I often tell my team, “Be proactive in your own becoming.” It sounds like a weird phrase at first, but when you look closely it makes sense — and it will put you on a path of achievement. In short, being proactive in your own becoming is a mix of hustle and problem solving.
Here’s a look at eight supporting principles that tie this statement together and create a clear path to success.
It’s All About You
No one else is going to get you where you want to go – it’s up to you. Your family and friends are a support system, but that is all. They cannot succeed for you. Only you can do that. Take ownership of your problems, and realize nobody else is going to solve them for you.
Be Solution Focused
Effective people have good problem solving skills. We all encounter problems. It’s how we handle them that will make us effective. The most effective way to handle a problem is to focus on finding a solution. Focusing on things that are out of your control is a waste of time. So, focus on what you can control pertaining to the final outcome. Your team will learn to approach problems the same way if you lead by example.
Your level of accountability for completing tasks is really important. One of my favorite books is “Predictable Revenue” by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler. Their approach to achieving goals is both simple and effective: set your goal and then work backwards from that goal to establish metrics, track and evaluate it. It’s important to have clearly defined goals that are quantifiable so you can determine if you reached it or not. For example, a goal to “get in shape” does not make sense. What does that mean? When are you “in shape?” A goal to “run a mile in under 10 minutes” is something you can measure and attain.
Use “SMART” Goals
This acronym has been around for a long time and its meaning varies, but the basic concept works across all areas of life. This is the version I use to set goals: S: Specific (Pick something particular instead of using a broad category.) M: Measurable (Choose something you can quantify.) A: Attainable (You should actually be able to reach this, and it may just require the right steps.) R: Realistic (Be honest – it’s probably unrealistic to say you will go from making $10,000 to being a billionaire in one year.) T: Timely (Give each goal a timeframe to create a sense of urgency.)
Make Your Own Luck
Being successful is not about having the right kind of luck or expecting the right break to come your way. It is not about the mere expectation that you will succeed. It is about taking steps every day to be better than you were the day before by moving in a positive, forward trajectory. Make a blueprint and set out milestones for yourself in specific timeframes or you won’t hit your goal. Things do not happen because you really, really want them to happen. You have to make them happen.
Ultimately, success is not about getting everything right. It is about being consistent. Are you consistently and persistently taking steps every day to steadily move toward your goal? Do you stop making progress or do you continue on when you encounter a seemingly insurmountable problem? Be consistent in what you do. And even though the steps may seem small at the time, doing the right things day in and day out will move you further down the path to success.
Find the Right People
Surrounding yourself with driven, effective people is a proven way to help you succeed. Proximity can be an excellent motivator. You get to choose between driven people and people who will drag you down. You cannot have both and expect to succeed. You cannot spend time with lazy people all day and also achieve your daily goals. Lazy people are like quicksand. They bog you down slowly without you knowing it, until you wake up one day and realize you are consumed by laziness.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
Be humble and take a hard look at what you are doing and how you are doing it. Be completely honest with yourself about what is not working instead of making excuses. It is easy to stay busy and tell yourself you are taking the right steps, but it is harder to be honest if you are not actually making progress. At the end of the day, if you don’t hit your goals, you are only doing a disservice to yourself. You cannot get better if you tell yourself, “Oh, it’s okay, I’m fine where I am.”
Living by this approach has made all the difference in my success. Did I miss something you think is important? Please comment on what has worked for you.
This article has been edited and condensed.
A modern renaissance man, consummate multitasker and entrepreneur Michael Mogill has been relentless in tackling new challenges and ventures, turning his passion for media into a diverse portfolio of businesses. His company, Crisp Video Group has produced video content for major international brands (e.g. Coca-Cola, Verizon, RedBull), and has carved out a successful niche in the medical and dental industries. Connect with @mmogill on Twitter.
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