It is said that “success is simple, though it is not necessarily easy”
Search online and you will find no end of powerful quotations and articles on the qualities you need to be successful.
But with so much ‘success information” available, why do people still struggle?
Doing what we do at IncomeDiary we witness more than most some the obstacles and trip-ups that people experience.
We also witness a lot of SUCCESS and what works! And one thing in particular that our successful readers are always doing – is modelling success and noting what works – in fact for some it is close to an OBSESSION!
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21 Key Principles For Success In Modern Times
1) What You Focus On Is What You Get
Or put another way, Focus On What You Want, Not On What You Don’t.
If you focus on past failures or what is wrong with your life right now that is what you will create – more failure and regret!
But focus on something positive – having a successful business, achieving your goal – and that is what you will get!
And the number 1 enemy of business focus is: DISTRACTION
Just how much time per day do you waste on things not related to your purpose, your path? For most of us, it is far too much. In a world of Information Overload it is easy to get distracted with emails, pranks, viral videos, Facebook, Twitter etc.
Get yourself in the habit of asking – does this get me closer or further away from my goal? If it places you further away, stop doing it! In short, be clear with your purpose and focused on your dreams.
As Craig Ballantyne puts it…
Decrease the Daily Friction that steals your time: Do fewer chores. Cut your commute. Eliminate your obsessive time wasting habits. Plan your day. Script your schedule. Batch your work. Minimize your email. Go Device Free for 2 hours so you can think, and do a full day on weekends.
Open up more time for BIG thinking and taking action on what really matters in life.
And Winston Churchill put it perfectly…
“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks”
Do not let information overload and modern day distractions distract your FOCUS!
2) Raise your Adversity Quotient!
In other words, the better your ability to handle adversity and the suck factor, the more you will succeed.
Accept that difficulties and challenges will happen. New products take longer to create that you planned, new websites are not ready when planned. These things happen and it is your ability to handle that determines your success or failure in the long term.
(Thank you to Bedros Keuilian for this definition.)
Will Smith also has a very wise observation for us…
“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too”
3) The BIGGER the problem you solve – the bigger your reward
Or take an existing solution and turn it on its head like AirBnB and UBER have done!
Make sure the problem you solve is one that needs SOLVING and those who benefit, want it and will appreciate it (and pay for it).
But – don’t imagine a problem! Too many entrepreneurs invest time and money in creating a service or product there is no market for (or not a big enough market for). Do your market research and be very clear on who your customer is – and if that customer will pay for a solution like you are offering.
If you are a Blogger what will your blog offer that the many other blogs don’t. What makes you different?
4) Join a Mastermind
A Mastermind Group is for business owners who want to improve their business and who are willing to put the effort in. A Mastermind Group is not a Networking Group or A Coffee Club – it is for individuals who are serious about growing their business and who have the discipline to follow through.
I have already written extensively on Mastermind Groups in: 17 Reasons Why You Need To Join A Mastermind Group
5) Keep Close to Your Core Business
Now if you are the CEO and have even just a few employees, never mind 100’s or 1000’s it is easy to get isolated from the front line. One way to keep in touch is to periodically work in your service or support departments – even if it is only answering the phone for a couple of hours per month.
One of the few TV programs I enjoy is: Undercover Boss – It amazes me more and more bosses don’t go undercover. Always be asking questions of your employees, customers, suppliers – it is amazing what you will discover from the simple task of asking questions.
6) Practice Gratitude Daily
Gratitude is such a powerful and positive way to look at life – make it part of your daily rituals!
Recommendation: Set aside the same time daily to do practice Gratitude to make it a habit.
What are you for grateful right now? Meditating with your gratitude list and giving thanks for all the positives in your life will uplift you even more than a big belly laugh!
Practice living mindfully – and stop worrying about past mistakes and the future. Live in the NOW!
Practicing Gratitude is the best cure for worry.
Karl Pillemer, Ph.D., is the keeper of The Legacy Project at Cornell University. When Dr. Pillemer asked 1,200+ retired people what they regretted they often answered, “I wish I hadn’t spent so much of my life worrying.”
Worry create anxiety and stops us from enjoying life’s precious moments and as often been said, most of what we worry about never happens!
7) Good Enough is NOT Good Enough
“Take action every day, surround yourself with winners, never peak, and always pay it forward.”
– Bedros Keuilians Rules for Success, Freedom, and Market Dominance
8) Exercise Daily
Walk, Run, Swim, Play – Just Do IT!
“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda, Jedi Master.
9) Your Best Ideas Come Outside The Office!
When faced with a major decision or problem, go for a walk, take a shower, do something different and let your creative process take over!
10) Give Back! Support A Cause
Businesses with a CAUSE are more successful than those without a Cause!
Making money and achieving financial freedom for one self is nice but the Human Condition requires more satisfaction that that.
My friend and mentor, Yanik Silver had transformed his business into a business with a cause. which he calls an Evolved Enterprise. And he’s calling on more entrepreneurs to do the same thing. In fact, Yanik predicts that if you don’t make this change, your business may not survive another 4-7 years.
