> Countdown to the Holidays – time to get MAD
Imagine you are
traveling on a super-highway (your own personal
business start-up or mega-growth super-highway)
and you have been traveling along well so far. You’re
probably at a good speed coming into that end of
year turn and this is where the problem comes in
– there’s an EXIT RAMP up ahead. Since
we were kids we have been programmed to take it
and so were our parents and probably our parents’
parents. We pull off that super-highway and most
likely park the car and go to sleep for a month
or two till at some stage we remember the highway
and destination and then it’s back in the
car and off to find the ON RAMP for the highway
again. There’s no problem in pulling over
till you get to the “getting back on”
bit because it’s always slower to get back
on than it was to get off.
finding the ramp, waiting for those in front of
us to move, merging traffic and even worse the nightmare
of “What if others started earlier than we
did and now the road is full?”. This is how
yesterday’s Leaders can become last tomorrow.
It always takes more time to get back on once you’re
Had you have stayed on course you would have been
a huge distance ahead and have beaten all the traffic
that surrounds you now to the clear roads. Worse
still, there really are always those that get up
and get on earlier and if you’re stuck in
the traffic jam and they’re your competitors
it’s not good. There is also a very small
amount of people that have worked this out or have
already been coached about this, listened to the
advice and acted on it. They’re the leaders
of the pack and that’s where you want to be.
Usually, they are so far ahead of the group…
that the group has no clue they are there and certainly
doesn’t understand how anyone can escape the
The laws of physics apply directly to our businesses
and our motivation – objects at rest tend
to stay at rest (and it takes an incredible amount
of energy to get them moving again). That energy
could have been better used to achieve goals, move
forward or to create massive results rather than
just ¬re-motivating us to get back into it.
When you backing off the gas at the end of the year
in regards to your business or even personal results
it will always take you at least an equal (and usually
greater) amount of time to start up and reach the
same level or speed you had before you stopped.
People often start backing off about now and sometime
around the second or third week of January remember
they had goals, dreams and results to achieve so
start the hard road to rest-recovery (that’s
recovering from their rest time) and sometime around
March they are moving along well again. When you
start to see it like this you realise some people
are leaving almost half the year behind them by
not performing at their best.
The good news is stopping this debilitating pattern
and continuing the momentum forward instead is easy.
First up we need to recognise there are a couple
of elements to this. First, it is a fact that most
people push themselves so hard throughout the year
they literally need to take some extended rest from
sheer exhaustion. This has to stop. Looking after
yourself, your health, your rest and your ability
to “deal” with life (however you do
that – spiritually, mentally, emotionally)
is critical throughout the year not just at a big-ass
holiday at the end it. There are many ways to do
this and strategies to put in place that make it
easy and a joy to do. Second, we have to stop the
stop. Maybe our Team Members are on holidays or
Customers/Clients are busy with their “rest-stop”
but that doesn’t mean we shut down everything.
The end of the year is a time when we can clean
up, get sorted and really invest our time and energy
into ensuring we will power ahead in the New Year
further and faster than ever before. To do anything
else is to buy into the excuses that are going to
hold your competitors back.
Like any major change to your results and performance
it takes only 4 major steps:
Even better news now – you are already there.
If you’ve read this article and you are
like the 99.5% of people out there taking the
off ramp you know this is a fact and it has taken
it’s toll on your business results in the
past. I imagine that you also know if there is
a problem then there must be a solution and there
is – that’s what the next 3 steps
Once we are aware of the problem and its ramifications
we can pay attention to what causes it and what
is going to solve it. Here are some questions to
answer to get you thinking:
are your business or personal goals that in the
past could have been affected by “The Ramp
What things do you normally stop doing (or pause)
during “The Ramp Down”?
What things could you be concentrating on continuing
that will keep you on track during the times everyone
else is “Ramping Down”?
What resources or help can you attract to ensure
you are ahead in the New Year?
STEP 3: COMMITMENT
Nothing happens without commitment to achieving
it. It’s another way of saying Goals…
and that’s what you need right now. Goals
for this period and a re-energised set of Goals
for the New Year. Some more questions
to think on and Actions to take:
this time is one of investment of your time and
energy – research, development, structure,
systems, planning etc.
What do you want to launch into the New Year with
to super-charge your business or personal performance?
What results do you want to achieve next year?
What Goals can you set for the next 3 months that
will allow you to achieve those Goals in a bigger
way than you ever thought possible before?
Where would you be next year if you did none of
this and took “The Ramp Down” instead?
contrast that to… Where will you be next
year because you set these Goals, took actions
and stayed powerfully on your path?
And imagine… What will that mean for you
in your business and/or personally during next
year and beyond?
What resources or help can you attract to ensure
you are ahead in the New Year?
So it’s time to do something about it.
This is it… you have some Goals in place and
you know why this is critical. It’s now time
to plan and follow up – keep committed and take
the actions you need to over the next 3 to 4 months
to ensure next year is the best year you could ever
imagine. And there’ll be no imagining…
it will be your reality. There is always a group of
people and businesses every year that have the same
question asked about them… it’s time you
stopped asking the question and became the one the
question is asked about… “How did they
grow/change/develop so much this year?’…
usually the answer people give themselves is those
“Winners” must have been lucky some how
– you know now that’s not the truth. They
were smart and took no “Off Ramps”.
I was blessed to have worked for years in businesses
that only got busier over the holiday season. For
me, there was never an option of slowing down let
alone stopping during this time of the year. When
I stopped working for other people and started my
own Coaching, Training and Consulting business I simply
kept doing what I had always done. Kept busy and did
what was needed to make sure my business and my self
kept growing and improving regardless of the time
or month of year. And over the years the results have
proven this a winning strategy. I never really thought
about it as something else other than “just
what I do”.
watched a video interview last year in which a friend
of mine, James Schramko, was asked if there was one
piece of business advice he could give the viewers
what would it be… James’ answer, “Do
the right things.” He said so many people do
things but they’re not the right things…
they need to do the right things that will make the
When I worked in retail operations, 10 years ago,
the CEO used to talk about “M.A.D.”–
those actions that Make A Difference – and in
my mind that’s exactly what I was hearing James
talk about. I know now that has been worth millions
to me over the course of my business career.
See, we can all do things, but not all “things”
are equal… It’s the “things”
that really Make A Difference that count… Like
keeping on the highway when others are slowing down…
What are they Make A Difference Things (M.A.D. Things,
M.A.D. Actions, M.A.D. Goals, M.A.D. Strategies).
And it’s this time of year – November
through to March/April that truly Make All the Difference
to your next year and the one after that and the one
after that. This is the time when you need to do the
things that count, that will Make A Difference or
as James said simply “the right things”.
So… over to you...
What are you going
When are you going to do it?
How are you going to make sure it gets you what
Who are you going to get to keep you accountable?
If you have any questions about this article or the
exercises, please contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lights and Full Cups everyday
Speaker | Trainer | Author | Coach
Alley spent the first 15 years of his professional
life working with some of the biggest and fastest
growing retail and franchise businesses in the
country; he then spent 5 years as Head Trainer
& Coach for one of the biggest Personal
Development companies on the planet.
has combined his extensive experience from the
business world in delivering real world results
with his success and study of personal development,
rapid human change and shifting consciousness.
As a Master Trainer, Author, Speaker and Performance
Coach he now works with businesses and entrepreneurs
quickly and easily improve their businesses
and make more money and with individuals, couples
and families to make simple changes and take
small steps to live better lives day by day.