When you hear the word “consequences,” it might bring to mind a negative impression. But consequences can be either negative or positive, depending on the circumstance.
What is a consequence?
The result or effect of an action or condition
The effect, result, or outcome of something occurring earlier
Something that naturally follows an action or condition
You reap what you sow
Consequence is a natural progression from your actions. When a criminal holds up a bank, there will eventually be negative consequences. When you work hard on a project, you’ll realize positive consequences. I am teaching our grandchildren the meaning of consequences – that their actions determine results. If they do an action that’s not good, they’ll experience negative consequences. On the other hand, when they make wise choices, they’ll be rewarded.
When you choose your behavior, you choose your consequences.
– Dr. Phil
A systematic approach to making good decisions
Early in my football coaching career, I often had negative consequences because of poor decisions: specifically, from taking bad jobs. I didn’t have the right process of getting valuable input to make right decisions. Later on, I developed our Priority Management System because I got tired of making dumb decisions, or making choices I thought were wise which later turned out to be costly.
The worst decisions
The worst types of decisions are made based on emotions. In both athletics and business, emotional decisions can beat you. As a coach, I saw all kinds of emotional responses to situations, but one player was a notable exception. A kicker, he seemed to have ice water in his veins. He apparently didn’t care whether he made the kick or not, which really irritated the other coaches. Actually, his lack of emotion was extremely helpful in his position: past mistakes and losses didn’t weigh him down and interfere with his decisions, so he could always look ahead and focus on the next kick.
The best decisions
You make two types of decisions: present based and future based. The best decisions are made with the future in mind, but most people spend a majority of their time making present based decisions centered on their emotions. Back in my coaching days, I was one of those people. Jumping from team to team, with no decision-making system to guide me, I worked long hours for low pay. But eventually, I made a critical decision for our long term financial future, and I entered the business world as an entrepreneur.
Today, I’m guided by our Priority Management System, and I’ve learned the importance of making future based decisions. If I want great consequences in the future, I can make them happen by the decisions made now. For example, this month I decided that my focus is to get out twenty-five proposals. That led me to decide how many phone calls and core stories would I need to complete in order to hit my target. This focus also governs daily decisions like whether to accept a lunch invitation: I weigh that option against what it takes to achieve my goal.
Another example of deciding for the future is found in how I build my calendar. I set it up in segments of 90 days, but at the end of each month I start it over. A segment including November, December, and January will reset on December 1, so that now it runs December, January, February. Why do I lay it out this way? Because I don’t want dips in my business. Years ago, I chose to have a “day one mentality” every 30 days, even though my business cycle is 90 days, to help build and maintain momentum.
Focused actions result in great consequences
A friend told me I was missing the boat by not investing in bitcoin. I laughed because I’ve missed a lot of boats in my life and still been successful! Yes, there are people who will become millionaires with bitcoin. But I don’t have the time to invest in learning about it. I’m in my zone, doing what’s effective for me, and living my dream. If I were to change my focus to learn about bitcoin, it would dilute my efforts and adversely affect my business. Be careful about having your hands in too many projects: when your focus is divided, you’re much less likely to hit your targets.
In order to earn great consequences, consider what future based decisions you’ll need to make, starting right now. Write down three things you can do immediately that will deliver positive consequences down the road, then follow through on them. Begin focusing on the consequences you want to achieve, and base all your decisions on the future of your dreams.
Joe Pici is a business strategist, speaker, and tactical sales trainer who has been ranked by Global Gurus in the TOP 30 for Sales Training.