Maybe do a dateline “Dec 9th, 2018”

Dateline: December 9th, 2018.

I want you to think back over the last twelve months. Where were you this time last year? Who were you?

More importantly…where are you now? What’s changed for you in the last year? What hasn’t? In what ways have you grown? In what ways have you slid back into negative patterns and behaviors.

Tough questions, I know.

Now, I want you to fast forward 12 months from today.

Dateline: December 9th, 2020.

Where do you want to be? What do you want your life and business to look like? Imagine your life one year from today if everything you’ve been dreaming of was actually accomplished…

What would you need to do? Who would you have to be? What needs to happen in the next 365 days for you to bridge the gap between where you are today and where you want to be?

Listen…

When you’re looking back and looking ahead, it’s easy to see what needs to be done. It’s easy to spot your mistakes and successes and identify the things that need to change for you to achieve your 10X life.

What’s not easy is taking massive action on what you ‘know’ and implementing the lessons you’re learning.

I was fortunate enough to go through this exercise with more than 1,700 entrepreneurs over the last year…and what I found is that there a few are common characteristics that separate those who make the quantum leap to success…and those who continue to “struckle” and get left behind.

And if you will take my advice and follow these 9 rules, if you will commit to becoming these 9 things…I promise you’ll arrive at this day 12 months from now and look back on 2020 as the best year of your life.

1. Clear on Your Values and Vision (They Drive Every Decision)

To achieve your biggest goals in 2020, the #1 thing you must become is crystal clear on your values and vision.

Listen…

I work with a lot of entrepreneurs who have incredible work ethics. Men and women who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and put in 10-16 hour days to achieve their dreams.

The challenge they face (likely the same challenge you are facing right now) is that they are what I call a “Lost Warrior.” They hustle and grind themselves down to the bone but they aren’t clear on why they’re doing it or what the end game really is.

For example, a few years ago, my friend Vince DelMonte and his wife Flavia came out to one of my business growth workshops. At the time, Vince was running three 7-figure businesses and his wife was running a multiple 6-figure coaching company.

Even though they were making a ton of money, they weren’t clear on their values and vision. They wanted to have more freedom to spend time with their kids and do the things they loved but they didn’t have a roadmap to get there.

After sitting down with me for a day, I helped them get clarity on what they really wanted and after the workshop, Vince shut down two of his businesses to focus on the one thing he was most passionate about and Flavia quit her business to become a full-time mom.

Even though their income dropped in the short term, within 12 months, Vince grew his company 5X and now, he’s on track to break 8-figures in 2020. And the best part? Today, they have more free time than ever before. Flavia stays at home with their kids, Vince works fewer hours each week, and they have the freedom to actually enjoy the results of their hard work.

Without clarity on what you value and what you want to achieve in your life and business, you’ll continue to “struckle” in 2020 no matter how many hours you put in or how hard you work.

However, when you take the time to get clear on what you want and what you value, everything will fall into place and you’ll achieve your goals 10X faster.

2. Unstoppably Disciplined in Pursuit of Your Goals

On the other side of the spectrum from the “Lost Warrior”, we have “Day Dreamers”. Entrepreneurs and would-be high performers who do have clarity on what they want and what they value…but who lack the discipline necessary to make it happen.

Listen…

Clarity is important. But if you lack the discipline to put that clarity into action…if you hit the snooze button, scroll through Instagram when you should be working, and waste your time with an endless stream of Netflix originals…your level of clarity doesn’t matter.

To achieve your big goals in 2020, you must develop discipline and get ruthless accountability from someone you deeply do not want to disappoint.

Back in my early 20’s I was a classic “Day Dreamer”. I had big goals for the online business I was going to create ‘someday’. I had a clear vision for what I wanted. But I was trapped by my undisciplined patterns and habits.

Even though I knew what I wanted, I lacked the discipline and accountability to make it happen.

When I finally reached out for help and found mentors who could hold me accountable to my big goals and aspirations, everything changed.

Within 18 months, I went from a broke, socially anxious, binge drinking personal trainer to a 6-figure online entrepreneur running the business of his dreams.

And if you want to make 2020 the best year of your life, you must but the systems in place to make discipline automatic.

