People are always looking for ways to succeed in life, love, and business. In that quest we often find ourselves downloading the latest check lists, cheat sheets and how to articles.
Yet, the question is: Do these things really make you successful? If not, what makes someone successful? Furthermore, how do you define success?
These are all difficult questions. Everyone’s answer will be different based upon their own thoughts, desires, experiences and outlook. Regardless of what success means for you, if you want to know how successful you are, first take a look at the people around you.
This is crucial to your success
As Jim Rohn has notably stated, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So if you’re stuck, unmotivated or aimless, chances are the people around you are too.
When I reflect back on a time in my life when I wasn’t experiencing much success, most of the people I associated with weren’t either. As time went on I noticed I was bored. Yet, equally inspired to change and create something new.
Around the same time a quote by Tony Robbins caught my attention. He said, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” That was my sign.
At that same local pub where we were still doing the same thing, I dusted off my bar stool and took an inventory of my surroundings. What I found was depressing at best. I knew something had to change. The question was “how?” — How do you go from being unhappy, stuck and unmotivated to a life you love?
Change isn’t easy
We all expect to be able to change instantaneously. Much of the information we consume promises us we can. But when I looked back at prior New Year’s resolutions, I had learned that a quick fix is never a solution.
Let’s be real here.
What transformational story you’ve heard has started with “it happened overnight?” A complete 180 in a short period of time is not realistic.
Change isn’t easy. I had to find something else I could actually stick to and work through. I had stumbled upon the 40/40/20 rule before. It’s a popular success formula that is widely used in the direct marketing industry and picked up steam in the eighties.
By original definition it is a “principle of marketing design, developed by marketing expert Ed Mayer, which states that 40 percent of the success of a marketing campaign is based on reaching the right audience, another 40 percent is based on the offer you are making, and the remaining 20 percent is based on various other factors such as presentation and format.”
So, for example, in online marketing you can spend 40% of your time building a list; 40% of your time perfecting your offer; and 20% on the message and creative.
Create a life you love
The principle was later applied to other areas such as management, production, personal development, etc. In fact, why not apply this rule to life in general?
The result: I developed my own personal 40/40/20 rule. The goal was to use this methodology to help me change my current situation. So I decided to spend my time as follows:
1. Work on personal development: 40%
Spend time on self-improvement. The goal is to become the person you actually want to be. Read inspirational books, work with a life coach, exercise, take courses and learn to meditate. These things helped me to connect with my deeper purpose and feel good. I took actions that renewed my interest in the world around me.
2. Surround yourself with success: 40%
You’ve got to spend time with people who inspire you. Hang out with people who are more successful than you and challenge you. Without this it’s hard to grow as human beings or entrepreneurs. When I started to surround myself with successful people doing great work, I was inspired to rise to the occasion and be the best version of myself.
3. Serve others and work on your skills: 20%
The only way to get better at things is to practice them. No tennis player ever won the U.S. Open by just showing up. Practice, make mistakes and learn from them. The feedback I got from people helped me to grow as a coach and entrepreneur.
I followed my personal version of the 40/40/20 rule diligently for two years. (Told ya, not an overnight process.) It was worth it!
The changes I have seen in myself and consequently others have been unreal. I have grown as a person on a spiritual, emotional, interpersonal level … and as a business owner.
As my business grew the percentages shifted. I now spend 40% on personal development; 40% on helping others achieve high levels of success and become the people they strive to be; and 20% learning through others and engaging in conversations and activities that inspire me.
Regardless of how you break it down, the point is simple: If you want to succeed, take action and surround yourself with success.
This article has been edited.
Jennifer Scott is an online business strategist and mindset coach who helps entrepreneurs create a business and life they love.
Her unique approach combines mindset coaching with business strategies to help her clients succeed in building sustainable businesses based on their passion and deep desire to live a life of their dreams.
Jenn also hosts a weekly Facebook Live show called ‘Talk with Jennifer’, where she shows online entrepreneurs how to build a sustainable business and silence their inner critic. To learn more about Jenn, her coaching programs and courses visit jenniferscottcoaching.com. Connect with @jenn_s_zen on Twitter.