“Courage can be developed. But it cannot be nurtured in an environment that eliminates all risks, all difficulty, all dangers. It takes considerable courage to work in an environment in which one is compensated according to one’s performance. Most affluent people have courage. What evidence supports this statement? Most affluent people in America are either business owners or employees who are paid on an incentive basis.”— Dr. Thomas Stanley
The problem with most people’s lives is that they are being shielded from the consequences of their behavior. There’s little to no accountability.
The fastest way to make success inevitable in your life is to only do work that is incentive-based. Only do that which you are rewarded and punished for the quality of your work. Everything you do needs to matter to the outcomes, consequences, and results you get in life.
So what is the decision?
The decision is to take complete ownership of every decision in your life. And how you do that is by only doing things in which you are compensated based on performance.
This goes completely against the norms in society. It goes against public education — which shields people from progressing at their own rates. It goes against most job structures, wherein a person is paid an hourly rate or salary.
If you want to make dramatic strides forward, you must only work in environments where the consequences of your actions are immediate and REAL. You need to be demanded by your situation to come up with a result.
This article will show you how:
Are You A Part Of The “Results Economy”?
Founder of the exclusive entrepreneurial coaching platform, Strategic Coach, Dan Sullivan distinguishes between those who are in the “Time-and-Effort Economy” with those who are in the “Results Economy.”
If you’re in the time and effort economy, you are focused on being busy. You actually believe the amount of time and energy you put into something merits praise. Those who are focused on being “busy” are protected in some way from the consequences of their actions. They’re not being forced by necessity to come up with a solution. Chances are, they are an employee. They are part of a bureaucracy. And they’re striving to follow rules rather than break them.
Conversely, when you are in the results economy, you are only focused on achieving a specific result. You are focused on results because if you don’t get the result, there will be consequences to pay — for you and others. You’re not worried about your reputation. You’re not worried about following the rules of ridiculous systems which are seeking to make you their slave anyways.
Dr. Thomas Stanley found in his research that those who are paid based on RESULTS are most courageous and also the most wealthy.
You actually have to take risks.
You can’t be sheltered from the consequences of your behavior.
And you certainly can’t be a part of a system which supports “busyness” to maintain the status quo. Hence, Dan Sullivan says:
Entrepreneurs have crossed “the risk line” from the “Time-and-Effort Economy” to the “Results Economy.” For them, there’s no guaranteed income, no one writing them a paycheck every two weeks. They live by their ability to generate opportunity by creating value for their clientele.
Sometimes, they — and you — will put in a lot of time and effort and get no result. Other times, they don’t put in much time and effort and get a big result. The focus for entrepreneurs always has to be on results or there’s no revenue coming in.
If you work for an entrepreneur, guess what! This is true for you, too. Though you probably have a guaranteed income, it’s important to understand that the business you work in exists inside The Results Economy, even if you’re sheltered somewhat from seeing that.
I say this not to make you feel insecure, but to show you how to succeed in this environment: by maximizing your results while minimizing the time and effort it takes to get them.
Flow Triggers And “Forcing Functions”
Flow is a mental state where you’re completely absorbed in what you’re doing. You’re totally engaged. No distractions. In such a state, time slows down and you begin operating at higher and more subconscious levels.
One of the primary “flow triggers” is immediate feedback. Hence, in extreme sports where the possibility of injury is high, flow is a regular experience. If you don’t land that trick, you could be in the hospital. Immediate feedback.
If you want more flow in your life, you need to get faster and harder feedback for your behavior. You need to feel the consequences of your performance. You need to be in the Results Economy — not the Time and Effort Economy.
In fact, one of the ways to produce more flow in your life is by creating much, much shorter timelines. Give yourself only 60 minutes to write the article and then, once the timer goes off, push publish regardless of what you came up with. Tell your partner or adviser that you’ll have your work to them far sooner than they expect. Make your goals public, with public deadlines.
You can create immediate feedback for your behavior in the form of “forcing functions.” According to entrepreneur, Dan Martell, “A forcing function is any task, activity or event that forces you to take action and produce a result.”
A forcing function is exactly how it sounds — something external that’s been put in place to FORCE YOU TO FUNCTION how you desire to function.
An example Dan Martell uses is a story between him and his younger brother, Moe. Dan asked Moe about his business goal for the next 3 months, to which Moe told him the goal.
Then Dan asked, “Based on today’s understanding of the work involved, etc. how likely would you be to hit your goal in 3 months?”
“Hmmmm, probably 60–70% I would guess,” Moe answered.
Then Dan asked, “Whose the most important person in your life?”
“My wife,” Moe replied.
