5 Steps To Success

Finishing what you start is the most important aspect to successfully completing any task.  Sure, it sounds obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I hear that people don’t have time to finish something, or can’t get started on something because they can’t find the time, or … on and on about excuses.  You get the picture.


You’ll notice that I didn’t start this with the Table of Contents or the Publisher information or Credits to the Author or even a Forward.  I didn’t put a Dedication or Title Page or anything else to distract you from getting right to what is important, because that would be “beating around the bush” and a waste of time.  If you want that information, go to the end where I put all the “fluff” you don’t need but might want to know because you’re curious.  In today’s day and age, the weight of the book and the number of pages are not important, it’s the content that counts.  And, many people don’t read to the end.  It’s important to read this from start to finish as you will find the content invaluable.  So, read on OR put it down and make some excuse as to why you don’t have the time to read.

If you want to complete something, you have to start and finish it.  It’s that simple.  I am not going to give you the “low down” or “cut to the chase” because that’s not how successful people do it.  I am not going to “give you pearls” or “nuggets” because it’s not about “bullet points” or “highlights” or the “executive summary” of things.  That’s not how life works.  Life is lived through time, not through “shortcuts” and “cutting corners” to get to the goal.

Whoever heard of a sporting event where they just play the start and finish and skip the middle?  It’s not possible to skip ahead.  It’s not possible to just read the start and finish and know what’s in the middle.  Don’t go to the end to “see how it turns out” or find out “whodunit” because there is no “the butler did it” in this book.  It’s about you and there is no other person than you sabotaging your own success.


What you need to do is REACT.  A simple acronym for an obvious concept…to finish what you start:

  • Recognize
  • Enable
  • Act
  • Complete
  • Triumph or Try Again!

I’m not a Doctor of Philosophy or Psychology.  I have degrees in Engineering and IT Project Management.  So, if you don’t think I have the qualifications to tell you how to succeed, put this book down and make your excuses.  But, my life experience managing large and complex projects where achieving defined success lends greatly to understanding how to make things work and to get jobs started and finished, should be enough.  I have had to put people together and figure out how they can best interact with efficiency and effectiveness.  It’s what I do and have done successfully since the early 1990s when my career in Engineering began.

I know what you’re thinking, because we all think the same way, quit with the “small talk” and let’s “get down to brass tacks” which, of course, is what we will do.

R is for Recognize

We all go through this phase on a daily basis.  This is the start of any problem.  It is the crux of why I am writing this.  Without the R, there is nothing.

Recognize that there is a need for something.

I suppose that makes sense.  It is the obvious beginning to any problem.  I hear it all the time from people.  If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “I thought of that years ago” when they see a new product on the market.  From Rollerblades to Easy Off Oven Cleaner to Drones… there’s nothing new in this world.  It’s all regurgitations of old ideas in a new and improved format.  BUT, you didn’t create it.  You’re NOT the big winner and entrepreneur of these products or ideas.

Why is that?

Probably because you didn’t actually think of it first.  But, it’s also likely that it is because you Recognized there was a problem or a need for something, but you didn’t REACT.


It’s true with everything around you.  At home or at work, there is always something that needs to get done.  Maybe your boss tells you to set up a Cash Flow spreadsheet or the toilet paper in your favorite bathroom has run out.  So, what do you do?  You have Recognized the problem (or your boss has) and you take care of it, right?  Of course you do, or you’ll have to go to a WalMart or something to use the bathroom every time you need to.  No, you buy the toilet paper when needed.  That’s just what you do.  So, you’ve REACTed.  Good job!  But, most people only Recognize a problem and don’t go through the steps to succeed.  You need more than the R in REACT.

E is for Enable

You need to move beyond the Recognition of a need or product and get to actually completing the task at hand.  If you thought there was a need for something, why didn’t you go ahead and get it done?  You didn’t REACT.

Enable yourself to do it.

You need to get the facts and supporting documentation to start the process.  Most people can get to this part of the process.  Recognition is the easy part, but Enabling yourself is a bit harder.  You have to actually do something to get started.  You have to Enable yourself.

Put down the Facebook and open a book or go to Wikipedia even and start your research.  Maybe it’s a matter of getting a few products or just some information.  Enabling yourself means doing the planning for what is to come.  Get the necessary information to understand what is needed and Enable yourself with the tools required to move to the next step.  Enable yourself to begin the process of succeeding.

A is for Action

This is where “the rubber meets the road” and things get moving.  Often times, people get through the Recognition and Enabling phases, but the Action is the real hard part.  You have to actually do something.  This is where things get done.

Act on the need.

It is important to plan carefully in the Enabling phase in order to get the Action needed to complete the task at hand.  If the plan is going along without too much deviation, then continue on with what you had in mind.

