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There are several different factors that I consider important on the path to your success in any venture, whether business or personal. These top 3 factors leading to success are honesty, purpose and intuition. In my personal experience, I’ve found that applying these 3 factors helps me achieve my goals better than anything else I’ve ever tried.
Top 3 Factors Leading to Success in Your Life and Business
Of all the success factors, I consider honesty to be the most important to reaching professional and personal success. Honesty covers a broad spectrum of topics from dealing with others (customers & employees, friends & family) and even yourself. Honesty really is the best policy!
Think about other people and be honest.
If you aren’t honest with your customers for example, you might get away with it in the short term. However, eventually you will make a “mistake” and tell them the truth. This can have disastrous consequences for your business. After all, if your customers catch you in one lie, they’ll start to wonder how many others you’ve told them.
Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself without customers as they start to go elsewhere and tell all their friends and family why they’re doing so. Word gets around. In fact, word-of-mouth is sometimes the best (or worst) form of advertising. If your customers catch you in a lie, you can be sure they’re going to tell almost everyone they know, as well as telling strangers they may overhear discussing your business. It’s best to give them good things to say. Your reputation and your bank account will thank you!
The same goes for your employees.
Unless you’re a solo professional, you have employees upon whom you rely to accomplish the day-to-day operations of your business. We all know how the “water cooler grapevine” works: if someone has some juicy gossip, it’s almost immediately spread through the whole office.
This is especially true of negative gossip. Don’t tell your employees there’s no money for pay increases when you’ve given yourself a huge bonus. Trust me, this will get out and you will find yourself facing an equally huge crisis in terms of employee morale. Obviously, there are some things that you just can’t discuss with your employees, such as reasons a coworker was terminated. In those instances, telling the truth – that you can’t talk about the details – is the best path to take. If your employees feel that you are being honest with them, you’ll end up with a happier, more loyal team.
We sometimes start new ventures for what we think are great reasons. “I want to own my own business because I’ll have more freedom,” or “I’m joining the gym to get healthier.” On the surface, both of these sound like great reasons, right? And, if they are truly, 100% the real reasons for doing each thing, they are great reasons. What happens if they’re not the truth, though?
Purpose comes from from a powerful dose of self-honesty.
You can find a great deal of freedom working for yourself, but make no mistake: it is work. Sure, you may be able to do it in your pajamas, depending on what you do, but you will still work hard. I have a freelancer friend who told me that he’s never worked harder for any company than he does working for himself.
The key is being honest with yourself about your expectations.
If you think that you’ll just work a few hours a day and generate a full-time income, you’re likely not being honest with yourself. On the other hand, if you have that gig, I want your secret! If you know that you’ll work hard, but value that because all of your earnings go to you, then you’re being honest and will likely be successful, instead of unpleasantly surprised.
Being clear on your purpose for personal ventures, like the gym, is crucial to your success, too. There is a big difference between “healthy” and “thin” or “ripped.” If you set off on your new gym journey telling yourself that you want to be healthy but deep down, your picture of success is on the cover of a magazine, you probably won’t be happy when you actually achieve your goal of “health.”
You’ll be healthy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the newest cover model for a fitness magazine. There’s nothing wrong with aiming for that goal, but be clear with your purpose. If looking like that cover model is really your definition of success, be honest with yourself. If your goal is “healthy,” realize that you can be that without being that cover model.
The last of my top 3 factors leading to success is intuition.
I’m not talking about looking into a crystal ball; I mean listening to your “gut” reactions. Starting on the path to success isn’t always a clear-cut move. I learned through experience that sometimes you have to try different states of mind and learn as you go.
Let’s take starting a business as an example. If you’re someone who has always wanted to be a [insert your choice of business] owner, then your path is a lot clearer. What about those of us who don’t have such a clear idea, though?
Research is key.
After you’ve done yours, let’s say you find that carpet cleaning is the most in-demand service, so you think that’s the way you should go. What does your gut tell you? When you think of cleaning carpets five (or six) days a week, do you feel good or do you get a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach?
If you feel good, then you’re on the right track! However, if your intuition is telling you this path may not be for you, I suggest you listen to it. Brainstorm some reasons that your intuition is saying, “Stop!” Maybe deep down, you’d rather own a business that calls for sitting at a desk or working with numbers, instead of cleaning carpets.
When you get to an option that doesn’t cause that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, you have your answer. Do some more research on that new idea. Chances are much greater that you’ll find happiness and success by doing something you enjoy. Listening to your intuition can save you a lot of time, money and grief.
Some people may think these top 3 factors leading to success are all too complicated. Granted, they do require soul-searching and doing the “right” thing (often, the hard thing), but taking shortcuts is setting a course for failure. Almost every shortcut (unless it’s to my favorite pizza place) has lead me to failure, not success.
The shortcuts I’ve taken ended up creating negative effects in the future. Those negatives always came back to bite me when I least expected it. Put in the hard work and you will get the results!
What are some of your top success factors?
Share them with us in the comment section!