It was a year of hard knocks, for individuals and certainly for businesses, which struggled to survive as the COVID-19 pandemic spawned a weak economy that wreaked havoc on sales goals, performance goals, and profits.
But 2020 is now history and individuals and businesses both need to foster a new attitude if they hope to succeed, says Dr. Allen Lycka (www.drallenlycka.com), co-author of the international bestseller The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life.
“If there is one attribute that determines success, it’s tenacity,” says Lycka, who for three decades was a cosmetic dermatologist, but today is a transformational keynote speaker, thought leader, and life-changing coach.
“While intelligence, hard work, and skill are important, it is tenacity and perseverance that ultimately make the difference in achieving success. Businesses that show those traits are the ones that will do well.”
In the process, though, those businesses and the people who lead them may need to shove aside any lingering pessimism brought about by the pandemic, and dig deep inside themselves for the optimism that dwells there, Lycka says.
Lycka is convinced tenacity resides in everyone and it’s just a matter of bringing it out. He suggests a few ways to do so:
- Fix your belief system. Lycka says the No. 1 reason people give up – whether in business or other endeavors – is that they harbor false beliefs. They are certain that they can’t succeed because something – genetics, bad luck, some other factor beyond their control – is keeping them down. Businesses aren’t going to flourish with that type of fatalistic thinking, he says. He points out that in the bestselling book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell wrote that becoming expert at something takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. In other words, tenacity. Of course, “deliberate practice” is a specifically defined term that involves goal setting, quick feedback, and constant efforts at improving. “Integral to this is to have a written plan and goals,” Lycka says. “Goals are dreams with a deadline.”
- Be wary of naysayers. In business planning, as in life planning, it’s important to brush off the negative criticism from others. For example, someone determined to launch a new business might hear from naysayers that this is the wrong time or that the basic idea for the business is a bad one. “If you truly believe that your plan is a good one and that it’s what you want to do, then you should listen to yourself rather than others,” Lycka says.
- Look for role models. One way to summon your inner tenacity is to choose role models who exhibit the traits you admire. “If you have role models who are tenacious, you can pattern yourself after them,” Lycka says. For individuals, that can mean looking to successful people who overcame odds or persevered despite encountering failure along the way. For businesses, it can mean studying how their best competitors thrived despite difficulties, or how the entrepreneurs they admire shrugged off setbacks to accomplish success.
“Thankfully, we all have what it takes to be tenacious,” Lycka says. “You can always build up your resolve by using some of these tips, but don’t forget that it’s been there all along. Everything you need, you already have. Just have to recognize it and work at it.”
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