However, if the plan is not working appropriately, it’s okay to stop and move back a step to Enable yourself better.  Planning and preparing for the Action is a revolving idea.  It is important to continue to check to see if you are moving along to where you want to go.  Monitoring and assessing is an important part of the Action.

Take on the task with the Action you have set forth.  You have to get off the couch and get to work on what you have to do.  It takes desire and passion.  The belief in what you are doing is the right Action is critical.  Make sure you believe in the success of this.


C is for Complete

If you have Recognized the need, Enabled yourself well, and Acted on it to the fullest, you should have some Completion to the project.  But, to Complete anything, you’ll need to have a defined set of goals and accomplishments.  Don’t make it open ended.

Complete the task at hand.

Definitive steps and a defined end to things is a must.  You must set goals and achievements that define the end.  To every purpose, there is a reason.

Have the reason defined and in mind.  Write it on a piece of paper.  Post it on a Bulletin Board.  Stick it under a magnet on the refrigerator if it helps.  Or, set up an alarm on your phone or in your task list to remind you that the end goal is coming. Defined goals are imperative to knowing when you are Complete.

It’s not necessary to declare that you are Complete until you are.  If you need to return to the planning you did in the Enabling phase, do so.  Make sure you are Complete only when you are Complete.

T is for Triumph OR Try Again

Once you have Completed your task to the satisfaction of what you had planned in the beginning, it is time to assess what you have done.  It’s okay to fail.  Lots of people have failed through the years.  That’s why you don’t see Leonardo da Vinci’s Flying Machines permeating the skyline.  It doesn’t fly.  It was a good idea, but it didn’t work.  That’s okay, you can Try Again.

Be Triumphant or get back to the basics.

It’s not a failure until you stop Trying.  If you have success on a first attempt, then you had a great REACT which resulted in the Triumphant finish.  But, more often than not, you have not succeeded in your ultimate objective.  That’s probably why you have read to this point.

So, what do you do when you have not achieved your goal … when you have not Triumphed in the end?  No, you don’t throw up your hands and run around kicking things.  Well, maybe you do.  But, ultimately, if you want success, you Try Again.

Start over from the very beginning.  Ask yourself, “is there a need” for whatever it is?  Maybe the Recognition was flawed.  If you are sure that you Recognized properly what is needed, then move on to the Enablement phase again.  There is room for error in your planning.  Lots of room.

If you have planned everything out and Enabled yourself in the best way possible, then the Action is where the problem is.  Most people fail in the Action step.  It’s the hardest part.  You have to take Action to have Completion and ultimately Triumph.


I thought of writing this for years.  I didn’t get past the Enable phase of my own process.  It’s hard to get through the Action step.  Completion is often the easiest phase, but Triumph is not always the result.

Try, Try Again.  That’s the motto you have to live by.  If at first you don’t succeed, Try Again.  It’s the maxim of many successful people.

Mostly, we hear only of the success of people who have Triumphed in their goals.  We hear of Usain Bolt breaking the world record in the 100 meter dash, but we don’t hear about the hundreds of times he didn’t break it.  We point out the greatness of Apple’s iPhone but not the hundreds of products and near bankruptcy of Apple.  We smile when we watch a repeat of Neil Armstrong first stepping on the moon but don’t recall the hundreds of test rockets that blew into a million pieces after attempting take off.

There is no Triumph without Trying and Trying until you get it right.  If you believe in what you are doing, you will Triumph, even if it’s a flying machine that doesn’t fly.  At least you Triumphed in completing what you started.  Triumphing doesn’t mean you’ve created a working product, but that you’ve finished what you started.

Triumph can happen on the first time, but don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t.  Throw up your hands and kick the leg of the table as much as you want, but get right back at it.  Try Again.  Get right back on the horse that threw you.  Get up off the floor and start your routine again.  It’s not the end of the process until you determine it’s the end of the process… until you’ve Triumphed!

REACT, don’t dream.  Recognize, Enable, Act, Complete, and TRIUMPH over all the obstacles you encounter.  That’s what successful people do.

By David W. B. Parker

A guy who REACTs when necessary.

The Team of experts at PTC Computer Solutions is ready to assist with Technology for Business and the Sales & Marketing Process. We are experts and ready to help your business move forward with technologies in your business and retail worlds.  If you need some assistance and guidance, contact us to set up a personal meeting.  We’re happy to discuss your personal situation and offer some ideas on how you can better handle technological advances.

David WB Parker is a principal of Parker Associates of Jacksonville, Florida, marketing consultants to the real estate industry as well as the President of PTC Computer Solutions, IT Consultants and Strategists, and also an active real estate sales professional with PARFAM REALTY.  Though based out of Jacksonville, Florida, David and the team at Parker Associates have worked in 17 Countries and 33 States through the years as well as 65 out of 67 counties in Florida.  David can be reached at 904-607-8763 or via email davidp@ptccomputersolutions.com.

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