“All the so-called secrets of success will not work until you do.” – Unknown

I saw this quote the other day, and it resonated with me as a keynote speaker and business owner on so many levels, and I think it will resonate with many of you too. It seems like we’ve got so many options to pursue that are going to take us to the next level of our career or business. The internet is full of “successful” entrepreneurs and business owners promising to teach you everything they know about how to get exactly what you want professionally. They will teach you how to be better at sales. They will teach you how to be more productive. They will teach you how to market yourself so that you are more attractive to prospective employers or clients and the list goes on and on.

But what they can’t do is make it work for YOU. That’s your job. It is your job to take what you learn and apply it to what you know and what you do. It is your job to stick with it and do it until it is a well-ingrained habit. Otherwise, you can never be “successful” at it. That takes dedication, time and discipline. It takes repetition and making mistakes. It takes lack-luster results that you then learn from and improve upon. If you take a quick stab at it and make a half effort; you’ll get a partial result.

Especially for people that are professional development junkies or life-long learners (and I’m one of them), the problem becomes that you get distracted by the next success system that comes along and think it will work better. At that point, you’ve lost time and money you’ve already invested and if there is something that none of us can afford to waste it’s our time and our money.

So what can you do instead?

Be deliberate about your goal and the resources you use to get there. Ask yourself if this will move you towards your goal of becoming a better leader or manager? Will it improve the particular area you need it to in your business? What is the result that you want and what is the time that you are willing to dedicate yourself to it? One month? Six months? One year?

If you ask yourself these questions, you are more likely to make an informed decision that you can feel good about, and you make it with your eyes wide open.

There is no magic bullet; there is no one right answer, and quick fixes are anything but quick. To focus, ask yourself these questions and remember if you chase two rabbits at the same time; both will escape.

Debbie Peterson is a Keynote Speaker and Trainer working to develop personal mindsets that drive results in business. Are you driving your results or are they driving you?