Success means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Some think it’s all about money and material gain; others think it’s about leading by example and just being a “good human being”; others think it’s about leaving a legacy that they could be proud of once their time is called. Whatever “success” means to you, lets just agree on this – SUCCESS TAKES SACRIFICE. If you aren’t struggling to be successful, you need to find more things to try and do. Success doesn’t come easy and certainly doesn’t get handed to you. If you truly want something, you should be working at it 24/7 – 365. The outspoken Shark Tank investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said it nicely, “Work so hard like there is someone out there working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you.” Lets touch on a few things that can jumpstart your growth and ensure that you are on the right path toward your personal success.
Find a mentor/mentors.
The best advice I can give anyone trying to accomplish a certain thing, or even many things, is to find a person or people who have already done what it is you want to do, and then go learn from them. Hire them as a business coach; start developing a professional relationship with them; offer your help and service for free. By approaching your goals and dreams in this way, you will get the “no B.S.” approach on how to accomplish those things, since the people you are seeking out have already “been there, done that”. They will tell you EXACTLY how they made it happen and offer you additional expertise on how you, too, can make it happen. This is much better than spinning your wheels, testing out your own methods, and spending days, weeks, months, or years on trial and error. Learn from other people’s mistakes and experiences, so you won’t have to waste any more time veering off the right path.
Make sure you love it.
If you are not in love with what you do, you will quit sooner rather than later. Here is what happens when you decide what you want to achieve and then start working toward that goal: OBSTACLES POP UP. Obstacles can come in many different shapes and forms – you can lose a loved one, get in a car wreck, lose your job, be diagnosed with an unexpected illness – the list goes on. When these obstacles pop up, it will be easy for you to say, “I quit. I’m done”… especially if you dislike what you do. However, if you love what you do, quitting is never an option. You will always find a way through, around, or over any obstacle that gets in your way. You will invest your last dime into your company if you truly love it and believe in it. You will be open to living like you earn $10,000 a year, to make sure you have money to invest and reinvest into yourself, your business, and your goals. You will sacrifice nights out with friends and fun time on vacation with family to study more on your craft and diligently increase your knowledge. Success is simple, but it’s not easy. Know the difference.
Celebrate your victories; acknowledge your losses.
Too often we get so caught up in our end goal – that big dream – and we often lose sight of all the victories we had along the way. I’ve always said, “The true joy is in the journey, not when you arrive at the final destination.” Every time you achieve a small victory, celebrate it. A small victory can be many things, just like success: it can be receiving an A as a final grade in your pre-req class; it can be dropping the 20th pound on your 200-pound weight loss journey; it can be eating healthy and following your nutrition program for the longest consecutive days in a row. Whatever small victories occur along your journey, make sure you celebrate them – go get a massage, buy some new gym clothes, upload some new songs onto your iPod, buy a book that you’ve been wanting to read, and so forth. On the other side of the coin, you also need to acknowledge your losses and when you’ve made mistakes. The first time you do something wrong, it’s a mistake… any time thereafter, it’s a choice. You need to make losing painful. You need to hate the feeling of losing so that you only strive to win. Losers have a completely different mindset than winners… but we will all lose sometimes. The key is to learn from the loss, to ensure that it doesn’t happen again – or even if it does, that you turn out better and stronger because of it.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
A few years ago, I was one of those people who didn’t like asking anyone for help. I thought that I could do it all on my own and that that would be the best possible option – that type of mindset ended quickly. I remember starting my business during my senior year of my undergrad – I had a website in progress, clothing and apparel being made, orders to ship, articles to write, programs to customize – and then on top of that, I was submitting my resume, forms, references, and so forth to graduate school programs hoping for acceptance to start my Master’s the following year. I then found out that I was missing a few prerequisite courses for the graduate programs, so then I was hustling around online looking for winter classes and e-learning options to get those pre-reqs done. By the time I visited home on winter break, my parents knew I wasn’t myself. They could tell that I was stressed to the max, over-worked, had a million things on my mind, and couldn’t focus. They finally said, “Paul, what’s wrong? Do you need help with anything?” After that moment, I felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I started telling them everything that I was stressed about and they decided to take care of a lot of the business stuff for me – going to the post office to ship out apparel, double check words and edit articles and demo sites, support the business financially in times of payment, and so many other things. It was from that day forward that I never hesitated to ask for help when I felt like I needed it and it allowed me to focus my efforts on the most important things at the time.
I hope some of these methods help you move forward and if you need any additional help, don’t hesitate to email me. We are in this thing together!