In the first instalment of my Five-Step MALARD System for Success, we looked at how the right mindset is fundamental for achieving real and lasting success. Last week, in ‘episode two’, we introduced the value that comes from active learning – the additional benefits that we receive by showing interest and being conscious about what we put into our heads. In this third instalment, we move our attention onto our ‘Activity’, which is to take the right mindset and what we have learned through active learning, and take decisive steps to implement our designs and strategy. 

As enticing as it might be to learn something new and then put it straight into practice, this is not the way to achieve success. An educated fool is still a fool, and so by having established the right mindset and starting to absorb the best learning, we next need to plan our approach to our business-building activities. Planning is important, but success comes from ‘doing’, and so we must consider two distinct elements in terms of our activity:

When I have a goal that I want to achieve, I tend to ask myself these following seven questions:

1. What do I want to achieve?

2. By when do I want to achieve it?

3. What do I already know that will help me achieve this objective?

4. What more do I need to learn?

5. Who could help me achieve this objective?

6. How do I intend to achieve the objective in its given timeframe?

7. How will I test my success?

These seven questions provoke broad thinking into what needs to be considered during the planning stage so that there is the greatest possible outcome from the activity. The key objective is to have the Planning stage inform the Doing stage and not sabotage it. Make sure to write plenty of notes so you have a point of reference, going forward, with your activity. The more specific we can be in the planning stage, the better. Specifics are good, endless hours spent writing specifics are bad. Collate your planning decisions in a journal or e-document so that you have a point of reference for going into the next phase.

For the second part of this stage, we simply put our plan into practice. Take notes as you go along. If you speak with prospective customers, make sure you make a note of any worthwhile information they give you that could help direct (and grow) your business. We fall short of looking into the specifics of qualitative and quantitative measures here, but if you would like to go a little deeper, then my book, The Unstoppable Entrepreneur, is a great place to start. #TotallyNotBiased. You can access it here in paperback from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2S9uxwX.

The Activity stage is arguably the most important step within these five stages, but by the time we start putting our plans into action, we need to allow the process to evolve naturally, which means becoming less controlling over the process. As uncomfortable as this may be for you, you need to trust the process. If there are mistakes—and we all make them—then be glad you have identified them. Now you can correct them. The more determined we are to run a precise plan, the less true our findings will become. Rigidity negates creativity, and creativity sits within the Growth Mindset. Be mindful of your objective, less so on the means of achieving it. Often, it is the unexpected opportunities that present themselves that can lead to the most rewarding results. Remember to pursue them when they show up!

To continue learning about how to implement the best activity, you can download the ‘Five-Step MALARD System for Success’ here for free: https://bit.ly/3iOo3zh.

artwork provided thru Unsplash:
person sleeping on a sofa by a wall: the creative exchange
the marketplace: Mael Balland

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