1. Define success but let it be adaptable.
Many successful entrepreneurs and leadership coaches will tell you that you need to define what success looks like ahead of time. This is certainly a useful exercise and something that I do as part of my vision and mission on any business venture. However, I also think it’s important to remain adaptable to how success looks when it actually arrives.
I can say that my actual achievements have nearly always looked different than my original definition of success. That’s not because they weren’t successful or exciting milestones, it’s that there are an infinite number of variables that will go into each of your successes and each one will indelibly leave their marks on you.
As you arrive at the dollar amount, business valuation or other moment of success, it always looks a little different than how you originally imagined. So yes, define success, but be open to the possibility it will be the essence, not the carbon copy, of your original vision.
2. Remember the total picture.
Maybe it’s because I’ve enjoyed a life where my most successful partnership has always been with my brother, but I just knew that family was absolutely essential in my general vision of my life’s success. When I met my wife it was clear that this was the woman I wanted to be a part of my success journey, too, and I wanted to be a part of hers. That has required patience, understanding and compromise for us both as we’ve been married and raised our children, but for me, the bigger picture of success just wouldn’t be complete without my family.
I am also adamant that success for me personally means phenomenal health. That has meant putting my health as a primary motivation, and I take good care of my mind and body.
These things won’t be a priority to you unless you remember the bigger picture of your life as you build your success in business.
3. Treat everyone well.
The golden rule has an almost sacred place in business for me. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Some people I’ve come across haven’t treated me well. I cut those people out of my life immediately. I’m not interested in spending time or doing work with people who are dishonest, unkind or operate in other ways that don’t match how I want to be treated. Conversely, I expect that I will treat the people I meet and the people with whom I work with honesty, respect and patience.
As the saying goes, be nice to everyone on your way up, because you may meet them again on your way down. Luckily I haven’t had a lot of “down” time in my life, but I’ve been astounded by the number of times people have come to my aid, helped my family, made a connection for me or have in some other manner enriched my life for no benefit to themselves. I hope I can do the same as often as possible for others because your honesty and good deeds always find their way back to you.
4. Maintain a sense of humility.
I don’t mean humility in the sense that you throw yourself before the mercy of others, but philosophically I think maintaining an attitude of perspective that doesn’t put yourself as the actual center of the universe will help you for a number of reasons.
First, if you aren’t the center of the universe, you can take yourself a lot less seriously and that will help you to laugh more, take more risks and not take failures so damn personally. Failures happen to everyone and they aren’t deadly. Next, I think maintaining some humility keeps your brain open to new ideas. An inquisitive person who listens can learn a lot more than a know-it-all.
Finally, people tend to enjoy working around someone who is not afraid to try new things, listen to others and value outside opinions. A little humility can go a long way toward your success.
5. Celebrate your achievements.
The roads you’ll travel during your various streams of successful endeavors will have many milestones. Don’t be afraid to stop and celebrate those small successes along the way. It’s often motivating to periodically stop and acknowledge how far you’ve come. Take time to celebrate as you go.
5 Philosophies That Will Help You on Your Path to Success (entrepreneur.com)