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20 Famously Successful People Sum Up Their Work Advice

20 Famously Successful People Sum Up Their Work Advice

We all admire people who’ve succeeded in their field – successful people who we all admire. We want to be like them, be as rich as them.  Sometimes, we want to be them.  We want to know what they know, what they did, so we can reach that pinnacle where they are standing.

Here are 20 people sharing what they did to succeed:

1. Warren Buffet, Investor

“I don’t try to jump over 7-foot hurdles; I look for 1-foot hurdles that I can step over.”

The Oracle from Omaha is the 4th richest man in the world and probably the best investor of the century.  Buffet is actually known for his meticulous and deliberate analysis of any business he is interested in.

2. Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul and Businesswoman

“Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.”

Oprah Winfrey, the Queen of All Media, is one of the most successful media personalities in the world.  You can bet she got all her achievements because of her perseverance.

3. Larry Bird, Professional Basketball Player

“I don’t know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough. I still wonder if somebody – somewhere – was practicing more than me.”

Larry Bird played for the Boston Celtics from 1979 – 1992. He is a 12-time NBA All-Star and an MVP for 3 consecutive years. Bird won 3 NBA championships and 2 NBA Finals MVP awards.

4. Tiger Woods, Professional Golfer

“No matter how good you get you can always get better and that’s the exciting part.”

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Tiger Woods is one of the most successful golfers and one of the highest paid athlete in the world. Woods has been the ranked 1 golfer for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest number of weeks.

5. Stephen King, Author

“If you don’t want to work your ass of, you have no business trying to write well.”

Stephen King is one of the century’s most successful authors, with 54 novels, 200 short stories and 5 non-fiction books under his belt.  Over 350 million copies of his books have sold worldwide, many of them adapted into film and television movies.

6. Vince Lombardi, American Football Coach

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

Vince Lombardi is one of the most successful NFL coaches in history, leading the Green Bay Packers to five NFL Championships. For him, getting back up is an achievement and a vital key to winning.

7.  Bill Gates, Businessman

“Never took a day off in my 20s. Not me.”

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, is one of the richest people in the world, has been since 1995. His work ethic while building Microsoft one of the reasons the company is a leader in computer technology.

8.  Twyla Tharp, Ballet Dancer and Choreographer

“Be aware of what distract you and give it up for a while.”

Twyla Tharp is a successful American ballet dancer and choreographer.  She has been awarded with 2 Emmys, a Tony, 19 honorary doctorates and various other awards, recognizing her achievements in dance.

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9. Larry Page, Computer Scientist

“Always deliver more than expected.”

Larry Page is an engineer and computer scientist who co-founded Google.  He is currently Google’s CEO.

10. Mark Cuban, Businessman and Investor

“Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you.”

Mark Cuban is known as the current owner of NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.  He is a businessman and investor, who cashed in early on the first tech boom.

11. Jack Welch, Former CEO of General Electric

“Be candid with everyone.”

Jack Welch was the CEO and Chairman of the Board of General Electric from 1981 to 2001.  During his tenure, he increased GE’s market value from $12million to $280 billion today.

12. Stan Lee, Comic Book Writer, Editor and Publisher

“I try not to do anything that’s too close to what I’ve done before. And the nice thing is we have a big universe here. It’s filled with new ideas.”

Stan Lee is a comic book writer, editor, publisher, and former President and Chairman of Marvel Comics.  He co-created many of Marvel and DC Comics’ biggest characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, X-Men, Silver Surfer and many more.

13.   Wayne Gretzky, Professional Ice Hockey Player

“I wasn’t naturally gifted in terms of size and speed; everything I did in hockey I worked for…”

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Wayne Gretzky is a former professional ice hockey player and is considered the greatest hockey player ever.  He leads in the NHL in number of assists and point-scoring, and is the only player to have over 200 points in one season.

14. Neil Gaiman, Author

“As an author, I’ve never forgotten how to daydream.”

Neil Gaiman is an English author of novels, comic books, graphic novels and short stories.  He has been the recipient of many awards including the Newbery and Carnegie medals.

