My Secrets to Success (if you'd call me a success)
I am never late (okay, never say never...things come up)...however I strive to be on time, if not early, to most engagements. Why? It's respectful. You don't know what others have going on — if you say you're going to be there, be there. I don't care if it's a social engagement, meeting, or otherwise.
2. Treat your life as a business.
I know that not everyone wants or needs to be as scheduled and type A as I am — and that's okay. If there were 100 million other "me's" running around I would fear for the world. However, if you are trying to better yourself, make improvements, and achieve goals — I suggest you treat your life as a business.
What does this mean? Calendar things. For example, I calendar reminders a week in advance for birthdays, checking in on upcoming events, etc. Some may call it annoying, I call it utterly prepared. Why does this work for me? I automatically eliminate stress from my life. I don't worry about forgetting anything, letting anyone down, or dropping the ball on personal obligations (for the most part — I'm human here).
On the topic of goals, you need to calendar your steps to reach them. Don't just write "apply for MBA" on your master list of steps to further your career. Calendar the GMAT, when you need to study, when you need to ask for letters of rec, etc. By doing this with all of your goals, you are ensuring that they actually happen in a timely fashion — you don't let them sit on a piece of paper that could be dusty in a year.
3. Set BETTER goals.
And on that note....set clear overarching goals and break them down. I have three main goals in my life. And, I have about 40 mini-goals that fall under one of those main categories. I am not going after all of those 40 mini-goals right this second, because that would be insanity, however I have my overarching goals in mind and I have broken them down into doable mini-goals that keep me on track and working toward my end-game every day.
Don't overwhelm yourself, make it doable and remember that you have time.
4. Help your confidence.
Most of us know what activities, accomplishments, and tasks make us feel better about ourselves. For some of us, it's the gym. For others, reading for half an hour a day. Whatever makes you feel better about you — do it, and do it every day.
Because...why wouldn't you?
5. See the bigger picture.
It's not all about you. It's not all about one issue. It's not all from your perspective. Remember that.
6. Know your audience.
Always remember who you are talking to. Keep it authentic, and frame your responses and statements so that whoever you are talking to interprets it correctly. Remember, we all have different perceptions.
7. Be a good person (authenticity).
Just do it (#nike).
8. Treat everyone as the CEO.
Quit being so wrapped up with WHO you're talking to. Stop caring so much about their last name, their bank account, their title. You need to be strategic, yes, but at the end of the day, each person matters and each interaction matters. Everyone brings something to your life — don't forget to let them.
Visualize your success and dreams. If nothing else, this makes you follow through on your steps to get there (because you're stoked about it).
10. Don't take the easy route.
Don't take the easy route, unless you're cool with that. This is where my three favorite words come into play — patience, perseverance, and hard work. Sometimes, in order to live your dreams, you must take the long road. You must persevere through things you don't want to do, and you must remember the end goal every day.
11. HAVE FUN AND BE HAPPY.
I would tell you to follow it, but if you're truly passionate about something, chances are you CAN'T NOT. Now, use the aforementioned tips and go get it — make your passion your reality now and in the years to come.