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What is more of a motivating force for YOU? What is it that drives you? Why do you get up in the morning and put yourself out there over and over again? Is it passion? Is it fear? Calling? Success? Are you more scared of succeeding or failing? What does it for you? What is the driving force in your life?

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You have to be willing to ask the hard questions, address them, fix the problem to really achieve success. Success is not built on the amount of money you toss at a problem, success is defined by the execution of your plans in correcting a problem. Find the things you are good at, and become great at them, be willing to address your weaknesses and not cover them up or mask them. Surround yourself with people who are better than you at things, so your team can be a monster.

Just some thoughts I had last night when I saw this ad:

We are working on marketing plans today. The music industry is in a weird place and we have to be so intentional in what we do…everyday.

Executing plans and achieving success does not happen by chance, it is not an accident. You must have a purpose. Laser Focus. You must be direct. Manage expectations, mange the components. There is no such thing as an overnight success. It takes years and years of small victories. One small step building on another creating momentum. I love to hear people talk about the overnight success stories. These are stories that take 10 years to create. You never hear about the false starts, the failures, the turmoil. 

Create a plan. Run it through the purpose filter of your organization. Make sure everyone understands the goal, purpose, and expectations. Move from there to action points and manage those levels. 

Success does not have to be difficult, but you do have to be intentional.

 

Everyone says they want to succeed. But do they? Do you? Do we? Here is the thing. We all have gimmicks, we have heard stories, blah blah blah. I am in a meeting today about sales at Christian retail. I will report on that later. But here is the deal. If you want to be successful it takes more than prayer, anointing, a great product, a clever campaign, a slick idea. It is more than the “big idea”, is it more than a website, opening the doors, etc. AT THE END OF THE DAY YOU HAVE TO WORK! WORK. You can pray all day, you can think all day, you can plan all day, you can hope all day, but if you want to see it really happen…WORK. Hard work is the key to any and every successful venture. HERE IS A LINK ABOUT RYAN SEACREST. Love him or hate him, that is not the issue, Ryan Seacrest (who is no the new issue of Details magazine) works hard. He is now successful because of this. Does he plan, yes. Stragety…check. meetings…of course. But at the end of the day he WORKS HARD. Check out the article and see how hard. In trying times, hard work will get you a long way…LAZY DAYS OUT!details-april-cover__opt.jpgp.s. I need this shirt! 

“I can’t give you a surefire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” –Herbert Bayard Swope, first recipient of the Pulitzer Prize

Relationships are a funny thing. The rules for relationships seem to be very muddy. What some consider the code of conduct others consider rude. It is interesting how unique and difficult these roads can become for people. The easy answer is to “live above relationships” which means you isolate yourself and the ones you love from anything deep or meaningful. Rather than sharing and caring you coexist. Relationships always bread hurt and dissapointment, but the really good ones strive in those times and grow into life long treasures. If you want to enjoy the best of relationships, dig in, go deep, embrace the pain, and let yourself slip into deep levels of caring…you WILL get hurt, but you will also end up with some GREAT people who you know you can trust and share life with…in time. 

My first real job in the music business was as a temporary employee at Word Distribution. Word was going through a very rough time and needed help answering phones. My first job was answering the phone when someone had been on hold for 90 plus minutes and asking them if I could have their name and number so we could return the call. Very sexy I know. There is a ton of blogs about leadership and solutions that could come out of that adventure but we will save those for another day. During my 15 months at Word I got a chance to meet a lot of good and interesting people. When the news broke about me returning to the music business, several of these people contacted me to congratulate me and tell me they missed me. When I was a temp there was a VP named Dean who was really good at his job. I was just a temp, I had no clue he even really would ever remember me. The day the email went out Dean tracked me down and told me how excited he was that we would work on the same team now…he is our man at Provident and we will be working VERY closely together. Dean gets relationships. The little temp guy was now the director of marketing and the guy he could have easily forgotten he remembered and not only remembered but reached out to on that day. Very cool.

Relationships always come back around, that is why you should be careful how you leave them. I am struggling with this right now as we speak. I have some relationships that are driving me crazy. When you lose “things in common” with people or change teams, it becomes easy to be sidestepped, devalued, or seemingly forgotten. It is also easy to do this to people. Do your best to maintain relationships, because they always come back around. One day the people you and I have pushed aside may just become the people who can help you, promote you, make you better, or at the worst, encourage you in the next chapter of your life.  

