Friday, November 11, 2011

Book of the Week: The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success

Brain Tracy has quite possible written more about business than I have yet to read in my lifetime thus far. He has a long, successful history in sales, management, leadership. operations consulting, and public speaking. His 100 laws of business success are broken down into the following categories: life, success, business, leadership, money, selling, negotiating, and time management. I could easily write 10 posts on the book alone. Fantastic advice laced with personal anecdotes and practical action items. Great book for anyone in a managerial or leadership position.

Here are, in my judgement, the top 10 laws Brian Tracy discusses in this book:
  1. The Law of Expectations. Our beliefs about our successes or failures are often self-fulfilling prophecies. If we think we can, we will. If we think we can't, we won't. The most successful people in business have high expectations for themselves and their people. What do you expect?
  2. The Law of Control. Successful people have what is called an internal locus of control. External events, circumstances, and other people do not determine their attitude and orientation toward life. They listen first and foremost to the voice inside and, in doing so, are able to take charge of their lives. What controls your life?
  3. The Law of Compensation. You get what you put in. You reap what you sow. You will be compensated exactly as much as you are willing to work. In the words of Zig Ziglar, "You can get anything you want in life by helping other people get what they want." Successful people are not afraid to give excessively. They know that it pays off. How much are you contributing?
  4. The Law of Decision. Great business leaders are decisive. They are not always right, but they are always firm. They aren't wishy-washy, but are always moving forward. If they are wrong, they take feedback, self-correct, and move on. What have you decided lately?
  5. The Law of Persistence. Never give up. Probably the biggest cliche on this list, but true nonetheless. As Tracy says, success only means that you are willing to keep going longer than anyone else does. Successful people know that enduring in spite of setbacks will inevitably lead to success. You can only fail when you quit. Are you still going?
  6. The Law of Differentiation. Jack Welch is famous for saying that, if GE was not at least number 1 or number 2 in its industry, it would not compete. Being able to do what you do different and/or better than anyone else is key to success. If what you are selling is no different than anyone else, you are setting yourself up for a price war. More than that, though, you aren't contributing anything of value to your customers. Successful people aren't afraid to think outside the box and come up with a great competitive advantage. What makes you different?
  7. The Law of Integrity. Successful people have a high degree of integrity. They are truthful, honest, straightforward, reliable, and consistent. They live the life and practice what they preach. They act like people are always watching them and never try to "get away with" anything. Character is foundational. If you don't have that, then you can't be trusted with anything. How is your integrity?
  8. The Law of Abundance. There is no shortage of money to be made. The best way to understand this law is in contrast with the law of scarcity--which says that there's only so much to go around. If I make money, it means someone else is losing it. This belief is destructive and causes not to embrace their full potential due (falsely) to moral inhibitions. The reality is that, when you make money, you creaet more wealth in the economy, because what you are doing adds more value than you were paid (otherwise the person wouldn't pay you). Who can deny that we have more resources available today than we did 100, 50, or even 10 years ago. Technology attests to abundance. Don't feel guilty when you make money; rejoice that you are making the world better. Is guilt falsely holding you back?
  9. The Law of Trust. People buy from those they trust. Think about how you feel about telemarketers or salespeople. Why are you so quick to turn them down? Probably because you don't trust them--you assume selfish intentions on their part. That is why it is so important, in selling, to really get to know your customers--asking questions about their business and expressing genuine concern for their problems--before pitching your products. Successful people know that trust comes before revenue. Are you building trust?
  10. The Law of Clarity. Successful people do not think or act in generalities. They are specific and clear about the goals they seek to accomplish. Brian Tracy suggests making a list of your top 10 priorities. Then, find the most important thing on that list and move it to a separate list. For that priority, write down the specific steps you wish to take to accomplish that goal. Do the same for all other priorities. Successful people focus on getting specific things accomplished. Are you clear about your goals?

I challenge you to live for 1 month in such a way that demonstrates belief in these laws and see if your life does not change dramatically. What do you think? Can you do it?

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