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Published on September 30, 2019

Pave Your Road to Success with These 7 Golden Rules

Pave Your Road to Success with These 7 Golden Rules

At some point in our lives, we’ll question whether we are successful. But what is success, and can you really pave your road to success without knowing what you’re striving for?

The reality is, success means different things to different people. For many, it’s financial wealth and freedom. As an entrepreneur, I’m able to choose where and when I work as well as whom I work with—that’s what’s really important to me. But to others, success might be working in a career that brings joy, ensures the bills are paid, and guarantees security.

It’s essential that you don’t compare where you are now to others because that’s not what success looks like. Think about this: You can be a multi-millionaire and miserable. If you’re working 16-hour a day, never see your family, and can’t remember what it feels like to take a vacation, are you really successful?

Personally, my road to success took too long. I spent way too many years trying to scale my first startup. I wasted thousands of dollars on advertising that didn’t connect with my audience. I spent many sleepless nights worrying about making payroll and keeping the lights on, and that negatively impacted my personal life and my health.

I don’t want this for you, and that’s why I’m going to share the seven golden rules which I’ve found to be crucial in paving my road to success. Let’s dive in.

1. Change Your Mindset

Often what’s holding us back on our road to success has nothing to do with skillset or financial backing, and everything to do with mindset.

Take entrepreneurship, for example. The biggest barrier to success for most business owners is thinking you’re in the business of selling a service or product. You put all your energy into perfecting it, but if your prospect has never heard of you, why would they buy from you? Where’s the proof that what you’re offering is the gold standard?

You see, you’re not in the business of selling the thing you do, you’re in the business of marketing a service or product. You need to make this shift in your thinking if you want to be successful.

The same can be applied to professionals seeking a promotion or those who are looking to change jobs. What’s going to differentiate you from your competition? Why should you be hired? Don’t focus on your skills or how many years of experience you have. What have you achieved that would be attractive to another company?

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In both instances, it’s about understanding what the pain points of your target market are, and how you can be the relief they’re searching for.

So you have to change your mindset.

2. Ask for Help

There is no shame in recognizing that you need help. The road to success is not meant to be lonely.

Unfortunately, school conditions us to work alone. We have to rely on our intellect to figure out a solution, and when we apply this thinking to a work scenario, well, that’s when we cease to achieve.

To be successful in business, you need to be able to rely on your colleagues or mentors to help you achieve your goals. A study by Olivet Nazarene University found that 76 percent of people who have mentors view those individuals as critical to their success in life.[1]

Mentors provide clarity and a roadmap to success. But, you need to find someone who’s right for you. This is a person who will challenge your ways of thinking. They’ll provide actionable advice and hold you accountable.

More importantly, they’ll celebrate your wins because they’re invested in your success. It’s a reflection of their mentorship.

So don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Take a look at this article if you’re still not sure how to ask for help: How to Ask for Help When You Feel Silly to Do So

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3. Learn to Delegate

The world’s most successful people all have one thing in common: They recognize where their strength lies, and that’s where they focus their energies. Everything else gets delegated.

Richard Branson once said,

“The art of delegation is one of the key skills that any entrepreneur must master.”

This couldn’t be more relevant to our lives than now. A report by Xero found that 77 percent of business owners experience burnout,[2] and Gallup’s 2018 report stated that 44 percent of employees feel burned out sometimes.[3]

How can you do what you do best when you’re physically and mentally at your worst?

Learning to let go is tough, but 80 percent out the drawer is better than 100 percent in the drawer. It takes a team to build a profitable business. Whether you’re the owner or an aspiring leader, you need to understand that your team will help you to achieve your goals far quicker than you could ever do on your own.

That’s why you need to surround yourself with people you trust, and those who can work autonomously.

Here’s a guide to help you learn how to delegate: How to Delegate Work Effectively (Step-By-Step Guide)

4. Embrace Failure

Don’t be fearful of making mistakes. The truth is, you will fail at some point on your road to success. In fact, you might fail many times. But failure is not an indicator of your capabilities, it’s just another learning experience.

