Although so many people want to be successful, very few people are. Quite often, we end up rationalizing the success of others and inventing reasons why we are not successful. I have always believed different. It is not easy to be successful, but if one tries to achieve the following principles, ultimately successful will follow.
1. Tell the Truth
Or better put, don’t lie. If you tell the truth over the a long period of time, you earn something that is key in life, trust. Once people trust you, then it is easier to achieve more difficult tasks.
There is also a more important reason to strive to tell the truth. Do you remember when you were a kid, and you could tell when someone was lying to you? Over time, we adults lose this instinct. I believe it is because as we learn to lie, and our ability to detect lies declines. So the less you lie, the easier it is to see the truth.
Think about someone you know that lies a lot. Almost always they have major problems trusting other people and seeing the truth for what it is.
2. Do What You Say
It sounds simple, doesn’t it? If you promise something, do it. Don’t renege, don’t apologize later, just do it. It is the connection between actions and words. If you can do this consistently, your words will begin to mean more than other people. They know you back up your words with actions. People begin to have more confidence in you.
3. Don’t Give Up
Here’s a news flash. The road to success is not simple and it is not easy, and often times, it is not fun. To look at it a different way, success requires overcoming a series of challenges. Not just one challenge, but a series of challenges. Some times, it feels like it will never come. After overcoming a large challenge, another one arrives. The absolute worst thing is to give up. Giving up is the only way that you will be unsuccessful.
4. Enjoy What You Do
All of the ideals begin to blend together. If you enjoy what you do, then you are less likely to give up. You are more likely to want people to trust you. And probably most importantly, if you enjoy what you do, then there are really no bad outcomes, only good ones.
This is the way I reflect on my years at Gateway. I truly enjoyed what I did. Even if Gateway had not enjoyed the success it did, and my salary was not what it was, I would have still stayed and enjoyed every minute. People also like being around people with enthusiasm toward what they do. We also avoid people that are negative.
5. Admit Your Mistakes Quickly
At Gateway, we made a lot of mistakes. The difference between us and the competition is that we did it quickly. Next is to learn from those mistakes, and then try something else. If one follows this simple formula, ultimately one finds the strategies for success long before the competition. That’s how you become the market leader.
There is another corrolary to this idea, which is make your decisions quickly. I have found that the more time one takes to make a decision, the less likely they are to admit a mistake afterwords.
This is a tough ideal, because in this world, many people do exactly the opposite. When they make mistake, they do every in their power to avoid admitting it. Me being on the opposite side of the spectrum, it is often painful to watch.
6. Strive To Improve
No matter how far down the road to success you travel, you can always improve. Perfection is an ideal that is never achieved but you should always strive for. There is no such thing as resting on laurels.
From a business standpoint, if are always improving, your competition can never catch you. When I reflect back on the times at Gateway, we were always pressing ourselves. We had a saying “Be Happy, Never Satisfied.” We were our own worst critic. No matter how successful we became, we were always painfully aware of our deficiencies. Honestly, we hardly focused on the success at all, and only on what we could to do to improve. Or to tackle the next challenge.
7. Golden Rule
Guess what? The Golden Rule works. Treat people well and they will treat you well. Treat people like you want to be treated. Respect the opinion of others. You don’t have to agree, but be respectful.
That’s it. If I wanted to, I probably could write a whole book on this, but these are the basics of the principles that lead to success.