I love Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich. If you’ve missed this classic, grab a copy from the library. Hill interviewed the capitalist kings (the great Robber Barons of the early 1900s) to discover the secret behind their enormous success. What he discovered were common actions, habits, traits and perspectives which, Hill believed, could enable anyone to change his/her fortune if adopted.
While the book is a classic, I think Hill left something important out of the title. It’s not just enough to think. To make things happen, you’ve got to act.
When I speak to audiences about social media and business marketing, I’m thrilled when people buy my books and sign up for coaching. Yet all too often, when I check back with the same people six months or a year later, I find they have yet to act on what they’ve learned. Predictably, no change has occurred.
Strategic, deliberate action based on a clear idea of what you want to accomplish lies at the heart of every personal and professional success. Thinking about it isn’t enough—you must DO something to make change happen.
All action begins with a thought, and when the thought sets an intention, change is set in motion. When you set an intention, you move beyond wishing and wanting and make a clarative statement to the universe about what you will into existence. This is powerful stuff. Many mythologies tell us that the universe itself began with a word spoken with intent. Intention, combined with thought and action, yields amazing results.
Begin by stating your intention. Be clear, and declare what you want. For example, don’t just say, “I want to be rich.” Craft an intention that charts your course, something like, “I intent to reach the million-dollar mark for my company by (date).”
Take the next step by defining your goals. Prioritize what you want, and be specific. Next, determine what the critical path of actions must be to achieve your goals. There is usually a sequence of key events that have to happen in a certain order to make an outcome happen. Map it out—step one, step two, and so on.
Then, set a timeline. Something almost magical happens when a desired outcome acquires a due date. Now, it is an appointment to be kept, a deadline to be met, and not just a squishy wish.
Figure out your Plan B. While things don’t always go smoothly, chance favors the prepared. If something interrupts your critical path or delays your timeline, what are your alternatives?
When you think through your goals and act with intent, you become unstoppable. What intention will you set today?