Your Success is Directly Related to Your Focus on HPA’s
Over my 30+ years in business I have seen hundreds, if not thousands of people attempt to get into business, make that dream a reality and within a year or so they are gone. At the same time I have seen and continue to see hundreds of business owners struggle just to get by and make less than if they had a job.
They continue to pretend everything is ok and tend to blame their woes on someone or something else. Be it the economy, the market, the customer or even the weather, if you can believe that. According to Bloomberg 80% of the entrepreneurs that open a business are out of business within 18 months.
Now there are many factors that play into these numbers, but one of the biggest reasons many people fail in business is their failure to know what the HPA’s for their specific business are.
If you are wondering what an HPA is, it stands for High Payoff Activities. Many people that get into business just run off the cuff, with no day-to-day strategic plan of action. Much less spending time every day determining what are the most critical activities that need to be done that day, not tomorrow, but today to drive revenue. Which by the way is how you make money.
Discipline is absolutely necessary in running a business, especially a successful business and knowing what your HPA’s are daily is part of running a successful business.
Some of you reading this might not know how to determine what the HPA’s for your business are. We will take a few minutes and compare the daily activities of a sales rep vs. what their HPA’s are. We are going to use the example of a sales rep because it will apply to anyone that has to sell a product or service to make their living and feed their family. This will not only apply to professional sales reps, but to all entrepreneurs, traditional businesses and home based businesses as well as anyone that is in Direct Sales or Network Marketing.
Now let’s agree up front that there are many duties/tasks that are required to be successful in business, notice I said successful. For this example we are going to say that this successful sales rep already has the necessary skills (presentation, listening, negotiating and closing) and tools to sell their specific product or service so that is not going to be the issue here. If by chance you don’t have these necessary skills or your skills are not honed for the particular business you are in, that should be at the top of your list of things to get done immediately. There is however a caveat.
You can be lacking in some of the necessary skills (it’s not advisable) but can make up for it if your HPA’s are in order for your specific business and you spend most of your time focusing on them.
Regular Activities vs. HPA’s – High Payoff Activities
Answering Email vs. Doing Presentations/Generating Revenue
Checking Social Media vs. Making Sales Calls
Straightening his desk vs. Calling customers to strengthen the relationship
Surfing the internet vs. Improving his skill sets
Going to the dry cleaner vs. Calling customers asking for referrals
Reviewing his list of past sales vs. Cultivating new lead sources
Talking about yesterday’s game vs. Working on perfecting his pitch/presentation
I could go on and on but I think you get the point. An HPA is the most important thing you need to do today to generate revenue.
Believe me when I say I know there are lots of tasks and duties to do when you run a business as I am here and doing it every day.
Unfortunately, many people think that all the other tasks and duties are more important than generating revenue and guess what? They’re not!
What I am talking about here is not just running a business to be in business for yourself or struggling just to get by because you want to be a business owner and call yourself an entrepreneur. I am talking about excelling at what you do and being the best you can be, making money, thriving, taking care of your family like they deserve to be, being happy and enjoying each day to the fullest.
Isn’t that what owing a business and being an entrepreneur is supposed to be all about?
When I got into the insurance industry in the 1970’s my General Agent told me I should be spending 80% of my time prospecting finding people to talk to and making presentations. Then I could do all the other necessary activities in that remaining 20%.
At the time I thought that was strange that I would spend so much time, such an inordinate amount on just prospecting and making presentations when I had so much to learn.
It wasn’t until he sat me down and showed me all the top producers, the agents that made the most money that I started to realize something that would change my business from that day forward. The agents that focused most of their time on prospecting and making presentations were by far the most successful and were the happiest.
It was then I realized that to be successful in business I needed to prioritize where I spent my time. I had to learn to focus on what was most important and that was to generate revenue, because that’s how I paid my bills and took care of my family.
Everything else was secondary. It put things in perspective and I maintain that mindset today 30+ years later.
I was taking 100% responsibility for my actions and my results.
When you realize that you are the only one that determines whether you are successful or fail, that it all depends on what priority you place every day on the activities you do that ultimately determines if you are successful, struggle or fail.
The best way to ensure your success is to take time the evening before (preferable) or the first thing in the morning and determine what your HPA’s (related to generating revenue) for that day are and put all you effort, all your focus in those activities first, then success shall follow.
Rick Corbett Jr. is the co-founder and president of PropelU.com. With over 25 years experience in personal development, business ownership and building global sales organizations Rick has brought his passion for Entrepreneurship, Success and Self Development to help create PropelU.com – the mobile app for achievers. Ricks goal is to provide a platform that puts the tools to achieve success at your fingertips and help people live a life where anything is possible. You can follow Rick on Twitter @RickCorbett and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rickcorbettjr