Passion Powers Productivity, Happiness

If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose. – Bishop T.D. Jakes

For more than 35 years, my happiness level has served as my business compass. The happier I felt, the more success I achieved.

In some of my jobs, I realized I had to dig deep to find my happiness. In others, my sense of joy powered my productivity, giving me the energy I needed to be truly successful.

One essential tip for business success is to discover your passion, and then go after it fearlessly. If you spend your days in a state of true happiness, the inevitable bumps in the road become extremely manageable. The long days have meaning, and the extreme effort feels purposeful.

I do know following your passion is so much easier said than done.

Here are my thoughts – you need to:

1.     Discover your passion. And in a world where conformity often trumps creativity, we are often at a lost to what makes us happy.

2.     Gain the skills necessary to pursue your passion. Whether it is a MBA, cooking classes, singing lessons, acting school or real estate courses, your passions require a level of competence that only training and practice provide.

3.     Commit to make it happen. This requires putting your heart into your efforts so that giving up is not an option.

4.     Gather up all of our courage. Letting go of fear will help you move forward when the naysayers get too loud.

5.     Be persistent. When you stumble and fall, you must possess the tenacity to get back up.

Not everyone has the vision or the resources or the sheer will to follow their passion. But those who do very often experience tremendous business success, which I define as happiness.

Give yourself a gift, today. Identify your passion and go for it.

Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.  – Harriet Tubman

 

 

Reflection Is Vital To Renewal

Learning without reflection is a waste. Reflection without learning is dangerous. – Confucius

Reflection is an essential skill for business and personal success. But how many of us actually take the time to do it?

More likely than not, you have spent the year running, running, running and pushing, pushing, pushing without the benefit of pausing … and reflecting.

If you keep moving forward without the benefit of reflecting, sooner or later you will realize that you are directionless. How can you plan the future if you don’t take stock of what went right … and what went wrong?

According to entrepreneur Kevin Daum, here are some questions to ponder as you move through the year*:

1.     Am I using my talents fully?

2.     Am I performing at my peak capacity?

3.     Am I meeting the expectations I set for others around me?

4.     Am I being a person others respect?

5.     Am I meeting goals that I have set for myself and my company?

6.     Am I on a positive path to my preferred future?

The most important thing you can do RIGHT NOW is to make the commitment to put aside time regularly to reflect. Schedule it into your calendar either weekly or monthly, and then do it.

Answer your reflection questions truthfully, learn from your mistakes and share your thoughts with your colleagues. I suggest keeping a reflection journal. It doesn’t have to be long – just enough to allow you to track your learnings and your progress.

When you stop long enough to reflect, you will find clarity, direction and renewed motivation.

We cannot see our reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.  – Zen saying

Source: * http://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/the-power-of-self-reflection.html

 


Business Success Depends On Follow Through

Don’t just dream big; follow through. – Bob Buford

All the brilliant business ideas in the world are worthless if you don’t follow through with the action steps necessary to make them a reality.

Indeed, follow through is a key essential skill for business success. Whether you are launching a new business or completing a task at work, without follow through nothing gets off the ground.

One predictor of personal business success is how well you follow through. Do you follow through on your commitments? Do you do what you say you will do? Can you be trusted to complete a task or invest the effort necessary to move a project forward?

Individuals who let things fall through the cracks – from their personal dreams to their job responsibilities – lose their colleagues’ trust and doom themselves to being a continual disappointment to themselves and others.

Here are four tips to successful follow through:

1.     Make a commitment to follow through. If this is a weak area for you, make a conscious decision to change your work habits.

2.     Keep an eye on the big picture, but take small steps. Don’t bite off more than you can chew: you set yourself up for disappointment and may abandon your resolve to follow through.

3.     Create milestones that allow you to track your follow through. This allows you to measure your success.

4.     Do not work in a vacuum. Enlist the help of colleagues who can keep you accountable while supporting your efforts.

