“Success is fleeting” is a popular adage in business. You simply cannot dream or wish for success. You have to work at it constantly. Contrary to old school management thought, the road to success is never a straight path.
It is riddled with twists and turns, highs and lows, turbulence and calm. But it is not impossible to reach your destination if you are aware of these 8 signs that you are going to be successful.
You Survived Failure. Can you name anyone who succeeded without ever failing in anything in life? I thought so.
It’s highly unlikely that you can succeed without experiencing failure. Many of the world’s most successful businessmen, athletes and world leaders went through several incidents of failure before finding success.
7 Signs You Are Going to Become Successful
When you are faced with the possibility of failure you only have 3 options: fight, flight or freeze. Your choice will determine where you go next.
People who faced failure did not take flight or freeze. They ran toward it at full speed:
- Elon Musk who was close to bankruptcy but pushed forward until he got the US$ 1 Billion contract from NASA.
- Howard Schultz who was rejected by 242 banks but kept going until bank #243 approved his concept for “Starbucks”.
- JK Rowling who was rejected by 5 publishers until someone took a chance on “Harry Potter”.
The fact of the matter is failure is not your enemy. Failure is your greatest teacher. By learning from your mistakes you will become better. By embracing failure, you will never take your victories for granted.
Here are 7 clear signs you are destined to become successful in the future:
1. You Lead Based on Values
If you want to succeed, it’s not enough that you know where you want to go. It’s more important to know how you will get there. And the answer to “How” can be found with the answer to “Who”.
Who are you?
Your core values are the guiding principles for every decision you make. It is forged from your life experiences.
Your values represent who you are. If you lead with your values, you will find success based on what you believe is right.
Values based leadership is the key to finding long-term, sustainable success.
2. You Know Your Purpose
Do you know what your purpose is? If no, then what makes you want to wake up every morning to do what you need to do?
If values are determined by “Who”, purpose is determined by “Why”.
Why did you choose this venture? Why did you decide on this career? Why did you take this direction?
According to Nobel Prize winning Psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, consumers couldn’t care less on the information that’s listed on the label. They purchase based on aligned purpose.
If they can identify the purpose of your product or service, they will patronize you. They understand why you do what you do and what your business is all about.
When you align purpose with your core values it creates direction by establishing your vision. Vision gives you clarity.
For successful people, fulfilling their vision motivates them to wake up every morning, refreshed and ready to face up to the day’s challenges.
3. You Prioritize Flexibility
The year 2000 brought in more than just a new millennium. It ushered events that forever changed the course of history.
The growth of the Internet, 9/11, the 2003 collapse of the equities market, the fall of Iran’s and Libya’s dictatorships, global warming, the 2009 Eurozone crisis, the rise of the mobile technology; these events all transformed the world as we know it.
In a Post-Cold War setting, everything has become VUCA: Volatile, Unpredictable, Chaotic and Ambiguous.
If you choose to maintain rigid, business models and strategies you will fail because you will not have the means to adapt to changes in business conditions.
But if you prioritize flexibility, you will have the foresight to anticipate change before it happens and implement appropriate revisions to strategy accordingly.
4. You Value Time
With all of the advances, efficiencies and innovations introduced by digital technology, there is one component that it can never change. That component is time.
Even the fastest computers and latest in smart technologies can never change the fact that there will always be 24 hours a day.
Thus while technology has enabled you to do things faster and more efficiently, what it really means is today you can do more things within the same amount of time.
For successful people, it is never about the number of hours worked but what they do during those hours that matter.
It is never about relying on technology to become efficient with time. Rather, it is about understanding the intrinsic value of time to become efficient with technology.
One of the best ways to utilize technology is to hire virtual assistants. A Virtual Assistant is a person who works online from a remote location. Hiring virtual assistants is a cost efficient solution that generates greater productivity.
Several successful entrepreneurs have hired virtual assistants to become more efficient with their time. These include Tim Ferris, Pat Flynn and Michael Hyatt.
5. You Focus on Your Strengths
Old school management thought dictates that new growth can be found on areas of weakness.
If you subscribe to this school of thought, you will only succeed in one thing: Wasting time.
Can you imagine what would happen if the IT department took over sales and the Sales department managed all of your networking systems just for the purpose of building a new competence?
Even if they improved their level of proficiency, it will not be enough to contribute to the success of the company. In fact it may even detract from it.
If you’re successful you acknowledge the intrinsic value of time and know your venture is best served by capitalizing on your skills and current strengths.
6. You Build on Your Weaknesses
How would you define a weakness? In anything in life, if you are only “good enough”, that is a weakness.
You should not expect to know everything. The most successful people know that. However, it should not keep you from learning and working to get better.
This is why billionaires and business leaders like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are avid book readers.
Gates reads more than 50 books a year hoping to fine tune his knowledge on society and technology. Zuckerberg reads at least 2 books every month focusing on history and culture.
Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey and Tim Cook of Apple allocate 5 hours a week for strict learning. They read everything from books, manuscripts and volumes of research material.
If you are successful, you should never stop learning. As the Japanese say:
“If you stop learning, you stop existing.”
7. You Manage Based on Right Fit
Tony Hsieh the founder of Zappos said that when he interviews people for a job, he hardly looks at their credentials. He only sizes up the candidate if he or she is an ideal fit for the Zappos culture.
For years, Human Resource managers have focused on technical and fundamental competencies as the determining factors for hiring personnel. They overlook the fact that an organization is made up of different individuals with unique personalities.
It doesn’t matter if the person carries the highest references or recommendations. If he or she becomes disruptive, the organization will fail.
People can be trained to become more skilled and proficient. It is more difficult to change a person for what he or she already is.
Right Fit means to put together people who can thrive in the company culture. They share common values, understand your purpose and acknowledge your vision.
If you manage based on right-fit, your company can navigate safely through economic turbulence because will they move in the same pace and toward the same direction.
A quick recap on the 7 clear signs you are going to become successful:
- You lead with values
- You know your purpose
- You prioritize flexibility
- You value time
- You focus on your strengths
- You build on your weaknesses
- You manage based on right fit
So how would you define success? Does it end when the journey has been completed?
For many of the world’s most successful people, success is a never-ending journey. Once a goal has been reached, they chart a course for a new one. Perhaps success only ends when you believe there are no more challenges to conquer.