compete. Some people use competition
as an excuse not to do it. They say, "I just can't compete with those people,
there's no use in trying." What keeps people from putting their plans into
action? The big reason is: FEAR. It paralyzes, it saps your energy, it
creates imaginary difficulties. Even when you're doing something you like
to do, the fear of what you are putting off is always there in the back
of your mind. In "Think and Grow Rich," Napoleon Hill said, "Do the things
you fear, and the death of fear is certain." The key is "in the doing".
To conquer fear, some experts suggest making a list of ten things you absolutely
do not want to do, but things that you know would help your business (or
your life, health, or well-being), then do them. Once you get started,
once you check off a few of those dreaded, unfavorite things, once you
see how easy some of those things actually are - - you're taking action
to change your life for the better. A favorite slogan of winners is "DO
IT NOW." When I first saw the phrase, I wondered what "it" was. I couldn't
figure out why motivators advised people to "do it now", but never defined
what it was or told exactly how to do it. I asked, "What does it mean?
Do what? Do I have to do it myself? Can't somebody else do it for me? It's
frustrating because nobody can give you the answer. No one knows the details
concerning someone else's IT. The "it" in "DO IT NOW" isn't any one thing.
When you do it, you just go out there and do whatever it takes for you
to win. A lot of people spend their lives just dreaming about doing it.
Other will try to do it. Almost everyone wants to do it, many will almost
do it. The winners in this world do whatever it takes to get the job done.
And, always do more. Pete Rose said, "You have to give 110% at anything
you do because if you only give 100%, the guy you're playing against might
be giving 100% and it's going to be a standoff. If you give an extra 10%,
you've got a chance to win." Get started now; take the first step. Get
over that big hurdle of inactivity. You have to risk making a mistake to
do something, but the person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing,
and is nothing.


    Most people would agree that the "essential" business
success strategies are a combination of goal setting, a positive attitude,
proper motivation, teamwork, high ideals, and hard, no, SMART work. 
In evaluating success strategies it seems to me that I have missed probably
one of the more difficult ones: RISK. In business dealings, in relationships,
in just about every aspect of our lives that we deem important, there's
always an element of risk. As old clichés tell us, "Nothing ventured,
...." or "No Pain, ...." When we don't take chances, our progress and personal
growth do not seem as monumental as when we do. The stakes may seem high
if we fail, BUT calculated risk multiplies geometrically the rewards when
we succeed.  A redeeming aspect of Risk is that we can usually calculate
the success or failure factors prior to our pursuing the risk. We ask ourselves:
What will happen if? Do I chance losing something, for example, monetary
(the easiest risk because it is replaceable), or respect, credibility,
love, trust, or health, at the possibility of gain? Some of these things
if lost may not be as easy to regain.  Yet, the older I get (or should
I say the "more mature get") I seem to find that respect, credibility,
love and trust are not as vulnerable to loss as I once thought, when our
basic character has a strong foundation. We can, for example, express an
opinion knowing that it may not be popular, when we feel in our heart that
our opinion, belief or action is right AND we trust our motives and judgment,
the risk of offending a few or "going against the flow" is an acceptable
risk.  So, now I want to share with you my ultimate success strategy.
With everything I have achieved and acquired and become in my 30 -something
years of life, I have had help. I have not done any of it alone. Call it
God or Yahweh, or Jesus, Mohammed or Buddha, or The Universal Mind or your
Higher Self, it is a Power or Spirit much greater than any of us and it's
a power for good and it is a source there for

everyone for the asking.  We all must stand for and believe in
something. We must believe in our higher Self. Trust in the good and the
positive. Why do casinos here in Las Vegas make money? Because the odds
are in their favor. Just as life is in your favor. Ask to win, Plan to
win, Trust to win!  Where Are Those Goals?  We're past the first
quarter of the new year - and one fourth the way to accomplishing our goals
for the year. Are you doing everything you set out to do earlier in the
year? There's still plenty of time to reach your goals.  Goals? You
did set goals, didn't you? Without goals we have no way of measuring or
gaging our productivity. Look through the stack of paperwork on your desk
and check your briefcase, your goals must be

there somewhere.  What, you didn't write them down? Without a
clear, precise game plan, without a desired outcome in writing, our destination
is obscured. How can you hit a target if you cannot see it? We need to
review our goals everyday to stay focused.  I have not read a success
story or met a successful person who did not have goals written down. Written
goals describe clearly and concisely where we want to go, what we want
to do, and how we want to do it. There is truth in the simple phrase: "If
you can see it and believe it, you can achieve it!" And we "see it" daily
through our written goals.  Knowing this, why would anyone not write
down their goals? Fear of failure?  There may be many "failures" as
we work toward our goals. Yet, failure is not a dead-end nor a defeat,
it is just a roadblock. A highly motivated, successful person uses roadblocks
as stepping stones or learning experiences, each one placing them closer
to their goal.  The life stories of great men and women are testimonies
to overcoming great obstacles on the road to success. Do we remember Thomas
Edison's experiments that failed (and there were thousands of them), or
do we appreciate his phonograph, light bulb, and motion pictures? Do we
remember Lincoln's failed business attempts, his numerous election losses,
his nervous breakdown, or do we remember his Emancipation Proclamation,
Gettysburg Address, and preservation of the Union?  Is Margaret Sanger
judged by her arrests for

distributing "pornography" and her failure to change laws as she promoted
birth control methods in inner city slums, or for her legacy that evolved
into the Planned Parenthood organization?  There may be "failures"
on the road to your own personal success. But with clearly defined written
goals you can overcome these obstacles and turn them into stepping stones
for success. Let's Do It Now!


    In 1991, I was new to "sales" and not very disciplined.
If I didn't have a good sales week, I would tell Larry Taylor, my National
Marketing Director, all my excuses why I didn't write much business. Larry
never got upset at my lack of production, but he always had that look in
his eye, a look like he knew better.  I would always think to myself,
well the baby was sick and I did have a flat tire. I even had some good
excuses, like my mom was just diagnosed with terminal cancer or my dad

died. No matter the excuse, Larry's look never varied.  It wasn't
until I became a manager and my agents came to me with their excuses, that
I remembered, and I chuckled to myself. The faces changed but the excuses
remained the same. It didn't matter what a sales agent said she could do,
but how determined she was at showing me what she could do. We have all
heard that "talk is cheap". The bottom line is: If you don't want to do
something, the reason doesn't really matter.  There were some agents

who would say: "I wrote business this week because my car was broken,
or how else can I pay for this rental?" and, "I wrote business this week
because the baby's sick, or how else can I pay the doctor?"  There's
the story of the farmer who went to his neighbor's dairy farm to borrow
a rope and his neighbor said, "No, I'm using the rope to tie up the cow's
milk." The other farmer said, "You can't use a rope to tie up milk." And
the dairy farmer said, "Well, if you don't want to do something, the

excuse doesn't really matter.  Is that piece of granite in your
path a stumbling block or a stepping stone? It's all up to you. No one
wants to hear your excuses if you didn't do your best. You know it and
so does everyone who knows of your capacity for greatness.  Don't
compromise your ability and integrity by making excuses. Don't sell your
success short by a lack of ambition, a lack of determination or a lack
of discipline. Decide that you want to be the very best in sales, then
. .

.just do it !

Author's Bio: 

Christine DeCorte, an
Investment Counselor and president of DeCorte & Associates, can be
reached at Tri-Star Management, Inc., 3900 Paradise Road, Ste 155, Las
Vegas, Nevada 89109. Phone: 702.794.4444, E-Mail:
She represents American Living Trust Services, LLC, and a variety of annuities,
life insurance, and investments.