Set a goal so big that you can’t achieve it until you become the person that actually can achieve it. Write down and update these goals often and I promise you will wake up one day and realize that you accomplished your goals.
I have never heard of anyone that had a bad customer experience with Amazon, Apple, Costco or Salesforce. The aforementioned companies are incredibly successful due, in large part, to a material focus on the customer experience. Not surprisingly, the stock market has handsomely rewarded these four companies over the past decade.
When I started my second company, I was stressed out and I took a drive alone down the beautiful California coast. I stopped by Carmel and I went for a long walk as I often do to come up with personal and professional goals. I stopped by a beautiful old church and I sat down and collected my thoughts.
Yahoo, Dell, RIM, HP and Computer Associates are all technology companies that are in secular or terminal decline as they continue to lose market share to companies like Apple, Google and Salesforce. When a technology company is in secular decline, then the road ahead is filled with potholes, false hope and empty promises.
Some of the best investments in history have had a combination of Apple’s simplicity and Intel’s paranoia. In fact, both Apple and Intel had a healthy dose of paranoia and simplicity under CEOs Steve Jobs and Andy Grove respectively, which is a winning combination. Other companies that have showed similar characteristics include Microsoft, Nintendo and Netflix.
Remember the days when we used to talk about the type of processor we had in our computers? Nobody really cares or knows anymore what processor our iPads or iPhones or laptops or Samsung products have. Superb marketing almost always beats great products; this trend exists in the technology sector, the clothing market, academics and even in politics!
Since I am Canadian, I have to quote the greatest hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky was incredibly successful not because he skated to where the puck is. Rather, he skated to where the puck is going to be. Companies that have incredible foresight into a market that will have an enormous total addressable market (T.A.M.) are essentially subscribing to Gretzky’s forward thinking strategy.
As counterintuitive as this might sound, you need to ask to get promoted. You also need to ask to get a raise. Most successful businesspeople that get promoted often and rise to the top asked to get to that level. Rising through the ranks is not just a reflection of how well you are performing in business. It’s very true.
When a lion is chasing a gazelle, the gazelle’s physiology dramatically changes. The gazelle’s heart is pumping very fast as it runs as fast as it can to survive. The gazelle’s body uses every ounce of energy to focus on surviving. Other bodily functions temporarily cease working as it tries to outrun the lion. The gazelle’s immune system shuts down. The gazelle’s reproductive system shuts down. The gazelle actually ages in the process.
A major reason for baseball icon Derek Jeter’s success in every aspect of his life was because his parents made him write down his goals every single year. You need to write down your goals and update them often. If you do, the chances of you achieving your dreams rises materially; most of your competitors won’t bother doing this!
Many of us use iPhones and iPads and other Apple products because of one simple business and life strategy that Steve Jobs practiced from a very young age: “Ask and you shall receive.” Steve Jobs never had issues reaching out and asking for help from strangers. You will be amazed how many people want to help you if you just ask! Fortunately, not many people do this.