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10 Things Successful People do to Reach their Dreams

10 Things Successful People do to Reach their Dreams

Everyone has dreams but not everyone possesses the power, knowledge and ability to make their dreams a reality. All successful people possess certain truths and habits, principles that make them the success that they are. I have carried out an intense research on habits of successful men and women. In this article, I have compiled below a comprehensive list of the top 10 things successful people do to reach their dreams. Come with me on a journey as we learn from these great men.

1. They set goals and follow through on them.

It is one thing to set a goal and it’s another thing to achieve that goal. Almost everyone sets goals but only a few possess the guts and discipline to follow through on those goals. At the beginning of every year, we all make resolutions about things we want to start or stop doing. If you look back to the first day of this year, can you proudly say that you have achieved 40% of your goals? Anthony Robbins is a very good example of someone who knows how to follow through on his goals. This amazing guy went from earning $38,000 to $1 Million in just one year. The great oil billionaire H.L. Hunt once said that there are only two real requirements for success: first, he said, is to decide exactly what is it you want, second is to determine the price you are going to have to pay and resolve to pay that price. Obey this rule and you will be successful; ignore it and you will remain a local champion.

2. They are consistent.

Malcolm Gladwell popularized the idea that 10,000 hours of guided practice is the key to success. While some scientists may not totally agree with that principle, I believe that there is more truth in it than lies. For you to become truly excellent at whatever it is you do, you need to be consistent at it. Cherish every opportunity you have to do what you love and do it well. All successful people know this secret.

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3. They make the best of every situation.

Horatio G. Spafford had just lost his son to scarlet fever and his lifetime investments were lost in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. On a trip to Europe in 1873, his wife and four daughters were involved in a tragic ship wreck which claimed the life of his four daughters. After the incident, Horatio’s wife, Anna sent him a telegram to inform him of the accident. On receiving Anna’s telegram, Horatio immediately left Chicago to bring his wife home. Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean the captain of the ship called Horatio to the bridge. He informed Horatio that they were now passing the spot where his daughters drowned. That night, alone in his cabin, Horatio Spafford wrote one of the greatest hymns of all time “It is well with my soul”. He turned adversity into advantage and for that reason; he became one of the few men of his time that are still remembered today. If you are going to become successful, you must be ready and able to make the best of every situation because tough times will definitely come.

4. They take responsibility for their lives.

Nothing ever happens to us by chance. Our life today is a reflection of our past decisions and the choices we make today will shape our future. In the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006), the story of Chris Gardner was told. Christopher Paul Gardner’s childhood was marked by poverty, violence, alcoholism, sexual abuse, and family illiteracy. He didn’t even know his father and he was taken away from his mother at a very tender age, as he lived in foster homes for a large part of his childhood. He is now a CEO, investor, motivational speaker, author, and philanthropist. In fact, his book spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times best seller list and has been translated into more than forty languages. You can see that despite his unfortunate childhood, he didn’t accept the fate he was handed. He took responsibility for his life and he resolved to make a difference. He used what he had to get what he wanted.

5. They form valuable relationships.

Behind every successful Steve Jobs is a Steve Wozniak and there is a Paul Allen behind every successful Bill Gates. You need to have people that will help you achieve your dreams; believe me, you can’t do it alone. You need mentors, partners, employees, spouse and so on. Some of the criteria for finding good partners and mentors are compatibility, experience, similar values, loyalty, and mutual benefit among many others.

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6. They make unusual sacrifices.

A man was born in 1918; he disappeared from view in 1964 after giving a four-hour speech at his trial where he was convicted and received a life sentence. He spent 27 years in prison because he wouldn’t compromise his political beliefs. Released in 1990, he won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, became the president of South Africa in 1994, and has since then received more than 250 other honors. As you have probably guessed, his name is Nelson Mandela. He made a huge sacrifice for his nation and he finally got what he had dreamt about for over three decades.

Let me tell you another story. In order to generate $1,350 in capital they used to start Apple, Steve Jobs sold his Volkswagen microbus and Steve Wozniak sold his Hewlett-Packard calculator. They each made what was then a big sacrifice but it was really a small price to pay considering the fact that Apple is currently worth over $80 Billion. You need to make your own sacrifices now so that people can tell your story in the years to come.

7. They never give up.

Real estate mogul Donald Trump is currently worth over $2.7 Billion, not bad considering the fact that he was previously indebted to the tune of $900 Million. The world didn’t end for him when he lost all he had and was bankrupt. He actually borrowed more money and kept trying until he made it.

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Thomas Edison tried over 10,000 times to make a light bulb before he succeeded. We would probably still be in darkness now had he given up. The toughest card life deals you and me is the test of time. Only those with resilience and the willingness to persevere will pass this test.

8. They take risks.

Every successful man or woman is a risk taker. When we were children, the society and the people closest to us shaped our lives. For instance, your parents probably told you to go to school, finish with good grades and get a good job. Everything our society preaches to us is get security and this is why whenever you want to take any big decision in life or do something out of the ordinary, you get scared. The difference between a success and a failure is that a failure runs away from his fears while successful people run towards their fears. “Do one thing every day that scares you,” said Eleanor Roosevelt. If you don’t take that advice, you are never going to grow and you can as well forget about becoming successful.

9. They cherish hard work and discipline.

Brian Tracy defined self discipline as the ability to make yourself do what you should do when you should do it whether you feel like it or not. I write everyday not because writing is so interesting but because I have to do it if I’m going to succeed as a writer. You need to really develop this habit because there is no other way to become successful. Rose Blumkin founded Nebraska Furniture Mart which is now owned by Warren Buffet. She worked every day at her store till the age of 103; she got ‘work sick’ the only time she took a vacation for about a week. She knew the value of hard work. To become successful in life, you need to find what you love doing and do it with all your heart. “With faith, discipline and selfless devotion is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve,” said Muhammad Ali.

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10. They create value.

Value attracts wealth and attention. Becoming successful can be simply defined as solving a problem. Find a problem that your skills, passion, dreams and potential are programmed to solve and solve that problem. Increasing demand for pizza better and faster access to pizza gave birth to pizza delivery. Business men and women needed faster means of transport to business meetings all around the world and boom, the private jet was made. You have been made to solve a particular problem, solve that problem and success will be yours.

All the points mentioned above are just principles and will not make you successful until you decide to make them habits. Make a decision to succeed today and nothing can stop you.

Be the next successful person and add your must-do item in the list too!

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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

More Resources About Achieving Business Success

Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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