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“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Wayne Gretzky

I spent the last week on the East Coast presenting to over 400 people at three companies in industries ranging from real estate to a Fortune 500 healthcare company to an investment management firm about the idea of  “Living in YOUR Top 1%.” I am continually reminded that regardless of someone’s title, salary, industry, or size of the company, we all face similar issues to living our best life. We just handle them differently.

The Top Five Takeaways to Live in YOUR Top One Percent

1. Speed Bumps Are Part of Life

We all hit speed bumps. Yes, all of us. Whether you are an experienced CEO, new mom, or first-time business owner, there are speed bumps or challenges. They just look differently to each of us. And, what may be a speed bump today may become routine tomorrow. Hitting a speed bump is really not a noteworthy event. The interesting part is how we maneuver around it. What I’ve seen as a business coach is that the people who achieve and move forward understand that speed bumps are part of the process of going after what you want. One person had to be determined for four years to get a job at the company of his choice (and, yes, he had speed bumps such as a hiring freeze).

Often, the difference is a simple shift in your perspective to reclassify challenges and keep going.

2. Mindset Wins Every Time

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Thank you Henry Ford.

Winners have a different mindset that says, “I can” or “I will figure it out and make it happen.” For example, I was incredibly inspired by one story of a property manager who oversaw a building that everyone labeled a disaster. The property manager refused to accept this story of mediocrity and hopelessness. He believed he could turn the building around and built a team to do just that. Before the end of the year, his building was one hundred percent occupied, and he was recognized for outstanding performance at the company’s annual conference. It’s a process, not magic.

Your mindset makes a big difference and directly impacts what opportunities you pursue.

3. Lean Away From Vague Goals

Here’s the bottom line: if you’re setting vague goals, you might as well not even set a goal. I know it sounds dramatic, but it’s true. Vague goals lead to vague or no results because it’s unclear what you are doing. For example, we need to start a training program, I will write a book, or I want to be a better leader are common examples of vague goals. When you are ready to be accountable and clear on what you want, you are ready to set a goal. Go ahead and declare to the world what you are going to do. And, by the way, major companies and senior team leaders set vague goals all the time so you are not alone. It’s much easier to leave things vague because it’s harder to evaluate the results.

One note, there is nothing vague about living your best life. Clarify what you want and go after it (and, yes, this takes time and asking good questions).

4. Focus On The Why

People who achieve their goal are really clear on the “WHY.” There’s a difference between setting a specific goal and setting a goal that is both meaningful and exciting to you.

When you have a strong why, it gives you a renewed sense of purpose and the motivation to continue moving forward.

Why do you want to be in shape, start a business, become an author, or start a blog? Is it something you should do or something that is important to you? Ask yourself why two or three times to truly understand why a specific goal matters to you. If a goal does not resonate and connect with your values, it will be difficult to move beyond speed bumps. When you are clear on your why, you will wake up with a renewed sense of purpose and vigor.

5. It’s a Privilege to Live Outside Your Comfort Zone

100% of the people I talked to who achieved special moments (a.k.a. Top 1% Moments) experienced uncertainty and were outside their comfort zone—from the single dad bringing up his daughters to the first-time manager to the woman in her thirties buying real estate properties to generate passive income.

Yes, it’s scary when things are uncertain. It’s uncomfortable for all of us. But it’s part of the process for personal development.

It’s a privilege because it means that growth and opportunity are right around the corner. What if you were 100% certain that moving outside your comfort zone and experiencing uncertainty led to personal growth? I’ve got a secret for you: it does, and it’s a privilege.

Top 1% Bottom Line

Living your best life is a process. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself on a bumpy road. That simply tells you it’s the right path and keep going. A resilient mindset will help you move through difficult days, as will clear-cut goals. Opportunity awaits all of us.

How do these five themes surface in your life? How have you been able to manage them or do you still need help with one or more? Share your thoughts!


Please join Alissa for her next 4-week online class to Live in Your Top 1% and achieve your goals. 
Alissa is a Professional Business/Life Coach, motivational speaker, and author of  Living in Your Top 1%. She works with individuals and organizations to help them think bigger, redefine what’s possible, and get results.  Alissa has an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. She has appeared on national radio stations such as CBS and Clear Channel Radio and has worked with the Milken Institute, LA Business Journal, Prostate Cancer Foundation, and NBC Universal. To learn more about coaching with Alissa, please visit her website and Facebook page.
July 16, 2012