Sometimes what helps us to be successful in our professional lives is not such a great idea in our personal lives — competition is a quality that comes to mind. At the same time, we all have a limited amount of time each day to do the things that we want to do.

So for the sake of saving time and energy, I’m sharing a list of tips that will help you be successful in both life and in business.

1. Add Value

No matter what you do and where you go, you can’t go wrong with adding value. Simply put value is anything that people are willing to pay for. In your professional life, the more value you can offer the more money you can make. In your personal life, more value translates to closer relationships and strong personal growth. The best way to add value is to find the intersection between what people are willing to pay for and what service or product you can offer that is aligned with your values, strengths and goals.

How are you adding value to your employers and loved ones today? What can you do to increase your ability to add value?

2. Follow Your Passion

Reading numerous biographies on great people and from my own personal observations and encounters, I’ve realized that those who achieve greatness professional and personally follow their passion. The reason why great people are few and far in-between is because most people don’t even know what their passion is. For those that do figure out their passion, most of them don’t follow their passion consistently. This is one of the main reasons why people don’t reach their goals.

Do you know what your passion is? If not, what are you going to do to find out? If  you do know what you passion is, are you following it?

3. Be Extraordinary

If you do the same thing as everyone else, it’s hard to be successful. It is important to find the edge and then push past it. That is how you become noticed and get what you want. Whether it is money, meaningful relationships and/or a sense of personal accomplishment, the extraordinary person attracts them all.

How are you extraordinary?  If you feel just ordinary, what are you going to do to become extraordinary? For those who don’t know, you may want to check out articles on my blog and also How to go from Ordinary to Extraordinary.

4. Start Now

There are many factors that go into become a success in both your professional and personal life but the one factor that is required is taking action. Most people miss out on reaching their full potential because they never start. They are always preparing, planning and waiting for the best time to start. If I waited until I was ready, I would not have a coaching practice, a website, a blog, a workshop, etc. The stars rarely align and you will never be completely ready so just start now and adjust along the way.

Are you waiting for something before you start? What is your planning to doing ratio? What’s really the worse thing that can happen if you got started right now? If you are someone that’s just been waiting, stop reading this post and get started on what you have been wanting to do. This article will still be here when you get back.

5. Hunt for Good Mentors

People who “make it” usually credit their success to a mentor or a group of mentors who really helped guide them to get to where they are. Mentors have gone down the road that you want to travel and can guide you to get to your destination faster than if you went at it alone. If you want to be healthy, you would find a mentor who is already healthy. If you want to be rich, then you have to find someone who is already rich. What surprises me is how rarely people engage in mentoring relationships and those who do usually find mentors in only one aspect of their lives. If you want to be successful, be active about finding mentors that will help you achieve what you want. Jeff Goins has a nice short article on finding mentors.

Do you have a mentor in your life now? If not, ask yourself what barriers are preventing you from finding or establishing a mentoring relationship? If you do have a mentor, do you have one for the different aspects of your life (financial, health, professional, personal, spiritual, relationships, parenting etc.)?

6. Build a Support Group

While mentors serve as a guide with whom you review your past actions and plan your next steps, a support group are your companions that help you with during the actual execution of your plan. This may be in the form of a mastermind group or accountability partner where you keep each other accountable for your goals and to help each other deal with situations that may arise while you are on your journeys. It is extremely helpful to have someone you know that is willing to listen to your frustrations and self doubt and to encourage you and remind you of how far you’ve already come.

Who is in your support group?

7. Personally Know Your Finances

Numbers scare a lot of people. Start talking about assets, liabilities and net worth and people’s eyes just glaze over. If you are one of these people who run away from numbers, please stop running because you are hurting yourself. If you want to be financially independent, you need to know how to keep score. If you have your own business or want to successfully invest, finances tell you how well you are doing and reveal the health of a business. If you don’t understand finances, you have to learn. It’s easy once you get over the limiting belief that you are no good at numbers. For those interested in learning more, you may want to check out these personal finance resources.

Do you know you net worth? If you are bad at numbers, what specifically makes you believe that? How can you improve your financial intelligence?

8. Get Help

I have a tendency to try to do everything myself and in some ways it is good and in many ways it is bad. It is important to know and understand all aspects of your life and business but that does not mean having to do all the tasks involved in maximizing your potential in those areas. It is true that we can always learn new things and become competent in them but what is also true is that we are only given 24 hours each day and to live full lives, it is more effective to do what we do best and to outsource tasks that we’re not good at to people who excel at them. Delegating effectively takes trust and the ability to clearly communicate what you want. For those that want to outsource, Elance is a nice way to find some quality freelancers.

How are you spending your time? Is it doing things you are awesome at? If not, what are you doing that you can outsource or delegate so you can devote more time doing what you’re great at? What’s stopping you from outsourcing or delegating?

9. Learn Sales

Many people cringe when they hear the word sales. “I would never be in sales, that’s a sleazy job.” It is exactly this type of thinking that stops people from being their best. Sales is nothing more than persuading someone of something. When you are looking to get a date, you are selling. When you are interviewing for a job, you are selling. When you are trying to persuade your spouse or kids to go to Europe for your family vacation, you are selling. In a professional setting, sales is paramount and the lifeline for any business. If you want to get the most out of life and business, learn the skills for effective selling. I am beginning a series of blog posts on How to Sell on my blog and you can learn from other successful sales trainers by reading material from Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracey and Og Mandino.

When you hear “sales”, what associations come to mind? Are they positive or negative? Do you know the how to sell effectively? If not, how do you plan to learn?

10. Be Resilient

Things rarely work out the way you planned and there will always be distractions and stumbling blocks that you have to deal with when you are on your road to success. The key point to remember is to persist and to develop the courage to move on even when everyone around you is telling you it is ok to give up. This does not mean stubbornly holding on to your original plan but rather continuing to pursue your goal as long as the reasons for doing so is still valid (Make sure you know the “Why” of what you want). When everything seems to be going wrong, keep in mind that “the road to success is paved with a thousand failures” so each failure actually brings you closer to where you want to be. If you have trouble being resilient, check out the 6 Effective Ways to Be Persistent.

How often to you quit because things got tough? Would you descrive yourself as an unshakeable optimist? Do you view problems as opportunities or warning signs? How do you view failure and are you making sure that you don’t make the one mistake people make when learning from their mistakes?

This is not an exhaustive list, but it does provide a good starting point. I would love to hear what tips you have found especially useful in both life and business in the comments section.

(Photo credit: Road with an Arrow Going Up via Shutterstock)

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