The 7 C’s of success

I had the pleasure of attending a conference where Brian Tracy was the keynote speaker. Here’s some of the nuggets:

Daily principles for becoming a self-made millionaire — and a happier person in the process.

Brian Tracy has spent decades studying the habits of peak performers and self-made millionaires. He’s also applied them in his own life. After all, one doesn’t become a best-selling author of more than 70 books and one of the world’s most sought-after motivational speakers by not practicing what one preaches.

Tracy took the stage at Elite Academy in front of thousands July 21 to teach the 7 C’s — seven powerful principles that make the difference between self-made millionaires and the rest of the world. While, in Tracy’s own words, these principles are simple, few are the people who actually put them into practice. If we’re able to, wealth and happiness await.

“They’re not complicated,” said Tracy speaking of the 7 C’s. “You don’t have to learn rocket science. Anyone can become wealthy. But what’s more important is the person you become while you’re becoming wealthy. You have to become a completely different person. You have to develop character beyond 99% of the people in this world. Honesty, discipline, quality relationships — because without that, nothing is possible.”

Here’s a rundown of the Seven C’s. We also highly recommend reading Tracy’s books. They have the potential to change your life.

  1. CLARITY

80% of success comes from clarity — knowing who you are, what you stand for, and what you want to accomplish. Conversely, 80% of problems and business failures are due to a lack of clarity.

“Fifty successful business owners were asked for their best time management tool. 49 out of the 50 held up a yellow writing pad,” Tracy says. “Their business tool was simple: simply making a list. Most businesses fail because they’re not clear. They don’t think on paper.”

Throughout his keynote, Tracy emphasized the importance of pen and paper. It’s the physical process of writing — not the words — that activates all three major areas of the brain and makes our ideas and goals stick longer term. The following 7 keys (and writing them down!) can help you achieve more clarity and the subsequent boost in self-confidence that will follow.

Key 1: Decide exactly what you want.

Most people in the world don’t know what they want and when they want to accomplish it by. Make sure what you want is so simple that a 6-year old can both understand it and explain it to another 6-year old.

Key 2:  Write it down.

If your goals aren’t written down, they’re just a fantasy. If you write down one important goal today, things will start to happen for you.

Key 3: Set a deadline.

Whatever you do, don’t set open-ended goals. Every goal should come with a “use-by” date. This simple action adds an extra level of clarity that most choose to ignore.

Key 4: Make a list.

Next, make a list of everything you need to do to accomplish your goal. This doesn’t have to be accomplished all in one sitting. Keep a pad of paper by your bed and add items as they come to mind.

Key 5: Organize your list.

Once your goal is clearly defined and you’ve created a list of all the action items that need to happen in order to accomplish it, it’s time to organize your list. Prioritize it from most important to least important.

Key 6: Take action.

Taking action sounds simple, but it’s hard. Get up and do something. It can be an easy next step like revising your paper, making a phone call, or ordering a book. The important thing is you’re up and moving towards your goal.

Key 7: Do something every day.

Tracy recommends taking out a clean sheet of paper and writing down the next 10 goals you’d like to accomplish. Then pretend you have a magic wand and the ability to make any of these goals a reality in the next 24 hours. Which would you choose? Circle that goal, write it on a clean sheet of paper, and begin these seven keys again.

  1. CONFIDENCE

You can only earn a lot of money if you’re very good at what you do. But very few people are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to turn their natural-born abilities into the hard-won skills that translate into success.

To gain more confidence, break down your work and decide which skills you need to be in the top 10% of your field. Find out what others have done before you. And then get to work. Confidence takes hours and hours to achieve.

“You don’t get what you want in life, you get what you deserve,” says Tracy. “The word ‘deserve’ comes from Latin — good service. The people who serve others are the most successful. As you build your skills, look for ways to help people, and always see yourself as the helper.”

  1. CONCENTRATION

Concentration is the ability to focus on one thing at a time and focus on that task until it’s complete. It’s also extremely difficult to accomplish, especially in a world filled with constant emails and notifications. To drive the point home, Tracy related a famous quote from Mark Twain and title of Tracy’s most well-known book, Eat that Frog.

“The first thing you should do in the morning is eat a live frog,” wrote Twain. “You’ll have the pleasure of knowing that it’s probably the worst thing that will happen to you all day.”

Twain and Tracy’s collective point is that once you’ve determined the hardest, most valuable thing to accomplish, do that thing — no matter how unpleasant it seems. The most successful people in the world realize how critical concentration is to their success. And little of the rest of the world understands how difficult it can be.

  1. CONSTRAINTS

Constraints, or choke points, are the limiting factors that stand in the way of where you are today and how fast you’re able to get to where you want to be in the future. Tracy cautions against trying to change the world. Instead, identify a single factor and try to alleviate it. If, for example, building your business is limited to the number of people you talk to during the day, try doubling that number.  Double your input, double your income.

  1. CONTINUOUS LEARNING

Like breathing, becoming better and better at what you do must become a natural part of your life. Most of the self-made millionaires Tracy has studied throughout his career spend 60-90 minutes a day studying their field. Warren Buffet famously reads 500 pages a day. Remember, one great idea can make you rich — so keep reading and studying.

  1. COMMITMENT

There’s absolutely no success in the world without commitment. Whatever you decide you want to do, pour your whole heart into it. If you’re committed, there’s absolutely nothing in this world that can come between you and your dreams.

  1. COURAGE

Courage consists of two parts. The first part is beginning, launching, or getting started — taking a chance in the face of failure and rejection where success is far from given. The second half of courage is persistence. Persistence is the unbreakable will to keep going and driving yourself no matter what.

“So how do you develop this unshakable quality of persistence?” Tracy asked the crowd. “Remember that nothing can stop you if you don’t quit. Nothing in the world. So just keep saying to yourself, ‘I never give up.’ And if you never give up, I promise you, you’ll become an enormous success in the months and years ahead.

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