In today's economic environment, it seems more than ever that entrepreneurs are on a quest to learn the success secrets from those who are "making it happen." From top executives and CEOs to entrepreneurs, we want to know why, what, when and how these successful companies and entrepreneurs are doing it. How are they achieving what seems to be the untouchable level of success during these uncertain times?
So what is the key to success? Albert Schweitzer once said, "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." Although I agree with the concept, I think there is a key point missing here: The reason why and how people become successful is simply choice. As entrepreneurs and individuals, we make success (or failure) choices every day of our lives. When faced with challenges, adversity and opportunity, you have a choice, and your decisions can make the difference between success and failure. We have a choice with every single thing in our lives--from how we want our coffee and what color we want our clothing to how successful we want to become and where we want to take our careers or company. If choice is the only thing that is standing in the way, then why wouldn't we approach our careers and the overall success of our companies by making healthy choices at every single turn?
Just as a flower can only bloom in a positive and healthy environment, a business can only thrive with a success-focused mind-set. It's an absolute law of nature. So why is it that we often make unhealthy choices that keep us stuck and complacent?
Because complacency is our comfort zone, and to leave that space, it would take choice followed by action.
Today is the day to make a choice and take action. Here are a few success choice tips and approaches for you to incorporate into your daily mind-set starting now:
1. Decide to do the different every single day: Mix it up a little (or a lot). It can be as simple as taking a different route to work, or instead of e-mailing a contact, call them or send a hand-written thank you card. Choose to do at least five things every single day that are completely different or unlike anything you have done with your customers or clients.
2. Just ask: Do not stay sitting on that darn fence. If you want to meet someone at an event or connect with a certain person online, just do it. Don't question whether or not you will be rejected; by doing that, you are rejecting yourself before you even get to the new contact. Hesitation keeps you complacent. Action leads you to success. Take action and ask. Reach out and ask for testimonials or recommendations from your contacts and customers. This will help you build your portfolio and prove to new targets that you are worth doing business with.
3. Learn something new every day: Whether it is through a book, a video or by simply asking someone who is at a higher success level than you, make it a point to learn at least one new skill or approach every single day. This will keep you ahead of your competition and position you as a leader and expert in your industry.
4. Be active: When you wake up in the morning, you have a choice to sleep in or get up and be active. Make the choice to be healthy and take that walk. Don't make excuses. If it is raining or cold, put on a rain coat or jacket. Even some quick morning stretches or a good in-home hula hoop workout will do wonders for your energy and motivation throughout the day.
5. Choose who you hang out with: It has been proven time and again that success-minded people make more money and live better lives. Do a quick friend, connection and relative check. If anyone in your circle complains, offers negative feedback on a consistent basis, or tends to stay in victim mode, boot them out of your circle right away. Reach out to the successful people in your community and make it a point to hang out with them. Host success parties every quarter at your home or office.
Starr Hall is an international speaker, author and social media strategist. For more information, visit www.starrhall.com. Hall's latest book with Entrepreneur Press is Get Connected, The Social Networking Toolkit for Business.