Entrepreneur, CEO, Angel Investor, and Execution Expert Kim Perell shares the one skill you must master and 3 strategies you can implement immediately to help drive personal and professional success.
I’ve spent nearly 20 years as an entrepreneur and executive in the marketing technology space. As a founder and CEO, I’ve successfully led companies through boom and bust times, executing successful acquisitions totaling over $700 million. As an active angel investor, I’ve invested in over 70 start-ups, 14 of which have been acquired over by companies including Apple and Intel, and one that went public and is currently valued at over $5 billion dollars.
I get pitched dozens of ideas a week.
Some people have what it takes, and some people don’t.
It’s not IQ. How many talented people do you know who are still struggling?
It’s not just hard work either. Think of how many people you know working away day after day and getting nowhere.
I look for what separates the dreamers from the doers.
Ultimately, ideas are a dime a dozen. The real genius is in execution.
The One Skills that Drives Success
Execution. The ability to DO – get things done – to get results. To learn to adapt and change, and keep moving forward despite the challenges, hardships and obstacles that lay ahead.
Execution is the difference between success and failure.
The good news? Execution is a skill that can be learned. Here are 3 strategies you can leverage to become great at execution for personal and professional success:
1. Set simple, clearly defined goals.
You must set simple, clearly defined goals. You must write them down – and look at them regularly. People who write down their goals earn 9X as much over their lifetime as people who don’t have goals. It can be a big goal or small goal. Starting a new business, buying a new house, running a marathon, or getting a new job. Writing goals down ensures that you’re psychologically motivated and focused on clearing the mental benchmarks that lead to success, and reduce the excuses that invariably cause doubt and indecision.
When I was CEO of my previous company, I set a goal to sell the company. I wrote the goal down on a Post-it note with the date I wanted to accomplish it by and I taped to my bathroom mirror. The Post-it note got wet, smudged, blown off with my hair dryer and caught in the drain but I kept putting it back up. Every day I was reminded of my goal and what I was working towards – despite if I was tired or was facing challenges. Nine months after putting my goal up, I sold my company.
It sounds simple, but many of us go day-to-day not sure of what we are working to accomplish. If you don’t know what you want to achieve, how are you ever going to execute against all the smaller wins necessary to achieve your ultimate goal? So grab a pen and paper and get started. What do you want to accomplish in the next week, month or year? I challenge you to write your goals down and commit to them today.
2. Take the First Step
Every great journey starts with a single step. What will your first step be to achieve your goal? Take one action, however small, and you will set forth in motion towards a greater possibility. Many people have a great idea and vision but don’t act. If you want to start a new business, reach out to someone you admire who has done it to set up lunch or coffee and ask for advice. If you want to run a marathon, run a mile tomorrow. If you want to become an artist, take an art class.
Just like Newton’s second law of motion, it’s harder to get the ball rolling than it is to keep it moving. Executing the first moments of momentum against a goal are always the hardest, but once the ball is rolling, it’s easier to reach your ultimate goal.
3. Audit Your Life
The greatest single determining factor of the quality of your life and your success is the people you spend your time with. I consciously make a point to audit the relationships in my life. To spend more time with the people who lift me up and less time with the people who bring me down. I invest in relationships, and I surround myself with people who challenge, motivate, inspire and support me. But sometimes positive relationships take a turn and you need to decide if you are going to continue to invest in them or let them go. If you have people in your life who drain your energy or seed doubt in your ability to execute, I would recommend you distance yourself. Wherever they are going, you are going too.
By setting simple, clearly defined goals, taking the first step, and auditing your life, you will be setting yourself up to execute a plan to reach your dreams and increase your chances of success!
Kim Perell is an award-winning entrepreneur, executive, angel investor, and CEO of a global marketing technology company. Laid off from her first job at an internet startup, Kim began her journey as an entrepreneur from her kitchen table, becoming a multi-millionaire by the time she was 30, and selling her last company for $235 million in 2014. Her first book, The Execution Factor, is designed to teach others how to master execution and achieve success in business and life. To learn more, follow @kimperell or visit kimperell.com.