When you want to improve yourself and be more successful it’s always a good idea to model yourself and your behaviours on other people who are successful. And when you look at successful people, regardless of industry or profession, you’ll find that they all share the same perspectives and beliefs – and they act on those beliefs:
1. Time doesn’t manage me. I manage time.
Deadlines and time frames establish parameters, but typically not in a good way. The average person who is given two weeks to complete a task will instinctively adjust his effort so it actually takes two weeks. Forget deadlines, at least as a way to manage your activity. Tasks should only take as long as they need to take. Do everything as quickly and effectively as you can. Then use your “free” time to get other things done just as quickly and effectively.
Average people allow time to impose its will on them; remarkable people impose their will on their time.
2. The people around me are the people I chose.
Some of your employees drive you mad. Some of your customers are obnoxious. Some of your friends are selfish, and self-centred. But you chose them! If the people around you make you unhappy it’s not their fault, it’s your fault. They’re in your professional or personal life because you drew them to you – and you let them remain.
Think about the type of people you want to work with. Think about the types of customers you would enjoy serving. Think about the friends you want to have. Then change what you do so you can start attracting those people. Hardworking people want to work with hardworking people. Kind people like to associate with kind people. Remarkable employees want to work for remarkable bosses.
Successful people are naturally drawn to successful people.
3. I have never paid my dues.
Dues aren’t paid, past tense. Dues get paid, each and every day. The only real measure of your value is the tangible contribution you make on a daily basis, no matter what you’ve done or accomplished in the past.
Remarkably successful people never feel entitled – except to the fruits of their labour.
4. Experience is irrelevant. Accomplishments are everything.
You have “10 years in the Web design business.” So what? It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing what you do. Years of service indicate nothing – you could be the worst 10-year programmer in the world. You should care about what you’ve done, how many great sites you’ve created, how many back-end systems you’ve installed, how many customer-specific applications you’ve developed (and what kind)… all that matters is what you’ve done.
Successful people don’t need to describe themselves using adjectives like passionate, innovative, driven, etc. They are able to just describe, in a humble way, what they’ve done.
5. Failure is something I accomplish – it doesn’t just happen to me.
Ask people why they have been successful. Their answers will be filled with personal pronouns: I, me, and the sometimes too occasional ‘we’. Ask them why they failed and most will instinctively distance themselves, like the child who says, “My toy got broken…” instead of, “I broke my toy.” They’ll blame the economy for their lack of success. They’ll say the market wasn’t ready. They’ll say their suppliers couldn’t keep up. They’ll say it was someone or something else’s fault. And by distancing themselves, they don’t learn from their failures. Occasionally something completely outside your control will cause you to fail but most of the time, though, it’s you. And that’s okay because every successful person has failed, numerous times. Most of them have failed a lot more often than you. That’s why they’re successful now!
Embrace every failure: Own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time, things will turn out differently
6. Volunteers always win.
Whenever you raise your hand and volunteer you wind up being asked to do more. That’s great. Doing more is an opportunity to learn, to impress, to gain skills, to build new relationships and to do something more than you would otherwise been able to do. Success is based on action. The more you volunteer, the more you get to act. Successful people step forward to create opportunities.
Remarkably successful people sprint forward.
7. As long as I’m paid well, it’s all good.
Specialization is good, focus is good, finding a niche is good but generating revenue is great.
Anything a customer will pay you a reasonable price to do (as long as it isn’t unethical, immoral, or illegal) is something you should do. Your customers want you to deliver outside of your normal territory? If they’ll pay you for it, that’s fine. If they want you to add services you don’t normally include and if they’ll pay you for it, fine. If the customer wants you to perform some relatively manual labour and you’re a high-tech business then do the work and get paid. Only do what you want to do and you might build an okay business. But if you’re willing to do what customers want you to do then you can build a successful business.
Be willing to do even more and you can build a remarkable business.
And speaking of customers…..
8. People who pay me always have the right to tell me what to do.
The people who pay you, whether customers or employers, earn the right to dictate what you do and how you do it, sometimes down to the last detail. Instead of complaining work to align what you like to do with what the people who pay you want you to do.
Then you turn issues like control and micro-management into non-issues.
9. The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland!
Everyone says they go the extra mile but almost no one actually does. Most people who go there think “why am I doing this?” and leave, never to return. That’s why the extra mile is such a lonely place. That’s also why the extra mile is a place filled with opportunities. Be early. Stay late. Make the extra phone call. Send the extra email. Do the extra research. Help a customer unload or unpack a shipment. Don’t wait to be asked, always offer. Don’t just tell employees what to do–show them what to do and work beside them.
Every time you do something, think of that one extra thing you can do – especially if other people aren’t doing that one thing. It’s hard but worthwhile.
But that’s what will make you different from most other people and over time, that’s what will make you incredibly successful.
Written by Mitchell Linnett
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