As she sat across from me in the boardroom, having just finished telling me her goals for the next year, I could see a mix of excitement and insecurity in her eyes. Her goals were lofty—her financial goals, where she wanted to see her business flourish and the customers she wanted to reach. She told me she dreamed of retiring on a beach in Costa Rica within the next five years. Nothing she said was unreasonable, but I knew she had a difficult path in front of her.
That’s when I asked her the one question I ask everyone who sits across from me: “Are you willing to do whatever it takes?”
There are a lot of actions that we need to take to get where we are going. Those who are committed to do anything and everything to make their dreams a reality need to create momentum.
1. How determined are you?
Asking “are you willing to do whatever it takes?” creates a movement inside you and has you consider the actions you really need to take. If the answer is anything but yes, then the goal isn’t right. You need to go back and choose something you are willing to do anything to achieve. For many people, the answer is an immediate and resounding yes—the goal is so big, so lofty and so inspiring, they would do whatever it takes to get there.
2. Think outside the box.
If you are willing to do whatever it takes to get to your goal, the follow-up question is: “What do you need to get there?” This is where people start to struggle. In many cases, the actions people take are the correct ones—consistent actions that propel you toward your goal. But if that was enough, why aren’t you closer to your goal by now? Consider what else you could do to get there. Who could you contact that has succeeded in the past? What groups, classes or events could you join?
3. Step outside of your comfort zone.
If you are willing to do anything to achieve your goal, that also means taking actions you’ve never taken before. This might mean contacting people above you, making financial investments you might not feel entirely ready for, or seeking out opportunities for increased brand exposure. Whatever it is, you need to move past the fear and be willing to take the first step forward. If you stay where you are, you will never get closer to your goal.
4. Take massive action.
Beyond doing the actions that will bring you closer to your goals, you must also be willing to dream and act bigger. You cannot win big contracts if you’re not willing to reach out to decision makers at large organizations. You cannot be given opportunities to speak on large stages if you don’t contact the organizers. Those who are willing to do whatever it takes will look toward their ultimate dream and take the necessary massive action to bring immediate results, instead of hoping they will eventually work their way up to that point. There’s a saying that if you never ask, the answer will always be no, but if you just ask, you might get a yes.
5. Follow up and follow through.
It is not enough to take massive action once, you must do it over and over. You might put in your requests and never hear back. This could happen several times. People get busy; they forget about emails; they never check their voicemail—no different than you or me. You might have to follow up several times before receiving a response. You might have to make several presentations before you finally nail it. Once that moment hits, express it with gratitude and ensure the person and opportunity is not forgotten. Use that moment as momentum for your next big step, because you were willing to do whatever it takes to get to your goal—and you will be able to do it all over again.