Treat people the way you would want to be treated, even if it hurts. 

2 simple keys to making things you do successful: 

  1.  keep it simple. remove the flowers, the buttons, the bells, lights and whistles. lowest common denominator and that is your best bet.
  2.  don’t hide what you are doing. make it easy to get to, to see, to experience, and to enjoy.

i was reading tonight about how design is going even more simple. think of the power of craigs list…can’t get much more simple than that. also, this blog is a great example of hiding things. When i had myspace and created an easy transition for my “friends” to see my blog, I was well over 100 views a day. When I promoted this blog on the church website and myspace…views by the pound. now, because you have to work a little harder to get here, the views are not as frequent. 

have a great week. Here we go. 2007 is on the downhill slide. 2008 holds a lot of new things for a lot of people. it will be interesting to see how life unfolds.

Tonight was a great night. I got a chance to watch like 4 basketball games today. I saw Duke kill Michigan, 2 high school games and then the mavs game tonight. I am a basketball head but here are some things that stuck out to me today as I was watching these games: 

  •  you can have more talent on your team but without the right coaching, leadership, chemistry, and trust a lesser team can beat you any night of the week.
  • regardless of how big a person is (ego, personality, talent, skill, whatever) they can only carry the team so far. It takes more than just one person, and if your “team” is built on one person what happens when that person leaves or falls?
  • the best players are those who make the people around them better. 
  • nothing is as sweet as a win, regardless of its size. 
  • it takes a plan to win. you can not rest on your talent, you have to have a plan and execute that plan without faults in order to succeed. 
  • there is never a good loss, but you can have an ugly win. 
  • if you do not execute on the fundamentals of life, business, relationship, you will never be able to see them succeed on the next level. 
  • everyone is important to a team, from the workhorse rebounder to the superstar shooter. You can not win with to many of either on your team. at the same time, neither can win without the other.

level 5 leaders build teams that can not be stopped. they build dynastys. what type of player are you? what do you do to contribute to the team, and what kind of team are you playing on?

What a week! For those who don’t know, and I apologize in advance if this is how you are finding out, Jackie and I will be loading up the kids and all our stuff and moving to Mobile, AL. We have accepted a job @ Integrity music where I will be directing a wonderful marketing department. So this entire week has been spent in Mobile looking for a place to live, schools, trying to meet some people, getting set in and trying to get ready for this life shift that will take place in three weeks. If you have questions call or email me, its all good. 

I did want to leave you with this for today…as I was sitting in chapel on Wednesday morning, the speaker was discussing the need to  be always moving forward as people, organizations and movements. The biggest mistake that can keep us from moving forward is becoming so attached to our methods that we substitute our methods for our practices. Let me explain. Practices are the core of why we do what we do. Methods are the vehicles by which we achieve results. As life moves it is important to make sure that as a person, leader, group, organization, or movement, you are moving forward and influencing new people. As we move forward in life, we have to always hold on to our DNA, our convictions, values, history, and experiences. However, those are part of our practices. What we can not become married to is our methods. Methods should always be changing. How we do what we do needs to continually morph and grow and challenge, and expand. We become comfortable with our methods in success and thus lose the desire or start to think we do not need to continue to look for the next wave of how to do what we do really well. This theory applies across the board, however, churches deal with it the most. Often times methods become traditions or sacred cows.

What methods are you using that stopped working a yesterday, a week ago, a month ago or longer? 12-27 year olds, the “millennial” generation, are the largest population in history. If you want to succeed long term, and leave something that lasts, we had better start asking ourselves how to meet the needs of THAT generation. Enjoy today, celebrate yesterday, change for tomorrow.

I was reading and praying this morning and I was impressed with something. I am not some “God spoke to me” kinda person. I believe He does this, but usually it is an impression more than a “told you so” from the creator of the freaking universe. Enough about that…. 

I think that if we are going to be successful at anything, and you are going to be successful at leading ANYONE or any team, you have to be able to “Define A Win”. If you do not know what your threshold for success is, how can you accomplish the goal? How do you know if you are winning or being successful in completing HIS work or your work if you do not have a clear defined clean cut answer of WIN! Jackie and I talked today about what in the world a win is in areas of our lives and in the new areas we are shifting towards. So hey…DEFINE THE WIN!

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