Be on time
  • Smile
  • Bragging/boasting
  • Plan your week on Sunday
  • Worry
  • Filing taxes on time, every time
  • Accounting up to date
  • Say affirmations daily
  • Prayer/meditation
  • Saving at least 10% of income
  • Practicing daily gratefuls
  • Wear seatbelt ALL the time

I’ve always appreciated this poem, although I have never been able to source the author. Do you know?

WHO AM I?

I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me,
And I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed; you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done,
And after a few lessons I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great men
And, alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine
Plus the intelligence of a man.
You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin;
It makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me
And I will put the world at your feet.
Be easy with me, and I will destroy you.
Who am I?
I am HABIT!

Aristotle wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

If you want to consistently win, achieve your most important goals and live your best life, you must cultivate the habits that work and shun those that don’t. Make your habits serve you and never be a servant of them.

Resources

  • The Best Life Navigator™ launches soon. It allows you to keep your personal and professional growth front and center. It has the tools you need for your success—all in one place.
    • The CANI (Constant And Never-ending Improvement) section deals with habits in general, Top Daily Habits, and has the Start/Stop, More/Less exercise.
  • Stay close to SuccessNet. We’ve been helping people and companies grow and prosper for nearly 20 years. Because if you consistently work on improving yourself, you will become someone who attracts success in all areas.
  • Phil Humbert’s eBook www.BetterHabits4aBetterLife.com

Take Action

  1. Decide on 3 habits to acquire or replace
  2. Make a action plan for accomplishment
  3. Start today

Please Tell Us What You Think
I’ve published this article and the previous one here on my Blog. Please add your comments, questions and suggestions at the bottom of the post. Your feedback and engagement is important. If you disagree with anything, say so. If you have questions, ask. If you have additional insights or resources, please share. I promise to read every one. Thank you.

By the way, you’ll gain even greater value from this series if you have a copy of my book, The Achievement Code: The 3C Formula for Getting What You Truly Want (available in print or Kindle). Details at www.TheAchievementCode.com

Previous installments of this series are located here on my Blog.

  1. Insufficient Desire
  2. Lack of—or Erroneous—Beliefs
  3. Confusion, Lack of Clarity
  4. Lack of Focus and Concentration
  5. Inadequate Support
  6. Fear
  7. Poor Tracking

 

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