“Five to Thrive” by Dave Miller

Hi, Everyone!

I just read the main article in Dave Miller’s most recent newsletter, and with his permission, thought I’d share it with all of you!


“Five to Thrive” by Dave Miller

To be successful, you don’t have to excel at everything. But there are five areas that you must be clear about and must master if you want to reach those stellar goals you set.

These five target areas for an individual to accomplish just about any goal are GOALS, STRATEGY, SKILLS, ENVIRONMENT and PSYCHOLOGY.


The first area is GOALS. For you to succeed, you have to be very clear on where you’re going. Define your destination by setting specific, measurable and inspiring goals.

Without goals it’s easy to lose focus and motivation. You end up floundering, jumping from one thing to the next, but not really getting anywhere.

In addition to getting clear on your goals, you want to identify why you want those goals. Everyone needs a compelling vision that will help them stay on task even when the going gets rough. So when I speak of this target area called “GOALS” , I’m also including how clear and strong your reasons are for wanting to do this.


The next target area is STRATEGY. Your goals define your destination, your strategy defines how you get there. What “vehicle” will you use to achieve these goals? Do you know what to do? What is the pathway of execution? Is it the best strategy for your personality, skill set and goals?

What are “strategies”? Well, let’s take the goal of generating leads. Some strategies are:

Using the internet to generate leads,
Networking and referrals,
Speaking to various groups,
Direct mail and newsletters, and
Events like trade shows , exhibits, etc.

There are literally hundreds of strategies that can be employed. Most professionals only use one. I recommend developing a multiple strategic approach to your business. Just like you wouldn’t invest all your savings in one stock, you don’t want to limit your business to only one source of generating target prospects (or in pursuing any of your goals).

So, along with having clear and powerful goals, have a set of strategies to get you to your goals the fastest and easiest way.


The third area is to upgrade SKILLS. Skills have to do with competence. Competence is a function of knowledge and skills, which can be gained from education, training and/or experience.

Where STRATEGY talks about “how”, SKILLS deal with “how well.” They speak to the level of execution and effectiveness.

You may have great goals, a compelling vision and a solid set of strategies, but if you don’t have sufficient skill to be effective, you won’t get a great result.

For example, if you’re pursuing a networking marketing strategy, but are ineffective at establishing rapport, asking good questions and carrying a quality conversation, you will not be very successful, even though networking is an excellent marketing strategy.

The problem is you can’t succeed with strategy alone. You also need skillful execution.

What SKILLS are important for you to succeed? I recommend you make a list of key skills and rate yourself on your current mastery.

*Note: If you want business growth, then take the assessment of 20 critical skills at the end of this article.

Here are some examples of selling skills that you might include in your list:

Prospecting (finding and attracting potential buyers)
Following up on leads
Establishing rapport (“to have a connection or understanding with someone)
Assessing needs (finding out what your prospect’s pain is and what you may want from your product and service)
Presenting (solutions, benefits – not features)
Handling objections
Closing the sale
Getting re-sales (customer buys again), upsales (customer buys higher level package or additional items)
Getting referrals

So along with GOALS and STRATEGY, you want to be aware of your own SKILL level.


The fourth target area is called ENVIRONMENT. You want to create an environment that will support you versus one that works against you. Can you succeed in spite of your environment? Well, yes, but it will take a lot longer and be a lot more painful.

What do I mean by “environment”? There are three general categories here:

Physical – this includes things like where you live, where you work, the condition of your office or desk, and your organization systems. For example, if your working out of your home from your kitchen table with the kids screaming, the house phone ringing, no privacy and paper all over the place – you’re not dealing with an ideal environment.

Technology – The second category of environment is technology. This has to do with how well you’re utilizing systems and tools in your business.

PDA’s, cell phones, telephone headsets and contact management databases are other examples of technology that can really make the journey to success a lot faster and easier.

Technology isn’t just about computers and electrical gadgets – it’s about systems and approaches. A prime example is having a system for managing time and priorities. So if you struggle in the area of time management, it may be an issue of the ENVIRONMENT (i.e., not having a system).

People – The third category of environment is people. Who are the people you surround yourself with? Is the company you keep supportive or are they a drag on their business?

An ideal people environment serves as a structure of support for your business. Do you have that structure of support – someone that will make sure you get to their destination no matter what comes their way? Do you have a business partner, accountability partner or a coach?

If you don’t have that structure of support, it is easy to get off-track and get discouraged.

If you optimize your environment, you can succeed BECAUSE of your environment rather than IN SPITE of it.


The fifth target area is MASTERING YOUR PSYCHOLOGY. I believe that PSYCHOLOGY is 80% of the battle in doing anything difficult; the other 20% is mechanics.

A person may be doing well in all these other categories and still fall way short of achieving their desired outcome if the have an unresourceful psychology. I call it “getting in your own way.”

Our psychology is comprised of our thoughts and beliefs. It is the conversation that happens inside our heads. What I think or believe about a situation will impact how I feel about it, which will impact what I do about it.

Beliefs like “I don’t have what it takes”, “What if I fail?” , “They’ll probably reject me”, {insert yours here!} disempower us and prevent us from taking the necessary actions to obtain our goals. These thoughts can start a downward spiral of performance.

However, a resourceful psychology will work in a positive way to fuel an upward spiral of behavior and success.


So when you think about it, if you have
Really clear GOALS to provide direction
An effective STRATEGY to provide the vehicle
Upgraded SKILLS to provide the effectiveness
A supportive ENVIRONMENT to provide leverage, and
A resourceful PSYCHOLOGY to provide the passion, persistence and determination,

there’s an excellent chance you will achieve your goal, whatever it is.


Be sure to post a comment here to let Dave know your thoughts!



6 Responses to “Five to Thrive” by Dave Miller

  1. Bob DeMers says:

    Very nice article – well done!

  2. Pamela Skyrme says:

    I enjoyed reading this very much. We all need these kinds of reminders! Thank you Dave.

  3. Laurie Dawe says:


    This really hit home for me, great pointers!

  4. Steve Eanes says:

    Great article. Very well put together

  5. Yvonne Wheeler says:

    Brilliant work and food for thought as always. Thank you.

  6. Dave Miller says:

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone! Glad you find it helpful.

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