Two service business owners each decide that they have become tired of the “hamster wheel” grind and want to grow their businesses. They start studying.

Time goes by and we visit these two service business owners again but discover that only one of them has actually achieved what he set out to achieve – a bigger, more profitable business with superstar employees, a stronger brand, and more income.

The other service business owner doesn’t seem to have changed at all. He still shows up daily, grinds it out on his hamster wheel, faces daily frustration and wonders if tomorrow will be any different (it won’t be).

Why did one have the successful results he had while the other didn’t seem to move away from the rut he was in? Nearly 100% of the time, it’s because of the one who achieved success got there because of the level of importance he placed on the change.

The successful service business owner desired the improvement in his business so much that he thought about it and worked toward it every moment of the day. The struggling service business owner thought about it sometimes and worked toward it sometimes.

In my book Service Business Mastery, I describe how real change and achievement only happens when you view it as important as oxygen.

Your body needs oxygen to live and you are hardwired to do ANYTHING to breathe. People breathe unconsciously – until they can’t breathe. Have you ever seen someone who is choking? All social customs about being polite and mild-mannered in a public place go out the window and they struggle and fight to breathe. Their lives depend on it and they’ll do anything they can to breathe again.

That is how you need to be about the improvement of your business. If you desire real, positive, long-lasting change in your business, you need to treat it with as much “fight-to-live” effort as you would breathing.

Here’s what it will mean for your business: The short-term changes will be difficult because you’ll still be working with the bad habits and wrong-thinking patterns that you once worked through. And, you’ll still be running your business and trying to juggle everything that you used to juggle while still trying to make new changes. This is where a lot of people stop because they are frustrated – they want to improve their business so it’s more successful (and so they work less) but in the short term it seems like they work more!

I promise you, it gets better. It’s really just the changeover in your thinking and habits that is challenging and messy and a lot of work. In the long-term, it’s well-worth the effort and you will look back on this challenging time as being a small price to pay for the new (and better) reality.

Keep this in mind always: Nothing worthwhile was ever achieved easily. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it and then it wouldn’t seem as worthwhile! If you truly want the change you dream of, you need to FIGHT for it like you would fight for oxygen.