About Steve Acho

Business Geek, Musician, Lover, Fighter, Writer, Delusional Optimist

10x greater

Growth can be either linear or exponential.  What happens when we set our sights on10x rather than a 10% sales increase?

For one thing, you will imagine possibilities that you never would otherwise.  To grow sales you might think of hiring a salesperson or adding a new campaign or promo.  To multiply sales you might think of partnering with or even acquiring a competitor.

Whether you reach the goal or not, you’re thinking anyway, so you may as well think big.  After all, the one driven to be the world’s first trillionaire may never hit that number, but is virtually guaranteed to make an enormous amount of money.

Remaining who you are

A man sees a snake that’s headed into a firepit. He picks it up trying to save it and it bites him. When the snake then actually enters the fire, the man again tries to save it and is again bitten.

His friend asks why he would risk this a second time when it was obvious what would happen. He replied: “The snake was just being a snake, and doing what was in its nature. I was also being myself, and doing what was in my nature. I won’t let outside forces change who I am.”

We don’t have to put ourselves in danger to be true to our nature, but this is a good reminder that even if we’re victims of harmful gossip, manipulation, or someone else’s uncontrolled anger, doesn’t mean we have to employ those tactics. Others’ “bad” shouldn’t change your “good.”

Who’s in control?

A psychologist in the 1950s coined the term “locus of control”, which identifies the difference (internal or external locus) in whether we perceive to be in control of our lives, or outside forces are controlling us.

We can change our own perception to notice how much of our lives we are able to architect, despite (or even because of) external forces out of our control.

Not surprisingly, those with an internal locus of control are consistently happier, less stressed, more productive, and more fulfilled than those who believe that they are victims to outside forces.

You first

Not only is putting yourself first healthy, it’s the only way to remain resilient enough to be of service to others.

For those in a rough place who feel guilty about putting themselves first in terms of  emotional well-being, financial situation, or energy, ask yourself this: would you wish on someone you love that they live life feeling exactly how you do?

Always do your best

Always do your best. Simple to the point of being trivial. This is the fourth of the “Four Agreements.” When I conduct a keynote session, I ask the audience to raise their hands as high as they can. Then I ask them to raise them even higher. You can probably guess what happens – magically they do raise them higher. Hmmmmm.

It takers a just a moment of thought to assess our own effort level. Did you really do your best with that project, that conversation, that partnership, that work product?

Effort and progress over perfection. Do your best. You are more powerful than you know.

Dependability

Dependability is a high-ranking “soft skill” that employers, colleagues and customers desire.

When it comes to your career, there are many worthwhile investments you can make to sharpen the saw of your particular expertise. On top of this, try to cultivate a reputation for being dependable. People want to know that they can count on you, and that your word is reliable.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that so-called soft skills are not trainable. All of them are. For this particular skill, all you have to do is make sure you always do what you say.

Desires

It’s healthy to have desires, goals, and hopes for better versions of the future.  But so often we fall victim to as-soon-as syndrome, making our desires much like contracts we make with ourselves to be unhappy until we get what we want.

Defining and striving for things in line with our desires is essential.  Just be sure you’re not trading a possible future for an unmistakable now.

Negativity bias

My music has received over 50 million streams and downloads, hundreds 5-star ratings, and the kindest reviews and compliments. Yet I can recite verbatim the ruthless critique of my voice from an anonymous user 10 years ago. A decade-old review from one person.

This is negativity bias in action. We’re all susceptible to it. We too quickly forget the praise we receive and tend to highlight the cynical people and opinions.

I keep an email folder called “inspiration” where I file the kind words I’ve received from people who clearly value what I do. It helps to keep a reminder that most of the time you’re doing a stellar job.

This too shall pass

Life has ups and downs. Where you are right now, and how you feel about it, is much like a balance sheet. It’s just a snapshot of your emotional assets and liabilities for a moment in time.

The most important thing to remember is that where you are right now (physically, financially, emotionally) does not reflect what you are.

Motion and action

People confuse being busy with getting things done.  And then we confuse getting the right things done – the things that matter.  As my dad would say: “don’t confuse motion with action.”

Working long hours doing unimportant things efficiently accomplishes nothing but burning resources that could be used on important things.

Before getting busy painting rooms, make sure you’re in the right house.  Working hard on the wrong things is demotivating and takes you further from your goal.