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No one likes to fail. But if we never experienced the lows that come with losing or making a mistake, would we really appreciate and celebrate our successes?

The most successful people are risk-takers, and with that, comes failure. But this doesn’t stop them from chasing their goals.

When things go wrong, don’t try to sweep it under the rug and act like it never happened. Ask questions and figure out what was missing and what you could’ve done differently. This type of thinking leads to success.

So, embrace your mistakes. Own them, but more importantly, learn from them.

5. Invest in Yourself

Always strive to be a better version of yourself. That’s why you should never stop learning.

Be tenacious. Say yes to opportunities that come your way, whether it’s a free online course, a networking event, a webinar, or a chance to engage with a well-known mentor, jump at these opportunities.

You’ll meet people who can help to further your career or grow your business. Remember, they’ve been where you are. Some have achieved success, and some are still on the road to success, but they can all help you.

6. Formulate a Plan of Action

Now that you know what success looks like to you, how are you going to achieve it? What’s your plan of action?

Write it down. A study found that people who wrote down their goals were 33 percent more successful in achieving them.[4]

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Once you’ve clearly defined what your roadmap to success looks like, put it up on your wall. Take a moment each day to review your goals and tick off those you’ve already achieved. This will help to motivate you and keep you committed to the dream.

Don’t be afraid to alter your plan. You may decide after a few months that your goals have changed. That’s okay. Just make sure that you adapt your plan to reflect these changes.

7. Never Give Up

How badly do you want it?

Yes, the road to success is paved with failure. You will experience setbacks. This is completely normal. If it were smooth sailing, everyone would be highly successful. And then, who would we have to aspire to be?

I’ve found that persistence and consistency are the keys to achieving success. I’ve watched brilliant individuals fail because they gave up too soon. I’ve also known people with little to no talent achieve massive success because they had grit. They were determined to make it work, and every setback was just another lesson on their path to success.

If you really want to be successful, then you need to be relentless in your pursuit of success. Celebrate every win. They all matter.

Learn more about how to stay motivated during difficult times here: Giving up Is Not an Option! How to Not Give up and Stay Motivated

The Bottom Line

You can’t begin to chart your road to success without knowing what it is you’re chasing. Define this first. Write it down and review it. Be clear about what you believe it will take to achieve your goals. Then ask yourself, What am I capable of achieving on my own? Where do I need help? Am I willing to make sacrifices? Am I willing to fail? Do I need to invest in a mentorship program?

When you have clarity about where you’re going, and what you need to do to get there, you have a clear plan of action. Be consistent in taking actionable steps each day, and you will be well on your way to success.

More About Achieving Success

Featured photo credit: Bruno Bergher via unsplash.com

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Allan Dib

Rebellious Marketer, Serial Entrepreneur, Business Coach, and #1 Bestselling Author

Pave Your Road to Success with These 7 Golden Rules

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

How to Bounce Back Gracefully After Getting Fired

How to Bounce Back Gracefully After Getting Fired

Whether you saw it coming or not, getting fired is a real shock and its impact is daunting. What did you do wrong? What are you supposed to do next? When will you stop feeling so angry?

But there are ways to deal with a layoff.

The most important thing is to remain calm and see it as an opportunity to reflect, change and improve. This is a great time to consider what happened, look again at your needs and desires and start afresh on a stronger, more constructive basis.

Let’s take a look at how you can bounce back gracefully after getting fired.

1. Deal with the Shock of Getting Fired

To lose your job is to lose your identity as a worker and as a person. Debbie Mandel, author of Addicted to Stress, states that 7 out of 10 of us define ourselves by our job titles, since work is where we spend the majority of our time and energy.

Being laid off affronts your sense of self-worth—it implies that you simply are not good enough. It’s no wonder you feel confused and emotional.

