I spend a lot of time discussing business tactics and leadership skills, but it all means nothing if my audience hasn’t made the conscious decision to show up, pay attention, and accept the fact that this could be the life-changing catalyst they’ve been waiting for. If there’s one thing that I want people to take away from my seminars and classes it’s that there are two ways to go about life: default and design.
When you live by default, you aren’t actually living at all. You’re merely going through the motions. People that live by default wake up every single day and let life happen to them. They do whatever it is they do because they have to, or because that’s the way they’ve always done it. Most don’t actively recognize what is going on. They just react and, one day, they will wake up from a life on autopilot and it’ll be too late to go back and change things.
Conversely, when you live by design, you are taking an active role in your life. You meet mornings with important questions like “What do I want to accomplish today?” and “How do I want to be as a leader/employee/parent?” They choose to prioritize their actions, placing significance on the ones that better align with who they want to be.
To achieve your goals and reach an entirely new level of happiness, you must live by design and not default.
Now, let’s go one step further and relate the concepts of design and default back to your business. If you’re looking at a graph of company profitability, it should not look like a roller coaster at an amusement park. There should be no major ebbs and flows. There may be fluctuations, but they should appear minor in comparison to the scope of your graph. To put it simply, you should not make $100,000.00 one month and $0.00 the next. That is the result of default— reacting to individual situations as they come without any concept of your goals or processes. Business is happening to you. You’re not happening to the business.
When you approach your business by design, you have the capability to troubleshoot key areas contributing to the major fluctuations in profitability. You can step back and analyze your funnel, determine the area with the biggest bleed, and begin the process of correcting it. Clearly define what you’d like to accomplish in relation to that sales funnel, and then act in a way that is conducive to accomplishing that task. Once you’ve succeeded, you’ll be able to re-evaluate your process and set out to improve the second biggest bleed. With time and concentrated effort, you should be able to decrease those ebbs and flows and you’ll have done it by design, not default.
I’ll leave you with one last thought about design and default. I know it is sometimes difficult to think or behave a certain way when our brains are biologically programmed to resist. They are meant to be a survival mechanism and, when you get down to it, surviving is not the same as thriving. We need to trick or trigger the brain to agree with our goals. The best way to do this is by leading with your body.
If you don’t want to get out of bed, do pushups. If you are having trouble paying attention to a lecture, lean forward in your seat and make eye contact with the speaker. Your body will understand your intent and communicate the message to your brain. Lead with your body and your mind will follow. The same holds true with design and default. Live by design and you’ll be amazed and what follows.