I’m often amazed how complicated people can make success, when really it comes down to basic, common sense practices that, with focus and determination, can get you there. It’s simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
We like to look at multi-millionaires and think they have a secret. However, I came across a blog from TTI Success Insights, where earlier this year I enjoyed an intensive three-day seminar on assessments, which is a tool for coaches like me to help clients through this process of understanding what will make them more successful. The advice is clear: It’s no secret: do what successful people do, because they all do things similarly to reach their success.
Here’s what they suggest:
Surround yourself with successful people
Ever know someone who is constantly in need of money, or just can’t seem to hold a job? They complain about it to you, but I ask you to look at who they hang out with. Chances are it’s not anyone in upwardly mobile positions. People cling to others who are like them, but I recommend that instead you seek out people who you want to be like.
I’m not suggesting to become someone else, but to pay attention to the habits, resources, and advice people who succeed use. When you’re in the company of people who are successful, you can pick up on their ideas, their approaches to processes and to managing other people. Call it learning by osmosis, but you’ll find yourself acting and thinking as they do.
While you’re at it, you can also be direct in asking for their advice, even asking if you can work with them in a mentorship type of role. The only reason you may get a no is if they are extremely busy, but even then there is always room for a brief meeting to pick their brain to hear their own story. No one is successful without struggle. Nothing was handed to them, and their personal account is invaluable.
Time management and goal setting
It starts with simple, daily habits. What successful people to do well is use the exact same 24 hours in a day that everyone else has and make the most out of them. There’s little wasted time, and they keep their goals, vision and tasks in front of them to fill every hour with thoughtful, intentional activity.
That said, you’ll notice that part of that time is spent on reflection and creative thinking, which is a slower-paced and less reactive way of processing your thoughts. No one can move a mile a minute every minute of the day. Clearing your thoughts a bit to digest your progress, and your destination, is vital to staying on task.
I talk about success and personal development being like a puzzle, with those individual pieces being the day-to-day goals, but they’re tough to put together if you don’t have the completed picture in front of you. Successful people always have their eye on their vision, which helps them to maintain focus. So everything you do should be vetted by the question of how it will help you achieve your vision.
It’s used so often, it tends to be ignored, but positive thinking in all situations is the force that pushes you through the valleys of your career and your life. This isn’t to say you should live with rose-colored glasses all the time — that’s idealism. Positive thinking acknowledges the setbacks, but refuses to be stopped by them. Here’s where the practice of creative thinking keeps you armed with possibilities to overcome whatever’s fallen in your way.
Often we are our own worst enemies, and we end up talking ourselves down, or cling to doubts that will keep us from stretching a little to realize success. Our thoughts are powerful, and if we’re not paying attention to them and directing them to be positive, no amount of advice, reading or webinars will help.
Successful people seek to maintain positive thoughts, and will take every opportunity to work on their personal development to overcome whatever career challenges they will face.
Do the thing you love to do
Here too personal development is so crucial, and working with someone who sees you from the outside is vital. We live in our heads, and don’t always see what is so obvious to others.
Ask yourself this question: Am I truly happy doing ____? If you struggle at all, ask someone for their honest opinion. If you’re not comfortable with that now, try starting with a personality assessment. These can help you understand your strengths, interests, motivations and much more that can help you find what excites you.
You can’t fake passion, or if you try, it won’t last, and people will feel your unease, resentment, or disinterest before long. In sales, that’s deadly. Instead, look at what does stimulate your interest, what motivates you and make it a goal to pursue that career. It’s been said that money doesn’t make you happy, but when you pursue happiness, the money will follow. It’s like that.
The big question is not whether you can do these things. Of course you can. The question is whether you are willing to. Sacrifice is always a part of gaining anything new, and it’s tough to give up old habits..very tough. This is also something that you’ll find millionaires have in common - they relied on a mentor or coach to help keep them in focus and on track toward lasting success.