“I then asked him to visualize a person with a gun to the head of his wife, and he knew — 100,000% that if he didn’t hit his goal within 3 months that the guy would pull the trigger. There wasn’t a doubt in his mind that the trigger would be pulled…. How likely are you to hit your goal?” Dan asked.
“100%, there isn’t a doubt I could do it” Moe said.
So what changed?
That’s the power of a forcing function. It’s something that’s embedded within the situation that forces you to succeed. It forces motivation to happen. Because if you don’t produce a RESULT, there will be immediate feedback.
To quote historian Will Durant, “I think the ability of the average man could be doubled if it were demanded, if the situation demanded.”
Motivation and environment are two inextricably connected things. Motivation ISN’T INTERNAL — but situational.
If you want more motivation, you need a more demanding situation. Your behavior needs to be consequential — and the more immediate the feedback the better. The more consequential your behavior, the more flow you’ll have in your life. The more you’ll be forced to adapt and grow.
Do You Have Skin In The Game?
“Bureaucracy is a construction by which a person is conveniently separated from the consequences of his or her actions.” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb
In the recent book, SKIN IN THE GAME, Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains that if your behavior doesn’t bear immediate consequence, your performance will be low. Even more than that though — if your performance isn’t consequential, then you don’t really care about what you’re doing.
As Taleb explains:
“If you do not take risks for your opinion, you are nothing.”
“How much you truly “believe” in something can be manifested only through what you are willing to risk for it.”
From a psychological perspective, you are either “approaching” something or trying to “avoid” something from happening.
Offense or defense.
Unfortunately, if you’re in the Time and Energy Economy, you’re probably also “avoidance”-oriented. In other words, your only concern is about avoiding getting in trouble, or avoiding getting caught, or avoiding doing much work at all.
Only those in the Results Economy, whose behavior is consequential — the more immediate the better — are on offense. They are the one’s taking risks. They’re less concerned about the ground they’ve made and more concerned about advancing their position. They’re fine taking more risks. They’re fine putting important things on the line, because they are convicted about what they’re doing.
Hence, Telab explains, “What matters isn’t what a person has or doesn’t have; it is what he or she is afraid of losing.” If you’re afraid of losing what you’ve currently got, you probably won’t risk it. You’ll probably do everything you can to AVOID losing it. And therefore, you’ll have given up your WHY. You’ll have stunted your progression.
The more you have to lose, the more fragile you become. The more you become a slave to your current position and thus stop seeking to take risks for what you believe in.
The Only Types Of Relationships That Become “Exponential”
There are two types of relationships: transaction-based or transformation-based.
Most relationships are transactional — where one party makes the rules and the other party submits. Once one of the members of the group is unsatisfied by the terms of the relationship, it ends. People in these relationships are usually “takers,” not genuine givers.
In transformational relationships — both people are “givers” who contribute to the ongoing evolution of the relationship. The whole becomes different from the sum of the parts. There is high expectations in these relationships, but also openness.
Both parties are completely invested in the relationship. Yet, unlike transaction-based relationships, both parties are also completely free. They give because they WANT TO, not because they feel obligated to.
That is perhaps the definition of successful relationships — to get other people to help you BECAUSE THEY WANT TO, not because they’ve been manipulated to.
According to Pearson’s Law: “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.”
Transformational relationships have embedded accountability. Performance matters — because both parties are invested in the relationship and both parties deal with the consequences/outcomes of performance. Complete honesty is essential.
Does your behavior matter to those around you?
What about the people around you? Are these relationships transactional or transformational?
If transactional — then one person is a slave to the other. They are walking on egg-shells. They’re doing everything they can to avoid a negative outcome. They aren’t really contributing. No one in these types of relationships can truly be happy.
If you are paid based on performance, your pay will go up.
If you get immediate feedback with natural consequences of your behavior — you’ll be in a flow state more. Your performance will increase. Your pay will increase. Your happiness will increase.
- It’s not great power that creates great responsibility. It’s great responsibility that creates power.
- It’s not confidence that creates success. It’s successful behavior that creates confidence.
- It’s not personality that creates behavior. It’s behavior that creates personality.
If you want to true freedom in your life, you need to take responsibility. Freedom can only exist with consequence — not from the absence of consequence. You are only free when your behavior matters.
The only way to increase the freedom in your life is by making your behavior matter more — and by experiencing the REAL consequences of your behavior.
The only way to have freedom in your relationships is when both parties have skin in the game. When both parties in invested. When the consequences of each person’s performance impacts the whole — and everyone involved embraces this reality because there is mutual love, respect, and responsibility.
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