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Management And Training

Understanding the price of success: Part two

September 19, 2010
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Last month, we began a discussion with part one of Understanding the price of success.

This column is the conclusion of that discussion.

Growing up
The best players in Pony League, which was discussed last month, are often asked to play for the high school team.

What the players learn immediately upon taking the field for practice is that all the players are the best players from the Pony League.

The player must develop new skills and practice harder to keep up the “good player” label.

It still seems like fun.

The player has a true love for the game.

He or she doesn’t mind the longer hours; however, the distractions in high school start to affect his or her concentration.

There are additional responsibilities the player must face.

He or she no longer has the ability to focus 90 percent of all waking hours on the game.

It is, in reality, down to 30 percent, or less.

This makes the mental aspect of the game even more important to the player.

He or she has to develop an ability to focus when on the field — to remove all other thoughts while the game is under way.

He or she may have to learn how to develop these skills through classes or seminars.

This is where many players start to filter out of sports or look to other activities.

The driven player usually has more than just the physical ability.

This level is where the player with the positive attitude starts to excel and receive attention from collegiate scouts.

Harsh realities
We know that the business climate continues to change, but we are unsure of how to address the changes.

Employees can become more difficult to deal with.

We may experience customer complaints because of poor training programs or have employees with the wrong customer service attitude.

We spend a lot of time putting out the brushfires of the day and not working on developing the business plan, implementing the marketing plan, or producing sales.

We find our time is becoming more valuable but less manageable.

We study cash flow reports, vehicle averages, employee performance reports, and sales closing rates.

We find that we have less time allotted for leisure or family activities.

The great feeling you used to get from accomplishing cleaning for customers is gone.

This is really not a good time anymore.

You start to entertain the idea of selling the company.

What the ball player discovers at this point is the fact there are 1.3 million children involved in Little League, but only 800 Major League players.

The funnel effect for this level of success is staggering.

That is a drop off rate from beginning to end of more than 99.99 percent.

Only the absolute best will survive the cuts.

Each level is more difficult, the training program more focused, the failure rate higher, and the cost of achievement elevated.

Players now need to decide if the time and energy is worth the effort, knowing the slim chance for ultimate success.

Most players decide that it is not, opening up spots for the driven few that still face the same unlikely odds.

Each of these situations can be true, but each one can be changed with early introspection.

What happens in each scenario is the candidate has a fundamental failure in understanding the cost of success.

The other issue the candidate fails to understand is that at each level of success, the road gets a little steeper, the obstacles a little higher, and the cost a little more significant.

Every successful venture, no matter what the industry or task, has a cost of achievement.

In many ventures, we simply do not look downstream far enough or do not set goals to finalize what the outcome will look like.

We fail to draw the map for how to get from one place — business beginning — to the end — business or financial success.

This can be also called “downstream thinking.”

We need to visualize what the final outcome will look like, what steps to take along the way, how difficult the skill sets will be to install, and what the price of the final outcome will cost in money, time, energy, or lost relationships.

The other basic principle to understand is that the true goal can never be to conquer the business or competition, but developing the ability to conquer ourselves.

Dane Gregory is a business consultant and trainer specializing in working with companies in the professional cleaning industry. He currently trains technicians in the use of cleaning protocols for stone, tile, and masonry surfaces for IICRC Certification. He also presents a business opportunity for newcomers in the cleaning industry in the care of ceramic tile, stone and grout, with a full equipment and training package. He can be contacted at, or contacted at

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