Yanik talks about how business can be impactful TO THE WORLD along with making money. Evolved Enterprise is a highly recommended, must read book!
I have been fortunate to get to know Yanik Silver quite well – Evolved Enterprise has inspired myself and many others to re-evaluate how we do business. I have travelled with Yanik to places including, Iceland, South Africa, Mexico and Necker Island.
In Necker we were supporting Virgin Unite (The Virgin Charity) and were joined by Sir Richard Branson, Joe Polish, Matt Mullenweg (Founder of WordPress), Sean Stephenson and Vishen Lakhiani among others.
Perhaps the biggest Takeaway I got from my various meetings was that a CAUSE is something you should start with – not something you add later, when you are ‘successful’. What is Your Cause?
11) Success is a Trickster!
Success is a trickster – It makes a fool out of all of us – if you let it.
What I mean by that is, especially when you start to have some success, you can believe that you’re a lot more gifted than you really are. I’ve made this mistake.
In my 20s, I was extremely successful in sales. I had never experienced failure. I was a remarkable salesperson. All I’d ever had was Big Money Success. After a while, you actually believe your own publicity, and you believe that everything you do turns to gold. Unfortunately for me it was not a never ending success story and in 1989 I lost a business I had founded along with all my personal wealth at that time.
Perhaps the most dangerous thing in the world for an entrepreneur, is to NOT experience failure.
Bill Gates puts it extremely well when he says:
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose”
12) Unplug Once Per Week – Go Device / Digital Free!
It is good for the soul – and it also makes you more creative!
13) Do not engage in confrontations with anyone, in-person or online.
This is a waste of time and energy. If I have caused harm, I apologize and fix the situation. And then I take a deep breath, relax, breathe out, and re-focus my efforts back on my work and goals. (Craig Ballantyne)
14) I am independent of the Good Opinion of others!
“If you work to minimize criticism, you have surrendered the beauty and greatness of what you’ve set out to build.” – Seth Godin
15) Always be learning, seeking, finding..
16) Modest is Good!
Some of the most successful people I know are also the humblest.
17) You don’t have to reinvent the Wheel!
Sometimes success is as ‘simple’ as taking an existing idea or way of doing things and putting a new spin on it. Think of UBER and AirNnB again!
18) Ask High Quality Questions.
The questions you ask yourself determine how you feel. (Ask rubbish questions and you will feel rubbish) Ask quality, empowering questions and you will feel empowered.
What am I happy about right now? What is good about this situation?
Albert Einstein is quoted as saying:
“If I had 60 minutes to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I’d spend 55 minutes determining the right question to ask. Once I got the right question, I could easily answer it in 5 minutes.”
The quality of our answers is dependent upon the quality of our questions. The more accurate and more specific our questions are, the more profitable and more beneficial the answers we get will be.
And even more important – if you ask the wrong question you are almost guaranteed to get the wrong answer – so like Einstein, take the time to work out the correct question.
Of course equally important and one that many entrepreneurs struggle with – when faced with a situation or a question, don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. Too many people bluff their way through life simply because they are afraid to admit they don’t know!
19) Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?
20) Flaky People Exist – Get Over it!
It’s only a matter of time before you meet someone who’s always late, cancels important meetings at the last minute, and never acts on their commitments. These people can be called ‘flakes.’ Almost everyone’s acted flaky at some time in their lives, but chronic flakiness can be seriously annoying and disruptive.
Personally I try to avoid having people like that in my life. What do you do?
21) Be prepared with solutions for the obstacles in your way.
In other words, have a Plan B! (Plan C and D to!) I see so many initially successful people lose their way and lose their fortune simply because they had not foreseen a change in the market or worse still had assumed that because they had experienced so much success that it would naturally continue. (Remember Success is a Trickster!)
The graph of success is not a straight up arrow – it is upward trend with occasional dips along the way. Be prepared for those occasional dips and recognize them for what they are – signposts that you need to change and adapt to market conditions. All great entrepreneurs have had their ups and downs – have a Plan B!
Scott Belsky the entrepreneur and author perhaps best known for co-creating the online portfolio platform, Behance, Inc released this graph on the JOY of being a entrepreneur – Joy is not a straight up arrow either!
Be ready to control what you can, to conquer the chaos and cope with what you can’t control, and to concentrate on what really counts.
“If you want to change the world, first change your heart.”
Join a Mastermind Group For Your Future Success
I am quite different today compared to 20 or 30 years ago, or even 5 years ago. In a large part this is down to who I have associated with…
We are all a product of our environment and as I said before ‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ In my case I have been fortunate especially in recent years to spend time with some high quality individuals. My development as an entrepreneur and as a human being is down to the company I keep and the quality of mentors / teachers in my life.
Seek Out and Join a Mastermind Today!
Surround yourself with people you want to be like.
IncomeDiary is planning to launch a Mastermind Group.
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