When you follow through on your plans, projects and commitments, you not only build trust among your peers and clients, you also set yourself up for true success.

You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.  – Rosalynn Carter

 

 

A Business Win-Win: Being a Mentor/Being Mentored

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. - Unknown

I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mentors. In every job I had in my 20s, I found a mentor who could show me the ropes, serve as an encourager and help take my skills to the next level.

I am forever grateful to these individuals, and in gratitude vowed to become a mentor to young people – and older colleagues -- seeking success in their careers. During the past 30 years, I’ve had the honor and privilege of mentoring hundreds of individuals. Not only did I gain tremendous fulfillment helping others achieve success, I became an even more effective professional.

Indeed, mentoring is the ultimate “win-win” experience for those who mentor as well as those who are mentored.

According to Forbes*, if you are looking for a mentor, seek out an individual who:

·      Takes the time for self-reflection, which generates a wealth of insights that can be shared with you

·      Demonstrates discretion, which allows you to build an honest, trust-based relationship

·      Appears curious, which leads to a deeper interest in your career goals

·      Is generous of spirit, and thus will serve as an encourager of your success

And according to Dan Erwin**, if you are seeking to mentor someone, look for individuals who can:

·      Set their own concrete objectives

·      Ask very effective questions

·      Have the willingness and ability to challenge their mentor

·      Follow through on their commitments

One of the essential skills for business success is the ability to give of yourself – to be a mentor. And conversely, it is so important to be teachable and open to learning from a mentor. Be sure you make it a point to experience both in your career.

A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself. - Oprah Winfrey

Sources:

* http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikaandersen/2014/09/29/5-qualities-to-look-for-in-a-mentor/#72cb1c7d31a3

** http://danerwin.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/06/7-characteristics-of-a-successful-mentee.html

 

When Opportunity Knocks, Grab It

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. - Milton Berle

One of the most important ways to become successful in business is to take advantage of every opportunity you can.

Sometimes these opportunities are obvious, like seeking out a more challenging job, a promotion or more responsibilities at work, the chance to travel or to explore different career paths, the opportunity to enhance your skills or to earn an advanced degree.

In these situations, I encourage you to say “yes” as much as you can. Opportunities in business not only lead to personal and professional growth, they can enrich your life. Believe me, when my mentor told me he would support my decision to start my own business, I said yes. I’ve never looked back.

And don’t procrastinate. Opportunities often are fleeting; so don’t wait for the “perfect” time to take advantage of them.

The challenge becomes when opportunities seem to elude you. In other words, you feel you can’t catch a break. In these moments, you must CREATE your opportunities.

How do you do this?

·      Stay positive. When you keep good thoughts, you will be in a better position to recognize opportunities when they come your way.

·      Network with other professionals. You can’t be exposed to opportunities when you are working in a vacuum. Get out, network and meet people – you will be amazed at the opportunities that present themselves.

·      Focus on what you want from your career. Once you can identify your direction, you are in a better position to recognize opportunities that can move you closer to your goals.

·      Don’t be afraid to go after your dreams. Once you release the fear, you will discover the many opportunities that can help you achieve your goals.

Business success means taking advantage of every opportunity you can identify. And if you can’t identify an opportunity, then by all means, create your own.

The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity. - Ayn Rand

Character Matters In The Workplace

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. – John Wooden

Character is whom we are when no one is looking. Character encompasses all of our values, morals, judgment and decisions that we carry with us. And possessing strong character traits is crucial when seeking business success. In the workplace, character matters.

Character in the workplace sets the tone for how you navigate your professional career. It includes conducting your business activities in a trustworthy manner, showing respect in all aspects of your work and always taking responsibility for your actions. It means doing the right thing – even when it is difficult to do so.

Strong character means that you are guided not only by self-interest in your business actions and decisions, but also what is best for your company, your colleagues and your clients.

