We have all heard the phrase ‘Practice Makes Perfect.’ But does it really? What happens if what you are practicing is wrong. What if you learned how to do something completely wrong? What if you were taught that 2 + 2 = 5? You could practice this math for the rest of your life, and it would still be wrong.
“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” – Vince Lombardi, Hall of Fame Football Coach
I agree with Coach Lombardi, you have to understand what it means to be perfect at whatever skill you are looking to be perfect at. Once you understand that, you can begin your journey towards being perfect.
So how do you go from having little or no skills at something to perfecting it? It is not just about putting in the hours. It’s about the RIGHT kind of practice and monitoring your progress along the way. You can learn, master, and perfect any skill, quicker than you think, if you use Progressive Perfection.
The 12 Steps to Progressive Perfection
- Determine the skill you want to perfect – Narrow your focus on one skill. Do not try to develop more than one skill at a time as you will end up not perfecting either one.
- Set specific goals along the path to perfecting that skill – Once you have your destination you must map out exactly how you are going to get there. Including each checkpoint along the way.
- Attach a high level of emotion to your journey – In life the journey is as important as the destination. However, sometime that journey can get difficult and frustrating causing you to want to give up. When you attach emotion and the satisfaction of perfecting the skill, you greatly increase your chances of success.
- Identify the factors critical to success and focus on developing your strengths in those areas – As with anything that you attempt to learn, begin your focus on the areas that will make the most immediate impact. For example, if you wanted to learn how to close a customer in a particular situation, creating or using a script would be critical to your success. This would be a good place to start.
- Identify the things that can prevent you from perfecting this skill – Any goal, destination, or skill set you want to perfect, you must understand from the beginning what things could possibly prevent you from being successful. This is critical because you need to know what your potential pitfalls are so that you can prevent them from happening to you. This of this as learning from your mistakes before you make them.
- Develop visualizations that clearly show what success and failure look like – You have to see in your mind what success looks like in order to achieve it. In the same context you must see what failure looks like so you can avoid it.
- Learn from others who have already perfected the skill – It is often said that “imitation is the greatest form of flattery.” Let’s face it, we are not looking to reinvent the wheel. Any skill that you are looking to perfect, there is someone else out there that has already perfected it. Find that person and do what they do. Study what makes them perfect at it and do what they do. This will greatly speed up your process of successfully perfecting this skill yourself.
- Measure and monitor your progress daily – You cannot improve what you don’t measure. If you do not have measurable goals and you do not monitor daily, you cannot improve, no matter how hard you try. And yes, I said you must measure and monitor daily. If you set monthly goals and you only measure and monitor the results at the end of the month, you can end up with a bad month. The same is true if you did this weekly. However, if you measure and monitor daily, the worst you can have is a bad day.
- Get outside feedback and accountability – Tell others about your mission. I personally used to keep things like this to myself. I did not want to tell others about what I wanted to do in case I failed. I did not want to embarrass myself. However, this was actually setting myself up for failure. By telling the right people, you will get encouragement towards your goal and well as the fact that you told these people about your mission, they will help hold you accountable to succeed. It is much hard to back out or give up on something when others know about it.
- Socialize your learning by practicing or competing with others – Find a group (such as DO IT TODAY Learning Network) to discuss ways to become successful. Use others who have the desire to learn the same skill set or who have already perfected this skill set and practice with them. Create some friendly competition to make a game out of learning a skill. These are the principals that DO IT TODAY Learning Network were founded on. Unlimited potential here.
- Continually set higher goals so you keep improving – Using skill sets to increase your sales production, the reality is that sky is the limit. There is no cap on what you can accomplish with the right set of skills in this business. Additionally, I believe there is always another skill to learn. Don’t ever get comfortable, no matter how successful you become. In the sales industry, the only thing that can ever hold you back, is you.
- Teach others what you are learning – In my opinion, there is nothing more gratifying than teaching someone something that improves their lives. This is the pinnacle of perfecting a skill, when you can teach someone else to do it perfectly. This is the circle of success, you get yourself a mentor to teach you a skill, and then you become the mentor to the next person.