My readers know I find joy in sharing my ups and downs as I build my business.  When I share about my struggles, it really seems to energize people who find themselves in my stories.

For those of you who don’t know my story, I’ll tell you the short version. 

Years ago I was a sales manager over several new financial advisors.  It is a hard industry where most new advisors don’t survive the first three years.

The single biggest observation I made during my time as a sales manager was that those who followed the company’s formula for success tended to do well — they would end up earning enough money to be successful.

So, why didn’t they all just follow the formula?

I took this very question to heart and pursued it during my doctoral dissertation.

I began to think and noticed that the same question applies to me as well.  Are there areas where I am not following the formula, where I’m not doing what I need to do to be successful?

Realizing There is a Problem

We are not meant to go through life alone. We need each other.

My readers will also know that I’m a huge fan of having a well-qualified counselor help you identify and overcome performance issues.  In a recent eye-opening counseling session, my counselor about knocked me out of my chair.

“Lately it seems you are doing a lot of things 90%.”

What!?!

I see myself as being a hard worker — someone who puts 100% into everything I do.

I pressed into this. “Can you give me some examples?”

To my surprise, she fired off a few examples in rapid succession, not missing a beat.

[shareable]Are you doing things at 90%? Are you ready to change that?[/shareable]

I could see then that I was toast. She was right — there are things I’m only doing 90%.

I left the session with my head reeling.  If she could see those three examples, where else was I holding back from my best?

Diagnosing the Problem

Now that I knew what to look for, I started putting together a list of all the projects I had attempted and failed, times when I had run out of steam.

  • There is an online launch I did. I made some money, but I just didn’t know what to do with it next.
  • Then there’s an invitation to give a talk for a conference.  How can I give a talk here and still have it fit my brand?

In less than 10 minutes I had completely filled a page with items where I had pulled up short of my best.

[shareable]I am overcoming what is holding me back. You can too! Here’s how.[/shareable]

This leads me back to the question — the same question I found while studying the financial advisors I managed all those years ago – why wasn’t I just doing the things I know I need to do to be successful?

  • Why am I not pressing into the online launch again?
  • What is my hangup with the lack of fit between my brand and the conference?

Every person who finds him or herself in this situation is going to have his or her own answer to these questions.

My answer may not be your answer. In fact, it’s pretty likely that my answer is not going to be your answer.

Digging Deeper to Find the Solution

When we think through our own entrepreneur performance, we have to dig deeper than looking at whether or not we have reached our goals.

We need to look at the reason we did or did not reach them. What are the reasons behind all of it?

  • You set a goal for yourself last week to call five new people.
  • You wanted to attend two new networking functions this month.
  • You set a goal for yourself last week to add 100 names to your email list.

Did you meet all of those goals? For most of us, probably not.

This is where the excuses come in.

  • I ran out of time.
  • Things came up with my child at school.
  • I didn’t know what to do next with the launch.
  • I’m not certain the conference fits my brand.

But, those are not the real reasons we are missing our goals.

[shareable]Your excuses aren’t the real reason you’re not meeting your goals.[/shareable]

We need to dig deeper into what lies beneath it all.

Are you afraid of failing? Well, you need to admit that and dive into it. Find out why.

Are you afraid of running out of money? I get that. It’s a very real concern — one which should be on your radar.

But, it shouldn’t paralyze you. Dig into that. Why is it paralyzing you? If you must, get someone to help you work on the issue.

This is where the true progress begins!

A New Day and a Bright Future

For me, what lies beneath my 90% behavior is disappointment. My counselor named it out loud right there in her office. It’s what has been keeping me back from that highest level of entrepreneur performance.

She began to unpack for me the ways in which my dealing with this appointment is causing me to pull up short of my goals.

This is the single biggest breakthrough I’ve had in the past decade. Now so many things make sense.

I walked around for the next two days with the highest level of lightheartedness I have felt since I was a child.

All the weight and frustration has gone!

[reminder]What lies beneath for you? What can you do this week to dig into some of your deepest questions?[/reminder]