Four Steps to Becoming an Outstanding Performer

Today is Wednesday, so this post is on outstanding performance.

If you read this blog with some regularity, you already know that I am a huge, no make that ginormous, fan of the new SUCCESS Magazine.  I love SUCCESS for many reasons.  In this post, I will discuss one of them.

The last page of the current issue is called “Action Plan: Turning Knowledge Into Power, 10 Actions You Can Take Right Now to Achieve More.”  Each of the actions on this page links to a story in the magazine.  I love this concept.  The Editors of SUCCESS not only provide great information in an easily readable format, on the last page of the magazine, they show readers how to apply the lessons contained in the issue.  As I’ve said before, if you’re not already a subscriber, you need to be.

Here are the first five suggestion in the Actions Plan…

  • “Cut the ribbon.  Write down five things you are passionate about.  Write two to three businesses that relate to each of those passions.  Pick two and research them to either test your dream job (page 34) or open your own business (page 50).
  • “Write your own check.  Do as Jim Carey did (page 11) and write yourself a check with a number you want to earn in a year.
  • “Get round.  Learn from Leland (page 28) and get well-rounded by developing contingency skills and knowledge.  Write down one skill you will start focusing on developing or improving.
  • "Failure training.  Write down one failure you had in your life and three things you learned from it (pages 25 and 32).
  • “Raise the bar.  Step toward your Olympic gold by ratcheting up your goals (page 40).  Take your most import goal and raise it by 10%.”

These are five pieces of great, common sense advice.  Notice that they all ask you to set a goal,  and then make a commitment in writing to achieving it. 

Goals are a key step toward outstanding performance.  Successful people set high goals.  Then they do whatever it takes to achieve them.  I find that the easiest way to keep my goals on track is to set milestones. 

I set goals annually.  Once I develop my goals for the year, I create quarterly milestones for myself.  In other words, I break my goals into four manageable chunks.  I determine what I will have accomplished by the end of the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter and year end. 

Milestones keep me focused.  They also give me reason to celebrate the small accomplishments along the way that will result in my achieving the goals I’ve set for myself. 

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned that one of my 2008 goals is to earn at least 33% of my income from web related activities.  One of my milestones was to get “Straight Talk for Success” on the market in the first quarter of 2008.  I made that one.

However, I’ve decided to put the fifth piece of advice from SUCCESS Magazine to work.  I am increasing this goal by 20%.  My new 2008 goal is to earn 40% of my 2008 income from web related activities.  I’ll keep you posted on how I’m doing.

There are a few common sense points here.  First, turn your knowledge into power.  Do this, by taking what you learn and applying it.  The back page of SUCCESS Magazine gives you a great template for doing this.  Second, write your goals – they are more real that way.  Third, set milestones.  They will keep you on track and moving towards achieving your goals and they will motivate you by giving you reasons to celebrate every time you accomplish one.  Fourth, go for it.  Challenge yourself by raising your goals.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense and to subscribe to my weekly newsletter “Common Sense.” 

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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