Whether you enlist the help of a coach or accountability partner or simply set up your environment to eliminate the need for discipline (e.g. throwing away all of your junk food, canceling your cable, selling your TV, or pouring out the booze), you must develop the unstoppable discipline required to make the right decisions automatic.

3. Structured and Strategic

I have a client, let’s call him “Jimmy” who runs an amazing startup that uses AI-powered robots to clean oil tankers (saving money and lives).

Now when Jimmy and I started working together, he was already disciplined and he had crystal clarity on what he valued and what he was trying to achieve.

And even though his business was already doing well, he was struggling to find new clients and keep the cash flow coming in. Jimmy was what I call a “Business Battler” and lacked a proven strategy for generating new leads and consistently scaling his business.

After we sat down together at one of my workshops, I gave him a simple email outreach strategy and, within a few weeks, he used that strategy to close a $300,000 deal/

Here’s the thing…

Knowing exactly what you want and having the discipline to take action toward your desires is essential. It doesn’t matter how amazing your strategy is if you don’t have the clarity and discipline to implement it in the right way.

But to become an Empire Builder and achieve the 10X success you’ve been after for so long, you must have a proven strategy from someone who has “been there, done that.” You need objective outside eyes on your business to ensure you’re on the fastest path to success.

Sometimes, the only thing standing between you and 7-figure success is a 5% tweak to the strategy you’re using to grow your business. And by enlisting a coach or mentor with a proven track record of success, you can shave years off your learning curve and discover simple ways to inject more cash into your business now.

4. Ruthlessly Productive

Productivity is one of the most misunderstood terms on the planet. When most people think about productivity, they think about doing more, about cramming more projects into their schedule, finding ways to do things faster, and being more efficient.

But, as Peter Drucker said, “There’s nothing so useless as doing efficiently what shouldn’t be done at all.”

To achieve your big goals in 2020, you must become a master of ruthless productivity.

And it all starts by eliminating the things you should not be doing. Delegating the tasks outside of your area of genius. And automating the things technology can do for you.

Ultimately, productivity is about the things you say “no” to so you have the time, energy, and attention to focus on what’s most important.

Start today. Look at everything on your to-do list and ask yourself, “Does this need to be done, and if so…does it need to be done by me?”

Do you need to respond to your own emails, book your own flights, cook your own meals, clean your own house, or respond to every sales call?

Who can you hire to do the dirty deeds for you and free up your time to focus on high level strategizing and empire-building required to achieve your biggest dreams?

To help you master the art of ruthless productivity, I put together a guide to time ownership that will teach you how to shave 10-20 hours off your workweek today. Just click here to check it out.

5. Obsessed (with High-Income Skills)

Skills pay the bills. And to achieve massive success in the New Year you must become obsessed with developing high-income skills to increase the value you bring to the market.

It doesn’t matter how amazing your offer is or how hard you work. If you haven’t developed the skills that will help you monetize your offer and work ethic, you’ll always struggle to make the income you desire.

Specifically, you must become a master of marketing (getting the right message in front of the right people), sales (convincing those people to give you money), and leadership (building a team that can help you make money while you sleep).

A few years ago, when I first started my online business coaching company, I was struggling to get my message out to the right people.

I knew that I needed to develop my skills as a marketer and decided to start using “The Instagram” to attract new leads into my business.

At the time, I was horrible on video and had no idea how to make the platform work for me. But as I developed my presence on video and learned how to make the Instagram algorithm work in my favor, the money started to trickle.

Today, as a direct result of my commitment to mastering the skill of video marketing, I’ve made more than $2.3 million from my Instagram profile and my income continues to increase almost every month.

Right now I want you to identify the #1 skill you can develop that will create disproportionate results in your business.

Then, over the next 90-days, I want you to commit to practicing that skill for a minimum of 60-minutes a day.

If you’re struggling to find new leads, work to refine your marketing and master the mediums you use to share your message. If you have plenty of leads but no sales, refine the particular articulation of your offer by improving your copywriting and over the phone selling. If your business is booming but you have no free time and are trapped by the golden handcuffs of success, learn how to hire and train the right people to do the dirty work for you and free up your time for high level strategizing.

If you will do this, I promise your business will grow faster than you ever thought possible.

6. Prolific and Creative

One of the easiest ways to grow your business in the New Year and find a ton of “hidden profits” in your business is to develop digital omnipresence.

