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How Badly Do You Want It?

Don’t just pay your goals lip service—to achieve success you must really want it.

By Bill Bachrach

What do you think about people who say they want to be fit, or spend more time with family, or really buckle down in business and they just can’t seem to pull it off? Maybe you know someone who struggles with this sort of thing. Maybe you are that someone.

People who say they want something but aren’t doing what’s necessary to get it aren’t liars—not most of them, anyway. Most of them really want what they say, but on a day-to-day basis they just can’t seem to make it happen.

The problem is they don’t want it enough—not enough to go to the gym regularly, to organize the day so they can be with their family or to make the follow-up calls they know they should.

Make a change and make it stick
Let’s say you have this nagging feeling that, although you want to produce a better business result this year, it’s probably going to turn out a lot like last year, and you aren’t motivated to do what’s necessary to make a difference. How can you make a change and make it stick?

If you can’t get yourself behind the objective, it ain’t worth it.

You can start with a few simple exercises. First, take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the center. At the top of the right column, write, “How badly do I want it?” At the top of the left column, write, “What is it?”

Start with the left column. Ask yourself, “What do I really want? What is the result I want to produce?” Get it down into a sentence or two, such as “I want to acquire 20 new clients who fit the following criteria: They are serious about financial success, have net worths of at least $200,000, have accumulated investable assets of $350,000 or more, are motivated to delegate financial affairs so there’s less worry and stress for self and spouse, have important financial goals, are nice people and value my opinion and expertise.”

Make your desired result just as specific as this example. Then, in the same column, write down what other results this will produce in your life. For instance: “These new clients will help free me from prospecting. I need only 40 clients like this to achieve my business goals, and since I already have 20, the additional 20 will mean I can focus on serving my clients, improving my professional skills and even taking some time off next year. It will mean my kids will see me more in the coming years because I haven’t dragged out the business-building phase of my career. When this goal is achieved, I will begin to have the recurring revenue I need to ensure my financial plan is on track and can start working on some of my personal goals. This one result will be the start of an immense domino effect—this is crucial to so many other things I want in my life.”

Now, in the right column, rate your current level of motivation to achieve this on a scale of one to 10, where one means you can hardly keep your eyes open through this exercise and 10 means you’re ready to go out and do something to achieve it right now.

Consider what level of drive is required to meet this goal. Rate that on a scale of one to 10, and then describe how you’re going to have to feel to get what you say you want. Write it in the present tense: “I have a plan for each week that moves me closer to my goal every day. I ask for referrals, make the necessary calls and follow up in the way I know I must. I do not leave the office without getting these critical items done. I am focused like a laser on this goal. My staff understands this as well as I do, and they support me in achieving this goal.”

Real motivation
Now take a good look at what you’ve done. You’ve honestly stated your goal and what it will take to achieve it. Do you want it enough? Are you willing to do what’s necessary—even when you don’t feel like it? That’s motivation—perseverance, knowing what you want, doing the things you’d rather not and working when you don’t want to to get it done.

Obviously, there’s more to real success than just writing some inspiring stuff. You may need additional skills or tools or connections to make the difference. But I have a newsflash: If you can’t get yourself behind the objective, it ain’t worth it.

Don’t be a salesperson. Be a Trusted Advisor.

©2004 by Bill Bachrach, Bachrach & Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Bill Bachrach is the author of four industry-specific books, including his latest, It’s All About Them; How Trusted Advisors Listen for Success. For information about his speaking and coaching services, contact Bachrach & Associates, Inc. at 800-347-3707 or visit


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