If you have ever listened to Gary Vaynerchuk, then you have probably heard him talk about his goal to own the New York Jets. Before you talk about how unrealistic this goal may or may not be, Gary will tell you himself, he is more focused on the process of owning the Jets. In this episode, we discuss three benefits you can have when you value the process over the result.
- Set realistic expectations
- Repeatable results
- Freedom to celebrate
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1. Set realistic expectations
When you value the process over the outcome, your focus is on the steps you need to take to accomplish your goal. Oftentimes, when you focus on the outcome, you tend to set unrealistic expectations.
One of my first successful businesses was a photo booth rental company and I had the pleasure of working with some amazing people. Whether you were talking about the DJ, photographer, or even the bartender, we all showed up early to make sure everything worked perfectly.
Guests would look at the finished product and inquire about owning their own photo booth company. To them, it looked like easy money and a good time.
I was flattered by the idea that I made my work look easy, because this was not always the case.
The guests never saw the growing pains, they only saw the finished product. They saw the booth, a prop table, and everyone having a lot of fun. I am sure they thought to themselves, “how hard can it be?”
Because they never experienced the challenges I faced early on, they assume everything always worked seamlessly. They were not there when I was building a customer base, equipment was malfunctioning, or I packed the wrong gear.
When you focus on the process over the result, you allow yourself to appreciate the effort that goes into creating the outcome. When you solely focus on outcome, you tend to slip into the instant gratification belief that something is easy or effortless.
2. Repeatable results
Who do you consider the most successful athlete, artist, leader, or coach? While we may differ on who we choose, I am confident there is one attribute both of our lists will share. We will both list someone who is consistent over a significant time period.
Whether you love them or hate them, coaches like Nick Saban, Bill Belichick, and Phil Jackson are consistent in their process.
As a result, they have won more championships in their respective sports than any of their contemporaries.
You will find the more you focus on the process, the more likely you will create the desired outcome.
Those who focus on the outcome over the process may get there from time to time, but they will not have a repeatable process.
By focusing on the process, you are building a blueprint from where you are to where you want to be.
Small word of caution on valuing the process
Do not focus so much on the process that you forget to set a goal. Your goal is your destination and you need to know where you are going.
Focusing on the process is like someone working on a huge math problem. They have filled the entire board with numbers, letters, and symbols. Because they were only looking at the next leg of the problem, they never realized how everything was connected.
If you were to take a step back, you may notice that your math problem is nothing more than 2+2=4.
3. Freedom to celebrate
When you dwell on the outcome, you tend to believe you cannot celebrate until you are done. This leads to fear and self-doubt because you are waiting for the outcome to signal your success.
When grappling with self-doubt, the fear of something bad happening, or the fear of inadequacy, you are worried about the past or the future. In the case of valuing the outcome over the process, your anxiety, and stress is tied to the future completion date. That means everyday you wake up and your goal is not achieved, is another day you feel inadequate.
Instead, if you focused on your growth along the way, you allow yourself the ability to celebrate your small wins. In my book, Champion of Change, I talk about the science behind the power of experiencing small wins. The “progress principle came out of Teresa and Steven’s analysis and research found in the Harvard Business Review article, The Power of Small Wins.
In short, “of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work.” They go on to explain, “The more frequently people experience that sense of progress, the more likely they are to be creatively productive in the long run.”
Use your goal to create your process, and then do not worry about the outcome anymore. By focusing on the process, you will ensure you enjoy the journey and growth along the way. Your timeline will be reasonable and your blueprint will be repeatable.