10 Tips for Success – Simple but Effective

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Today we’re giving you 10 Tips for Success. 10 simple tips for success when you come down to it. Nothing here requires you to have lots of money or even hours of free time. They are simple but highly effect steps you can take to make your world a more successful place for YOU.

If we work hard, are lucky, and dare to be bold enough we can grow and take on new journey’s throughout our life. After all who we are and what is important to us grows and changes over our life times.  Recently a very talented young woman asked “what did you do to be where you are?”

The easy answer is I worked hard, caught a few breaks and was in the right place at the right time.  All of which are true but when looking deeper at what led to success it was really pretty simple, the 10 Tips for Your Success should give you a really solid foundation no matter what you want to accomplish.

As for me The short version is at 24 I took a job that paid $18k a year that half of what I was making elsewhere at the time. I had a wife who was still in nursing school and new born baby. Financially it was totally nuts. Looking back at what I did made no sense. However I was still young and open minded enough to know I wasn’t happy with the work I was doing. I couldn’t see it as my future. What I did know was computers fascinated me, seemed like the future, and I wanted to work with them.

A bonus tip; find someone who sees your potential and believes in you.  That was my first real break in business and came from one of my early mentors, Jack.  He offered me the job, gave me a tiny desk right next to his, and taught me his business from the ground up. A chance like that can change everything

Define what is success for you not someone else!

Want to hate your life, always feel unsatisfied, and think the world is against you? Then live on someone else terms. My advice; Step back, look at what you want, what matters to you. Both in the short and long term. Don’t be superficial. Don’t be too quick to decide.  Sweat the reasons and the details.  

Then define what success if to you! Not a curated social media version of you. Not one a well meaning family member has always dreamed of. Not one that you secretly dread. Define what the success is YOU really want. Know why. Write it down. Make a plan to work towards it every single day.  

Along the way reevaluate your target with the same critical eye. Remember that when you achieve the goals you have chosen and obtained that success it may look and feel different than you expected. If it didn’t it would be shocking because you grew, and changed as you did the work to achieve it.  You are a stronger person with broader knowledge,  additional perspectives and new life experiences.

The Key about this tip for your success is it doesn’t have to be only about business. Success isn’t always about making the most money having the biggest house or the fastest car.  Success can happen in every area of life from being kinder and gentler to yourself, making healthier choices, being a better partner, parent, friend. It may be learning to do something new to help you relax.

Remember only you define what success is and also what it isn’t.

Show Up Early

Modern meetings are a great example of people not having enough time in their day. Everyone is 2 to 5 minutes late. It’s is so bad that even Television and radio commercials are making fun of it by having people talk about “who just joined the call”. It is a stunning cultural development. Calendar management is related but is different when it comes to tips for your success. Want to know something not everyone sees and appreciates the power of? The impact of being early!  It is a superpower when it comes to tips for success

Start Work 15 Minutes Early

For your day to day work routine this one is golden. There is an old saying that goes “If you aren’t 15 minutes early you’re 5 minutes late”. It was called Lombardi time after the famous and very successful Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi. Being 15 minutes early is nice but being ready and going to work 15 minutes early is powerful.  In the course of an extra work week you get 75 more minutes. Defend this time with a passion. Use the time to do the things that will help you reach the success you are striving for. Don’t read email. That is what other people want not what you need to get done. This is about being proactive.

In Person Meetings at Another Site

Now let’s look at the idea of being early for external meetings. If your meeting is a 9:00am and you roll in at 8:55 you might be on time.  But what happens if there is a slowdown on the way there, traffic, a delayed train, a wrong turn?  What about if there is no parking, the garage is full, you can’t find the right door to the building? Never mind that you may have to clear security, get a badge, be signed in etc.  Again plan to be at the site parked and in the door 15 minutes early, ready to go and ready to work.

The worst thing that happens is you can collect your thoughts, relax and focus on the purpose of the meeting and review who you are meeting with.  There is always the possibility your hosts will see you early, that you will make a new contact, see an old acquaintance.   More than a few times im my career I have overheard competitors pitches and strategies being discussed in the lobby of my customer. Nothing untoward about it. If you talk in public you never know who is listening. Just another benefit for your success when you’re early.     