The first thing, then, is to take some time to digest what happened and deal with the overflow of sensations. People who quickly recover from the pain of a job loss tend to do two things very well:

First, they accept their feelings of sadness, anger, fear and shame as a part of the natural healing process.

Second, they do their complaining to a friend.

Never call out your boss in the office or on social media. It’s a bad form to speak ill of the company you work for. Stay stylish, and your employer will speak better of you when you need a reference.

2. Stay Away from the Drama Queens

Mass layoffs are, unfortunately, very common. If this is your situation, then you may be surrounded by a lot of angry people, ruminating and lamenting their fate.

“It’s not fair!” they say. “After everything we did for this company! We don’t deserve this!”

You’ve lost your job and that’s tough. But please resist the urge to join in the negativity. Positivity is by far the most important attitude to apply right now. If staying upbeat means you have to limit your exposure to the Negative Nellies, then that’s what you have to do.

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Remember, life is not harder for you than it is for other people on this planet. You live in a democracy, you have freedom of choice and you enjoy a certain material abundance.

Stay positive and focus on what’s going well in your life and the exciting future opportunities available to you. Getting fired is only a temporary setback.

Staying positing could be challenging in a difficult situation, so these tips can help:

10 Questions To Ask Yourself To Stay Positive When Facing Difficulties

3. Take a Break and Let the Dust Settle

Instead of running straight into another job that may not be the right one either, take a short break to recover from the job loss. You need a week or two to de-stress and meditate on the next step.

Be attentive to your need for self-care during this interlude. Everything goes so fast these days that we often do not stop to think or give ourselves the permission to do a little mourning.

Getting fired is a big shock: you need time to refocus and take stock of the new reality. Do not make things harder for yourself!

What you need is to pause a while and do some self reflection:

How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life

4. Be Anchored in the Present

Since you no longer have a hold on the past, but have not yet designed your future, try to build yourself up with the present. What do we mean by that?

We mean that right now is the only time you have any control over. Focus on that instead of losing yourself in memories or reliving the awful day you got fired over and over in your head.

Get up at 7 a.m. each day, whatever happens. The body needs rhythm and habits. You will feel much more energized if you keep a consistent routine. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, revisit your budget, play sports, volunteer. Take care of the practical stuff like claiming unemployment. Enjoy the small pleasures of everyday life.

When you’re busy, there’s no room for the inner critic to raise up and derail you. Keep active, and you will gain more of the precious energy you need so much to move forward.

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Try these things to help you live in the moment:

34 Ways To Live in the Moment And Grow in the Moment

5. Understand the “Why”

There are lots of reasons why people are fired. Sometimes the mistake is yours and it’s embarrassing to admit you backed yourself into this corner.

Other times, it’s not your fault. Businesses change direction all the time—maybe yours is going through a major transition or merger and your job is disappearing.

Either way, to give the situation some closure, you need to understand why you were dismissed. What slipped? What could you have done differently? Was your boss really out to get you or did you do something to put your job in jeopardy?

Be honest with yourself. It’s not easy to admit that you might have dropped the ball but it’s the only way to turn the situation into a learning experience. Ask yourself:

What skills do you need to improve?

Is there training you can access, or learning you can do?

In the end, did this job suit you that much? Were you happy there?

Reflecting on these questions can help you put things into perspective. What lessons can you learn to avoid reproducing the same pattern in your next job?

6. Find out If You Were the Right Fit

Hiring decisions ultimately come down to personality. You can study for an interview all you like, but every candidate who is chosen for interview has the right credentials for the job.

The final decision comes down to personality. Who does the recruiter like the best? Who is a better fit for the company culture? That’s the person who strikes it lucky.

Firing decisions are based on personality, too. Slacking off, insubordination and playing fast and loose with the company rules—these are the official reasons why people are getting fired.

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But all of these reasons boil down to one thing: personality. Specifically, they signal a personality clash between an employee and a manager, or an employee’s fit with the company’s culture.

