Basic formulae for career and business success

(By Francis Nmeribe)

The extent of success in individual careers and businesses depend completely on the volume of action one is taking. What is usually advocated is massive action for massive success. There are two angles to massive action – one, you may need to do the one thing that would lead you to what you want over and over again. Two, you may need to do many different things to be able to reach your goal. But you need to see that whatever you want to do or you are doing is leading you to your set goals.

THE question is always asked about simple practicable formulae for success in life generally and in careers and business particularly. Many have also wondered if there are actually clear-cut formulae for success or whether successful people did not merely stumble upon success as they went about their normal lives without doing anything in any systematic way.

Studies have shown that successful people live their lives in a certain way. They follow certain disciplines and principles of life. They relentlessly do what they have to do. They criticise and review themselves dispassionately. They make amends.

In a basic way, here are some of the steps that characterise the lives of those who would succeed in their careers and businesses:

Decide what they want.

Take Action.

Notice what is working or not.

Change their approach until they achieve what they want.

Decide what they want: Desire is the nucleus of achievement. All successful people have been known to ask themselves the question – what do I want? As they struggle to master the core desires of their lives, they discover what they really want from life. Successful people always ask themselves this question and probably ask it all their lives to enable them define and redefine their targets, create goals and timetables to achieve what they want.

If you do not know what you want from life, it does not matter how hard you are working. It is so important to know what you want or where you are going. One’s circumstance in early life and in fact, at whatever point in life, has much less to do with success in life than knowing what one really wants from life.  Knowing what one wants seems to pack the punch, the push, the energy, the fuel and all that is required to achieve success.

Desire is such a forceful driver. It can make a lame man or woman overtake those who are endowed with all physical attributes of a wholly developed person. Desire gives wings to the slowest of us with which he or she could soar above the obstacles of the physical. It is so because desire emanates from the mind and heart and not from the physical frame of the human person.

Desire creates opportunity for the less privileged. With a burning desire, the limitations of start-up capital for a business, lack of education, lack of help and support from other people have been overcome. This is the magic of what you want. There is no power stronger than the magic of what you really want.

Your first step in making a success of your life, therefore, is to make a personal assessment of your inner core and define what you want from life and not what you are able to do.

Take Action: Without action, nothing happens. If you do not make the motion, get up from where you are seated, speak up and make demand on life, stand up to be counted, then you stay right where you are. Successful people take action. After finding out what they want from life, those who would be successful go out to get it.

Their actions would include setting goals, targets and deadlines, tearing these goals up and setting a whole new ones, changing the targets and deadlines in the course of action as you please and as you envision would help you get what you want.

The extent of success in individual careers and businesses depend completely on the volume of action one is taking. What is usually advocated is massive action for massive success. There are two angles to massive action – one, you may need to do the one thing that would lead you to what you want over and over again. Two, you may need to do many different things to be able to reach your goal. But you need to see that whatever you want to do or you are doing is leading you to your set goals.

Notice what is working or not: As successful people begin the action regime of their lives, they are quick to notice what is working or what is not working. Every step of the way, they are able to review what they have done and what they are doing and the impact on their overall goal. They are able to know if the actions they are taking are leading them to the goals and timetables they have set from the beginning.

The best way to notice what is working or not is to add a review element in the goals you set. These reviews could come on monthly, quarterly or on half-yearly basis. The target is to ensure that you are still on track, to avoid dissipation of energy and frustration. The ultimate aim of taking note of what is working and what is not working in the actions you are taking is to ensure that you achieve the success you desire.

Many theories that seem quite appropriate and adequate at the beginning of a project do not always hold true to the end. Some routes in life do not always lead to the destinations originally intended. Along the path, a careful observer and self-reviewer would find out that the original route is longer, has many distractions, etc.

In physical life, we have longer routes on good smooth roads and short routes with potholes and ditches that can make one get stuck for days on the road. At this point, smart drivers would rather take the extra hour along the longer route to their destination than to risk getting stuck for days on the road or having a damaged vehicle to the bargain on the shorter route.

Change your approach until you achieve what you want: There are diverse routes to getting to the proverbial Aro land. As we proceed on the journey of life, we come to the point that we discover that our approach to life is wrong, we change or we get stuck. Successful people do not want to get stuck. They want to be on the move. Therefore, they are prepared to change their approach, their mind and their course of action.

In the pursuit of success in your career and your business, do not be shy to change course. In fact, do not be disturbed if you have to abandon a previous career, business or product line, your partners and targets. Change itself is a sign of progress. On a personal basis, any person that is not changing mentally, spiritually, physically and in character aspects of one’s life is not making any progress.

Methods are constantly changing. Those who would be successful are married to change. They change their goals, their target dates, and the ways and means and, in all cases, change themselves as they grow to become more.

Many people have been chained down and have been unable to succeed in their career or business because they have not sat down to think about themselves. They live their lives wandering from pillar to post, not knowing where they are going because they have not sat down one day and asked themselves what they really wanted out of life. This singular question activates an avalanche of activities, including goal setting, target dates, actions to take to achieve one’s goals, mistakes and corrections, rising and falling and rising again, and making important or required changes in one’s life or in one’s strategies.

Knowing what you really want from life helps you to focus your attention on what matters. It helps one to know that it is not about failing but rising each time you fall because you have a desire that is driving you along the search for a meaningful life.

Think about it.

• Francis Nmeribe is an industrial security practitioner and personal transformation coach in Lagos.

“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”

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