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How To Pass the Success Test

Published on February 24, 2016 12:00 AM EST
How To Pass the Success Test
I’ve learned as an adult that success is not about being the smartest person in the room, it is about being the most savvy, focused, and disciplined person. Since schoolwork was easy for me as a child, I had the impression that the life of my dreams would likewise fall into my lap as an adult. Upon entering the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I suddenly realized that all 29,000 of my peers were also among the academically gifted. Needless to say, being ‘smart’ was not so special after all.  Fast-forward through graduation, entering the workforce, being laid off 3 times and becoming an Entrepreneur…..the lessons became even more clear.

How To Pass the Success Test

Aptitude Vs. Fortitude

In the world of Entrepreneurship, there were a number of areas that required far more than ‘booksmarts’; i.e.
navigating through client negotiations, employee management, business investments, account receivables, campaign deliverables and unexpected business expenses.  Factor in managing a personal life on top of this and you can see that there are other tools you must be equipped with to win.  I quickly learned that my success was less about aptitude and more about fortitude; I would have to incorporate more discipline, focus and business savvy with all of my efforts.

Embrace Discipline

The disciplined person thrives outside of their comfort zone to make things happen. By definition, discipline is the suppression of base desires, and is usually understood to be synonymous with restraint and self-control. Self-discipline is to some extent a substitute for motivation.  Therefore incorporating discipline into every aspect of one’s life, will inevitably yield consistent results.  Whether in fitness or business, discipline or the lack thereof, will determine your level of success.

Escape The Comfort Zone

Being disciplined includes rising earlier, working later, being financially thrifty and making sacrifices now to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor later. It means fostering a habit of doing what needs to be done as efficiently and effectively as possible.  Operating outside of one’s comfort zone is the crux of all discipline, so learning to recognize and move past innate desires is the first step.

Plan Disciplined Behavior

For those who struggle in this area, write down what facets of life you need more discipline in and the specific ways in which you can practice more  restraint.  The more restraint you practice, the easier it becomes.  Magnetically the discipline will begin to spill into other areas of life. By studying the habits of successful people and implementing more structure into your behavior, you will inevitably achieve more.  On a monthly basis, take the time to review how you manage your time, finances, career and health; to identify the ways in which more discipline can benefit those areas.

Gain Immense Focus

By definition, being focused means having the mind fixed on something specific. Synonyms include, enthralled, absorbed, engrossed and immersed.  It is imperative to stay focused on your craft, industry and plans for success.  This includes power networking with key professionals for career advancement opportunities, using social media as a business tool instead of a social tool and limiting entertainment.


The focused person is very strategic and deliberate in all of their actions.  To stay focused you have to adhere to a daily strategy and be prepared to ignore distractions.  In our digital era of apps and iPhones, this consequently requires a high level of self-discipline.  Each morning clear your mind with a few minutes of meditation in preparation for a highly focused day, and review your long term goals. To assure you maximize your daily efforts with precise focus, be sure to complete the most difficult tasks first and create uninterrupted blocks of time to concentrate on individual assignments instead of multitasking.

Proactive Focus

In an effort to further limit any distractions that could pose as a deterrent from your focus, always be proactive when preparing your work environment. Consider keeping your cell phone on airplane mode, limiting Internet access and cutting short any social media activity during your work hours.  Also consider consulting with a life coach or business coach as an accountability partner for any goals that you have committed to.

Business Savvy

The savvy person stays on top of trends at all costs and operates as a leader. By definition, savvy describes a certain shrewdness and practical knowledge, especially in the area of business. A savvy person therefore is knowledgeable, experienced and well informed. They constantly study their industry as well as similar industries to assure that they are on top of their game.

Study The Client

In addition to studying one’s industry, a savvy person also studies their client or target demographic.  By doing this you can assure you are using the most effective channels to reach your ideal clients. This also allows you to forecast the client’s needs, as trends begin to change. The Tech industry is a great example of what savvy professionals are capable of, as they tend to create the need for the consumer before the consumer demands it.

Be Resourceful

Being savvy also entails a high level of resourcefulness.  The more resourceful you become, the easier it is to identify solutions and quicker ways to achieve your goals.  If you are an Entrepreneur, this resourcefulness will include building a team you can trust.  If you are an advancing professional, this will mean leveraging business relationships and company resources in the most effective way to get the job done.

Your Network Equals Your Networth

The savvy professional also surrounds themselves with those that are at an even higher caliber professionally, so that they can discover what it takes to get to the next level at a faster pace.  If becoming a millionaire is your goal, begin to network in the places that millionaires convene.  Gain a mentor that has reached the professional heights that you dream about.

Confidence 101

Confidence is also an inherent characteristic of a savvy professional.  Trust your instincts and capabilities, and remain firm in your resolve and negotiations.  Exuding confidence in all areas of your profession, will assure you earn the proper wage and solidify more opportunities for growth.  Achieving a high level of success can be a challenging test, however if you utilize the answers herein, you will inevitably pass with flying colors!
How To Pass the Success Test
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