I consider several factors important on the path to success in any venture, whether business or personal.
These top 3 factors leading to success are:
In my personal experience, I’ve found that applying these factors helps me achieve my goals better than anything else I’ve ever tried.
Top 3 Success Factors in Life and Business
Of all the success factors, I consider honesty the most important to reaching professional and personal success.
Honesty covers a broad spectrum of topics, from dealing with others (customers & employees, friends & family) and even yourself.
Honesty really is the best policy!
Think about other people and be honest
If you aren’t honest with your customers, you might get away with it in the short term.
However, eventually, you will make a “mistake” and tell them the truth.
This can have disastrous consequences for your business.
After all, if your customers catch you in one lie, they’ll wonder how many others you’ve told them.
Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself without customers as they go elsewhere and tell all their friends and family why they’re doing so.
Word gets around.
In fact, word-of-mouth is sometimes the best (or worst) form of advertising.
If your customers catch you in a lie, they will tell almost everyone they know and tell strangers they may overhear discussing your business.
It’s best to give them good things to say.
Your reputation and your bank account will thank you!
The same goes for your employees
Unless you’re a solo professional, you have employees upon whom you rely to accomplish the day-to-day operations of your business.
We all know how the “water cooler grapevine” works: if someone has some juicy gossip, it’s almost immediately spread through the office.
This is especially true of negative gossip.
Don’t tell your employees there’s no money for pay increases when you’ve given yourself a huge bonus.
Trust me, this will get out, and you will face an equally huge crisis in terms of employee morale.
Obviously, there are some things that you just can’t discuss with your employees, such as reasons a coworker was terminated.
In those instances, telling the truth—that you can’t talk about the details—is the best path to take.
If your employees feel you are honest with them, you’ll have a happier, more loyal team.
We sometimes start new ventures for what we think are great reasons.
“I want to own my business because I’ll have more freedom,” or “I’m joining the gym to get healthier.”
On the surface, both sound like great reasons, right?
And, if they are truly 100% the real reasons for doing each thing, they are great reasons.
What happens if they’re not the truth, though?
Purpose comes from a powerful dose of self-honesty
You can find much freedom working for yourself, but make no mistake: it is work.
Sure, you may do it in your pajamas, depending on what you do, but you will still work hard.
A freelancer friend told me he’s never worked harder for any company than he does working for himself.
The key is being honest with yourself about your expectations
If you think you’ll just work a few hours a day and generate a full-time income, you’re likely not being honest with yourself.
However, if you have that gig, I want your secret!
If you know you’ll work hard, but value that because all your earnings go to you, you’re being honest and will probably be successful instead of being unpleasantly surprised.
Being clear on your purpose for personal ventures, like the gym, is crucial to your success, too.
There is a big difference between “healthy” and “thin” or “ripped.”
If you set off on your new gym journey telling yourself that you want to be healthy, but deep down, your picture of success is on a magazine cover, you probably won’t be happy when you achieve your goal of “health.”
You’ll be healthy, but that doesn’t mean you’re the newest cover model for a fitness magazine.
There’s nothing wrong with aiming for that goal, but be clear with your purpose.
If looking like that cover model is really your definition of success, be honest with yourself.
If your goal is “healthy,” realize that you can be that without being that cover model.
The last of my top 3 success factors is intuition
I’m not talking about looking into a crystal ball; I mean listening to your “gut” reactions.
Starting on the path to success isn’t always a clear-cut move.
I learned through experience that sometimes you must try different states of mind and learn as you go.
Let’s take starting a business as an example.
If you’ve always wanted to be a [insert your choice of business] owner, then your path is much clearer.
What about those who don’t have such a clear idea, though?
Research is key
After you’ve done yours, let’s say you find that carpet cleaning is the most in-demand service, so you think that’s the way you should go.
What does your gut tell you?
When you think of cleaning carpets five (or six) days a week, do you feel good or get a sinking feeling in your stomach?
If you feel good, then you’re on the right track!
However, if your intuition tells you this path may not be for you, I suggest you listen.
Brainstorm some reasons that your intuition is saying, “Stop!”
Maybe deep down, you’d rather own a business that calls for sitting at a desk or working with numbers instead of cleaning carpets.
When you get to an option that doesn’t cause that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, you have your answer.
Do some more research on that new idea.
Chances are much greater that you’ll find happiness and success by doing something you enjoy.
Listening to your intuition can save you a lot of time, money, and grief.
Some people may think these top 3 factors leading to success are too complicated.
They require soul-searching and doing the “right” thing (often, the hard thing), but taking shortcuts sets a course for failure.
Almost every shortcut (except my favorite pizza place) has led me to failure, not success.
The shortcuts I’ve taken ended up creating negative effects in the future.
Those negatives always came back to bite me when I least expected them.
Put in the hard work, and you will get the results!
What are some of your top success factors?
You might look at some famous people who don’t display these characteristics.
These people likely have power and money and appear successful on the outside.
Success means much more than that, though!
It is the ability to live a life you are proud of, which you find joy in.
What other factors do you think make people successful?
Share them with us in the comment section!