Have you ever felt stuck?
Most people I talk to have felt this way at some point in their lives. I certainly have. Maybe you’re there right now. If so, the logical question to ask is “How do I get unstuck?” Or, another way to say it is:
“How do I get from here (stuck) to there (unstuck)?”
In our discussions with younger leaders, we have found a tendency for many to be so frustrated with the present that it clouds the possibility of the future. And yet, the present often provides the most fertile ground for growth toward a better future.
One of the principles we share at Launch Youniversity is simple but very helpful: Now leads to Next.
In other words, you get from here to there by leveraging your current opportunity. (And honestly, the reverse is true as well.) Here are three positive ways how now can lead to next.
1. Go the second-mile.
How can you serve your current customers, staff or employer in such a way that it becomes “remark-able.” This is a term we learned from our friend David Salyers. Serving a good product or doing a good job is the first mile. Going the first mile is great, but it won’t cause people to notice anything out of the normal. What could you do to “WOW” people? This is the land of the second-mile. When you do, people notice you, and talk to others about you. They become raving fans. And this often provides opportunities for what’s next.
2. Proactively seek feedback.
Many restaurants ask this question of their guests, “How is everything?” Most of the time, guests politely reply, “Fine.” While this may make the restaurant staff feel good, the reality is they haven’t asked a great question. A better question to ask is this one: “What could I have done to make your experience better?” This is a great question for you to ask as well.
After you have completed a project, made a sell or completed a task, circle back with your team or customers and ask, “What could I have done to make that better?” This will require some thick skin perhaps but it is one of the best ways how now now can lead to next.
3. Clarify how tomorrow can win.
As the old adage says, “A great day begins the night before.” A simple exercise to do each night is to take a 3-by-5 card and write three successes that would need to happen for tomorrow to be a win.
For example, it could be something like:
1. Morning exercise.
2. Make 15 sales calls.
3. Finalize sales presentation.
This way, you get to determine the most important wins before tomorrow even begins. These three exercises will provide a powerful tool to push back against some possible frustrations you are experiencing but more importantly provide a great opportunity for you to leverage what is now as you move toward what’s next.