The 2 Minute Drill – Web Meetings and Conference Calls

Want a tip for your success when it comes to web meetings conference calls? Use the 2 minute rule. Log in 2 minutes before the meeting starts, have the agenda in front of you along with a list of the expected attendees,  Why? Because even if its not your meeting being prepared is a sure way to get the most of every moment.

Exercises to Make Your Extra Time Most Beneficial

  1. Prior to each day know the things you want and need to accomplish in those extra 15 minutes. Write them down, and don’t deviate.  Someone else’s needs in those 15 minutes are not your concern.
  2. Plan for over runs and disruptions.   Don’t over book your time.  Yes your boss will add a meeting out of no where or a customer may truly have an emergency. Still look at your calendar. Look at the meetings and calls you are scheduled on and make sure there is adequate time between all of them.  Ideally 15 minutes between internal meetings and conference calls.

Ask Questions

Every wonder why an answer is what it is? Ever wish you had a deeper knowledge and understanding? Odds are you’re surrounded by people that are truly experts in what the do and why they do it. If you are doing something you should know why. And the reasons behind why.  No one ever got anywhere by just following.  It’s a deeper knowledge and understanding that will help you grow. No you don’t need to become “The Expert” but you need to become better than the average person on the topic.   

Try New Things

Do you understand how all the different parts of your company work?  If not there’s a great chance to try new things. Gain a better insight in to your business and build cross functional relationships.

Other Tips for Success.

Look outside of you immediate business for others areas of interest.  Might be a class on coding, social media or theater at a local center or community college.  It might be going to an organization or interest group meet up. Set a goal for yourself and challenge your limits.  It doesn’t have to be crazy, scary or expensive.  It could be volunteering at an animal rescue, getting involved in a charity or civic organization. Perhaps a cooking class or fitness program.   

To keep your mind fresh and your perspective growing.  It will widen your friendship base which leads us to our next tip.

Choose your Friends Wisely

In many ways it sounds like advice your parents may have given you when you were young.  In my case my Mother was always asking. “If your friends jumped off the Brooklyn bridge would you follow them.”  Which was a bit confusing since we were in Pittsburgh and not New York.  And I am terrified of heights.  

In adult life and the professional world who your friends are still matters.  Some friends are easy to make and it feels natural in the way making friends may have as a child.  Other times, and it seems increasingly so in a digital world that may not be the case. Finding the right friends. Ones who will actively support you and participate in life professionally or personally takes effort.  Find people with goals, they don’t have to be your goals (although when changing diet and adding exercise, studies show that is helpful). In fact outside of rare cases it’s wonderful when they are different.  Why? Again experience and perspective.  

Surround yourself with people who have passion and energy. People that are positive most of the time.  Listen, ask questions, and share in their joy.

Want a tip for not succeeding? Hang out with people who don’t read, never go anywhere, and blame everyone else for their situation.”  It too easy to get sucked into their drama, their negativity and their self imposed limitations.

To put it simply as my friend Sumit Bannerjee said “Everything that has come across your path has started with you”  Source : “7 Principles for Living More Powerfully” Page 166. No you don’t control everything that happens good or bad but you are the common factor.  

That includes your choice of friends and their impact and influence on your life and happiness is undeniable.  Don’t have friends for what they can do for you but have them for what you offer each other. One of my top tips for success is that the people in your life should always be a positive influence in your world.

Some people seem to make friends everywhere they go.  Other struggle with connection. Fact is almost everyone has had both of those experiences  Sometimes things just “click”.  Others it takes work.   

In terms of tips for success when it comes to friends, digital ones are great but make sure you are out in the actual world.  Have coffee, go for walks, invite people to your home or office.  Real world connections, even if you have only met someone once or twice are very powerful.    

Develop a Thick Skin

“They don’t know, where we’ve been
We got that concrete street skin”
by Shinedown “State of My Head”

And you know what?  Whether you like hard rock music or not this one nails it. No one else knows you like you know yourself. No one knows where you have been in life or even truly where you are going. To be successful you need thick skin. It’s easy for someone to say “that will never work” or more likely “it’s hard”, “impossible”, “not worth it”.  We’ve heard it all.  So what.  One of the best tips for success is remember it is much easier for people to be negative than positive. Don’t let that feedback be the reason you give up.

Do the work, stay focused, take good counsel from the right places but leave the negative and nonbelievers behind.  Having a vision and a goal no matter simple or complex will always invite criticism from someone.  Most like who don’t get it they are afraid to try the things they dream of doing.  

