How do you set yourself up for success? The first real question is what does success mean to you? Is it having a lot of money? Or is it to have enough money to put food on the table? What about having made it through the day? Made it through the biggest stage presentation in-front of millions of people? Success is different for everyone and it changes from moment to moment, but for every success there are several commonalities which let people achieve them.
Being ‘successful' will mean different things to different people at different times, though there are a many things success in general has in every situation. Before that though, let's tackle the basic human needs first. Basic needs such as shelter, food, safety will always be the most important things in life (speaking from a biological and subconscious point of view), and only after those three requirements are satisfied can you move onto the higher levels of success and happiness.
For example, if you cannot find food, shelter nor safety your ego will barely play a role in your list of needs. Without being safe and without food you most likely won't care about the success or failure of the company project you're working on (unless it's success had a major impact on your immediate needs).
This is part of Maslow's hierarchy of needs which is usually shown as a pyramid:
Let's take this a step further.
Set Yourself Up For Success Emotionally
If you don't have the basic human needs taken care of, then you need to work on that first. This article is for those of you at the “Love/Belonging” and higher stages. Emotions are a tricky business that few people understand and even fewer people learn to control. That's because emotions aren't rational nor logical. That doesn't mean you can't get a handle on them and be happy.
For me there are two parts to being successful emotionally: being able to control my emotions (in other words: stay cool and calm even in heated situations) and be content and happy with life.
These aren't possible if I don't surround myself with positive experiences and be in an environment that supports a lifestyle that makes me happy (see my previous article about how It's OK To Be Spoiled In Life). Being emotionally successful means being happy, the things below help me stay that way (and help me keep on improving as well):
- Having time to work on client projects uninterrupted
- Having time for my wife, dog, family and friends
- Being able to take time out for just myself once in a while
- Being surrounded by people who I can trust
- An environment where I'm mostly left alone to do my work
- Having people there to support me in the good times and the bad
- Me taking steps forward to improve my life bit by bit
- Quality Tea & coffee
- Some nice things / luxuries in life
- A weekly work, personal and life schedule (with some wiggle room)
For you, it could be different things. I've worked my way up to this emotional state and know how to maintain this level. I do not recommend you jump in feet first into everything.
Find things one by one that improve your life and actually make you happy. And go from there. One step at a time.
Set Yourself Up For Financial Success
Finances are not a fun topic for many people, and that's ok. We've all screwed up somewhere financially. It's not the end of the world. I believe there are two things needed to getting to financial success:
- A budget (and sticking to it!)
- Earning an increasing amount of money (and in that same light: decreasing debts)
Number 1 (having a budget) is the single most important thing you can do to get moving towards financial success. To earn more monies I highly recommend you start freelancing, doing side jobs, open a business, do what you can (that is ethical) to get a raise at your job and if you're already in business: doing what you can to improve lead generation and sales without compromising on quality and customer service.
Set Yourself Up For Business Success
Whether you're a seasoned business professional or a budding entrepreneur you'll need to surround yourself with people who will support you emotionally, help you in business and provide good advice. The saying goes “take the average salary of the 5 people you hang out with the most and most likely your income.” It's not 100% true, though the logic is there.
If you surround yourself with non-starters, downers and people who ‘never seem to catch a break in business' you're most likely going to end up like them. On the other hand, if you're surrounded by motivated, positive experts who love doing what they're doing and are successful at it it's very likely that you'll get there too (if you aren't there already). Do you think Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla), Bill Gates and Tony Robbins surround themselves with great people, or losers?
- Surround yourself with great minds.
- Take calculated risks to expand business.
- Know what you want …
- Make a well thought out plan to get what you want.
- Take action! Do the work that's needed that will bring in business!
- Don't know something? Either learn to do it well enough to get going, or partner up with someone who does.
- Preferably: check to make sure the product/service you're offering is actually something people will pay for before you get going on work!
- Don't assume, write everything down and think through the steps for everything where possible.
What all 3 have in common:
Common sense, planning and a supportive environment. What set yourself up for success by placing success if your path and within your reach. Just like training a dog: you don't leave your shoes out if you want to train him to not eat your shoes. Don't put bad things in your path.