When launching into a new career, gunning for a promotion, or starting your own business, it’s inevitable you will run into obstacles throughout your journey. We all face hurdles, but it’s how you handle them that set you apart from the others. If you ask a successful person if they experienced any set backs in their quest for success, they will undoubtedly provide you with a laundry list of mishaps. Failure is a natural part of growth, and if you can’t overcome it – then you aren’t prepared for the success either.
When creating a blueprint for your future, it’s important to prepare yourself for any distraction or derailment you may encounter along the way. If you equip yourself with tools, any and all available resources, and the know-how to overcome obstacles, you’ll be that much more likely to succeed.
On the road to success here is some sound advice to always keep in mind:
You need to set realistic expectations
First and foremost you need to be realistic with your goals. You aren’t going to be CEO of a company one year in, unless you started the company yourself. Everyone else works his or her way from the ground up, and so will you. There are no short cuts in business, so don’t waste your time looking for them. If you think you deserve a promotion just because of your time spent with a company – think again. Promotions are earned through hard work and setting yourself apart from the average.
If you just started a business, you aren’t going to be a millionaire in two months. For most people it takes 2-3 years, or even longer, before they really see substantial growth. Yes, there are rare exceptions – but you probably won’t be one of them. In the age of wanting everything yesterday, setting unrealistic expectations is all too common. When you set goals that are too far out of reach, you become hopeless and will most likely walk away from your aspirations. Check yourself early on so you don’t get easily discouraged.
You are not perfect
Luckily for you – neither is anyone else. Failure is part of the road to success. Most people, in fact, fail their way to the top. Mistakes will be made and some can even be forgiven, especially if you’re a novice, but don’t ever make excuses for them. If you make a mistake, always own it. Passing blame is frowned upon and it shows you can’t take responsibility for your actions. Own it and then move on. Another tip is when you’re new to a role, ask questions and always think ahead.
Many people are afraid to ask questions, so they enter into situations ill-equipped, thus making avoidable mistakes. Bosses cannot read minds, so if you want to know something to help you grow and feel comfortable in your role – you have to ask.
Learn from mistakes
If you fail or royally screw something up – learn from it. How could’ve you handled the situation differently? What will you do if there is a next time? Will there be a next time? Can you help others not make the same mistakes? Making mistakes – if you learn from them; builds your confidence and makes you that much more seasoned to handle future misfortunes.
If something is continually not working – change it! If you feel like you’re stagnant in your business or role, try something new. Don’t wait for someone to direct you. Don’t complain and make excuses – create solutions. You hold the power to your success. People too often get stuck in their old habits and are fearful of change. It may only be a small tweak, but you’ll never know your full potential if you’re too afraid to switch it up.
The most successful people and brands re-strategize every few years to stay fresh in the market. Look at Coca-Cola, or Madonna. They have achieved unprecedented success because they continuously reinvent their brands.
Ask for feedback
With any rejection or failure your immediate reaction should be finding out how you could’ve done better or why your efforts were rejected. Feedback is a vital part of growth and is actually a gift. Use this constructive criticism to better yourself and reconstruct your strategy for the future. Also, you should always ask for feedback. Pitch your ideas to multiple people; ask friends and family to review your business/career plans. Different perspectives always help you grow, even if the opinions aren’t always positive.
Check your emotions at the door
This is very important. There is no place for sensitivity in business. Being coachable is a valued trait whether you’re an employee, a boss, or an entrepreneur. If you’re too sensitive to criticism or different opinions – you won’t make it. If you fail at an objective, take a day or two to be upset then pick yourself up and regroup. Being in the workforce is hard, whether you’re working for yourself or for someone else. In today’s world, there’s a lot of competition. There are a lot of different personalities. There are a lot of politics.
As you get more and more successful, you’ll find this environment even more difficult to be a part of. Only the strong survive. If you continue to focus on the failure or the unsupportive chatter – rather than the opportunity to grow and achieve the success you’ve always wanted, you’re only holding yourself back. When you face these challenges, learn to walk it off – and get right back in the saddle.
Everyone faces adversity, doubt, and disappointment when chasing success but that’s what makes success feel so grand. There’s nothing more empowering then when you were the one who faced these challenges head on, forged ahead, and made it out on the other side – still standing. The grit and grind are every bit worth it.
“It doesn’t matter how many times you fail – you only have to be right once.” –Mark Cuban