What People Regret the Most: 5 Ways to Create Success on Purpose
It's been said that life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward. We often recognise great opportunities only in retrospect rather than when they first arise -- and failing to act on these missed opportunities can lead to serious regret.
Research has shown that our most profound regrets are things we fail to do, rather than things we've done that don't quite work out. For example, we might regret that we didn't learn a new language, become more physically fit or take a dream vacation.
Yet even these missed opportunities ultimately pale in significance to the thing that we regret most: A failure to reach our full potential by becoming the person we always expected ourselves to be. After all, we can always travel, work out and learn French -- but we can't go back and follow the road not taken.
This idea is borne out by the evidence: Research conducted in April, 2018, shows that roughly three out of four people say their largest regret is failing to take an action that would have allowed them to become their fully-realised, ideal self.
And, for many people, this failure is directly related to their inability to create sustained success in their lives or businesses.
How to Create Success on Purpose
Our businesses, our lifestyles and our self-perceptions are all closely interlinked. If you're an entrepreneur, building a thriving business is essential for lifestyle success; it's the engine that makes the realisation of lifestyle goals possible.
Conversely, entrepreneurs who can't gain traction will almost certainly struggle to live the lifestyle they desire. They'll fail to reach their full potential by aligning their self-perceptions with their ideal selves -- the very scenario that science says leads to the most profound forms of regret.
For small business owners, this stage is best described as "the Wilderness." In this state, you're stuck in a cycle of trading your time for money. You don't have real business processes in place -- systems that allow an enterprise to run efficiently even if the owner is temporarily absent. In the Wilderness, business owners must devote all their time and energy toward securing the company's very viability; there is no time to think strategically and no capital to sustain real growth.
This is a stage that more than 70-percent of small business owners find themselves in, as they simply lack the tools and the knowledge to break through to the next growth stage.
With that in mind, let's take a look at a few things small business owners can do right now to start working toward their full potential.
Work on developing real business processes. Without repeatable steps you can put in place to achieve your organisational goals, you'll find it nearly impossible to escape the Wilderness.
Understand that business success is more than pure profit. Studies show that small business owners only feel they've become successful and reached their full potential when they build a high-performance enterprise that works holistically, with every key element functioning at a high level.
Set specific and measurable goals. Don't merely say you want to "grow your business." That's too vague to be of any value. Instead, say you want to increase sales by a specific figure this month. It's often a good idea to start with smaller goals, as those small wins reinforce positive feelings and create enthusiasm.
Choose meaningful goals. Unless your goals are going to help you move toward your end game of realising your full potential - both in terms of lifestyle and business -- why bother? Only meaningful goals motivate.
Seek outside help if necessary. Sometimes small businesses need help getting out of the Wilderness. It's critical, however, to choose the right partner.
Why the Right Australian Business Advisory Service Can Help You Reach Your Full Potential
Working with a qualified business advisor for small businesses can deliver immediate results, both in terms of business development and the creation of critical processes and systems.
At Nine Advisory, we help small business owners achieve success on purpose by giving them the tools to improve every facet of an organisation. Our Nine Pillars of Success framework focuses on these key areas:
· Governance and compliance
· Leadership and management
· Business process
· Information technology
· Product and customer
· People and partnerships
By taking a holistic approach that goes far beyond traditional accounting or advisory services, we help business owners achieve their business and lifestyle potential through the creation of rewarding high-growth enterprises.
Regrets? You might still have a few -- but not the profound ones that come with failing to seize your opportunity and build the lifestyle you deserve.