The Harvard Business Review in 2015 printed results from a study by KRW International, a Minneapolis-based leadership firm, which attempted to actually quantify character. The results demonstrated that CEOs whose employees gave them high marks for character had an average return on assets of 9.35% over a two-year period. That’s nearly five times as much as what those with low character ratings had; their ROA averaged only 1.93%.*

The study measured four moral principles:

·      Integrity

·      Responsibility

·      Forgiveness

·      Compassion

I encourage you to take some time to examine your character and moral principles. Only you can determine your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your character. Are you operating from a position of strength when it comes to character or do you have some work to do in this area?

To be successful in business, character matters. It’s something we need to be mindful of every single day.

Character is the real foundation of all worthwhile success. – John Hays Hammond

Source Material: https://hbr.org/2015/04/measuring-the-return-on-character

 

Learning To Let Go And Delegate

You can do anything, but not everything. – David Allen

One of the biggest mistakes managers make is the inability, or unwillingness, to delegate.

They get caught up in three traps:

1.     The “I can do it better” trap

2.     The “I don’t have time to train employees to do it” trap

3.     The “I need everything to be perfect” trap

If you don’t learn to delegate, or you aren’t willing to let go of control, you are destined to experience problems because you simply can’t grow a business on your own.

Here are four tips for delegating successfully:

·      Keep your expectations realistic. Yes, mistakes will be made. To minimize errors and miscommunication, set a standard of quality and a timeline, and make sure the employee has all the information needed to complete the job.

·      Take the time to teach important skills. Delegating doesn’t mean handing off a project and walking away. Expect to invest time in teaching the employee new skills. It will pay off in the long run.

·      Check in on the progress. Don’t watch employees’ every move, but do check in on a regular basis to see how they are doing and if they need any help.

·      Demonstrate appreciation. One of the best things you can do to keep employees motivated is to say “thank you” for a job well done.

One of the many secrets to delegation success is to delegate the right tasks to the right people. If you can master delegation, you can increase your productivity and the productivity of your staff.

The first rule of management is delegation. Don’t try and do everything yourself because you can’t. – Anthea Turner

 

The Myth Of Multitasking

Multi-tasking is great in the kitchen when you are trying to time the chicken to be ready at the same time as the potatoes. But do not assume it is a great way to manage a workday. – Joanne Tombrakos

I am not a fan of multitasking. I know job-seekers put it on their resume as a “skill” and often business professionals will brag about how well they juggle their multiple projects at work.

All I know is that when I try to answer an email while speaking on a conference call, I don’t do either very well.

Several research studies back up my suspicions, demonstrating that multitasking decreases the ability to focus and learn; impairs memory; and increases stress levels.

Here is some advice for business owners:

·      Keep workloads realistic. Many employees multitask because there is simply too much to accomplish in a day. Realistic workloads can lead to greater productivity and higher-quality work.

·      Encourage employees to take regular breaks AWAY from the desk. Spending breaks attached to the computer multitasking social media and personal emails doesn’t give the mind a break. Employees need to get up and walk around.

·      Help employees with time management skills. Many times the antidote for multitasking is organization. Helping employees focus on one task at a time can lead to greater job satisfaction and productivity.

I think it is time to stop overloading our brains. We are sabotaging our happiness and the quality of our work. A step in the right direction is returning to a single-task mindset – doing one thing at a time, and doing it well.

 Multitasking means screwing up several things at once. – Unknown

 

Becoming Solution-Oriented: A Positive Approach

Identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions. – Anthony Robbins

If you are alive, you will encounter problems. If you are a business professional, you will encounter problems.

It is inevitable.

However, it is how you approach these problems that determines your ultimate success – and happiness – both personally and professionally.

Those who are problem-oriented and those who are solution-oriented view life from very different perspectives.

Problem-oriented people focus on the negative. They see every problem as an obstacle, and whine about how unlucky or unfortunate they feel. They approach their problems from a defeatist point of view, feeling like a victim from the start. They dig a hole and never seem to be able to climb out of it.

