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Bridging the Victory Gap: 6 Steps to Massive Results (Part 3)

by Warren Coughlin

Now that we know about the Critical Victory Factors that allow businesses to bridge the Victory Gap and the 6 Steps in which those CVF's become applied, where do we begin in our journey to accelerate the growth of your business. The answer, as uncomfortable as it may feel, is in the mirror. To get through the Mastery level with momentum that will sustain us in the climb up the 6 Steps, the business owner must have a success mindset. I can show you all the marketing, sales and team building techniques in the world, but if you fundamentally don't believe in yourself, in the techniques or in your business, the result is predictable.

Allow me to share two stories with you. A company hired a sales representative who succeeded in growing her territory to the point where she was generating $50,000 in commissions. The company gave her a promotion to a larger territory. She cratered. They demoted her and gave her a smaller territory. She succeeded in growing that territory to the point where she was, once more, generating $50,000 in commissions. Again, they promoted her. Again, she cratered. One of my colleagues worked with her and, in short order, found out that her father had only made $50,000 in salary and she felt guilty about making more than her father. It was a classic case of self sabotage.

One of my clients employed a marketing technique that we developed and succeeded in generating a number of leads. A week later he had not followed up on them. After a number of explanations and rationalizations, I asked him what he thought about salespeople. Without hesitation, he recited a laundry list of reprehensible qualities of salespeople. When it was pointed out to him that this perception might interfere with his own ability to sell, it was like a light bulb went on. By thinking about salespeople in a new light, it allowed him to feel comfortable applying the sales techniques he already knew.

So what is the difference between those that are highly successful and those that are not? Is it that only successful people are talented, smart, hard working and know all the right people?

Clearly not. Many unsuccessful people have all of these traits and still remain short of their goals. As the examples above illustrate, the beliefs and attitudes of the business owner will determine how far and how quickly the business evolves.

Consequently, you must be your most important business project . As such, you should be investing significantly in yourself. This includes reading books, examining your strengths and weaknesses, setting development goals for yourself, seeking outside advice, tracking your own personal development and getting a mentor to keep you on track. You probably spend plenty of time and money developing and maintaining your business's physical assets. How much time and money do you spend on developing yourself? By this, I don't mean you must go to a group and share your feelings. Instead, I ask what concrete steps will help you change the way you think so you generate the results from your business that you seek.

There is much to say about success mindset; more than can be shared here. But one of the best places to start is to examine the questions we ask of ourselves. The reason is simple. The results we get are a direct result of the actions we take. The actions we take are a function of the decisions we make. And our decisions flow from the questions we ask.

All of us face difficulties in our lives that seemingly impede our progress. For those of us that ask questions such as “Why Me?”, or “Why Does This Always Happen?”, progress becomes hard. However, for those who ask questions like “How can I turn this situation around?”, or “Who can I talk with to find a better solution” or “What is in this seemingly poor situation that will help me move forward”, solutions come more quickly.

You are probably familiar with the fact that Post It notes were the result of a 3M researcher trying to discover a super glue that had incredible strength to bond objects permanently together. Certainly the glue used on Post It notes does not hold strongly or permanently, but by asking “What would this glue be good for?”, 3M was able to come up with a wildly successful and profitable product.

Asking the right questions has a lot to do with goal setting and hitting inspiring targets. When we don't set goals, we ask those limiting questions. They provide a backward looking view that keeps us mired in past levels of success and experience.  Worse, they put the responsibility for what happens to us on external factors rather than on ourselves (where the real ownership of success or failure lies)

But when we begin by asking motivating and empowering questions about what we want to achieve and why, we wind up developing goals. By setting targets for success, we are then forced to ask ourselves how we will achieve them. By making our goals specific, measurable, achievable, results focused and time bound, we are able to see possibilities, having the affect of shifting our beliefs and attitudes toward our own potential. When we see the potential within ourselves and our businesses, we gain the confidence and energy to successfully climb the 6 Steps.

So, what questions are you asking?

To learn more about how business coaching can accelerate your businesses growth, email Warren at


To get past the Mastery level and begin climbing the 6 Steps, developing a success mindset is critical.
While there are many elements of such a mindset, one of the important starting points is changing the questions we ask ourselves.

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