15.  Donald Trump, Businessman

“…listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper.”

Donald Trump is a successful businessman, investor and celebrity. He is the chairman of The Trump Organization and he built his money on real estate, hospitality and entertainment.

16.  Richard Branson, Businessman and Investor

“As much as you need a strong personality to build a business from scratch, you also must understand the art of delegation. I have to be good at helping people run the individual businesses, and I have to be willing to step back.”

Richard Branson is a businessman, investor and the founder of Virgin Group, a conglomerate that is made up of more than 400 companies.  Branson is the 7th richest citizen of the United Kingdom.

17.  Simon Cowell, Producer and Talent Scout

“The secret of my success is that I make other people money.”

Simon Cowell is a producer, talent scout and celebrity who rose to fame as a judge on talent shows like American Idol and Britain’s Got Talent. Some of the talents under him include One Director and Il Divo. He is one of the richest persons in the British music industry.

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18.  Steve Jobs, Inventor and Entrepreneur

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

Steve Jobs is an inventor, businessman and the co-founder of Apple, Inc. He was the CEO of Apple, Inc and under his tenure saw the development of the iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone and the iPad, some of the most successful devices in the world today.

19.  Madonna, Entertainer

“I’m always looking for something new: a new inspiration, a new philosophy, a new way to look at something, new talent.”

Madonna is one of the most successful artists in the world today. She is a singer, songwriter, actress and businesswoman, known for reinventing herself and her music throughout the years. She has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and is the best-selling female recording artist of all time.

20. Meryl Streep, Actress

“I think the most liberating thing I did early on was to free myself from any concern with my looks as they pertain to my work.”

Meryl Streep is one of the greatest film actors of all time. She is a three-time Academy Award winner, eight-time Golden Globe winner and was awarded the 2010 National Medal of arts and the 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Featured photo credit: 04222014 – Success Boot Camp Graduation at PCP/US Department of Education via flickr.com

More by this author

Lianne Martha Maiquez Laroya

Lianne is a licensed financial advisor, Registered Financial Planner, entrepreneur and book author.

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Last Updated on October 13, 2020

How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

Have you been stuck in the same position for too long and don’t really know how to get promoted and advance your career?

Feeling stuck could be caused by a variety of things:

  • Taking a job for the money
  • Staying with an employer that no longer aligns with your values
  • Realizing that you landed yourself in the wrong career
  • Not feeling valued or feeling underutilized
  • Taking a position without a full understanding of the role

There are many other reasons why you may be feeling this way, but let’s focus instead on learning what to do now in order to get unstuck and get promoted

One of the best ways to get promoted is by showing how you add value to your organization. Did you make money, save money, improve a process, or do some other amazing thing? How else might you demonstrate added value?

Let’s dive right in to how to get promoted when you feel stuck in your current position.

1. Be a Mentor

When I supervised students, I used to warm them — tongue in cheek, of course — about getting really good at their job.

“Be careful not to get too good at this, or you’ll never get to do anything else.”

This was my way of pestering them to take on additional challenges or think outside the box, but there is definitely some truth in doing something so well that your manager doesn’t trust anyone else to do it.

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This can get you stuck.

Jo Miller of Be Leaderly shares this insight on when your boss thinks you’re too valuable in your current job:

“Think back to a time when you really enjoyed your current role…You became known for doing your job so well that you built up some strong ‘personal brand’ equity, and people know you as the go-to-person for this particular job. That’s what we call ‘a good problem to have’: you did a really good job of building a positive perception about your suitability for the role, but you may have done ‘too’ good of a job!”[1]

With this in mind, how do you prove to your employer that you can add value by being promoted?

From Miller’s insight, she talks about building your personal brand and becoming known for doing a particular job well. So how can you link that work with a position or project that will earn you a promotion?

Consider leveraging your strengths and skills.

Let’s say that the project you do so well is hiring and training new entry-level employees. You have to post the job listing, read and review resumes, schedule interviews, make hiring decisions, and create the training schedules. These tasks require skills such as employee relations, onboarding, human resources software, performance management, teamwork, collaboration, customer service, and project management. That’s a serious amount of skills!