In other words, to be everywhere all the time.

Luckily, by remembering one simple sentence, you can achieve this goal without putting in any extra hours or creating any extra content.

“Create once, repurpose everywhere.”

Here’s what I mean…

Whenever you create a piece of content, for example, an Instagram story, don’t just publish that content on Instagram.

Instead, take that same video and publish it on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Then, hire a writer who can turn that video into a killer piece of content for your blog. If it’s long enough, take the audio file from the video you recorded and publish it as a short “Solocast” on iTunes.

If you will do this, you can share your message with 10X more people (and convert them into paying clients) without doing any extra work yourself.

7. Personally Responsible for EVERYTHING in Your Life

In the 21st century, there’s no shortage of scapegoats to whom we can point and blame for our problems.

From corrupt politicians to greedy corporations to unethical competition, it’s easy to blame other people for our problems and challenges.

But, fair or not, the simple truth is that no one cares about your excuses. Even if they’re valid.

And to reach the pinnacles of success in your field, you must accept that success is your responsibility and your responsibility alone. No one is coming to save you. And no one cares about your alibis for mediocrity.

You are responsible for everything in your life and everything not in your life. And this is good news…

Because if you are responsible for everything, then you have control over your life and future.

To achieve the success you desire in 2020, you must take complete ownership of your life and results. You must learn to accept the things you can’t control (the government, the competition, etc) and take action on the things you can.

No matter how bad a hand you’ve been dealt, you can find a way to succeed if you are willing to be resourceful and take complete responsibility for your actions and results.

8. Be Resilient

No matter how effectively you plan, how clear you are, how much discipline you have, or how many skills you develop…shtuff happens.

Employees and spouses leave you. Competitors will steal your best clients. Your favorite marketing platform will inexplicably change its algorithm and cut your revenue in half.

It’s an unavoidable part of entrepreneurship and life.

But when you are faced with unexpected challenges and setbacks do not panic.

Be resilient in the face of adversity and commit to being resourceful and finding a way to succeed in spite of the odds.

Remember…no matter how bad things are right now, someone, somewhere has faced greater challenges and still found a way to succeed.

You haven’t been ambushed by enemy combatants and shot in the head like my friend and ex-Navy SEAL Jason Redman.

You don’t have to live with a rare genetic defect that causes your ribs to break every time you sneeze like my late mentor Sean Stephenson.

You haven’t been unjustly imprisoned and tortured like Nelson Mandela.

Whatever you’re facing, no matter how bad it might seem, you can find a way to succeed.

But you must keep going and trust that with enough time and effort, you can beat the odds and achieve the success you desire.

9. Killer (Offer)

One of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs making is focusing their time and energy on “soft” offers.

For example, I recently talked with a prospect who told me that the mission of his business was to help “Everyone on the planet realize their self-worth.”

Now…

As laudable as this goal might be, he is going to struggle to turn that well-intentioned ambition into revenue. Because the simple truth is that most people don’t care about things like their self-worth, their mindset, or their confidence.

They only care about what those things can help them get.

Specifically, people want to:

  1. Make more money
  2. Change their bodies
  3. Have more sex

And to grow your business in 2020 and achieve your biggest goals, you must create a killer offer.

You must create a product or service that solves people’s biggest problems better than anyone else in your industry.

When you have something that solves the problems that keep your clients tossing and turning late into the night…when you can help them overcome the biggest challenges in their body, relationships, and business…the offer will sell itself.

Right now I want you to think about your biggest offer and ask yourself, “What is the BIGGEST problem that this product/service solves?”. And, more importantly, “Am I articulating the BENEFIT of this offer to my potential customers?”

When you have a killer offer and refine the particular articulation of that offer so your prospects know exactly “What’s in it for me?”, your business will grow faster than ever before.

Craig Ballantyne

If you want to double your income, work less, and become the ambitious millionaire you've always wanted to be... Craig Ballantyne is the coach who will help you do it. With more than 20-years of experience as an entrepreneur and five 7-figure businesses under his belt, he specializes in helping "struckling" entrepreneurs get out of the mud and build the business of their dreams. To see if you qualify for Craig's "Millionaire Coaching Program" send an email to support@earlytorise.com with the subject line "Millionaire".

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