What is it going to take to be successful in what is left of 2016? The keywords for success in 2016 are environment and relationships. Finding the right environment and the right relationships will be crucial to reducing stress and building personal and business success. This may sound like a very simplistic approach to planning out your 2016 goals but understand that life does not have to be complicated or difficult.  These two areas will play a great role in your quest for success this year.

My favorite book in 2015 was “the One Thing” by Gary Keller.  If you haven’t read it go get it now.  It’s a game changer for anyone in sales and business.  We all know about the vital few, and the faithful two, but  the absolutely necessary “one thing” that you need identify and execute  in your business plan will drive 80% of your business and personal success this rest of this year.  Environment and relationships fall in the category of the faithful two, but your environment in my opinion is your one thing.

Your Environment

So let’s talk about environment first. Our environment affects the way we work and the way we feel. Generally, our environment is a reflection of our inner self.  Have you walked into an office only to find chaos surrounding you?  It is highly likely that the individual working in that office is dealing with chaos at home and in their relationships as well. Our environment affects our ability to think, focus and relate to other people, or deal effectively in difficult circumstances or situations.

Before you give up on the rest of this year, start assessing your current environment at home and at work.  A cluttered or disorganized environment affects our ability to focus, to be effective and efficient in our thoughts and our actions. It can also interfere with your ability to take control and steer your business confidently. A cluttered or chaotic  environment robs you of peace of mind and the joy you should feel in your life or with your family and or in your business or profession. An unhealthy environment destroys positive experiences and affects your relationships at home and with your clients.

Your environment  will affect your way of being and how you perceive the world around you. You will become negative in your thinking. The glass will always be half-empty instead of half-full. A healthy, stimulating environment is absolutely essential to your ability to rise above challenging circumstances and difficult situations. When your environment is positive and suited to your personal needs it allows you to be your best self each and every day so that you can successfully translate your highest potential into your greatest achievements.

If your environment is full of stress, unhealthy, dirty, chaotic, filled with caustic relationships, or you are struggling with an environment that leaves you feeling sick, and disrespected it is time to think about changing your situation. This may mean leaving your environment completely or making significant changes in your environment at home or at work.

Change in mindset

So why do we allow ourselves to wallow in misery and to stay in environments that are not conducive to growth and to happiness?

I believe the major reason most people cannot leave a bad environment or situation is because of low self-esteem. For some reason, and at some level, many people feel they are not worthy of happiness. Maybe you have felt this way before, or you feel this way now. You may feel that you are not deserving of success and that the punishment you receive in your current environment is what you deserve. Well, I want you to know that is a lie and that change in mindset come before a change in environment.

In the bible the prophet Jeremiah (29:11) said that God desires to prosper you and that He desires that everything you do is successful. Therefore, anything contrary to that is a lie. But we can always fall for a lie just as easily as we can embrace the truth. Do not let this lie affect your life. Do not allow low self-esteem to be the captain of your ship and the master of your destiny. Embrace what the Bible says. Take joy in the truth that you are highly favored by God, that you are designed with greatness, and with intelligence, and with opportunity just ready and waiting for you to bring it out.

Your Relationships

The second reason most people get stuck and cannot leave a bad environment is because of their relationships. We have all been divinely created and made to be in relationships. In order to be right with yourself and to function at your highest capacity you have to have good relationships. Bad relationships eat away at your self-esteem, erode your self-confidence, distract you from achieving your goals and cause mental, and in some cases, physical pain and anguish. None of these things are conducive to success and happiness.

Developing and nurturing positive, loving relationships with your spouse, children, parents and extended family as well as business partners and associates, friends, and neighbors takes time and effort.  The rewards of building those positive relationships will pay off with interest when you feel the strength of the relationships adding good things to your life. You will feel great and have the energy it takes to achieve your dreams, and the focus on the things you need to succeed. The relationship equation is a simple one: When we are in relationship with God and that relationship is what it should be, we are in communion or fellowship with God. From our relationship with God comes the power to create a positive, loving environment that is conducive for us to be in positive, life-giving relationships with one another.  Those relationships are built on mutual trust, respect, and love. When relationships are built on the pillars of love, respect and trust there are endless possibilities for productive, fruitful and supportive relationships that encourage us to be our best selves. Whether in business or in life, the possibilities are incredible when two people work together in mutual respect and trust. Anything can happen when we are willing to work with one another in positive, supportive relationships that bring out the best in each person.

If you want to be successful in 2016, you need to be in a right relationship with yourself and with others in your life.  Whether it is family, friends or business associates.  Business partnerships are like marriages. If you work closely with your business partner then your relationships must be based on mutual respect, and trust. If those elements are missing the relationship is broken.  

If your relationship is broken in your business or home, then you need to fix it because you cannot function at your highest and best if you do not trust, or respect other people on your team and in your life.  The business environment can become toxic quickly. Lack of trust can lead to rumors, accusations and actions that take place in secret. These things erode your effectiveness over time and they rob you of the joy and happiness you should receive from your business and  professional life.

Social Media & Relationships

Social media has increased the pressure to focus on relationship-building. Now more than ever, business success depends not just on our relationships in the office, it extends to our clients and most importantly to our customers. If there is one skill every business person should learn to improve it is personal communication and relationship-building. Advertising and online search is more personalized than ever.  Business is more reliant on word of mouth referrals. Just take a minute to think about Facebook, Tweets, Diggs, Pins. Products and brands that  go viral not by paid per click advertising but because they have successfully built trusting relationships and are connected with their customers and fans and the word has spread like wildfire. Why, because friends trust friends. If my friend tells me about a great product I have to believe it because the chances are very high that I will like it as much as my friend does. Yes, there it is-that all important element of trust. It is important to your personal relationships and now it is important for all of your business relationships.

In 2016, I’m looking to take my business to a completely different level. In 2016, I’m looking to operate at the highest possible level I can. After 33 years in the mortgage business, and after thousands of transactions and hundreds of relationships, I can simply say that I know what it takes to go to the level where I want to be in my business.  My focus is to get there in 2016.

There are many things we need to manage day to day to make our businesses successful in 2016. Without a doubt we need to focus on technology, on social media, on systems and processes that allow greater automation of our businesses. We need to build stronger relationships with our partners and we need to establish alliances and affiliate relationships with other businesses to provide a steady flow of clients and referrals to our business. All of these things and many more that this blog cannot really address at this time are important. But I believe that being in the right environment and building positive, trusting relationships in your business falls into the 80/20 rule. The right environment and relationships in your business will drive 80%-90% of your productivity. I truly believe that and I hope you agree with me.  Let me know.  You have the power right now to make the changes necessary to create a positive environment and positive relationships so act on these suggestions, because The Power Is Now for success in the rest of this productive year. 

Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA

President and CEO