Have you tested and identified your limit?

Paul Engemann performed that song “Push it to the Limit” on the soundtrack to the movie Scarface, and it is a very catchy song.  Filled with sounds that just scream 80’s, I cannot help but to listen when it comes on.  The lyrics always bring to mind someone driving in a fast car on a long and open road.

speed-limitThis song came to mind tonight for me as I took one of my businesses to the next level.  My FBA business has been successful in dealing with some retail and online arbitrage here and there, but today I dove headfirst into the world of wholesaling.  I could have stayed in the area I was operating in, but I like to test the limit.  To be clear, I am not operating at the same level as many, many other sellers.  We all have to start somewhere, though.  I feel pretty good about it, but there is always that nagging feeling that I may fail.  To that I say, “SO WHAT?”

“Yeah, but not everyone has your drive.”

Oh, I know.  However, what if I told you that you don’t need to have my drive?  After all, what works for me may not work for you.  There is a basic framework that applies no matter who you are, or what your circumstances are.  It is so basic that you already know it!

  1. Identify
  2. Plan
  3. Implement
  4. Evaluate
  5. Repeat

The first step is to identify your goals.  Are you writing them down and looking at them from time to time?  I keep mine on a paper in my wallet.  After all, low-tech/no-tech is the new thing. 

Next, you must plan your steps so you are working towards your goal.  For me, and many other people, it helps to work your way backwards from your goal.  This helps me to confirm that I have not missed anything.  For example, if my goal is to be the CIO at my job, then it would help to identify the roles that would put me in line to achieve it.  Looking from the ground up may be tough as there are so many different paths.  However, if I look at the CIO role and recognize that the company prefers someone that has an MBA, and serves on the board for a charity, then it gives me something to work towards.

The third step is to implement the plan you have crafted.  Depending on who you ask, this may be the step that is most fun.  At this point you get to put into practice the steps you had identified previously.  Worth noting, though, is the fact that this step will require a great deal of patience.  Many schools offer accelerated MBA programs, but 18 months is still 18 months.

After all of this work, it is time to evaluate your current standing.  At this point, one of two things should happen: Adjust or Replace.  If you have not reached your goal then you have opportunities to continue leaning in that direction, so you adjust.  Perhaps you have accomplished your goal and it is time to set your sights on something else (replace).  Notice that maintain is not an option?  This is simply due to stagnation being the result of maintaining.

At this point, you are ready to begin the process anew.  Whether you have new or adjusted goals, it is time to begin planning how you will achieve them.

That was easy, wasn’t it?  Having served in the military, I have come to recognize that the only limit we have is ourselves.  If you are determined to accomplish something, then you will find a way to do it.

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