I attend a group  called Strategic Coach – an organization to help assist entrepreneurs on making progress, expanding their businesses and building value in our perspective industries.  Strategic Coach is about businesses and people, just like you and me, making a better world buy creating valuable companies and most of all valuable products that SERVE people.  For what use is a business if it does not serve?  I love the organization.  I inspires me and my business to do and be better.  It also provides a fresh outlook at goals and progress each quarter.  It has become my way of refreshing my outlook at the golf business.

The “Coach” as we call it, consists of various business owners from numerous types of businesses.  From accountants to restaurant owners and of course, a golf instructor.  The “Coach” is a way of entrepreneurs helping each other.

While no business is easy, I am amused at how many people look at their business as “tough”. This especially holds true for the golf business.  But in our coaching class, one thing is amazingly obvious.  There are standouts – no matter how difficult their business is. And most of the Coach participants are standouts – these are people who take the extra steps, go the extra mile and believe in themselves.  So much so that they invest substantial amounts of time and money to get do whatever they can to succeed.  The “Coach” is about the successful people becoming more successful.  It is about people helping themselves, expanding their awareness and developing their potential and then helping others.

It is the subject of “developing potential” that I want to explore  – or what I want you to explore.  What we have found in the “Coach” is that all of us, no matter what business we are in, have a 1-percent club. The 1-percent club are those of us, whether accountants or golfers, that exceed beyond the “average”.  You know who I am talking about.  These are the guys and gals  that, while everyone is sleeping in bed, they are going to the gym, or hitting an extra 50 putts before dark.  But what I have found, is that these 1-percenters have a particular mind-set that sets them apart.  This mindset allows them to see the world differently and because of it, expand their own worlds.

Without sounding too abstract, doesn’t it make sense that we are all a product of our decisions and thoughts – because we act upon these thoughts?

Let me take this concept directly to your golf game because, usually during a golf season, I see many of the 1-percenters at my golf schools.  To put it another way, I don’t see the 99-percenters because they would never come to a golf school.  Why?  Because the 99 percenters don’t understand the importance of instruction or taking extra steps to achieve a goal.  So to better define the 1-percenters, let me start by defining the 99 percenters with one main attribute that they all seem to have in common – they complain about not being better than they currently are.

Why do I find complaining so interesting.  Because it’s not that the 1-percenters don’t complain.  The difference is that the 1-percenters complain and then do something about it.  The 99-percenters don’t.  I have found that one of the main differences between the 1-percenters and 99-percenters is simply taking action.  The 1 percenters are always taking action.  They are doers and changers.  If something doesn’t work, they try again and again and again.  The 99 percenters might try but then, if it doesn’t work the first time, they quit – complain and then blame someone or something for their failure.

I see this every year – during schools as I watch students improve and progress.  Just being at the school is a good start toward the 1-percent  club however, it is the follow-through that gets you the merit badges.  What do I mean by follow through?  Follow through is what happens after the school in the following months and years.

Here is something that the 1-percenters know that the 99-percenters don’t.

Progress takes time

This is the toughest thing for golfers to accept.  But here’s the problem:  Golf swing progress should be measured by technique not ball-striking results.

I have heard professionals say it numerous times – that you should improve in every lesson but this depends on what you call improvement.  Personally, I have never seen anyone change their golf swing in ONE lesson. While I have seen dramatic progress the goal of a lesson is to get the proper feelings of what is correct.  Then you can go train.

To Train means to repeat feelings.

My love for teaching comes from helping people feel what is correct – and watching their light bulbs go off.  Then, after training the feelings, results come in a huge way.  I sometimes don’t get to see the ball-striking results but seeing the changes in students feelings during a school is what keeps me teaching.

As in my coaching class, we all strive to be in the 1-percent club.  Or at least we would like to think that we are.  The question we must ask ourselves, an be honest, is whether we deserve to be in the 1-percent club.  Ben Hogan, when asked to give a lesson to a friend of mine said “no”.  He said “dig it out of the dirt”.  Obviously, Hogan considered himself a member of the club.  Digging it out of the dirt was Hogan’s way of saying that you have to work for it and when you do, it pays off.

We are heading into 2011 looking back at 2010 in our rear-view mirrors.  Can you honestly say that you were a 1-percenter las year.  No matter whether you answer yes or no, all you have is now, today.  So what will you do today that can get you into the 1-percent club tomorrow.  I don’t know about you but I’m making a list of goals.  I’m headed for the 1-percent club.  Why?  Because I don’t really like complaining.