Last week we took a look at success: what it means to each of us, how to define it, and how to achieve it. Today, as we kick off the second Monday of Women’s Month, we look at the next six steps in achieving personal and business success.
Decide what matters – and what doesn’t!
We define our priorities by what we’re prepared to sacrifice. When you know what lies between you and your goals, get rid of the superfluous nonsense, the heavy weights which hold you back. Ruthlessly prioritise. Trash any idea that distracts you from your purpose. (If you can’t, write it on a piece of paper and date it for some time after your review at (#10, below). Don’t open it until then. When you open it, you’ll know if it’s still worth pursuing, or time to move on to better things.
It’s the little things
As Gandalf has said, “It is the small, every-day deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay.” The same is true when it comes to letting in the light. It’s not those once-off acts of greatness that make you a success. It’s the consistent application of excellence, dependability and frankness that keep the darkness of failure at bay and propel you towards your goals. Don’t neglect the smallest act. Remember that achieving a life goal is not easy, but it is possible, and it is vitally important. However, when we’re tired or stressed or let down or angry, it’s so easy to let something small slip, and to justify to ourselves that the small things don’t matter. They do. They’re the prelude to the great things. Aristotle explained, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Acquire it.
You can’t do it alone. Being awesome and being Wonder Woman are not the same thing. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that they’re mutually exclusive. If you strive for greatness at the same time as trying to do it all, you’ll burn out. Then you won’t be any good to anybody, and your grand notions will be a wasted pile of ashes.
Your determination to go it alone is misplaced pride and foolishness. I can assure you that there are trustworthy, dependable people out there. You’re one of them, right? Now find some more, and enlist their help. Share your passion. Ignite theirs, and invite them into your inner circle. Lean on one another as you build your success. You’ll find the creative resonance that results from this simple step will develop your success far beyond the bounds of what you can imagine right now. We’re social beings: we’re designed to be there for one another. So let’s be there.
Announce it – and be accountable
When you start on a course of action, don’t be shy. Announce it. Sure, it may not pan out the way you planned. Certainly, there may be watches on the side-lines, ready to jeer at you. Brush it off. That’s life. You’re find there are more people rooting for you than dragging you down, and even if here aren’t, only give your time and energy to your supporters. The rest don’t deserve it.
When you announce a business strategy, you’ll attract like-minded clients, staff and investors. As you develop it, you’ll gain a body of knowledge that sets you apart as an expert. As you share what you’re learning and connect with those following your story, you’ll gather support, business acumen, and friends. You’ll grow personally and professionally when you’re bold enough to take this journey in front of an audience.
The beauty of this terrifying step is that you’ll be held accountable. Whether you miss your goals or not, you’ll only fail if you fail to try. Because actually, failure is giving up, not missing what we’re aiming for. Whether you achieve your vision or not, you’ll only succeed if you do so honestly, with integrity and consistency. That is true success.
Lean in. Believe in what you’re doing. Faith motivates consistency
Tight in the beginning, we spoke about defining what really makes you tick, because that deeply held belief will spark your passion. When we believe in what we’re doing, and in our ability to do it, we’re motivated to keep on keeping on. We become consistent and intentional, even when it’s hard, when we’re cold or sick or tired or discouraged, because it matters. It’s important that we not give up. Not ever. As long as we keep going, keep growing, we are bound to succeed.
Set a review date – and review.
Review, and don’t be scared to change course. Review, and remember to be flexible and adapt to your personal growth. When you reach the time appointed, take an honest look at your goals. Are you closer than you were when you started? Do those things matter as much to you now as they did then? What does matter to you? It can help so much to have an objective business analyst sit with you and review your goals, achievements and losses. A good friend can do the same for you personally. Make sure you find someone who will, as the proverb says, sharpen iron with iron. You don’t want a sycophant who hero worships you. You don’t want a wet blanket with no capacity for hope and optimism. You need someone who truly wants your best and will do what it takes to help you achieve it. That may mean asking the hard questions or sharing the cruel-sounding criticism. It will not mean doing everything for you, or saying nothing at all.
Above all, the key to success on any level is honesty. Honest assessments, honest reviews and honest interactions along the way make all the difference.
So here’s to your success!
I’d really love to hear your thoughts on today’s post. How’s your success journey? Are you on track? Are there changes you need to make? Or do you think I’m cooked in the head and don’t understand success at all? Wherever you’re coming from, your input is valuable and your thoughts make a difference. So let us know (just be kind).