In sharp contrast, solution-oriented people begin to seek out solutions right away. They do not dwell on the problem, nor do they succumb to negativity or self-pity. Instead, they see every problem as a challenge to overcome – a learning moment that will move them forward in their journey.

Becoming a solution-oriented person requires a mind shift. Here are three tips:

·      Drop the “why-me” attitude. Remove the emotions from your problems and look at them objectively. Ask yourself, what is the actual problem and how can we solve it.

·      Consider possible solutions with an open mind and be flexible. Plan A may not work out, but a good Plan B may just be the key to solving your challenge. Use problems to discover new ways to run a business or improve the way you do your job.

·      Take decisive action and move on. While you need to be realistic, don’t waste time thinking of every worst-case scenario. Instead, put your energies into implementing your solution.

The bottom line is solution-oriented people don’t waste time whining or feeling sorry for themselves. Instead, they become determined to focus on answers. When you shift your focus from problems to solutions, you take another step closer to business success.

 The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them. – Albert Einstein


Are You Being Heard? Are You Listening?

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – George Bernard Shaw

How well do you communicate? Most of us assume we do a pretty good job getting our points across to our colleagues, supervisors and employees. But you would be surprised how many times we are misunderstood.

We may be communicating. But the message may not be coming through.

In business, we communicate three ways:

·      Verbal or oral. This type of communication uses spoken words to communicate a message. To be successful verbal communicators, not only must we speak using language that others understand, we must be active listeners as well.

·      Non-verbal. This type of communication involves body language – our gestures, facial expressions and even posture speak volumes. Body language sets the tone for a conversation and can seriously sabotage our message if we are not conscious of the signals we send out to others.

·      Written. Even in the age of the Internet and social media, being able to write well is crucial to business success. Attention to detail, carefully crafting a message and using professional yet understandable language are crucial in making sure we are heard.

When focusing on your communication skills, remember your audience. Whether you are speaking to a small group at a meeting, making a major keynote speech, asking for a raise, or pitching a client, speak in the language that those listening can understand. Effectively tailoring your message to your audience and situation is an essential skill for business success.

 People may hear your words but they feel your attitude. – John C. Maxwell

Making Confident Business Decisions

Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision. – Peter Drucker

Humans are decision makers.

We are constantly making decisions large and small both in our personal and professional lives. From deciding what to wear to work each morning to choosing what to eat for dinner to identifying the best place to live, our very survival depends on how well we make decisions.  

Good decision-making requires an ability to think strategically – to weigh our options and make the best decision based on the information we gather.

Making decisions can be scary – no one wants to get it wrong. But even more frightening are those of us who hesitate to make decisions because we are afraid we will make a mistake. Those individuals will soon find themselves stuck, continually wavering and never moving forward.  

Indeed, decisiveness leads to good morale. Managers who are decisive about their decisions often take a confident approach to leadership, and employees respect that. Even a wrong decision made with conviction is better than waffling between options.  

Here are five tips to making better business decisions:

·      Identify the challenge. Take the time and employ the resources necessary to understand all the facts concerning the decision that must be made. Don’t hesitate to ask others to help you gather vital information.

·      Evaluate all possible solutions. Think outside the box when exploring your options. Also, ask for other viewpoints as you weigh all possible solutions.

·      Focus on options that are in line with your business goals. Sometimes there is no right or wrong decision, only an effective decision. Try to make a decision that moves the business forward.

·      Make the decision and do it decisively. Once you come to a decision, make it confidently. There may be a chance that it is wrong, but often a wrong decision beats making no decision at all when a decision must be made.

·      Learn from your mistakes AND your successes. Business success does not happen overnight. It takes time and countless decisions, including both good and bad ones. Instead of beating yourself up, learn from your mistakes and identify what went wrong. And recognize what went right so you can repeat your success.

Decision-making is an integral part of working in a professional capacity – whether you are an employee or business owner. And practice makes perfect. Be present when you make your decisions. It is your ticket to successful decision-making.

