Every year, the co-founders of the Academy share a year-end message to the Membership. To me, it is always a breath of fresh air and I thought that our many blog subscribers might enjoy it as well.
Happy New Year!
ON YOUR MARK, GET SET… STOP!
We’ve all heard the first part of this phrase before. In fact, young children can even finish it when prompted. However, as we end 2011 and get ready for the new year, we invite you to take a moment and STOP! That’s right, STOP. Take some quiet time and reflect on the past 12 months. Sure, we’ve all heard we should review our goals, failures and triumphs, but what does that really mean? Well, we believe there are some critical elements you’ll want to look at as you get ready for 2012.
Last year we mentioned three things we think are crucial to your sustainable success: Influence, Action and Resolve. Now is a perfect time to evaluate and reflect on these values.
How did you influence others and what or who influenced you? Who did you hang out with? Did you replace any of those naysayers and pessimists who have brought you down or tried to kill your dreams? What books, magazines, TV shows, movies and radio stations did you allow into your life? Did they uplift and inspire you or were you surrounded by a bubble of negativity? As long as we’re looking at influence, what impact did you have on others? Were you an example of the virtues you look for in others? Did you keep your word, arrive at appointments on time and create a transformational experience that changed people’s lives? We encourage Members to think about how you fulfill your leadership role to those around you—family, friends, staff, clients and prospects. This can make a world of difference for everyone in your universe. Remember, peoples’ views and attitudes are contagious, and you’re in the perfect position to profoundly impact many different groups. We encourage you to take on this leadership role and use it wisely.
Next, look at your actions. In the past year, did you take deliberate action to further your goals? In the Academy Peak Performer program, we stress daily action steps in pursuit of your goals, and it is always coupled with accountability. We require Peak Members to report to us and the group daily on their progress. We’ve found that without publicly declaring your goals, finding an accountability partner and actively building structures in your life you have little chance of success. So we ask you, who is holding you accountable for your actions? In many respects the entrepreneur’s life is a lonely one with no natural checks and balances other than the indifferent marketplace.
We believe the foundation of action is integrity. No, not integrity in a moral sense, but integrity as a precursor to workability. Just like a ship has “water tight integrity” to insure the vessel stays afloat, did you demonstrate integrity by honoring your word, doing what you said you would do? We all have a funny way of distorting reality to get us off the hook. It’s often been said that we judge ourselves on our intentions, but others judge us on our actions. Look back on your actions this past year and identify those areas where you substituted your intentions for solid, real action. In many ways our lives resemble a defendant standing before the judge who pleads “guilty with an explanation.” I intended to do that, but… (fill in the excuse of your choice).
But none of it matters if your resolve is not there. Remember, if it was easy everyone would build a successful business. Expect the challenges because they are surely coming. Remain disciplined as you face the inevitable problems which confront all business owners. Be willing to go that extra lonely mile that most never walk. It can incorporate everything from taking the time to strategically plan your year to the extra effort involved in improving your skills as a counselor, manager and leader.
However, as we stressed this year everything becomes easier and is enhanced when you know your WHY. Why do you do what you do? When you strip away the money and the status, what really lights you up every day? When you identify it, we’re sure it will energize you, sustain you and provide the impetus to seize the opportunities in your marketplace. With a clear vision of your firm, you can move confidently into 2012 and you will not be alone. You will be surrounded by the care and support of the Academy and your colleagues around the country. It reminds us of the wonderful quote by Basil King, “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”
We continue to marvel at the collective success of Academy Members and remain humbled by our affiliation with such an amazing group! On behalf of the entire Academy team, we wish you a great holiday season and a prosperous New Year!
ON YOUR MARK, GET SET… GO!
To your success,
Robert and Sandy
Robert Armstrong and Sanford M. Fisch
Co-Founders of The American Academy & Co-Authors of The E-Myth Attorney
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128