There are many things that separate the people that succeed from the ones that don’t, but I have found what I believe to be the most important ones.
First though, let’s talk about what success is, because too often it’s unfortunately misconstrued as financial wealth. Don’t get me wrong, while financial wealth can be a signal of success, it’s not the definition of it.
I truly believe that you have success when you are doing something that you are passionate about; that you are working as hard as you can to achieve your goals right in this moment. The journey is everything. You are successful TODAY if you’re doing the best you can and working towards your goals right now.
This broader definition of success allows us to understand that it is completely relative and can be achieved in other aspects of life other than business. But the core qualities to achieve success in any field are often the same. From my experience, highly successful people always do these three things (in addition to making sure what they are doing is something that they love):
#1. Don’t take no for an answer.
We’ve been taught our entire life that once you are told “No”, you should nod your head, obey, and follow along… This type of thinking makes sense in almost every part of your life, except for in your business. Be relentless with your ideas and don’t be ashamed to do what you think is best for your business. The very ideas that others try to suppress from you could be what allow your business to skyrocket. That will separate you from the rest, undoubtedly.
If someone says no to collaborating with you as a creator or in a different business venture, just give it some time. Wait, brainstorm more ideas, and come back to that person. Try again, what do you have to lose? If they keep telling you no, immediately go to the next person and then the next person and so on. If a venue says you aren’t allowed to shoot your video there, figure out a better value proposition for them.
Provide people with more reasons for why they should work with you instead of giving up after they initially turn you down. There’s something positive to be said for nagging, and for never backing down on something that you truly believe will benefit your brand. You have to remember that no is something you are going to hear a LOT. I have personally been told no a thousand times more than I have ever been told yes. Take this as a challenge; the more you are told no, the more you can learn by adjusting your plan slightly and creating new ideas that will work even better for everyone involved.
#2. Work hard.
That sounds obvious, right? I can’t tell you how many people I know that have given up on finding their success because they didn’t want to sacrifice their time to do so. That’s the difference between the people that get to make their hobby their full-time job and those that let their hobby stay a hobby. You need to seriously prioritize learning your craft, especially in the beginning. In any business, there are things you will need to master in order to release your product and then to keep up with the market later on. Start learning about what you need to do to get what you want. The first step is just making yourself do it, even if you’re tired or if you find excuses.
Instead of watching Game of Thrones or hanging out and partying with your friends all weekend, take legitimate action towards your dreams. It’s great that your friend invited you out to dinner, but if you want to make this work you can’t always prioritize social events over your business. Similarly, I hate to break it to you, but just because society has decided that weekends are for recreation and relaxation doesn’t mean you should decide the same. In fact, I encourage you to work on the weekends. I do think it’s good to take one of those days off, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting a little work in on Saturday or Sunday. I focus on my family on Sundays but am actually working on building my brand every day of the week.
Remember that in 20 years you will probably regret not pursuing your dream, but you will never regret working hard.
You should want to fail. You need to fail. Fail early and often. It’s the ONLY thing that’s going to teach you how to do things best. Have you heard the saying “Make something today, even if it sucks”? All you need to do is start creating. It doesn’t always matter how good your work is or if you fail in doing it along the way. You can’t fail if you never just begin. Start. Fail every single day. I promise you will learn so much in the process. There is so much time in your life to learn and grow and create and do what you love for a living. Make something, anything. Art is subjective and many times the project that you are too ashamed to release is actually something that another person would absolutely treasure. We are our own worst critics!
In creation, you don’t need to know all the answers. You don’t need to know that you are “right”. You just need to follow your passions with hopeless abandon. Let me ask you a few questions:
Why are you here on this earth?
Are you going to spend the majority of your life doing something that you don’t love just to earn some money?
Is that going to fulfill you?
How is that going to create a legacy for you?
Is that going to do anything for this planet that will leave a lasting impression?
The only thing that will make this world a better place is creating. We were all born creators. Now go out there, and start doing it. Enjoy the journey, and remember that you will only get better with experience.