The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision. – Maimonides

 

Make The Time To Build Business Relationships

You don’t build a business – you build people – and then people build your business. – Zig Ziglar

Business success does not occur in a vacuum.

Instead, it is based on relationships – those you make with your colleagues, those you develop with your clients and those you nurture outside your company who can help grow your business.

I’ve worked in the field of public relations for more than three decades and can tell you from first-hand experience that success in this profession is based on how well people can build relationships – with the media, with clients, with customers.

Even in the age of social media where we spend so much time behind our computers and mobile devices, relationship building continues to play a vital role in making connections, learning new skills and moving careers forward.

Here are five ways to build business relationships:

·      Schedule time to nurture relationships. Building relationships takes time. Even if you are super busy, carve some time out of your day to interact with others. This could be via social media, or scheduling coffee or lunch.

·      Offer something before asking for something. When we share our expertise and experience with others, we build a foundation of trust, which is a key ingredient for enduring relationships.

·      Ask their opinion. Relationships are a two-way street. Not only should you share your expertise, but asking for another person’s opinion will add to your knowledge while making him or her feel valued and needed.

·      Introduce them to your network. Without a doubt, many of your business acquaintances could help out each other. When you feel an introduction would be beneficial (and both parties have agreed) introduce them to each other.

·      Congratulate them. When members of your business network or colleagues receive an award or promotion, take the time to congratulate them via a handwritten note, email or even take them to a celebratory lunch. These thoughtful gestures will always be remembered.

Good relationships can help you grow your career while keeping you engaged in your work. But they don’t just happen. They must be nurtured to flourish. Take it from me – it’s well worth the time and effort.

Alone we can do so little -- together we can do so much. – Helen Keller

 

Staying Organized Amid The Chaos Is Empowering

For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned. – Benjamin Franklin

How much time do you waste searching for something you misplaced?

Look around your desk right now. Does it look like a bomb exploded on it, or is everything in its place?

When our work life turns chaotic, we start to lose control of our days. Time slips by, deadlines are missed, work quality deteriorates. Even more striking, we lose the power to succeed.

Business success requires calm amid the chaos. It requires being organized – even if you are loathe to do it.

Here are five ways to start your journey to becoming better organized:

·      Everything has its place. Designate an area for your frequently used supplies, files and resources, and always return them to the same place. Seriously, it will save you hours of searching for lost items.

·      Create “to do” folders and pending folders. This will help you differentiate the tasks that need attention now, and those that need to be completed at a future date.

·      Devote a bin on your desk just for meetings. If you must attend a lot of meetings, create an area that you can place relevant information for each meeting so you don’t spend time frantically searching.

·      Make a list of tasks and deadlines. Every morning review the list, and every evening review the list. Keep your workload organized and know your deadlines.

·      Clean up your desk every night. Spend a few minutes organizing your surroundings so when you get to work the next morning, your space – and your mindset – are clear. The last thing you want to see upon arriving at work is chaos.

Yes, organization takes time, but the investment pays off in big ways. It will help you better focus on what matters: the quality of your work and the calmness of your psyche. And it will empower you on your road to business success.

With organization comes empowerment. – Lynda Peterson


Manage Your Time, Don’t Let Time Manage You

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. – Michael Altshuler

There’s never enough time in a day …

YES, this is true. But successful business people are excellent at managing their time. They take control of their tasks, rather than allowing their task list to control them.

Procrastination, disorganization and self-doubt are all barriers to being a good time manager.  Time management requires a true dedication to stop procrastinating, become organized and build the confidence necessary to know you can accomplish your to-do list.

And, in-fact, a realistic to-do list is a great way to start. End each day by creating a to-do list for the next day. This way, you are organized before you even pour your first cup of coffee when you start your day.

Here are five other helpful tips to help you better manage your time:

·      Use an organizer. Whether electronic or paper, an organizer allows you to keep track of your tasks as well as provides a global view of your activities.

