Archives For success

Every Tuesday morning at 6:30 AM I meet with a bunch of buddies (I know, it makes me sound like some old retired fart but I’m not!  Far from it.).   We get together to talk about life, how to be good leaders, how to be good husbands, how to be good sons, how to be good fathers and how to live according to the Bible.  (For those of you who aren’t interested in God or religion stick around because this post is for everyone regardless of what you believe.)  

Long story short, we have some really great discussions and learn things that each of us alone may not have learned had we not met.  Today I want to share a simple tip that I have found to be particularly useful that I have learned from my group.

If you want to change, do one thing daily

Sounds simple enough right?  Well, yes and no.  Getting started is easy.  How many times have we started a new exercise program only to be burned out in a few weeks and give up?  How many blogs have been started and after a few weeks have never been touched again?  The answer is lots and lots.

Why is it so hard?

The problem is we look for instant gratification and when we don’t see it we give up.  It’s natural.  We work hard and we want to reap the rewards for it. So, how do we change our thinking so that we can stay true to our goal without giving up?

How do we succeed?

We change our mindset for doing what we do.  In other words, we don’t focus on the reward but on something greater.

For example, instead of focusing on how you may feel after losing 10 lbs from an exercies program, you should focus on how others would benefit by your being more fit.  Your kids would have a better playmate, a great example of how to ‘take care’ of their body and others who are struggling to lose weight could be inspired by your accomplishments.

Let’s say you are a writer as another example.  Ultimately you want to make money from your book but that shouldn’t be the focus.  Your focus is your reader.  Instead of thinking about the reward (royalty checks) look to the person who could benefit or get enjoyment from your writings.

The ancient philosopher Confucius said:

If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.

While I don’t embrace every philosopher’s opinions this is spot on.  People who see you living and working for a higher purpose will see it and learn from you.  

Conclusion

To find success you need to be consistent.  It’s hard.  You can overcome burnout by changing your mode of thinking.

Make today a great day by doing just 1 thing toward your goal.  And when you do it keep the focus on the people that will benefit because of your hard work.  

There is no doubt in everyone’s mind that social media has changed the face of the Internet.  It has changed the face of applications.. period.  For an application to be successful the programmers need to write code that not only functions quickly and without bugs but also with a super-intuitive-like flow.  To do so you need a plan.  

I’m going to walk you through the basics of what a plan should include when you are creating a new website or application.  This foundation can be applied to almost anything you do in life however.

Step 1: Map out where you are and where you are heading

To begin, you need a road map. The president of my current company is nuts for flowcharts and quite honestly is the “flowchart king”.  Truth be told, flowcharts are effective.  By using a flowchart  you are basically creating the a skeleton for what you are trying to accomplish.  Map it out and update the map as you go.

Step 2: Create the business rules

Business rules are crucial in developing a new application.  If you nail down the road map (flowchart) and the business rules you will quite honestly be able to get almost any programmer to develop your website or application for you.  Programming is programming.  Yes, there are different means for accomplishing the same thing but it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that you have  directions and the rules of the road.

A business rule is basically what happens at each element in your flowchart.  For example, the Login screen, if the user gets his password wrong 5 times do you lock him out and automatically reset his password?  or do you allow him to continue to try and successfully login?  Do you ask for a security pass phrase after they have logged in successfully?

The business rules don’t have to be extreme and down to the nitty-gritty but you should have a good solid “main” high-level set of rules in place.

Step 3: Create mock-up screen shots based on your map and business rules

For each step in your road map that the end-user (the people that will ultimately use your application or website) will interact with create a mock-up screen shot.  Don’t worry about it looking perfect. Matter of fact, it doesn’t even have to be on the computer.  You can scratch your ideas on a piece of paper.  The idea is to get the elements on the page so that the developers know what object they have to work with.

Again, the road map and business rules will dictate most of this BUT what you scribble out for the developer will be extremely helpful in getting an idea for what you really want.

 Step 4: Develop your Beta version 

You don’t really need a beta version but you do need to put your plans into place and build it.  At this stage it is time to develop.  Work with your programmers and have them build your brain-child.  It will be exciting and possibly, no, probably very frustrating unless you are really skilled at communicating with programmers.  Keep in mind that programmers are very literal.  Make sure they understand exactly what you are looking for.. literally.

Step 5: Test, Test, Test

Test the application.  Have a variety of users with different computer skill levels test your app.  You can even have a usability group test it if you want.  If you do use usability and user experience testers make sure you get a full detailed report along with screen shots.

Step 6: Update the application with the changes

This step basically takes your testing results and applies them to your flowchart, business rules and application.  Make sure you do a full test on the application after the changes have been applied as well.

Conclusion

These are some basic steps you can take to simplifying a successful application development process.  Feel free to add steps and tweak it to fit your specific needs.

Chances are you didn’t just happen upon my blog but if you did, welcome!  The majority of people that visit my blog are looking for tips on improving their marketing, blogging and social media influence. 

How would you feel if I told you that there actually is a “secret” ingredient that will guarantee that you succeed?

You would tell me that I am blowing smoke up your rear.  (Click the link for a short history lesson on this phrase.)

Take a look at Mark Zuckerberg (co-founder of Facebook), Bill Gates (co-founder of Microsoft), or the co-founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.  What’s the common theme among these four ultra successful people?  Okay, besides they are all computer geeks. 

What one common trait did all of these guys have that led to their success?

You Need Passion In Order To Succeed

But what about the guarantee?  Okay, so maybe it was a few puffs of smoke to get your attention.

While having an unrestrained enthusiasm for a project (or cause) may not guarantee success, NOT having a strong passion to succeed will almost always guarantee that your project will fail.

Before you take on the next project take 5 minutes and ask yourself, “Am I willing to commit to making this project a success?”  If there is any doubt in your answer then you should pick a new project.

Life is short.  Tasks lists are heavy.  Lighten your load by only picking things that you are willing to give all of yourself to.