Sometimes you can write, or read, a very simple line and just let it pass you by.
It happens to the best of us. We’re wired to read a book (or an email for that matter) as quickly as possible, as if the most important objective is to finish it rather than to study it and draw from the pearls of wisdom within it.
Not all books are created equal of course. Some should be just read rather than studied, like those written for entertainment and escapism rather than self-education.
Most people don’t buy self-educating books. You can tell by the way they think, speak and behave. You can also tell by their results. New results aren’t born of old habits. They never can be. You can’t draw a new effect out of an old cause.
Rather obvious when made as a statement. Not so obvious to live into given how most human beings operate.
After all these years I’m still baffled when I meet a business owner who doesn’t invest in their own self-education. There’s a person still none the wiser that their business, income and quality of life is determined by how big they are on the inside.
Life is an inside-out job, in every sense of the word.
Want a bigger and better income? Become a bigger and better version of yourself. Want to grow a thriving and astonishingly profitable business? Become a bigger and better version of yourself.
And the only way you’ll ever do that is to self-educate.
Self-education is the antithesis of ignorance. It brings light to where there was only darkness. It brings insight to where there was only blindness, awareness to where there was previously none.
It makes the unconscious, conscious.
That’s the only way to sustainably break a habit and what we allow to happen habitually in our lives determines whether we experience success, struggle and/or failure.
A while ago, I wrote one of those lines that can easily be read but not really grasped and understood. I wrote, “success is nothing more than replacing habits that don’t serve you in terms of generating the results you’d like to have in life, with habits that do“.
For example, my days begin early, at 4.45am. By 5.25am, I’m on my bike traveling up to Malvern for my thrice-weekly personal training sessions. I do this every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It’s been this way for a number of years now…and I’m rigidly disciplined in it to the point there’s no “shall I or shan’t I” debate inside my head.
It’s now a given.
It hasn’t always been this way. God, no. There was a time in my life when I was far more disciplined in habits that achieved the very opposite outcome – not exercising regularly while simultaneously consuming copious amounts of belt-busting food and alcohol.
And guess what? Back then, I got results I didn’t want. I didn’t want to be a lard-arse. How Mr. Tubby looked on the outside didn’t reflect who I was on the inside.
But that’s not true is it? The truth is, it did. It couldn’t be any other way. What’s going on on the inside is always reflected on the outside and even though I wanted to be much slimmer, back then, like it or not, I was the quintessential fat bastard. All 18 stone (252lbs) of me.
I’m not kidding. Take a gander at this if you don’t believe me. The round-faced skinhead with head like a tennis ball sitting next to my father is, indeed, yours truly.
Most people who’ve seen the photo are shocked by it. That’s because I look very different today. So I should, a third of me isn’t there anymore. And that’s only because there’s a lot more of me…on the inside.
The only reason there’s a lot more of me on the inside is because, within a year or so of that photo, I started to self-educate at a level that made a difference.
Consequently, I started to behave very differently in many areas of my life.
I was no longer chained to habits that didn’t serve me.
I started to pay attention to what I was sticking down my throat. I didn’t do it alone. I hired a personal trainer. I invested in a professionally trained life coach. And within a year I weighed in at 12 stone 6lbs (176lbs). The year after my business performance went from £4 million to £64 million. And a short time later I walked away from a 19-year corporate career to run my own business and live into my purpose.
All of which was achieved by getting bigger on the inside. Only then was I equipped to replace habits that didn’t serve me (in terms of the results I desired) with habits that did. You cannot change what you’re not aware of and we’re not aware of a lot more than we like to think we are.
You don’t know what you don’t know.
Exactly the same principles apply to your business. If it’s not generating the kind of results you’d like to see, the problem’s not the business – the problem’s you and your habits – the habitual way you think and act.
If you’re going to break habits which bind you to results you’d rather not have in your life, you’ve got to seize opportunities that equip you to do it. You need a supportive environment and skilled expertise who’ve proven, by their results, they’re very well qualified to help you do it.
In business, such opportunities are rare.
Enjoy your day.
Christian Simpson is the UK’s leading coach and mentor to business owners and entrepreneurs. For COMPLIMENTARY ACCESS to tried, tested and proven entrepreneurial success strategies, click here