Look to the Left. Look to the Right – How to Inspire Success Every Single Day

Have you ever noticed the phenomenon that when someone else is complaining about something, that it just feels darn good to pipe in?  And before you know it, you’ve spent the full hour commiserating and complaining.  And while in the short term, it feels amazing, in the long-term you just stay in the same cycle of complaining.  Don’t get me wrong – I love a good old complaining session.  And I do my fare share of ranting and whining (you can ask my boyfriend for details on that one).  But I’ve learned to try and contain my ranting – namely because much of my success in the last two years has come from me utilizing the principle of “playing up”.  I grew up playing tennis.  And the rule of thumb is that whenever you play against someone who is significantly better than you – you get better and you get better fast!  Furthermore, if you hang out with those people, you learn their discipline, their focus and their strategies for being amazing players.  I remember the first time I “played up”.  My ego was crushed.  I swung and missed – literally.  Over and over again.  But there was no complaining, namely because they didn’t complain.  And there was no fooling around.  It was the first time I spent considerable time in the weight room and training aerobically.  I had my best season ever that year. I was unstoppable.

Many of you who came to the live event in June know that “unstoppable” is my 2011 theme for myself and my clients.   Here’s the thing.  Many of you are surrounding yourself with family, friends and colleagues that are literally pulling you down.  You might not even realize it, but those little comments, distracting phone calls and unreasonable requests are killing your mindset and your focus.  It is all those slight negative comments that will keep you from being persistent and tenacious – two keys to success.  The five people that you surround yourself with either physically or virtually will influence your success more than you realize.  And the best strategy you can use is to “play up” – consciously choose those that you surround yourself with and influence you.

Here are three keys to “playing up” in your business and your life .  Playing up is one my core “unstoppable” strategies.  Try it.  You’ll make the next six month the best ones yet.

1.  Get real and evaluate who you are talking to on a regular basis and what you are talking about. Do you find yourself constantly listening to or adding to complaints about money, not having enough time or gossiping about others?  Realize that while the economy is down, talking about how no one has money just isn’t helpful.  And it isn’t true.  Also, we all have the same number of hours in a day.  Complaining about our we just don’t have enough is not nearly as useful as problem-solving to figure out what you can let go of.  So the gist is, get real with yourself about the people in your life that are helping the situation and those that are not.  If you are surrounding yourself with people who are openly complaining about money – there is no real inspiration for you to find more money.  If you are constantly defending your business – there is no real inspiration for you to grow it.  If you are constantly dealing with distracting phone calls or interruptions – there is no way you can hunker down and grow your business.

And here’s the kicker – a true coaching moment, hard but true.  Take a minute and evaluate the success of your closest friends.  Are they where you want to be?  Even if they are super supportive and loving, you need people in your life who are inspiring and playing a big game.  You need people who are making the money you want to make, living the lifestyle you want to live,  in the relationships you want to have.  Even if is just one person, you need someone who reminds you to “play up”.

It can also work the other way around.  Introduce me to your five closest friends (or people that you speak with regularly) and I can tell you where you stand around money,relationships and lifestyle.

2. Take action to reduce or eliminate what isn’t working. I’m not insisting that you dump your friends.  But what does help is a combination of reducing what isn’t working and adding what does work.  For example, if you talk to a girlfriend every day who is constantly complaining about how men suck and life is hard – you might want to reduce those conversations to a couple of times a week.  Or you might just want to shift the conversation to something more positive.  But be careful about how much “free coaching” you do in your off hours!  That free coaching can be very draining.  If your partner constantly talks and worries about money, it might make sense to have a conversation with him about only talking about finances once a week in a one hour meeting where you both can look at money constructively.  If your coaching buddy or accountability partner can’t seem to get out of negativity and worry, it might be time to find a new partner.  Be like a laser with those that you spend time with, listen to and learn from.  Know that your time is incredibly valuable.  Fill it with people who are playing a bigger game than you.  Those that inspire you to “play up” at the next level.

3. Find those that are playing a bigger game than you and connect with them regularly. In the beginning this might be just following the newsletters of mentors or those in your field that have demonstrated a level of success.  The next step is consciously meeting friends or colleagues that are inspiring.  Try to have a once a week lunch or phone meeting with a woman who you have met at a networking event or business conference who you think is really kicking it.  Yes, you’ll  have to create this meeting in your to-do list to make sure it happens.  But it is worth it for the inspiration, challenge and accountability.

The next level is to join or create a high-level group of people that influence you to move to the next level. Often these groups are called masterminds.    For example, I run a platinum mastermind program with 13 amazing  clients (there are 2 spots open).  The members regularly speak to one another and support one another in their businesses.  When one of them has a a major success, it elevates the whole group.  Our weekend intensives are ripe with conversations, inspirations and strategy.  Everyone plays better after those weekends.

I’m also a member of a mastermind with my own coach and I am constantly challenged by my peers to go to the next level.  It has been an amazing component of my own success.

So take a moment this week and evaluate who is in your life and the quality of conversations that you are having.  Especially pay attention if you intend on taking your business to the next level.  Where are you joining in on the complaining or feeling complacent with being at everyone else’s level?  Where could you step into being bigger, more challenged and more successful by surrounding yourself with different people?  Make the commitment to take the next few months to find those that invite you to “play up”.  It might not feel so good on your ego, but it will be great for your business.

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