Are there any team members who can perform these skills? Try delegating and training some of your staff or colleagues to learn your job. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea:

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  1. Cross-training helps in any situation in the event that there’s an extended illness and the main performer of a certain task is out for a while.
  2. As a mentor to a supervisee or colleague, you empower them to increase their job skills.
  3. You are already beginning to demonstrate that added value to your employer by encouraging your team or peers to learn your job and creating team players.

Now that you’ve trained others to do that work for which you have been so valued, you can see about re-requesting that promotion. Explain how you have saved the company money, encouraged employees to increase their skills, or reinvented that project of yours.

2. Work on Your Mindset

Another reason you may feel stuck in a position is explained through this quote:

“If you feel stuck at a job you used to love, it’s normally you—not the job—who needs to change. The position you got hired for is probably the exact same one you have now. But if you start to dread the work routine, you’re going to focus on the negatives.”[2]

In this situation, you should pursue a conversation with your supervisor and share your thoughts and feelings to help you learn how to get promoted. You can probably get some advice on how to rediscover the aspects of that job you enjoyed, and negotiate either some additional duties or a chance to move up.

Don’t express frustration. Express a desire for more.

Present your case and show your boss or supervisor that you want to be challenged, and you want to move up. You want more responsibility in order to continue moving the company forward. Focus on how you can do that with the skills you have and the positive mindset you’ve cultivated.

3. Improve Your Soft Skills

When was the last time you put focus and effort into upping your game with those soft skills? I’m talking about those seemingly intangible things that make you the experienced professional in your specific job skills[3].

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Use soft skills when learning how to get promoted.

    According to research, improving soft skills can boost productivity and retention 12 percent and deliver a 250 percent return on investment based on higher productivity and retention[4]. Those are only some of the benefits for both you and your employer when you want to learn how to get promoted.

    You can hone these skills and increase your chances of promotion into a leadership role by taking courses or seminars.

    Furthermore, you don’t necessarily need to request funding from your supervisor. There are dozens of online courses being presented by entrepreneurs and authors about these very subjects. Udemy and Creative Live both feature online courses at very reasonable prices. And some come with completion certificates for your portfolio!

    Another way to improve your soft skills is by connecting with an employee at your organization who has a position similar to the one you want.

    Express your desire to move up in the organization, and ask to shadow that person or see if you can sit in on some of their meetings. Offer to take that individual out for coffee and ask what their secret is! Take copious notes, and then immerse yourself in the learning.

    The key here is not to copy your new mentor. Rather, you want to observe, learn, and then adapt according to your strengths.

    4. Develop Your Strategy

    Do you even know specifically why you want to learn how to get promoted? Do you see a future at this company? Do you have a one-year, five-year, or ten-year plan for your career path? How often do you consider your “why” and insure that it aligns with your “what”?

    Sit down and make an old-fashioned pro and con list.

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    Write down every positive aspect of your current job and then every negative one. Which list is longer? Are there any themes present?

    Look at your lists and choose the most exciting pros and the most frustrating cons. Do those two pros make the cons worth it? If you can’t answer that question with a “yes,” then getting promoted at your current organization may not be what you really want[5].

    The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain

    Here are some questions to ask yourself:

    • Why do you do what you do?
    • What thrills you about your current job role or career?
    • What does a great day look like?
    • What does success look and feel like beyond the paycheck?
    • How do you want to feel about your impact on the world when you retire?

    Define success to get promoted

      These questions would be great to reflect on in a journal or with your supervisor in your next one-on-one meeting. Or, bring it up with one of your work friends over coffee.

      Final Thoughts

      After considering all of these points and doing your best to learn how to get promoted, what you might find is that being stuck is your choice. Then, you can set yourself on the path of moving up where you are, or moving on to something different.

      Because sometimes the real promotion is finding your life’s purpose.

      More Tips on How to Get Promoted

      Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com

      Reference

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