In business it’s all about the results.
We live in a world where the outcome is what people want to know, and nothing matters more.
Except that when you really start to look at what matters, it seems there are plenty of other contenders for the crown in terms of what matters most to your business.
Being a trusted member of your community
Well ok, maybe being a trusted member of your community matters more than financial results.
If you give poor advice, or sell financial products that aren’t going to give clients the long-term financial security they’re seeking, then it’s unlikely that you’ll be well respected in your community.
You might even have to move communities every so often to find new clients who don’t know about your existing reputation. Great results are no good if no one trusts you.
I guess being able to trust yourself also matters more than results.
If you have a core set of values that mean something to you, then living up to them gives you faith in yourself as an honourable human being. The positives that accrue to a person who knows and lives up to their own values are hard to put a price on.
Making a difference
Oh, and making a difference in the work that you do also matters more than the results.
A good example of this would be the times you can show a person who has fallen out of love with their job that they can afford to move on to the next phase of their life. When a client tears up with relief that the future isn’t as bleak as they thought, that matters more than all manner of results.
I’m thinking getting loads of client referrals, because people like you and trust your advice, also matters more than results.
Doing the right thing over 20 years gets you noticed. Not having to cold call and market yourself hard is the payback for doing the right thing consistently for years and years. That’s pretty satisfying.
The same goes for getting referrals from other professionals. Getting referred by other respected professionals because you’re the best in your market or your area is the payback you get for building a reputation.
Giving your absolute best
Knowing that you are giving your job and your business your absolute best definitely matters more than results.
The only person who really knows if you are giving it 100 per cent is you. When you know you’ve put the work in and done the things that matter, even when things got tough, it makes you feel good and gives you self-confidence.
It's clearly not the case that putting in 100 per cent in effort for an extended period of time goes unrewarded - in fact, the opposite is true.
Working to the top of your skill set
Working on clients and cases that really stretch you and use all of your skills means more than results too.
You’ve spent a lifetime building and achieving some level of mastery in your chosen profession. Working to the top of that skill set is one of the most rewarding feelings in the whole world.
Building a legacy
Oh, and building a legacy that will survive beyond you matters a huge amount too.
Knowing that you’ve made a contribution to a noble profession, and left a team of successors who will carry on the values you created and brought to life in your business is a pretty cool achievement.
The amazing thing is, every business I know that operates with these things at the forefront of their minds, rather than chasing mere results, ends up with serious payback:
- Great clients that respect and appreciate them
- Challenging and fulfilling work worthy of their experience and knowledge
- Family and friends that respect and trust them
- Consistently growing business revenues
- Increasing personal income
- A hugely valuable and saleable asset (should they wish to sell internally or externally)
By focusing on what really matters, the results take care of themselves to a large extent. It doesn’t mean you don’t keep score, but it does mean staying focused on the inputs that are going to lead to a set of results that matter for you.
How one succeeds matters much more than simply achieving financial success.
“For the warrior of light there are no ends, only means.” Paulo Coehlo