So many business leaders share their ‘secret’ for success – early mornings and routines that, they claim, are the key to a clear vision and impactful creativity. Many of these same successful people neglect to mention the many years they spent pulling ‘all-nighters’ to write the code that we now take for granted, or the long hours neglecting the health of their relationships and themselves to close a deal.
The truth is, successful people who take mornings to meditate and read the newspaper also have personal assistants to answer emails, schedule meetings and make sure there is fresh juice in the fridge for breakfast. The rest of us have to wash the laundry, pick up dog poo and fall out of a restless 5-hour ‘sleep’ each morning without the support that a few billion dollars can buy.
So how else can you structure your life for success?
Defining who you are and what you want in the world is a common key for those who are successful. This does not mean choosing a persona or wearing certain clothes. It means knowing your values, your strengths and weaknesses and having the confidence to take risks based on your knowledge of who you are.
For some people, this blind ambition and self-confidence come naturally. It is those people who tend to be successful. People who don’t understand ‘no’ or who do not waver in the face of defeat. It is a blind arrogance that can put some people at the top of the podium despite ineptitude.
So how do you make it if you are not this person? You make it on your actual merits and work hard. Start with a clear vision of your:
- Support networks
The tricky bit; the work. While having a vision and knowing your ability to see your vision come to fruition is a solid foundation to begin success, you also have to invest in your goal. Truly successful individuals get their hands dirty. They toil and labour for what they want. They develop a product, a deal, a concept; they work.
Expecting that success comes to you because you want it does not actually generate success. ‘Fake it till you make it’ is the surest path to your long-term decline. You need to be who you say you are. If you develop a life-changing app, cook food that melts taste buds, or build an international eCommerce empire, you will have to sacrifice. ‘Easy come, easy go’ is a cliche for a reason. So how do you turn a dream into a reality?
- Develop your skills and knowledge
- Do the work and never take shortcuts
- Accept the opportunities that present themselves and that align with your goals
- Network within the industry you want to join
- Take calculated risks
Much of the success of those who make serious money can be attributed to having the right PR and connections. If that is your goal, you need to make sure that you are networking. Very few (none) of those ‘at the top’ are there without help.
To understand what winning would look like, you need to have clearly defined goals. In 5 years I will have a company making €1 million profit a year. To do that I will have a. b. and c. To achieve a. b. and c. I will do the following each year. It is all about having a clear vision, sharing that vision with those who can support you, then taking the risks that you need to in order to reach your goals.
For those who are the most successful, they understand how to be flexible, how to change course when a new opportunity arises and how to spot gaps in the market. While an outsider could see this as good luck or good timing, a person who is committed to their success knows that it is their dedication to fulfilling the goals that helped them to see the signs as they cropped up.
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