Success is 50 percent what you know and 50 percent who you know, but are you focused on making the right connections?
As a child growing up, one of my favorite games of all times was Connect Four. A simple checkers game that you win by connecting four game pieces in a row. As a young man, I quickly understood that winning in life worked the same way, that I needed to focus on connectivity. Here are three powerful reasons you may not be getting what you want.
- Failing to Connect Strategically. I’ve never won a game of Connect Four by randomly dropping checker pieces onto the game board. In fact, for all intents and purposes that is probably the quickest way to lose the game. To win at Connect Four, you must both observe the game board and invoke strategy. This means you must always be thinking about making the right moves in order to win the game. What connection wins the game?
Winning in life works the same way. Whether you know it or not, you are only one connection away from anything you want, but you need to strategically connect with the right person who can open doors and help get you to your finish line. So, who should you try to connect with this year?
One of the biggest mistakes I made early in my career was connecting with everyone, even when they didn’t possess the ability to help me, instead of strategically searching out and connecting with specific individuals who could open doors for me based on the desired results I was trying to achieve. Whether you have financial goals, physical goals or even spiritual goals, you are one connection away from anything you want. Who should you specifically be attempting to connect with to open doors, tap opportunity and reach your goals in 2017?
- Failure to Connect Outside Your Comfort Zone. We are creatures of habit. This means we routinely attempt to connect with individuals who we share commonality with: people who walk like us, talk like us, think like us and are generally on our same level. In other words, we as people like to blend in. It’s our comfort zone and safety net. Here is the problem with that type of thinking: I’ve never seen anyone achieve greatness by simply connecting with people in their comfort zone.
In fact, the comfort zone is the place where big goals and big dreams generally go to die. It is the graveyard of greatness. Your comfort zone and the people in it are typically never designed to challenge you, stretch you or grow you. You must at all times be 100 percent willing to connect with people on the outside of the comfort zone. When I got serious about taking my life to the next level, I discovered that all of my mentors, coaches and game-changing opportunities existed on the outside of my comfort zone.
- Failure to Understand the Concept of Connects vs. Blocks. The game of Connect Four revolves around a series of Connects and Blocks. You must continuously make the right connections in order to win the game, while the opposing player purposefully tosses in Blocks in an effort to make you lose. Thought champion Jim Rohn says your lifestyle will mirror that of the five people you hang out with the most. Five. So, who are you hanging with right now? Who are the individuals that have the most access to you in your current season? If you feel like you are experiencing stagnation instead of growth, chances are it’s who you’ve decided to hang with, for you will inevitably become your own limitation. When it comes to the company you currently keep on a regular basis, are they Connects or Blocks? Are they champions who help elevate you to the next level of success or are they roadblocks keeping you from your own level of personal greatness?
Remember, you are only one connection away from anything you want in life, but to win the game you must stay focused on making the right connections.
Karim Ellis will be speaking at ISAE’s Annual Convention in Muncie on July 17. Check out his breakout and keynote sessions: Game Time! How to Create Massive Success Before You Roll the Dice and G.P.S. Your Success: How to Create a Vision that Gets Results