“For every person climbing the ladder of success, there are ten waiting for the elevator.”
“Success can only occur when opportunity and preparation meet.”
“Some want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
1. Wake Up Early & Implement a Morning Routine
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
The majority of successful people I’ve read about get up very early. For a lot of people, this is the only time of the day they get to themselves. Your morning sets the tone for the remainder of the day. If you’re stressed and running late then chances are, this is how the rest of your day will go. However, if you wake up early, you have a leisurely morning where you get to conquer the morning, the morning doesn’t conquer you.
Reading various memoirs and biographies of successful people, I’ve learned most of them wake up about 3 hours before they start their days “work”. In addition to waking up early they also get caught up on news, eat a healthy breakfast, exercise, meditate or pray, and write in a journal.
I’ve been practicing this same routine for the past 3 years and I can attest to the fact that it really does work. 5-8am is my favorite part of the day and I’m happy to say that I’ve never had to hit the snooze button.
2. Set (and write down) Goals
“You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent potential.”
It’s not enough to just state a goal you may have without writing it down. Writing down the goal keeps you accountable and assures that you will not conveniently forget about it. I like to keep a list of short-term goals and long-term goals.
3. Continue to Learn
“The key to earning is continual learning.”
“The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.”
Learning doesn’t stop once you leave school. It is a lifelong journey. In today’s world of technology and robots, you need to be constantly trying to improve yourself so that you don’t wake up one day and suddenly everyone else is way ahead of you. It’s not enough to just assume what you learned in college will get you through the rest of life if you want to be successful and above average.
The tools you need are out there and most of the time they’re free. I try to read around 1 book per week and when I’m doing an activity where I can’t read such as folding laundry or driving, I’ll listen to podcasts.
4. Stand Out
“What you can always compete on, the true key to success, is hard work. You can always work harder than the next guy.”
“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
“Taking initiative pays off. It’s hard to visualize someone as a leader if they’re always waiting to be told what to do.”
In order to be successful you’ve got to do something that will put you above the average person. Something that will get you noticed. A lot of times this will involve getting outside of your comfort zone. Nobody that I know of ever became famous for laying on the couch watching Dance Moms.
I’ll always remember when I started working 3 years ago, my boss told me that the key to being successful in any company is to see what your peers are doing and try to stay a step ahead and find a way to stand out.
5. Manage Your Money
“Money, like emotions, is something you must control to keep your life on the right track.”
“What gets measured gets managed.”
The first step to managing your money is to do a monthly budget. This doesn’t mean depriving yourself. It is simply to know where your money is going so that it can be managed properly.
I’ve tracked every penny I’ve spent for the last 3 years and it takes no time at all to do this. Just download a budget app and as you’re leaving the store, enter in whatever you bought. I do it as I’m walking back to my car then I don’t have to keep the receipt and try to remember it later.
Once you’ve mastered tracking your income and expenses, the next step is to track your net worth. It’s just like monitoring the income statement and balance sheet of a business except this business is your life. I like to track our net worth monthly then compare it to the budget to see how everything matches up. Plus, with all this tracking, it will make you more accountable and help you stay on track to achieve your goals since the information is always in front of you.
6. Be Patient
“Live like no one else so that later you can live like no one else.”
“Slow and steady wins the race.”
This is a quote that I tell myself almost every day. For most people, success does not happen overnight. It took them years of hard work and sacrifice. It can be hard when you get on Facebook (or as my dad calls it, Fakebook) and see everyone posting about the vacation they went on or new furniture they just bought.
Keeping up with the Jones’s can be a hard cycle to break. Just remember, what people are posting on social media is a highlight reel of their life. They are likely not posting about the not so good parts of their lives.
Whenever you get frustrated that things aren’t happening quick enough just take a step back and look at how far you’ve come.
Success is a journey, not a destination.