How creating a winning environment can change your life and business

Opinions expressed Entrepreneur collaborators are their own.

Business owners have always solved problems. That’s what the free market was created for — to enable innovative thinkers to create change for others by solving problems. We, as entrepreneurs, are problem solvers and creative thinkers. To succeed in business, we need to be good at several key skills. We need to be good at solving a specific problem for a specific type of person. We have to be good at finding the right people and managing those people. And we have to be good at solving the problems that arise in our businesses from the chaos that the world brings.

We all know that even with the perfect plan, we still run into problems. This is how we deal with these problems that dictate the final results in our business. The human mind has evolved to create more comfort for us. We’ve designed homes, cities, supply chains and more to solve problems and create more safety and security in an uncertain world. By creating these kinds of environments, we create a better world for ourselves, but, ironically, a worse one at the same time.

Related: 3 Ways to Create an Environment That Will Nurture an Entrepreneur

The problem is with too much comfort

The more comfort we create for ourselves, the more we crave that comfort and allow that comfort to coddle us and entice us to relax our pursuit of betterment. Many of us tell ourselves the story that we will exercise more if we only have Peloton, that tonal or home gym.

The hard truth is that once we get the things we tell ourselves will create a successful routine, many of us stay the same. Now we only have a new living room decoration and a reminder of the unfulfilled promises we made to ourselves every day. We say to ourselves, “I’ll use it tomorrow.” And then another day goes by, and it’s unused.

I was there too. For five years I told myself: “Tomorrow I will quit heroin.” And then the next day came and I found myself sticking a needle in my arm. Until the day came when the pain of staying the same was greater than the pain of change. So I quit my job and haven’t touched him since. Was it easy? No, but what in life is worth it is easy? I didn’t find much.

Related: 8 Ways to Structure Your Daily Effort for Success

Creating a winning internal environment

Most of our habits are not nearly as harmful to our health, our relationships, and our jobs as heroin. But the constant practice of sitting comfortably on our laurels, thinking that we have succeeded because we have a company that pays us a certain amount month after month, year after year, can be disgustingly comfortable and therefore harmful. That kind of comfort we’re lured into can cause catastrophic damage when a big problem arises and we’re not ready to solve it because we’ve allowed our metaphorical tools to dull and our muscles to weaken.

In business I have discovered that we are at war with ourselves and at war with the tendency to crave comfort instead of the habit of consistently seeking success. So the external environment is not what we have to nurture in order to succeed. It is the internal environment that we must shape and reduce in order to create the success we truly desire.

When lifting weights, the last few repetitions when we feel more pain, when we fully strain and feel the maximum amount of stress, create the most significant changes in our muscles and body. These are also the moments when we want to give up, throw in the towel, or procrastinate starting what we know we should be doing, in which we need to change our internal environment and create habits of execution.

Life will get in the way; it is inevitable. Kids, headaches, feeling low on energy, needing to get one more thing done at work – the list goes on of the excuses we might allow ourselves to use to keep putting off things we know we need to do. Real strength lies in knowing that we will never have more time in the day and that we must prioritize what is most important, which is self-worth, self-confidence and the habit of showing up.

Yes, combustion is a real thing. And we are only capable of doing so much each day. We will never be able to create more time in the day, and so we must create an internal environment, a set of decision-making skills that allow us to be the most efficient we can be with our time and our energy. This can be shown as a willingness to let go of control and empower employees so that we can allocate our time and energy to different and more critical tasks and activities. It can also mean that we don’t allow ourselves to be distracted by social media and motivational content and just allow ourselves to get fed up doing the things we want them to motivate.

So in 2023, I will be creating an environment for myself and my business that will allow me to consistently stay on the path to greatness, and I encourage you to do the same. I won’t let my old habits destroy the person I know I can be and will become, and I certainly won’t let the outside world dictate how I show up. I hope you won’t either.

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