One of the greatest revelations that hit me like a eureka-moment was when I realised that one of the greatest business assessment strategies — the SWOT analysis — is also a valuable tool for assessing us as individuals who have goals.
But before you SWOT yourself — looking at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats — you have to have mastered the D-factor to ensure the efforts for self-realisation are worth it.
If you want to lose weight, increase your wealth, get that promotion, build your business, make the sporting team or whatever, you have to really want it. As Napoleon Hill of that famous book, Think and Grow Rich, said: “The starting point of all achievement is desire.”
To take it to a more spiritual level, let me share what Confucius counselled: “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential…these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal success.”
Gee I wished I’d said that!
Serena Williams (pictured) shared what powers her and it’s something that we all could relate to: “I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.”
And Billy Connolly showed desire can power more than winners in business and sport and that it works for those in the arts too. “For me, it’s about the desire to win. My audience becomes a crowd of wild animals and I have to be the lion-tamer or be eaten.”
OK, we get it — desire is unbelievably important — but how does someone who has difficulty with the D-factor change themself?
Former NFL player, Israel Idonije, wrote a piece in entrepreneur.com and pinpointed 5 ways to get that desire to win by beating your physical and mental barriers.
This is what he recommends:
The famous Aussie chef, Neil Perry, once told me his mentor made him do a SWOT analysis of himself as a leader in his business. The process showed him he was wasting time doing stuff he wasn’t great at, such as running the books and administration.
As a consequence, he put all the jobs he wasn’t good at and that he found boring aside, and went looking for someone trained for boredom — an accountant!
Luckily he found his cousin, Trish Richards, who was a CPA. She took on those jobs and Neil was able to market his business, write books, do his Qantas stuff and build his brand. He had the desire but the SWOT and mentor showed him how to win.
Babette Bensoussan of Mindshifts.com.au says SWOT analyses are often misused.
The first step in using a SWOT analysis is to understand each of the elements. She recommends writing all your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats down, listing as many as possible.
The second step should see you match each of the SWOT boxes with possible strategies you could undertake to maximise your strengths and make your weaknesses irrelevant.
To show you how, Babette says you need to match say your Strengths with your Opportunities and, out of this, you should come up with some activities/strategies you could develop to help you win.
What might shock many of you is that experts argue that boosting your desire to win can happen via the adoption of new, daily processes.
Writing in entrepreneur.com, Tim Sykes says there are eight habits to lift your game. Here they are, with my takes on the subjects:
What I’ve gifted you is a great pile of things you can do to lift your game but the one question you’re going to have to ask yourself after you read my last sentence is: “Do I have the D-factor to improve my game?”