What’s holding you back?

One of the most amazing stories I read in 2012 was about Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic free fall from a specially made helium balloon. He is an example of habits for business success. His successful jump from 128,100 feet / 39.040 meters on October 14 broke several records not the least of which was becoming the first person in free fall to break the speed of sound – exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier flying in an experimental rocket-powered airplane.

Check this short video clip and see what I mean –

Felix had a vision all his life of sky diving and piloting helicopters. When he was 16 years old he began sky jumping and built a solid career and skill set in this activity.

So, why I am so impressed by his story? Felix exemplifies the power behind execution and the essential habits necessary in achieving a vision. Here’s what we can learn as leaders.

Habits of Business Success


Baumgartner didn’t begin his preparation for his Oct 14th jump months or even years before it happened; his preparation began with his dreams as a young boy at a nearby airport watching sky divers’ parachute from planes. He signed up to start learning to jump as soon as he was legally able to do so, and eventually enrolled in the military to further refine his skills. Over the years he has achieved so many unique sky diving feats all of which prepared him for his leap from the edge of space on October 14th.

Preparation is a series of incremental steps which build toward a desired outcome. In general most business people don’t do a great job in preparation. Why? It seems we all can get caught up in our belief systems or gut assumptions without working through the rationale and details behind our decisions and actions. What eventually snags any hope of progress is not taking the time to prepare the right information and/or skills sets that will advance our desired outcomes.

Knowing how to build an expert team to support you

Felix also assembled an expert team of engineers, flight specialists and even relied greatly on his project mentor Col. Joe Kittinger who holds the world record for the longest free fall.

No one can achieve a vision or goal without the support of others. Even an entrepreneur with an abundance of knowledge and experience will need to rely on people smarter and possess specific insights that make the project team that much stronger during implementation. This is key to business success.

Focus and discipline on a few, meaningful priorities

As I mentioned earlier, Baumgartner had a dream – a singular focus on sky diving and he had the discipline to follow through. How often have we seen the “spray and pray” approach in getting things done? Lists upon lists of things to do; yet priorities never get done. Things get started but they never get finished. Chet Holmes in his book, “The Ultimate Sales Machine” wrote – “Success isn’t about doing 4,000 things; it’s about doing a few things 4,000 times.” What this means is focus on a few priorities and dig deep in making them happen. Have the discipline to stay on course.

Courage to take the plunge

I get goose pumps every time I see Felix take his step away from his capsule into space and freefall rapidly to earth.  What a feeling it must have been to take the plunge after so many decades of work toward achieving this final goal.

So, how often do we make excuses, delay or fret over the fear that we might fail in achieving our goals.

So what’s holding you back from achieving your goals?

What are the top things you should – do better, eliminate because they are holding you back or amplify because you are good at doing it? Once you set your priorities above all else – implement. This is the number one driver in achieving your goals.  Implement with preparation, by leveraging a team, with focus and discipline and with the courage to take the plunge.

No Replies to "What's holding you back?"

    Got something to say?

    Some html is OK