As some of you may have noticed, The Olympics started on Friday. At those games there will be a lot of competitors who went to London 2012 and didn’t win a medal. Some of them had no chance then and have no chance now. “Tourists!” Steve Backley used to call them.

But there are also a lot who went to the last games with a hope of a medal. When they failed they will have engaged in one of two thought processes. One group will have externally attributed i.e. they will have said it was “down to the weather, competitors, conditions, coaching, hotel”, you name it someone will use it as an excuse for them not winning. Others will internally attribute. They will say “if only I’d worked harder on my technique, diet, mental preparation, weaknesses etc etc”.

Guess which group is going to have more medal winners this time round?

In life, business, exams or pretty everything else there will always be three types of people:

       1. Those who have over-prepared to such a degree that they are prepared for virtually every situation.

       2. Those who may succeed or fail depending on what happens on the day.

       3. Those who are going to fail no matter what.

Human nature puts most people in band 2. Band 1 requires you to spend time out of your life which might be wasted doing things which may or may not have an impact. And therefore most people won’t do it.

I hear similar things every day when things have gone wrong. “Didn’t have enough time”, “difficult client”, “let down by another colleague”. We’ve all heard these excuses.

But those excuses are part of what is known as “external attribution” i.e. blaming failure on external forces. Those same people will usually attribute to the success to themselves of course!

Being able to over-prepare requires a degree of imagination and requires you to step outside your comfort zone. Within our own practice, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our service to clients. We identified an issue the other day where the front desk were regularly having to amend letters for different fonts, spacing etc. A small big of digging uncovered the fact that about half the PCs in the office had the wrong settings and lots of the standard letters were not formatted properly. Getting this sorted will not only save a considerable amount of time for our reception but also for the senior staff who spot these things and have to get them amended.

This is but one small example. There are probably hundreds of minor issues like this in your business which could be improved and which combined will have a transforming effect on your business, its future and probably your personal wealth.

You see most of those Olympic medals that will be handed out over the next few weeks have been won already. They’ve been won by those who relentlessly day in day out did the things that will make them ready. They will have considered every situation, devised a solution and practiced it. And then they will turn up on the day and they won’t need things to be perfect because they will be prepared. They will do their stuff and the medal will be theirs.

There will be winners who weren’t expected to win. They will perform well on the day and someone else will crash out but they will be the rarities because relentless beats lucky almost every single time.

If you’re looking for a firm that can help you make the constant improvements required to achieve your business and personal goals talk to one of our Principal Advisers or to one of the partners in our consultancy arm, A4G Growth.