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The Three Strategies of Success

Submitted by on April 6, 2010 – 4:37 pm

If success is measured in financial terms, then Success = Productivity + Profitability.

This is ‘an effective and simple approach …. You can take this process and use it in any application, be it business or personal. It is easy to implement and it provides the focus so many strategies fail to encapsulate. I guarantee it will produce outstanding results for you as it has for me and my clients, winning many awards and generating profits!’

No plan on its own can replace confidence and a good product, yet the three strategies described in this article deliver a way to bring projects or goals to fruition. The world’s great inventors have all demonstrated the same persistence and determination in achieving their goals. None achieved their success first time around; it took time, effort and patience. So like them, in order to achieve success, we too have to commit to the long haul!

Implementing the three strategies in your project planning will bring you outstanding results. Through these you can win awards, score contracts, and build your business acumen. So what are these strategies?

  1. Begin with the end in mind
  2. Use your circle of influence to find leverage
  3. Focus on only one question

I used this formula in preparation for an international tour with Dr Patch Adams. My goal was to join Patch in Moscow for a 16 day tour – a goal I ultimately achieved. The greatest influence came from those in my circle who had obtained sufficient value from me in the past to be able to actively support me. This resulted in cheap air fares, sponsorship, and generous donations. In the nine months that led up to the departure I simply asked myself one question every day, ‘What action can I take today to help me make this a reality?’

Strategy One: Begin with the end in mind

In 1997 I won the NSW Tourism Award – Media Section. It was the first time ever that a video was the winner in NSW and possibly even in Australia. Previously it had always been won by print media. When I set out a year in advance to enter the awards, the first thing I did was write the speech I would give on receipt of the award. Then I went to a local trophy/engraving business and had him make me two trophies. One with my ex-partner’s name engraved and one with my own name. These were my ‘Tourism Logies’ and were not revealed to anybody until the actual night. (They did not award logies of course only a framed certificate, but for me they were symbolic of my achievement in the industry.)

Then I sat down and created a ‘backward plan’. I outlined what I would do on the day of the awards, personally and in a business sense; what I would be doing the week before the awards; what I would do in the ‘shop front’ to create awareness; and then what I would do each and every day to take me towards the winning position. The backward plan became a natural extension of my five-year plan to go from a ‘backyard amateur operation’ to a fully broadcast-standard Video Production Studio. My goal was achieved in two and a half years.

By beginning with the end in mind, as espoused by Steven Covey in his book,  Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, you set yourself a target which then becomes your focus. When you have put it in writing you have made the commitment.

Goethe says, ‘The moment you definitely commit is the moment providence also moves’. A whole stream of advantages manifest as a result of your decision, and you attract to you all kinds of assistance you could not have anticipated. As Goethe says, all you have to do is ‘begin’.

Strategy Two: Find leverage, Utilise your circle of influence

There are times in your life where gaining leverage and moving on can seem an insurmountable hurdle. So often we deny ourselves progress because we have not enough capital of our own. We fail to recognize the value and strength in our ‘gifts’ and think we cannot move on from the place in which we are stuck. In these instances we can find the leverage we need by using the strengths of others to accomplish our purpose.

In leverage we find power and action. Through leverage, we gain the edge without the investment of any more of our own effort. The strength that comes from others can come from an investment of money or time. It can come from referrals they make or ideas they provide. It can come from access to their database or an introduction to an associate of theirs.

In a recent project I was involved in, I completed a 90-day plan with the joint exhibitor and within 48 hours of accessing my ‘circle of influence’, I had sufficient funds to create the 17 pieces for the photographic art exhibition. This was in the form of sponsorship. The capital I initally did not have, had become available, and in return I made their businesses visible in my marketing of the project.

My circle of influence, built up over the last 6 years, consists of 20 people. I looked at people who had similar values and philosophies as my own; at people not in the same business as myself; at people whose database or connections aligned well with mine; at people who were established in business or showed strong promise. Most importantly I selected people with whom I also felt a synergy and strong connection.

Then I asked myself how I could bring them value as there had to be something in return for them. (Radio WIIFM – What’s In It For Me – is a wise station to tune in to!) As I identified what I knew could help them and shared it with my colleagues, our relationship grew. My resource became their resource and sometimes, through this synergy, we doubled and even quadrupled results.

Strategy Three: Focus on only one question

In 1996, when I decided I would enter the 1997 NSW Tourism Award – Media Section, I created a backward plan, I used my core centre of influence as support and I asked myself just one question every time I got a new contract. My business was video production and I was also a freelance journalist and camera operator for the major television networks in NSW. Every time I covered a story, or took a client’s brief, I asked myself the one question, ‘How does this relate to tourism?’

Whether I was covering a corner store robbery, the local flood, an interview with a politician or a car accident, I asked myself that same question, ‘How does this relate to tourism?’ Every day as I received phone calls for new contracts, or worked on current contracts, it was my central thought. It kept me absolutely focused and subsequently formed my entire submission: a portrayal of a whole variety of local and regional activities which in one way or another had a link to tourism.

As part of a current joint venture creating a black and white photographic exhibition, the question I am asking is, ‘How do I get this in front of the maximum viewing audience and who will help me?’ Each day I venture out with an open mind and seem to automatically attract to me the people and the information I need to make things happen.

This focus is aided of course by an absolute passion or commitment to achieving your chosen outcome. Your goal is your current problem. You will not solve it if you do not like it. We all need inspiration and emotional attachment to motivate us to bring things or ideas to life.

The 90-day plan

You will discover that your innovative ability grows in leaps and bounds as every day you achieve one thing more. Through experience, I have found that there is a substantial cumulative effect over a period of 90 days with people often achieving far more than they set out to do.  All you need do is decide where you will be or what you want to achieve in 90 days, identify who can help you get there and then take one action a day towards that. I have created a ’90-day planner sheet’ which is available FREE by emailing

Remember, success can be yours by following the three strategies (1) Begin with the end in mind, (2) Use your circle of influence to find leverage and (3) Focus on only one question.

New Zealand’s leader in the Science of Positive Psychology and Humour in the Workplace, she has a CV that’s not to be laughed at! Included in her giggliography are some ground breaking achievements, testimony to her ability to successfully combine her business acumen, creativity, and wit.  Pat has presented over 15,000 hours of keynotes, workshops, seminars and lectures reaching an astounding 55,000 people throughout Australasia. She was President of the National Speakers Association NZ 2001, The Most Awarded Speaker at the 2000 NSANZ Convention and 2002 NZ Speaker of the Year. She has coached many people through adversity, is an author, columnist, radio producer and film director.

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