Ask for Help

Asking for help can be a particularly hard thing for a lot of people.  However people who are great at something are often happy to share their knowledge.  People teaching, sharing and helping is an ancient response and a core tenet of society. In addition to many people being willing to share you will find the most successful people are willing to help others too.

Using myself as an example a few years back I was at a company that was opening a new office.  Picture one of those home improvement shows right at the point of where a discovery was going to jeopardized both the design of the remodel but was also something if not fixed would have made the home unsafe.  In my case everything was a mess. People were literally working from beach chairs with their computers on the floor because the furniture didn’t arrive. It wasn’t hours late it was over a week late. The shipment had not only been late but when it arrived  it wasn’t scheduled for inside delivery.  Meaning the carrier was going to leave it at the curb. I had to ask for help; From my own team who weren’t there to carry or build things, from building security and from the truck driver.  It was a hard thing to do. Yet everyone pitched in and went out of their way. The truck driver “happened” to be a nice guy and took the pallet inside the building. The security guard called property management and then secured us access to the maintenance elevator.  Everyone did a little extra because I asked and it was clear help was really needed.

To round things out two of my folks came in on Saturday and one again on Sunday so when everyone walked in on Monday the entire team would have a fully functioning office.  Had I not asked I would probably still be on a curb in Miami trying to figure out how to get 8 pallets of desks and chairs inside the building.

Give Without the Expectation of Getting

There are other ways of saying the same thing that may ring true such as “pay it forward”. No matter who we are there is someone some where in out life, a family member, friend, teacher, boss, mentor, or even an acquaintance who has helped you along the way. Who gave you a chance, a break, an opportunity? Someone who saw your potential and encouraged it.  

No matter if you are the new kid on the block somewhere or a salty old dog winding down their career.  There are absolutely people you can benefit from what YOU know and they don’t.  So when asked for help give it, if you have something that fills a need step forward and offer it, if asked and you can’t help but know someone who can then make the introduction.

On this piece of advice I hear all the time “but people will take advantage of you.” And yes some will, but most won’t. My philosophy is always act out of the others best interest as long as they are being genuine.  If someone tries to bully me it’s game over. You have to have limits. But if there is a genuine ask then I will help a million times.  Don’t do someone else job but in terms of knowledge and connections be generous.

Be Yourself

Just like you have defined success on your own terms be who you are.  Personally I use humor in my bio’s and introductions. Why? Because I am a bit of a nerd and as my daughter’s like to tell me a “dork”.  So I own that. Over the years you get to know who you are. Whilst you are doing the work figuring out exactly where you want to be spend some time also understanding who you really are and own that. If you are a bookworm introvert fine.  If you are “Type A” over achiever fantastic. No matter what you are be proud of who you are, what your values are and what you want to excel at.

A lot of people just want to fit in.  Which is fine but in this day an age there are groups, activities, and almost everything imaginable who will welcome kindred souls in with open arms. Get to know who you are, what you want, take a stand, have a hobby, and then live life on your own terms. 

Be Confident

Should a person be introspective? Yes. Should you look at what has happened both good and bad and think about how to make it better? Absolutely. Do we all have a wobble at times and question if we have what it takes to accomplish something. Of course, that is only human.

But when push comes to shove it’s up to you to dig deep and believe in yourself and you abilities. Have you done the work, made a plan, and know where you want things to go? Then you are more prepared than 90% of the world out there.   

Conclusion – Your Success Is Up to You

Looking at the “Tips for Success” in the end being successful is up to you.  To do the work, to put in the effort, to make the time. Yes there will be things beyond your control, family, background, economic conditions, and countless other things. The difference is now you know you have the ability to determine what success is to you.

As I often say sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.  Things not working despite your best efforts is to be expected.  In fact the only shame in it is if you don’t learn how to do it differently next time.

So what about you? These are my tips for success but maybe you have some of your own or you think I have forgotten something essential. Leave me a comment below with your tips for success suggestions and ideas.

Tim Kubiak

Business Geek, Nomad, Aging Metal Head, Nerd, & Coffee Addict. plus the only big guy at Hot Yoga with 25 years of Sales and Leadership experience in organizations of all sizes.

1 thought on “10 Tips for Success – Simple but Effective”

  1. Pingback: 10 Keys to Be More Successful Episode #4 - Tim Kubiak

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