(Article By Hassib Nasseri)
I invest a lot of time in personal development and growth. I actively seek to learn from the successes and failures of others. With the rise of these social platforms and knowledge sharing economy, it’s so easy for us to follow and learn from some of the most successful and influential people in the world. Below, I have summarized the 9 best pieces of advice I have come across over the last few years which I strongly feel are key to having a successful career in our modern society.
Develop Your Personal Brand
Tom Peters, a best-selling writer on business management practices, best known for In Search of Excellence, wrote:
Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are the CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be successful today, our most important job is to be head marketer of the brand called YOU.
The Internet and social media have democratized marketing on the Internet. The playground has never been better for individuals to bypass the middlemen. New tools and economic forces have emerged to make it possible for many individuals to showcase their talent and passion and make millions, without relying on big record labels, corporations, publishing houses, or governments to pick them.
Start focusing on developing your personal brand around the areas you are passionate about. Think about using these social platforms from a business and commercial point of view, instead of just a channel of communication with your friends and family.
Be Ambitious, it Always Beats Talent
One of the most inspiring lines in cinema history had to be;
“My ambition far exceeds my talents,”
said by Johnny Depp’s character George Chung. Ambition is the most important tool to achieving success, overriding both talent and resources by far.
There are a lot of people that are talented, but aren’t successful, at the same time, there are many people that are very successful, but not as talented or smart. The majority of the people that have attained elite status and rewards were underdogs that had the ambition to prove the world wrong rather than prove it right and simply be a nobody.
Those that are fueled by ambition to work hard and make the sacrifices necessary to have the lives they dreamed of will almost always come out on top. They love the determined, passionate person they are striving to become and the feeling their work gives them, so they find no reason to quit or not believe in themselves.
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson
Take risks, Learn From Your Failures
You can fail at doing what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance doing what you love. Jim Carrey
Realising that failure is a key part of success will open so many more opportunities for you.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan
I firmly believe that to really succeed in life, you need to have the heart to take risks, stop fearing failure and believe in yourself and your vision.
Here are the top 5 benefits of risk taking;
- Great, otherwise unforeseen opportunities often come from risk-taking.
- Taking risks shows confidence and helps you stand out.
- We learn from risks and those lessons may lead us on an important, new path.
- You don’t achieve your dreams by playing it safe.
- Embracing risk-taking helps you overcome a fear of failure
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Unknown
“Only those who play win. Only those who risk win. History favors risk-takers. Forgets the timid. Everything else is commentary.” – Iveta Cherneva
Find a Mentor
I love reading about success stories. I have heard so many successful figures attributing their success to their mentors.
Brad Keywell, Co-founder of Groupon says;
Most fast track professionals I meet, even the most focused and driven ones, literally wasted years in their 20s pursuing something that made no sense. How do you avoid this? Find a mentor”.
Why align yourself with a mentor? A mentor is someone who has the experience or knowledge you seek, and can help in your current role or assist with future opportunities. This is usually someone you respect and who holds a position you aspire to, or is in field you seek to enter.
M – Motivates you to accomplish more than you think you can.
E – Expects the best of you.
N – Never gives up on you or lets you give up on yourself.
T – Tells you the truth, even when it hurts.
O – Occasionally kicks your butt.
R – Really cares about you and your success.
The ideal mentor is someone who you respect, can connect with on a personal level, and who is willing to impart their knowledge. But don’t expect them to solve all your problems.
Network – Its Not What You Know, Its Who You Know
How many times have we heard that phrase? Successful networking is one of the key components of success. There is no better time than now to strengthen or build your network. A solid network will serve you well for years to come and will be an additional tool in your toolbox especially during these times of economic uncertainty.
Networking is great for sharing ideas and knowledge. Whether it’s asking for feedback or discussing your point of view, it will help you expand your knowledge and allow you to see things from another perspective. It’s natural that networking will result in opportunities. The thing you will not know is when or how they will materialise. Whether it’s a referral, offer partnership or request for your service or product, it is important to be ready to seize opportunities when they come along.
Always Re-invent Yourself – Focus on Personal Development
Personal development is the act or process of understanding and developing oneself in order to achieve one’s fullest potential. Personal development is a vital part in a person’s growth, maturity, success and fulfillment. It is the foundation of mature personality, better relationship, happiness, success and prosperity.
Unfortunately, however, not everyone is aware of the importance of personal development. It wasn’t given much attention at home, work or in school. People give more importance to academic and professional achievement rather than personal growth. This has caused a lot of emotional struggles that many people go through in life because they lack the soft skills which are crucial to one’s success and happiness.
Here are some of the reasons why personal development is important:
- It helps you understand yourself better
- It assist you in creating your goals and life purpose
- It guides you in managing and spending your time effectively
- It enhances your ability to handle stress, adversity and change
- It supports you in managing your finances more wisely
Money Isn’t Everything, Follow Your Passion
Money is a very powerful thing, it builds empires and breaks down kingdoms, it allows for dreams to come true and it takes others away, it makes some people happy and others completely miserable. Today the pursuit of money is almost directly linked to the pursuit of happiness, many will argue that money = happiness.
Deepak Chopra – New Age Guru
There are many aspects to success; material wealth is only one component. Moreover,success is a journey, not a destination. Material abundance, in all its expressions, happens to be one of those things that makes the journey more enjoyable. But success also includes good health, energy and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well-being, and peace of mind.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.Steve Jobs
Too many people spend money they earned to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like.” – Will Rogers
Tell Stories, Not Facts
“Stories engage people at every level – not just in their minds but in their emotions, values and imaginations” Unknown
Studies show that we are wired to remember stories much more than data, facts, and figures. However, when data and story are used together, audiences are moved both emotionally and intellectually. Harnessing the power of stories will enable you to be more persuasive, move people to action, and progress into your career.
Shut Up and Listen
Listening is key to all effective communication, without the ability to listen effectively messages are easily misunderstood – communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated.
Many successful leaders and entrepreneurs credit their success to effective listening skills. Richard Branson frequently quotes listening as one of the main factors behind the success of Virgin. Effective listening is a skill that underpins all positive human relationships, spend some time thinking about and developing your listening skills – they are the building blocks of success.
Thats it, if you made it this far, I want to think you found the advices useful. Share the best piece of advice you have received.
Hassib Nasseri is a startup and social media strategist based in London, UK.
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