·      Set electronic reminders 15 minutes before activities and deadlines. This will help you stay on time and on track.

·      Don’t hesitate to set time limits on meetings. A “hard stop” can keep everyone on schedule and make meetings more efficient.

·      Keep a time buffer in-between tasks. Don’t book every activity back-to-back. Instead, give yourself some wiggle room.

·      Be realistic about your schedule. Avoid over-packing your day with commitments. Don’t set your day up for failure before you even start.

When you manage time wisely, you can enjoy many benefits including less stress, improved decision-making ability and accomplishing more in less time. Do yourself a favor and make a commitment to time management. Not only is it important for business success, it will enhance your quality of life. 

Either you run the day or the day runs you. -- Jim Rohn

Mindful Goal Setting: Creating A Map For Success

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. – Tony Robbins

One of the essential skills for business success is the ability – and know how – to set goals. Indeed, without a plan, it is difficult to turn an idea into reality. This is true whether you are working in a company or in your own business.

Long-term goals are important to help determine which direction a business should take. They should align with the company’s mission statement and address such areas as product, profit and growth.

But it’s the short-term objectives that give you the tools to actually make your long-term goals a reality.

The S.M.A.R.T model provides a helpful method to set short-term objectives. These objectives should be:

·      Specific – To be successful, short-term objectives should be highly detailed and tangible.

·      Measurable – You should be able to quantify these objectives in order to evaluate their effectiveness.

·      Action-Oriented – You want to identify not only what actions should be taken, but who will be responsible for completing them.

·      Relevant – The short-term objectives should be closely aligned with the long-term strategy. Stay focused on the main goals.

·      Time-Bound – Be sure to identify realistic deadlines to keep you accountable.

Setting visionary and insightful long-term goals, and supporting them with S.M.A.R.T., practical short-term objectives, are an excellent way to create a map for business success. And it will help keep you from getting lost along the way.

People with goals succeed because they know where they're going. -- Earl Nightingale

Stay Focused: Avoid Distracted Business Practices

The first requisite for success is to develop the ability to focus. – Thomas Edison

 The workplace is filled with distractions. From email notifications on your computer to constant texts on your mobile device to newsfeeds on your tablet, it’s difficult to remain focused on the task at hand.

No wonder many of us have lost the ability to focus – yet this skill is essential for business success. It’s essential to turn off the distractions and become laser focused on your work challenges.

Here are four tricks I use to maintain focus at work:

·      Put your problems in a virtual box, and place them on a virtual shelf.  You can’t focus on work if you constantly worry about your other problems. It takes up too much mind space. Instead, put them mentally away and then deal with them one at a time when you have the emotional energy to do so. This will allow you to remain focused.

·      Stay mindful of the task at hand. Give your work your full attention. If you find your mind wandering, discipline yourself to return your focus.

·      Decrease your device use at work. I suggest only answering emails at a certain time each hour. Quiet your phone. Avoid getting sucked into social media. Set boundaries with your coworkers to avoid interruptions so you can stay focused.

·      Take regular breaks away from your work. You can only remain focused for so long. Get some air, think about other things and then return to your projects. 

If you make the commitment to stay focused on your work, and minimize distractions, you are creating an environment where you can succeed. Keep your eye on the prize.

The ability to focus is the key separation point between those who move ahead and those who fall behind. -- Orrin Woodward


Resilience A Crucial Coping Strategy For Business Challenges

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Nelson Mandela

 I often define business success as the ability to navigate your own boat in both rough and calm seas. Much of this ability stems from being able to handle crashing waves so powerful they will knock you down. Resilience is the ability to get back up and continue on your journey.

In business, every day can feel like stormy seas. Sometimes we lurch through the day feeling battered and bruised. Yet this is the nature of business. It is part of the seascape – from cranky customers to bitter bosses to flailing finances.

To succeed in business, you need to be able to weather these storms. You need to be resilient.

Here are four ways you can become more resilient to waves – especially in seas of change:

·      Continue to build self-confidence. Believe in yourself and your skills.

