I’ve called this article 5 stupidly simple ways to be more successful because these tips really are stupidly simple.
There is no secret to success.
There are thousands of books on success written by thousands of successful people, and many of those books are about how they became successful. These people are literally telling you how to be successful.
How many times have you attended a seminar or training and been fully pumped to be like Gary Vaynerchuk or Tony Robbins, but then six months later you find that nothing has really changed in your life?
What the heck happened?!?
What happened is you didn’t follow a few simple rules about being a success.
1. Be Consistent
You’ve probably heard the saying “consistency is key” a thousand times before. But is it really?
This is the first item on the list for a reason… this is one of the first things you should concentrate on if you’re looking for ways to be more successful.
That doesn’t mean it’s going to be the easiest to master.
But master it you must!
Let’s say you and your best friend Larry decide that you are going to run your first 5k six months from now. You’re each at about the same fitness level. Both of you can walk up a few flights of stairs without needing to pause and wait for an ambulance, but you both also know you’re a long way from a 5k.
You each start a training program using an app that you downloaded to your phone and spend the first couple of weeks hitting the streets for an hour 3 days a week.
And then you get too busy on week 3 and only run once. And you skip week 4 and manage 2 run/walks on week 5.
Meanwhile, Larry continues with the program and by week 10 is running past you up the stairs in the parking garage.
Guess who’s going to do better at the 5k?
WHY IT MATTERS
Being a success doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen randomly or by happenstance. If you want to be successful, you have to be consistent.
“Practice makes perfect.” ~ every coach you’ve ever had
Even though you and Larry both started at the same place, Larry is going to kick your trash at the 5k. Because Larry worked out on a consistent basis and you did not.
Be more like Larry.
For those of us in the writing biz, this is an especially important concept to stick with. Whether it’s writing chapters for a book or articles on a blog, you need to be consistent. It not only makes you a better writer but in the blogging/social media world, people will respond much better if you post on a consistent schedule. You get used to writing regularly and they like knowing when they can expect to see more from you.
HOW TO FIX IT
Consistency starts with 2 things: time management and discipline.
Get a day planner, scheduler or calendar and carve out some time for whatever you are working on.
Consider an application like chains.cc, momentum.cc or toodledo.com (my favorite) to help you set up goals. Using a “chain” method of motivation, you are reminded daily (or at whatever schedule you set) to work on your goals. Keep the chain going by working on them every day!
2. Follow Through
I recently started playing pickleball. If you’ve never heard of the game, you really should look it up. It’s kind of like a cross between badminton, tennis, and ping-pong. And it’s just plain fun!
I found that while I’m really good at getting the ball just over the net (into the kitchen for those in the know), I’m not really good at slamming, or returning the ball with a great deal of force.
Some of the other players who consistently help me out (and I need all the help I can get!) told me that the secret to really hitting the ball is the same in any sport.
And it’s one of the keys ways to be more successful in anything in life.
Baseball swings, tennis serves, golf drives, improving relationships, getting ahead at work… the key to really being successful, to knocking it out of the park, is following through.
Everybody looks good at the starting line. We’re all lined up, amped up, excited and ready to run. The light turns green and we’re going full out giving it everything we’ve got.
And then we run out of gas. Lose interest. Never make it to the finish line.
We see something shiny on the sidelines and we go chase it. We quit.
Whether it’s starting a blog or getting a certification or writing that book… getting started may be the hardest part, but finishing is a close second.
WHY IT MATTERS
If you’ve ever learned to play an instrument and to play it well, you know that you have to stick with it. All the time. it takes a lot of work to go from squeaky starter clarinet player to smooth jazz sax player.
The same thing applies to any part of life.
“If you quit ONCE it becomes a habit. Never quit!!!” ~ Michael Jordan
Over time as we start so many projects and finish so few, we start to lose confidence in ourselves and our ability to do great things. Every time you set that new year’s resolution and don’t achieve it, your subconscious believes in you a little bit less.
And every time you promise something to your boss, client, spouse, kid, or dog, you need to follow through. Because every time you don’t, they believe in you a little less as well.
And many times if we had just pushed a little harder, tried a little longer, we would find that we’re closer to the finish line that we thought.
Don’t give up! You’re almost there!
HOW TO FIX IT
One of the best ways to be more successful in your follow through is to remember why you started. This is why it’s so important to remember your why; go beyond what you are doing and what you need to accomplish and keep in mind why you are doing it and why it’s so important to reach the finish line.
Write down your reason why and keep it somewhere that you can see it. Put it on a whiteboard or in a picture frame or even a sticky note. If it’s in front of you, it’ll help motivate you when distractions try to pull you away.
Another great trick in your arsenal of ways to be more successful is to start using a to-do list. Break your tasks down into really small, easily attainable steps and cross them off your list one-by-one. The feeling of accomplishment from seeing each task accomplished will help motivate you to cross off more.
