Is it education? No. In my 33 years of competing in the business world, I have met a lot of educated failures.
Is it ” being born into the business”? No. While that might bring you money and perceived success, your employees will still look at you as nobody but your father son. Inheriting a business does not bring respect with it.
Is it “who you know”? No. While having influential connections in the business world can help you land a job, they won’t be able to do your job for you.
So, what is the secret of success in business?
I believe that there are two factors that are very important in order to achieve individual success in today’s business world.
First, you must be persistent.
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States. Known as “Silent Cal”, he was a quite, introspective man, who spoke very little. However, when he did speak, he spoke volumes:
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.
Persistence requires patience. Patience is a virtue. I know that sounds corny, but it is the absolute truth. Persistence means that you will work toward a goal which you have set for yourself in your business life with a singular focus, set on the ultimate achievement of this goal, no matter what obstacles life throws in your path .
The second thing that you must possess in order to be successful in the business world, is happiness.
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. – Albert Schweitzer
So, how to you achieve happiness in the business world?
Forbes.com recently listed the following suggestions, found in the book, “The How of Happiness”, written by Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California. (The steps themselves are the author’s. The analysis and any smart alack remarks that may occur are mine.)
1. Express gratitude –
Say, “Thank you” Just two little words. However, little words mean a lot.
“You didn’t have to do it, but you did what you did what you did, and, I thank you.”
2. Cultivate optimism –
Work on viewing the glass as half full. You’ll be surprised what happens.
“Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant.”
3. Avoid overthinking and social comparison –
You can drive yourself crazy with thoughts of “What if?” and “How Come”? And, don’t compare yourself with anybody else. You are unique. One of a kind. Wonderfully and fearfully made.
Besides, if “ifs and buts” were candy and nuts, we would all have a Merry Christmas.
“Welcome to my morning. Welcome to my day. yes, I’m the one responsible. I made it just this way.”
4. Practice Acts of Kindness –
Whether it is opening the door for someone, buying a co-worker’s lunch when they’re short, or helping a co-worker finish an assignment before a deadline, helping someone else feels good.
Therefore, the more acts of kindness you engage in, they better you will feel.
“You got to try a little kindness. Show a little kindness. Shine your light for everyone to see.”
5. Nurture relationships –
Be a good friend. Our relationships in the business world are not only essential to our careers but our sanity, as well.
“Sometime in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow. But, if we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow.
Lean on me when you’re not strong. And, I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on. For, it won’t be long, ’til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.”
5. Develop strategies for Coping –
The most powerful resource you have at your disposal is you. We often get so caught up dealing with problems, we forget to acknowledge, develop and keep our attention with our strengths. Sometimes, when the chips are down, this is all we have – character strengths such as our determination, grace, compassion, clarity of mind and creativity.
“Learning to love yourself…It is the greatest love of all.”
7. Learn to forgive –
Life is too short to hold grudges. You may have to work with the person that your mad at, later in your career.
Everybody makes mistakes. “To err is human. To forgive divine.”
8. Do more activities that truly engage you –
Whether you are at work or at home, look for more activities in which you can “lose yourself”. The stress of life can take years off of your life. Finding a hobby or enjoying your work, can add those years back.
“I don’t want to work. I want to bang on the drum all day.”
9. Savor life’s joys-
Fondly recall the past. Be in the present. Anticipate the future.
“Life is a highway. I want to drive it all night long.”
10.Commit to your goals –
Make sure the goals you set are important to you. Make sure to consider the “what if’s”. Renew your commitment each day.
“Today is mine. Today is mine. To do with what I will. Today is mine. My own special cup to fill.to die a little that I might learn to live. To take from life, that I might learn to give. Today is mine.”
11. Practice religion and spirituality –
“Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force – that thoughts rule the world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“You raise me up so I can stand on mountains. You raise me up to walk on story seas. I am strong when I am on your shoulders. You raise me up to more than I can be.”
12. Take Care of Your Body –
This not only means exercising, but also smiling, meditating. and laughing.
“You’ve got to stop and smell the roses
You’ve got to count your many blessings everyday
You’re gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don’t stop and smell the roses along the way.”
The author of the Forbes article suggests picking 4 of these 12 things to do on a regular basis, at your business, in order to achieve happiness in the workplace.
In my view, you should attempt to do as many of these things, as often as possible, because…
Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.- Paul Ryan
In conclusion, allow me to tell you that the American Dream is still achievable.
You just have to be “happily persistent”.
Never Give Up. Never Surrender.
***I am the Director of Sales at the Candlewood Suites in Memphis, Tennessee, an IHG Property, and an extended stay hotel. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org***