Traditionally, when people want to achieve a goal they point to working harder or being more disciplined or developing will power. One of the keys to success is upgrading your environment. There are two parts of any environment. First, there is a physical environment. This includes any tool that you need to accomplish your goals, including a computer for a writer, a calculator for an engineer, even workout clothes for an athlete. The second is the people that you need to accomplish the goals.
We are in a rush to accomplish our goals without first setting up our environment. Goal achievement is a lot easier when you have the tools at your fingertips and the people around you who can help you make decisions or just have your back. You need to be a chef with sharp knives, a full fridge of ingredients, and an amazing sous chef who has your back no matter what. Any job or any goal needs the proper environment.
Every goal needs consistent habits that need to be done for a long time. This could be two weeks, two years, or two decades. After you clarify your goal and decide that you are going to be dedicated, you must first set up your environment and make sure it’s always optimal. Your environment is always changing. Computers become obsolete. Phones get slower over time. Running shoes get worn out. Knives get dull. As you move closer and closer to your goals, you must set up your environment for success. If you want to embark in any creative endeavor, it’s not wise to plop on the couch and start working when the kids are running around and your spouse is asking you to take out the trash. You must make a conscious decision of the environment that you want to create. I always had a home office with a desk, big monitors, and many pictures around my office to remind me that my office is an inspired place. Otherwise, I would not have any reason to enjoy my office. There are times when you will be on the edge of engaging your goals or not. Having the right environment can tip the scales or not. When I want to work, I should not have to think about dealing with a slow computer. When you want to work out, you should have to think about looking for your workout clothes.
The second part of your environment is the people around you. Everybody is influenced by the people around them. Behavior is largely a result of the behaviors or others around them. We are encouraged to behave a certain way largely by the people who we interact with the most. We might be encouraged to gossip at work. We might be encouraged by our family to work out when we get home or go to happy hour. When we have a tough day or a tough decision, we react based on how people around us tell us to react. Do they say, “poor thing,” or do they give you constructive feedback? Do they encourage you to spend money frivolously or do they encourage you to save it? When you are upset do they give you a wet blanket or more gasoline?
Different people have different philosophies, values, approaches, or mindsets. There are more ways to become successful than there are successful people. When you choose an environment or build one yourself, it is important to consider the way others look at life or go after their own goals. In the past, I have worked with people who did not have the same values or approach or mindset that I had. Instead of putting your energy into your goals, you’re wasting your energy arguing about getting on the same page. I’m not saying that you should not spend any time on getting on the same page. After all, you are not going to agree with everybody one hundred percent of the time. However, the less time you spend on getting on the same page, the more energy you can spend on getting stuff done. In the past, I have worked with people who have had a very passive way of looking at marketing and business. Basically, their whole philosophy was “build it and they will come.” My philosophy is that marketing should be aggressive and relentless. This is backed up by the books that I have read on the topic and the content that resonates with me. When I decide to bring someone into my environment, I value getting on the same page quickly.
A great example of this is working with my stage partner and someone that does my videos, Chris Stevenson. When I give him something to put on camera, he articulates what I want in one or two shots. This is due to the fact that we have very similar outlooks on life and approaches (and I’m a really good writer).
Another example is a football philosophy. Some coaches like to build a team on offense. Some like to run the ball. Some build on defense. Some build it on special teams. There are many ways to succeed. However, everybody in that environment on that team has to truly believe in that philosophy.
There is a distinct difference between philosophy or mindset and skills and knowledge. Most goals require a variety of skill sets and knowledge. Going back to the football example, a team cannot thrive with a bunch of quarterbacks or a bunch of wide receivers. A team needs players at all positions. For professional goals like starting a business a team needs to be built over time including sales, bookkeeping, product development, website development, social media management, and many more. It is impossible for one person to be amazing at everything, just like it’s impossible for one football player to be amazing at all the positions.
Personal and Professional Environment
You have multiple environments that you operate in. You have an immediate family environment, an extended family environment, you may have a couple of friend environments, etc. Professional environment can include your core team at work, the culture as a whole, people outside the organization that you serve, and even industry organizations such as networking or industry associations. One way to upgrade your environment is to take advantage of the resources that an expanded environment provides. The more support you have in every environment that you’re in, the more it will affect other environments. If you don’t have a healthy home life, it may affect your environment at work and vice versa.
Benefits of an Upgraded Environment
There are reasons that you need to upgrade your environment. First, we are all influenced by our environment. Behaviors and habits are largely influenced by the people who we interact with the most. The second is the tools that we need to engage with, need to be accessible and we need to avoid activities that negatively impact our goals. If you go out with your family and everybody is ordering French fries, ribs, or hamburgers, it will be challenging to order a salad with lemon juice. If you have to climb into the attic to get your workout clothes…it’s not happening. If you have salad in your fridge all cut up and ready to eat, you’re likely to eat it more than if you have ingredients that still need to be washed and cut. It’s a lot harder to put in a full day on Friday when half of the office leaves early. Everybody is encouraged to behave a certain way, and if you want behaviors to match your goals, it is important to have the right kind of encouragement. The second reason why upgrading the environment is so important is because most environments have a ceiling and, when you hit that ceiling, the common way you can grow is to upgrade your environment. If you have a factory and hit compacity, you probably need to hire more people or move into a bigger building. If your skill set is taking you as far as it can without upgrading your knowledge and skills, you will hit a ceiling. It’s like repeating the fifth grade over and over again and expecting your knowledge to grow. The way you get around this is to upgrade the people that you work with. This could be hiring a coach, hiring a consultant, joining a mastermind, or hiring a productivity expert.
Your actions lead to habits and your habits lead to the life that you have. The quality of your life is dependent the repeated actions that you take. The environment that you’re in has a direct impact on your actions, your habits, and the life that you live. For any goal that you have, and any level of success that you want to reach takes an upgraded environment. The environment that will take you to the first $10,000 in your business is going to be different than the one that gets you to six-figures. And, yet, the environment that it will take to get to six-figures is going to be different than the one that will get you to seven-figures and beyond. You might incorporate different technologies. You may need to build a better team. You may need to engage a consultant. Your strategy and your process may be more challenging and more involved. You may need more team members and technology.
When you want the more or you want to take your life to the next level, there’s always a handful of people who can help you with strategy and information.
Upgrading your environment is a never-ending task. There are always people who can help you with your strategy, implementation, or just simply freeing up your time. It is important to know how to tap into other mindsets, inspire yourself, motivate yourself, and be as focused as you can without distractions. This is why upgrading your environment is so important.