·      Nurture a network of social support. Gather together colleagues and friends who are ready to help you back up when you fall.

·      Become flexible. Learning to adapt to change makes you more resilient.

·      Remind yourself of your purpose. Use it as the foundation to keep you standing.

Most importantly, believe in yourself and take care of yourself. Embodying a sense of strength and determination will make you more resilient to crashing waves. Resilience is an essential skill for business success.

Resilience is knowing that you are the only one who has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up. -- Mary Holloway

Perseverance Keeps You Moving Forward

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. – Samuel Johnson

Business success has much more to do with perseverance than knowledge, skill or talent. No matter how strong your abilities, if you don’t have the stamina to persevere through the challenges, success will always elude you.

Why is perseverance such an important character trait? Because it requires incredible drive and determination. Let’s face it -- quitting is always the easiest option. Giving up when the going gets rough is a temptation we have all faced.

Yet at the end of the day, a key skill to achieve success in business, or life, is the ability to persevere – to push through the tough times on the path to any goal you set.

I learned about perseverance as a doctorate student. Writing a 180-page dissertation is a long and daunting journey. Granted it takes research and analytical skills, but you simply can’t complete it without the ability to persevere.

Here are three ideas to help you persevere when facing business or academic challenges:

·      Tap into your core beliefs and commitment to your business goals.

·      Identify a support system to help you through the rough times and negativity.

·      Don’t dwell on your setbacks, but instead turn them into learning opportunities.

For many, perseverance means taking baby steps until you achieve your goal. For others, it requires big leaps followed by reflection. Whatever your approach to business success, it is vital to embrace persistence.  

A river cuts through a rock not because of its power, but its persistence. -- Unknown 

 


Gaining Expertise In Your Field: Never Stop Learning

Never stop learning. Because life never stops teaching. – Unknown

Business success requires a large dose of passion, combined with a strong skill set. Indeed, you can’t succeed at your job if you don’t know what you are doing.

This probably sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many people think they can learn a skill simply through osmosis. Instead, expertise requires committing the time and energy to acquire a skill, and the determination to continue practicing it until you become an expert.

And even then, you must maintain this proficiency, continuing to build upon your foundation of knowledge.

How can you gain expertise in your job? Interestingly, it often begins with on-the-job training. I always told my public relations college students that I could teach them about 10% of what they needed to be successful in the industry, but the other 90% they must learn on the job. 

Here are four ways to gain the expertise necessary for success:

·      Read as much as you can about your business – from books to trade publications to newspapers.

·      Identify your knowledge gaps and search for ways to fill them.

·      Find a mentor who is interested in enhancing your skills.

·      Take the time necessary to become an expert – be patient with the learning process.

Discover the joy of learning, and never stop gaining expertise.  Knowledge is an essential skill for business success.

Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience. -- Denis Waitley

Passion And Determination: The Foundation Of Success

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. – Albert Schweitzer

Where does business success start? I believe it begins with passion. If you don’t feel passion for your job or your career, it is difficult to achieve true success.

Passion is the feeling that drives you to wake up joyful every morning. It is doing what you love day in and day out. Passion and determination get you through the tough days, give you the confidence to take what I call strategic risks and bring meaning to your world.

My passion for public relations and my determination to work for myself are the two drivers that gave me the courage to start my own medical communication business almost three decades ago.  Think about it: just feeling “meh” about your career saps you of energy and vision. It’s hard to pedal uphill if your heart isn’t into it.

Passion is an essential skill for business success for three key reasons:

·      Passion moves you forward, allowing you to gain and maintain momentum.

·      Passion inspires hard work, allowing you to push through obstacles and challenges.

·      Passion motivates others, allowing you to build support for your dreams.

If you seek business success, yet find yourself lacking passion for what you do, it’s time to really dig deep to discover what truly brings you joy.

Follow your passion, and success will follow you. -- Arthur Buddhold