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A smart past can become a stupid future

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Being successful requires that you constantly review and update your strategy for getting to where you want to be. The ideas and tactics that worked in the past may not get you to the next level. If you aren’t careful, you can find yourself becoming a dinosaur. The world moves on without you and now you’re extinct. Or at least your dream is.

When you just start out in business, it’s acceptable to pick up the phone and call 100 people and get only one or two to create the opportunities you can turn into business growth. You’re not frustrated or insulted by the grind. In your mind, it is just what needs to be done at the time. You’re working hard to make things work.

Are there better strategies? Yes. Are there better ideas? Yes. But if you’re broke and need to make a difference now, cold calling is a great strategy to get you headed in the right direction—regardless of what the experts might tell you.

As you evolve and your business grows, you’re going to find yourself busier than when you first started out. You’re not going to have the time to make endless cold calls hoping to find that one person who will give you a chance. To maximize your productivity, you need better strategies. You need to get better at doing better.

This applies all areas of life: how you manage your finances, how you stay physically fit, how you lead your team and how you keep the romance in your relationship. If you’re not careful, you will keep doing what you’ve always been doing.

You’ll remain comfortable and unimaginative and end up with dreams that have gone extinct. It’s important to step back from your opinions, strategies and life experience and ask yourself the hard questions about “possibility.”

Maybe it’s time to start trying some of those stupid ideas you keep having. Maybe it’s time to hire a coach or mentor to help you with your progress.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in optimizing tactics instead of improving your strategy for success.

Never forget: All strategies work and none work. It just depends on what you’re trying to do and where you’re at right now. Set aside time daily, weekly and monthly to look at where you are and to ask yourself the hard questions about reaching your full potential.

Sometimes a smart past turns into a stupid future.

You can do better, but you have to think for yourself. You have to be brutally honest. And you have to follow your dream relentlessly. Every moment counts. So use all your moments wisely.

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Dan Waldschmidt is an international business strategist, speaker and author. He is author of the soon-to-be-released Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve Outrageous Success. For more information, go to


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