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15 Things You Must Do If You Want To Be Successful By The Time You’re 30

15 Things You Must Do If You Want To Be Successful By The Time You’re 30

If you want to be successful and live life on your terms by the time you’re 30, here are fifteen things you should start doing in your 20’s to make it happen.

1. Be 1% braver everyday

Everyone has fears – it’s what makes us human. But fears hold us back from achieving our goals. If you want to be successful by the time you’re 30, identify the fears that are in your way and work towards conquering them one at a time, no matter how hard it may be.

2. Accept yourself completely

Don’t tear yourself down. You are your own gift, if you choose to see it that way. Most people look at the negatives, but it’s all a matter of perspective. Your vulnerabilities can be your greatest strengths.

3. Do high risk, high reward things

After 30, if you settle down, it’ll be harder to do this. Do it in the prime of your life instead.

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4. Don’t do two things at the same time.

I was always pulled in more than one direction. The moment I focused on one big thing my chances at success dramatically increased.

5. Do something that makes you uncomfortable every day

The more you start doing things that you haven’t done before, the more you realize how much you can actually do. Every new thing changes you and adds to your identity. Doing more of the things successful people do will eventually turn you into someone successful.

6. Stop being jealous

If someone works hard and gets their results, be happy for them. They have also shown you what can be done if you put your mind to things. They have demonstrated the hard work for you. All you have to do is do what they’ve done, but in your own unique way.

7. Build laughably small habits

We all know that having good habits is what separates the successful from the aspiring. Unfortunately, most of us are too lazy to stick to good habits. The secret for success is doing really small things consistently, every day.

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I do 60 push-ups every day. I started at 30. Now I can pump them out in under a minute. I also learnt French for a year, doing short, 15 minute lessons on my phone. Laughably small? Yes. Exponentially powerful? Definitely.

8. Build an audience

The fact of the matter is, you’re never going to achieve success on your own. There is always going to be a group of people who support what you do, whether it be within an inner circle — e.g. friends, family, and spouse — or an outer circle — which would be your audience.

It takes time, so it’s important to start now. Write, make videos, make music … do whatever you want. Use sites like LifeHack.org, YouTube, and SoundCloud to build your audience. Go where your people are.

9. Talk to the elderly

This is something Gary Vaynerchuk did. It helped him get perspective on his life, goals, and dreams. Hearing their regrets will make you realize how little time there really is to waste, and their experienced advice will be priceless.

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10. Minimize distractions

There is way too much choice in the world to do everything. If you want to be successful by the time you’re 30, you have to cut back. Spend less, waste less, and use less. Focus on producing instead.

11. Have a mentor

Someone who’s been there and done that can lead you in the right direction and make sure you stay on the right path. It doesn’t have to be a professional mentor. It could be a family member who’s been successful, or an older friend; as long as you trust them and their counsel.

12. Fall in love with boredom

Work when it’s difficult. When it’s cold. When you’re bored. It’s during these quieter periods that you forge the work ethic that can support you and your lifestyle when you’re successful. Don’t shy away from it — lean into it instead.

13. Do side projects

If you can’t give up a stable job, don’t. It would be irresponsible to do so if you have bills to pay. Just make sure that you work on your side projects at any opportunity that you can. Make it your goal to turn them into something that can one day replace the day job.

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14. Get your personal finances under control

Don’t load up on credit in your 20s. That’s possibly the worst thing you can do if you want to become successful. Pay off your personal debt and get smarter about how you manage your money.

15. Stop periodically to check your progress

While it’s good to get to work and start hustling hard towards your goals, you must make sure you’re heading in the right direction, too. That’s why you need breaks. Stop and breathe and you’ll allow yourself to re-focus and stay on track.

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

1. Define Career Success for Yourself

Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

What does career success mean to you?

This is about defining your career success:

  • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
  • Not what people may think of you
  • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
  • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

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  • Work-life balance
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

  • What do you mean by work-life balance?
  • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
  • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

  • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
  • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
  • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

  • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
  • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
  • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

2. Know Your Values

Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

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  • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
  • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
  • Put the words on your fridge
  • Add the words on your vision board

Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

  • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
  • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
  • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
  • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
  • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
  • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

  • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
  • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
  • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
  • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

4. Determine Your Top Talents

What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

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What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

What do you notice?

5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

Keep these words visible too!

Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

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Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

7. Manage Your Own Career

Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

Summing Up

For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

  1. Define Career Success for Yourself
  2. Know Your Values
  3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
  4. Determine Your Top Talents
  5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
  6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
  7. Manage Your Own Career

“When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

Good luck and best wishes always!

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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