You should also pare down your to-do list to just the things that are most important and concentrate on those. People are not meant to multi-task and if we try to do everything, we don’t do anything well.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
I’m old. Not as old as some, but definitely older than others. I was born before the internet and social media and even before there were 724 cable channels (with nothing worth watching).
My family wasn’t rich, but we weren’t quite at the poverty level either. But I never knew that.
I didn’t know that I didn’t have the trendiest clothes or the most popular hairstyle (although I rocked the mullet for a while) or that I should have been taking pictures of my food at every meal.
Now we have the internet, the Kardashians and social media to remind us that everyone else is doing better than we are.
Except they’re not!
They’re doing different than we are, and that’s ok!
I’ve recently gotten into Pinterest. Me and about 73 million other people. I’m trying to figure out what pins make me more popular and what to repin and which board names will get better traffic… it’s maddening! And kinda fun I must say.
And sometimes I get caught in the popularity trap. I feel pretty good about my 161k monthly views… until I see a board with 2 million monthly views. Then I just wanna throw in the towel. or pin. whatever.
But then I remind myself that the only one I’m competing against is me.
You’re not someone else. Ok, that’s not the problem; the problem is that you keep comparing yourself to someone else. That works well for you when it makes you feel superior, but it can be devastating when it makes you feel inferior.
WHY IT MATTERS
Those people who have 2 million monthly views have been doing this longer than I have. Or they have taken more training than I have. Or they have (obviously) been doing something that I haven’t to get to 2 million.
The point is we are all at different places in our lives, with so many different factors that influence and change where we are at any given moment. Even given the same set of circumstances, the outcomes will be different for each of us because we are each unique.
Isn’t that freeing?
HOW TO FIX IT
Concentrate on being a better you. Be better tomorrow than you were today (and if you’re not, cut yourself some slack and just be better the next day).
Keep track of what you want, what you need to do to get it, and the steps you need to take to get there. Be sure keep track of your progress!
And realize that you shouldn’t believe everything you tell yourself, only half of what you see and even less of what you hear.
Also, remember that the Kardashians are famous for being famous, not because they did anything amazing.
4. Surround Yourself with Success
It’s been said that if you are the smartest person in the room then you are in the wrong room.
The logic behind that phrase is that we tend to adapt to our environments. If we are surrounded by people with no ambition who just want to play XBOX all day, then pretty soon that becomes our standard.
Take a look at the 5 people you hang out with the most. Are they encouraging you to be better? Or do they constantly tell you that you will never get the things you think are important?
We spend way too much time watching the Kardashians fight over who has the biggest butt (not which one is the biggest butt; which one has the biggest butt) and way too little time learning how to make our lives better.
WHY IT MATTERS
Just like our bodies perform at their best when we eat good, nutritious food, our minds perform best when we are careful about what we read, watch and listen to.
We tend to soak up what’s around us. If we let ourselves be constantly bombarded by bad news, depressing people, ugly language, and hypocrisy, we start to think that’s the way life really is.
We end up spending our precious time worrying about things that either don’t affect us or over which we have no control.
And that takes time away from things you could and should be doing to be more happy and successful.
HOW TO FIX IT
Looking for ways to be more successful? Hang out with successful people. They’ll teach you.
Here are a few ways to find successful people to hang out with.
- ask someone you admire to be your mentor
- join a support group for your interest
- attend networking events (LinkedIn, Toastmasters, etc)
- keep reading the articles here at yourbigscene.com (my favorite)
- stop watching the Kardashians and start watching something educational
- limit your exposure to the news – it’s all bad and most of it doesn’t apply to you anyway.
5. Apply What You’ve Learned
Some people spend a boatload of money taking courses on how to have a successful blog, or how to write a book, or how to be a better cat-sitter.
But they never launch a successful blog. Or write a book. Or cat-sit.
Do ya wanna know why?
Because all they do is take the course. They don’t actually apply what they’ve learned.
Gerry Robert, best-selling author of “The Millionaire Mindset” stated that the reason people aren’t successful is that they don’t do what successful people do. They buy the course or take the class, and then they don’t follow through. True learning is so much more than just listening or taking notes; it requires applying what you’ve been taught.
If you take a course on setting up a successful blog (I highly recommend Build and Launch Your Blog), but then don’t install the plugins, themes or settings they recommend, how can you expect to have the success they have had?
WHY IT MATTERS
In all but a very few cases, the things that we are trying to accomplish have already been done by someone else. It doesn’t matter what business, industry, or hobby you’re into, there’s probably someone who not only has been extremely successful in that area but who is offering to teach you how they did it.
Yet we find ourselves thinking we can’t do it or maybe even that we can do it better.
When we don’t follow the roadmap they’ve set for us, we shouldn’t wonder why we didn’t reach the same destination.
HOW TO FIX IT
We end with an easy one.
If you’re looking for ways to be more successful, emulate what successful people do.
If you’re looking for ways to be more successful, apply what you’ve learned.
- Be Consistent
- Follow Through
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
- Surround Yourself With Success
- Apply What You’ve Learned
You already have everything you need to get started, you just need to do it!
So what’s stopping you?!?