How Following Through Is the Single Thing You Need to do to Find Success
As an entrepreneur mentor, I've coached thousands of busy mom's. I've discovered the #1 thing you need to be successful and why it's not too late to start now.
“I can give you a six-word formula for success: "Think things through - then follow through.” Sir Walter Scott
We all have a lot of great business ideas, needs and wants. Some of us seem to have all the luck and get all of their wishes fulfilled, while some seem to be satisfied with status quo and never achieve their dreams. The difference between the haves and have-nots is the follow through.
Last summer my girlfriend fulfilled a lifelong dream of living in Paris. Without even really knowing it, this was one of my life-long dreams. The difference is that she planned for her month in the City of Lights and she had the gumption to make it happen.
“Follow through” is what makes the difference in making dreams (or even just cool stuff) happen. We have great ideas, all of us; but what are you following through on? What are you consistently working towards? It may not be a month in Paris exploring the city; rather, it may be something simple. Where you spend your time and energy is where you will find success. Period.
Following through does not mean making one single attempt and then giving up. If you are trying to land your dream client will you reach out one time and then think “well, I tried”. No! That wouldn't get your client for you!
Jane Wurwand and her husband of Dermologica, the world’s number one skin care line, worked with 78 different technicians before finding the right product.
Ariana Huffington, you know the Founder of The Hufffington Post, contacted 48 different publishers before getting her first book deal. Following through is being passionate enough about your dream and goal to be consistent with the effort required to make it happen.
Following through on your dreams and goals also means following up. Here are 3 ways I follow up:
1. The Friendly Follow Up
When I send a reminder email, text or call I actually state "This is your friendly reminder to xx". I want the person that I am talking with to feel confident talking with me and not to feel guilty about not following through themselves. I know that we all have lots and lots of things happening, we have many reasons we get sidetracked and I am okay with that. I am simply reminding them to focus on me and my needs for the moment. When the timing is correct, they will come back through. Your friendly reminders will help keep your needs at the forefront.
2. Putting a Process Behind My Relationship Management
Oh goodness, don't run away from the technical necessary evil stuff. Just hear me out.
When I was younger, like 20, I would call my brother and sister-in-law on a regular basis "just to say hi". I told them it was friendly message to let them know I was thinking of them, they didn't even have to call me back. I would call them every couple of weeks or even months and on occasion, I would get a call back. I do the same with my friends. I am that loyal kind. And I honestly don't get upset if you don't call me back. I just don't take it personal and I keep it up. I apply the same principles with my work relationships. I develop meaningful relationships as I work next to someone and I want to continue that even when our work doesn't proceed forward.
This past year as an entrepreneur mentor, my business started to get busier and busier, I am not going to lie, developing and maintaining relationships started coming at a faster pace than I have ever worked with. I am pleased, of course. I started using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool called Insightly. The number of emails I am sending was getting out of control. Even with loads of categories and folders, you / one can't organize the workload in an email system. Then with the birth of the podcast, I am putting many interview invitations out there. I needed a manner to help me remember who exactly I have invited, a reminder to follow up and a note to follow up after the interview has occurred. Everyone I talk to, I want them to be connected with me and I them. How do I manage it? I keep track (not perfect track but good enough) of the people I am working within Insightly. It's actually quite amazing. What was that movie line? "Set it and forget it." All the emails I send out to a particular person are saved under their contact information. I can then categorize them which I sometimes do. Ideally, I would do create this designation to say it's a Mompreneur on Fire contact or a Consulting Contact. I don't - I just use my notes to remember. Then, my favorite part, is to set up Tasks for when I need to follow up with them. Then I can "set it and forget it". I get a reminder in my email, as I choose, to let me know today is the day to send a quick note!
I love it. It makes my life that much easier. I need the friendly reminders too!
3. Be Thoughtful (And Here's How)
You know there are studies that show how that pharmaceutical sales methods of bringing lunches and hosting dinners is directly related to the increase of a prescription drug sales. It's not surprising. The doctors learn more when the sales reps are around and are politely, kindly following up all. the. time.
- Are you close enough to bring coffee?
- Can you pop on over to just say Hi?
- Can you shoot them a text or an idea?
- Can you find them the drycleaner they were searching for?
- Can you recommend them to someone else?
Follow through on what you say you're going to do. Follow through on the relationship. Be that friend even when you are busy. It's appreciated and will help you full circle.