My sensei in our martial arts dojo used to remind us at the start of each session, “Your objective is to utterly destroy your opponent – not to tickle him.” In the minds of too many people, titles (that often sound like the names of Chinese restaurants), style, posturing, and appearance are more important than the real objective. Why? There’s a good reason.

Many use “work” – showing up for meetings, titles, ranks, presenting talks, attending webinars and seminars, discussing, “mentoring” those who have accomplished even less than they have, and other unimportant activities as a substitute for results. It’s called, in the vernacular of magicians and politicians, MISDIRECTION. Don’t let them see that you’re not reaching your stated goals; point them in another direction.

There is only one objective in business: maximum net profit. If that isn’t your objective, prance around on a stage somewhere and call yourself an actor. Business isn’t about entertainment and self aggrandizement. Too many people are legends in their own lunchtime. At any given time, you should be asking yourself, “Is my objective to make money? If so, is this activity taking me towards my objective or away from it? It this going to make me money? Is this contributing to my ego or my bank balance?”

A school friend of mine was a great fighter. He won every fight, even when his components were bigger than him and armed with intimidating looking knuckledusters make of motorbike chains, with the links cut and sharpened – one blow with that thing could disfigure you for life. I asked him what his secret was, and he replied that his secret was very simple – strike first, strike as hard as you can, strike vulnerable areas, and carry on striking until your opponent is incapable of striking back. He didn’t learn to fight playing video games or watching TV.

Your style – whether it be karate, judo, boxing, mixed martial arts, krav maga – is unimportant. Winning is important. Reaching your objective as soon as possible is important. Tickling is not important. How much money you bank at the end of the week is what counts. Focus on that, and you will win.

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Robin Elliott LeverageAdvantage.com