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With all the proven and innovative systems in the martial arts industry, why is it that some school owners can grow their business on a path to success by implementing them, while others stand still unable to execute and fail? Professor Brannon Beliso, owner of One Martial Arts in San Francisco and Millbrae, helps you to overcome your challenges by defining your own personal vision and purpose, developing an action plan, and giving you the mindset to execute consistently especially when you get stuck.
Step 1: Define Your Personal Vision
The Dalai Lama defines true happiness as living to your full potential. It’s about being your best through having and achieving goals. It begins with the realization of what is your true purpose in this world. For the majority reading this, it’s about helping, guiding and serving others to be their best through the martial arts. It is from this purpose that you are driven to create a personal vision that is rooted in the foundation of your core values. Now only you can truly define what those values mean to you but some of the more universal ones are integrity, respect, family, honesty, commitment, and serving others. Your vision will often change as your life goals do, but research has proven that in order to create a successfully sustainable life and business, your core values must never change. They are the one constant that keep you grounded and balanced through life’s ups and downs.
Being a small business owner, you make most of the choices and decisions that affect it. The challenge with this business model is that it is very easy to mistake a fixed mindset, which is centered in ego, for personal vision. Your success is contingent upon you having the humility to exist from a growth mindset and know that you can always do and be better. Wake up every day, look into the mirror and say out loud, “I am a white belt.” Always question why you do what you do in your life and business, and never believe that you have all the answers. Be committed to being a student for life through constant learning and by having mentors, coaches and networking groups to help advice you as needed.
The good news is that you can develop the habits needed to be your best. It has been proven that habits such as eating healthy, being goal-oriented, or having direction can be formed if practiced consistently for 21 days. The challenge is in sustaining those good habits day in and day out after that. In order to do so, you’ve got to create a schedule and manage your time effectively. Stick to it and consistently practice the habits that help you achieve your goals and succeed.
Armed with clearly defined core values and a growth mindset, next write down what you truly believe is your purpose. Ask yourself what will your life and business look like in three to five years? How will you make a positive impact on your community, truly serve people with integrity, be a company that people want to be loyal to and passionate with, and still be a profitable business? Don’t forget to include your personal life goals such as creating financial security for your family and their future, giving back to make a difference, and donating your time and resources to causes you believe in. Review them periodically and make any adjustments as needed.
Step 2: Create An Action Plan
The majority of the martial arts industry is made up of single school owner/operators. The challenge with this business model is that its personality driven and dependent upon you being there or it doesn’t work. If you should get sick or could not teach for any great period of time, your income and family’s welfare could be compromised, and your clients may not get served. If you should ever choose to want to sell your business, a potential buyer could see that its success is contingent upon you being there to run it. This business model is one of the biggest reasons why 99% of small enterprises fail.
In order to overcome this challenge and create an effective action plan, you need to make the shift to an entrepreneurial mindset. This means you should be working on your business, not just in it, in order to create the freedom, you deserve to do what you want when you want. It’s about developing an action plan that transitions you to truly owning your business instead of it owning you.
Now I can hear some of you who are reading this saying to yourself, “Well I love to teach. Why would I want to sit behind a desk, instead of being out on the floor?” What I’m saying is wouldn’t you rather have the freedom to teach when you want to versus having no freedom because you have to teach? A well-executed action plan gives you the freedom to choose how you would like to spend your time.
One of the most proven ways to achieve this mindset is to find mentors or groups of like-minded school owners you respect and learn well from. Replicate their behaviors and practices that are in line with your personal vision. You’ve heard it a million times, “Don’t try to reinvent the wheel just learn to drive the car better.” It is essential to have people you trust to bounce your ideas off of before you implement them. This humble act alone is smart business and can save you a lot of time and money.
“Good to Great” by Jim Collins and “E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber are two must read books that can help you to realize your vision. The first one will give you the principles to develop a successful and sustainable business, and the second will give you the blue print to build an entrepreneurial action plan.
When writing your plan, you must ask yourself, “What is the best path to get you from today to where you plan to be in three to five years? What programs, products and policies will drive and sustain your business? Are they in line with your core values and personal vision? Who is the team you want to build to help you fulfill this plan and what are their roles? Be mindful you can’t delegate what you can’t define, so you’ve got to have a clearly written action plan that your team understands, without question, what their purpose is in helping you to achieve it.
Step 3: Fulfill Your Vision and Execute Your Plan
Being your best isn’t about being perfect; it’s about staying focused on your vision, consistently implementing your action plan, and never giving up. It’s easy to be your best when things are going your way, but can you do so when things are not? When faced with challenges, put it into the perspective that they offer you the best opportunity to learn and grow in order to better your life and business. If you can embrace your challenges like a best friend, you will be much more effective in overcoming them.
So, when you hit a wall and get stuck with a challenge, make the effort to recognize that you are not in control of the circumstances, in order to gain control over the process of solving it. Take complete ownership of it by acting from a positive mindset. Focus on what you have versus what you don’t have and know that this too shall pass. And as the saying goes, “If you’re not moving forward, then you’re standing still.” If you find yourself stuck, simply keep moving forward by taking actions that are in line with your vision and plan.
Most importantly, being your best is not just about fulfilling your own vision it’s in helping others to also achieve theirs. Provide your team with an environment where learning through practice creates growth and sustainability. Show them that their opinions matter by listening and implementing the suggestions and ideas that are in line with your values. Constantly share and reinforce your vision to help keep them focused on doing what needs to happen today to sustain your school while also working towards your goals for tomorrow. Always be mindful, you cannot do this without a team that is committed to your vision.
Make it your passion to have integrity, be competent, and possess great leadership skills. Always give more than you get and make a difference. Be committed to learning and a growth mindset. Establish your core values, define your vision and purpose, and develop an action plan. Understand there is a huge difference between knowing and doing, so take action consistently in order to be your best as you fulfill your blueprint for success.