This week’s Quote of the Week got me thinking about the ingredients of success. I’ve explored some traits that successful entrepreneurs have in an earlier post, and I’ve also replied to a reader question about achieving success before, with a reminder that success looks very different depending on who you ask, and that it’s important to measure success based on our own standards. If you haven't read those posts, or just want to get my top tips with less blathering on, here are the factors I think are most crucial, let's call them my five secrets of success!
1. Set realistic, but ambitious, goals.
I think goals are super important. You don’t need to be a slave to your goals, but having them written down gives you a certain energy and drive. The bigger your goals are, the more possibilities you’ll see in front of you. I don’t personally think about my goals all the time, I don’t want to turn them into a stressful thing. But if I start feeling like I’m coasting or lacking focus, I’ll revisit my big goals and let them re-energise me. It’s also ok to decide that some of them have changed or become less desirable, in which case you can redefine them for a sharper focus.
2. Perfection is a dangerous trap.
Perfectionism is dangerous. Attention to details is a good thing, but not actually completing any tasks because you are over-working things to get them perfect, or worse, not acting on ideas until the ‘time is perfect’, means you are never moving forward. I talked about ways to nip procrastination in the bud in this blog post and the biggest takeaway from there would be stop waiting for the perfect moment. If you have an idea, start now. Set your goals and go for them. You can always refine what you're doing later.
3. Positive energy and encouragement have incredible power.
This is something I talk about a lot, and it’s the reason for Her Lovely Heart existing. There is such power in surrounding yourself with positivity and people who think big and lift your spirit. And the great thing is that you can be a part of that cycle, like I wrote in this post about being the voice of encouragement. The world is full of critics, you don't need to be another one. Choosing to concentrate on the positive doesn’t make you naive or ignorant, it makes you someone who wants to actively take steps towards a better future, and a better now. Whether those steps are small or big doesn't matter, what matters is that you’re pulling other people with you. And remember, you create the world you live in, quite literally. Read more about changing how you experience life in this post.
4. Never stop learning.
You’re never ready, there’s always more to learn, and that’s what’s one of the most exciting things about living. At any point, the amount of knowledge out there is infinite compared to the amount of knowledge you have amassed. Whatever kind of situation you come across, you can change that situation, and the way you feel and deal with it, with new knowledge and new awareness. The only way to get stuck is to stop learning.
5. Don’t fear failure or changing your mind.
Don’t put things you want to do off in the fear of failure. Failure is nothing more than a signpost on your journey, and it’s perfectly fine to decide to change direction or to admit something didn’t work out and try something else instead. As an example, I wrote about the difficult birth of Her Lovely Hear here. To think that I wouldn’t be here, doing exactly what I’m doing now, if I had decided I failed because my initial idea wasn’t working in the way I had anticipated. That would be the true failure. Instead, I took stock, I re-assessed and really listened to myself and my desires, let go of the things I didn’t feel the fire for, and then really went for it with renewed vigour. And I couldn’t be happier with where I am at now, with more ideas flowing than I’ve ever had before. I'm doing something that fills my heart with joy and allows me to spend my time thinking about things that fire me up, while actioning my ideas and dreams. That is what success is to me.