Finding success in this world is not as difficult as people make it out to be. But before you start thinking this is some sort of “how to get rich” article…it’s not. I don’t measure success by the amount of money someone makes. It’s true that many times money follows success but I believe success is so much more.
I define success as ones ability to make a lasting positive impact on the people and situations they come in contact with throughout the duration of their life. Success is largely determined by how many people love you, trust you, and want to be around you. The people around you determine how successful you really are. Your business associates, church friends, and most importantly your family write the story of your success.
All of us start out as raw and untrained individuals. Some of us have great parents and/or mentors to help us along the way. Well…there are 7 simple things I have learned that I’ll teach my kids in order to guarantee their future success. I have noticed these attributes in all of the successful individuals I have interviewed or known throughout my life.
Leave Your Comfort Zone
Get out of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is probably one of the most dangerous places you can be. To be comfortable is to be complacent. Find something every day that makes you feel awkward or scared. Then overcome it. It’s a lot like working out. You could spend all day working out and not challenging yourself. You know those people that go to the gym and never break a sweat. They’re afraid of that “burn”. They stay in their “comfort zone.” But the people that grow the most in strength and ability are the people that push through the reps that are hard. They are the people that begin to enjoy the burn and become accustomed to it. Some reps aren’t very comfortable but it’s the only place where real growth occurs.
Be So Good That People Can’t Ignore You
In any sport, you are subject to something they call “politics”. Maybe you’ve heard of them. So and so’s son made the all star team because his dad was on the board. So and so’s son made the team because his dad donated the baseball field. So and so’s kid gets to start at shortstop because the coach is dating his mom. The politics are endless. These “politics” are found everywhere. No matter where you go in life, you’ll find politics. So how do you beat politics?
You work so hard that you cannot be overlooked or denied. The coach, the manager, the client…cannot overlook you because it would hurt their team, their business or their organization not to have you. If you allow yourself to get caught up in the minutia of politics…you might stop working hard.
The cream always rises to the top. It may not be when you want it to…but it eventually rises.
Be 15 Minutes Early
Don’t be late. Don’t ever be late. Get it out of your vocabulary. The words “late” and “success” are never used together. But the words “late” and “slacker” are always used together. This is a lesson I learned through sports. For years and years I was expected to show up to baseball practice 15 minutes early in order to get ready for practice. My mom always made sure I was there on time. To this day…”running late” is something that ruins my state of mind.
Think about the repercussions of being late. If its being late to class…when you walk in, you’ll cause a distraction to the students and to the teacher. The teacher will be irritated at you for not respecting all the preparation time they have invested, placing a damper on their classroom instruction. If it’s at work or on a team, then the rest of the team may have to wait for you to get there in order to get started. People that are habitually late are looked at as people that think the world revolves around them. It’s a fast and easy way to lose favor with others and be looked at as a “slacker”.
Don’t Spend Time, Invest Time
Time is your most precious asset. You can either spend it or you can invest it. You can spend lots of time playing computer games…but odds are, that time will be wasted. Identify time wasters and root them out of you. Have you ever wondered how someone you know accomplishes so much in a day. Quick answer: They don’t watch a lot of TV or other perform other mind numbing exercises. They find joy in accomplishing things. They are investing their time…not spending it. I know that I could get lost in an abyss of repeating Sportcenter’s. I’ve been there. I’m susceptible. So I remove it.
Always Reply To People You Know
The number one reason clients and customers leave a service based business is because of “perceived indifference”. It’s not because the fees are too high or because the provider made a mistake. It’s because the client “feels” like the provider doesn’t care about them. Like they’re too busy for them. The provider on the other hand…really does care about that client, but they take that relationship for granted and neglect to respond to the clients attempts to get some help. All the provider had to do was respond with a simple sentence stating that they got their message and would get back to them shortly. That’s the main thing the client is looking for. Just a simple recognition that they got the message and that they’re alive and that they care.
“Perceived indifference” is honestly the stupidest way in the world to lose a good client. The loss could be easily averted with one simple response through an email or phone call.
Life is no different. When people send you a message via email, text message, or by leaving a message on your phone…don’t ignore them. Think about how you feel when you send someone a message and you never receive a reply.
Whether it’s family, friends, church acquaintances, or business contacts…just respond. A quick response tells the other person that they are important to you. A non response tells someone that you are nowhere on their totem pole…and to go away. If relationships are determinants of your success, then responding to people early and often is crucial to your success.
Become A Great Reader and Great Writer
Some of the largest and most exciting companies in the world are hiring people based on their ability to write. In order to write well…you should also read well. Reading is the key to education. If you can read and comprehend well, you can study anything you’d like. Whether it’s novels or code…the better you can read, the better you’ll probably write.
Be Passionate About Life
Whatever you’re going to do…do it well. Thomas Monson once said that “the only thing more contagious than enthusiasm…is a lack of enthusiasm.” Be enthusiastic, be happy, and smile…and people will love you for it. Place passion on top of the aforementioned items and you can’t fail. Success will find you and follow you wherever you go.