How to Be Successful

You read everywhere that the world has changed; things will never be as good as they were; we have to get used to the new reality. Get faster, do more with less, implement more technology—run, Forrest, run!

I’m not so sure about that. I think the basic principles for success are the same as they have always been. If you run your business and your life according to these, you’ll be successful.

1.) Treat others as you want to be treated. Do you want to be on hold for 20 minutes? Do you like dealing with a recorded voice? Do you want people to seem excited at the prospect of serving you or of having you for a friend or a customer? Companies are more worried about having a blog than treating their live customers well. We ignore those we love in order to check our Blackberries and IPhones. What are we becoming?
2.) Attitude is everything. I know, sounds lame—aren’t we past that? Hell no, this will always, always be a deal breaker. We want to be around people who are happy, who are optimistic. No one wants to work with, hang out with, or hire a bitter whiner. You can control your attitude. To be successful, get a good one.

I have come to realize that everyone thinks they have a great attitude, and we all know this isn’t the case. I suggest we ALL could use a little tune-up here. Remind yourself to bring sunshine wherever you go, to be part of the solution if you raise a concern or problem, and to praise others generously. It costs you nothing to notice something good about someone, and it will make their day. And you know what? It just might make yours as well.

3.) Work hard, but on the right things. This should be called the Time of the Great Distractions. We have so much distracting us now—e-mail, text messaging, Twitter, blogging, Facebook, all the TV shows we’ve DVR’d, etc. etc. etc. It’s a wonder anyone gets anything done at all. You can spend hours on Facebook and all you’ve done is reconnect with people who weren’t important enough for you to stay in touch with in the first place. Was that the best use of those hours? Hey—don’t misunderstand— if those hours increased your success (made you money, increased your joy, or truly enriched your life—rock on!). But it is easy to use these things as distractions from the work you really should be doing to make you money, to increase your joy, or to enrich your life. Know what success means to you and do what will really get you there. Maybe you should spend those hours calling real prospects or doing some (GASP) physical exercise.

4.) Have some discipline. I’m afraid that our current mindset is one of victimhood. People seem to think it was the evil bankers who forced them to buy that home they couldn’t afford (and that plasma screen TV and all that fancy furniture to go in it). Oh no—wait—that was the evil credit card companies. How about those horrible soda companies who are making us all fat? I say, America—MAN UP! You spent the money, you drank the soda, and you don’t exercise. The life you have is a direct result of the choices YOU have made! You want to be successful? Be disciplined. Don’t eat the entire box of Little Debbies. Exercise when you don’t feel like it. And don’t give me all the reasons why you can’t! I walk 5 miles 5 times a week and I have just been told the arthritis in my hip is severe enough for a hip replacement. It hurts like hell to walk those five miles! Doing what makes you successful isn’t easy for anyone. (Um…that’s why not everyone is successful—it’s hard!)

5.) Know what you want. Look—I don’t want you to exercise if the pain outweighs the gain for you. There is a difference between crafting a success plan and a lack of discipline. For example, I don’t like to make cold calls. So I don’t. I might be richer if I did, but I have decided I’m willing to give up the money to avoid the cold calling. I use other selling techniques. Maybe you hate exercise, but you feel being unhealthy and overweight is not part of your success plan. If being healthy is what you want, you’re going to have to eat less. There is more than one way to get what you want, but you have to know what you want first. (Sitting around blaming the soda companies isn’t going to make you any thinner.)

Businesses—same goes for you. Know how much profit you want and what you are willing to do to get it. Are you in for the long haul or until the current CEO retires? How big do you want to get? Staying small sometimes is a great option. Know what you want and run your business accordingly.

6.) Live each moment as if it were your last. Yes, you have heard it before and I will be the first to say that this is impossible. We humans are nuts—we’re always worrying about tomorrow and reliving yesterday. And if we really did this, I would be eating many entire boxes of Little Debbies until it really WAS my last moment. But this is still good advice IF you keep the other 5 points in mind. For example, I mentioned my exercise. This is important to me for my health—I feel that if my health goes, so does everything else. (You’ll have your own idea of success and what’s important for you.) Do I want my last moment to be spent limping in pain beside a busy street? No, but while I’m working my success plan and remaining disciplined, I’ll be nice to everyone I pass and I’ll enjoy the gorgeous landscape, the beautiful birds, and the way the sun feels on my face. Be in the moment but live for the long term.
Bottom line—you already know what to do—do it.

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Phone 919.788.0291

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