Here’s an example:

Suppose you were fired for “not being a team player.” Some people, namely introverts, lose energy when they are surrounded by other people and gain energy when they are on their own. Forcing an introvert to continuously work on a busy, noisy team without any solitary rest periods means the job is a mission impossible. This employee will never perform at her best.

Or how about the time the Kansas City Star newspaper fired Walt Disney for a perceived lack of imagination? Talk about a clash of personalities![1]

Getting fired can be a signal to turn inward and do some self-reflection so you can better understand your personality and how it might fit in with corporate culture.

In particular, personality assessments based on Isabel Briggs Myers’ sixteen personality types can help you to understand your own work style and how you can find a job and workplace that better match who you truly are.

In many cases, it is totally liberating to realize that all the crap you had to deal with was just down to a clash of work styles and not something you did wrong!

7. Rediscover Your Strengths and Talents

A personality test can also give you clear insights into your strengths, weaknesses, motivations and work potential. Do you have leadership abilities? How do you communicate and manage conflict? What benefits do you add to an organization?

Identifying your working style should be your top priority right now, otherwise you risk accepting a new position that has all the same problems as before. The last thing you want is to reproduce the same old dramas the next time around.

When you become aware of your potential, you will have the confidence to search and find the type of work you love.

For example, getting fired from your banking job may have knocked you sideways. But you have some stellar home decorating skills, and a personality test shows that you are curious, flexible, rational and resilient—all the traits of successful entrepreneurs. Maybe this dismissal is an opportunity to launch the business you’ve always dreamed of but never dared to admit to yourself?

By considering all your special skills and talents, you increase your chances of finding a job you would really enjoy, and not just the one you can do.

8. Get the Word Out

At this point, you should be ready to take action and move forward with your job search. Let’s not sugarcoat the situation: getting a new job is tough. It helps to have a clear idea of the direction you want to go in, a list of all your crossover skills and a freshly polished resume.

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Look around for inspiration. Talk to recruiters in your sector to establish what they consider to be your most valuable skills. Use all the resources at your disposal: job search agencies, headhunters, work coaches, careers websites and so on. These resources can help you match your qualifications to the job requirements and ensure you have the right keywords on your resume.

Don’t hold back on marshaling your networks. Put friends and family to work to pop up leads, and don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Sometimes the simple act of getting the word out to the people who know you is the surest way to find work fast.

9. Anticipate Questions and Know How to Answer Them

Even if it wasn’t your fault, getting fired can hurt you if you don’t know how to explain why you were let go. You have to be honest here and tell recruiters the truth. Even if a would-be employer does not specifically ask why you left your previous job, it is better to clarify the situation upfront before it comes out in your references.

The best approach is to take your share of responsibility and show that you want to go forward and that you understand the lesson.

For example, suppose you got fired for asking the difficult questions that no one wanted to answer and your candidness set people on edge. Acknowledge that some people perceive your communication style as abrupt and explain how you’re taking steps to increase your diplomacy skills.

A recruiter can be seduced by someone who knows how to evolve and who shows a great energy for personal development.

10. Adapt and Persist

Throughout this journey, you inevitably will go through moments of self-doubt and disappointment. There are undulations in every road, and these are the normal steps for regaining self-confidence after getting fired.

Stay tough! Don’t conclude that your future is hopeless just because the dream job doesn’t land straightaway. You open a positive path when you maintain focus. Have the confidence to know that the perfect job for you is out there.

Remember, you are not alone. Many people walked this road and they would urge you to keep the momentum. Stay open-minded and go where the opportunities take you: it will bring you closer to the job you really want.

Coming Out on Top

While getting fired isn’t the ideal situation, it isn’t the end of the world either. Even if feels like a doozy right now, you will get through it and emerge happier on the other side.

Be clear on what you want, have courage and believe in yourself. In the end, you may decide that getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to you. It can be the catalyst for a powerful, career-fulfilling change.

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Featured photo credit: Jesus Kiteque via unsplash.com

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