I was asked to contribute a blog on three tips for success. Being a CPA, practicing in the business world for almost 40 years, my first reaction was to offer three success tips for owners of small to medium sized businesses. Then I realized that most people in the world don’t own a business and even the ones that do may have a different idea of what it means to succeed than I do. Do they measure success based on achieving a certain net worth by a specific date? Or maybe success is measured by being able to retire by a certain age? How about by raising well-adjusted children? Are we talking about success at reaching a short term goal or a long term goal? I guess it’s up to me to decide; so let’s go for tips that can fit any type of success, more long term in nature, that I think have worked for me:
- Never sell yourself short. You may not be the sharpest tack in the box but if you work hard and put in the time and effort towards a goal, chances are you will succeed. It might take you a little longer and you may make a few more mistakes than the sharpest tack, but again, chances are you will succeed.
- Life is a marathon not a sprint. Hopefully you have a clue about what you want to do, and the level you want to achieve when you are younger. Younger doesn’t mean in your teens. Most of us need some time to look around and see what’s out there before we choose the race we want to enter. Those who can start the race in their early thirties have a pretty good chance to build on their experience and reach the finish line. Those who have run a marathon know the feeling of accomplishment and success that goes along with crossing that finish line. On the other hand, those who are not patient and want to try and sprint for success are often disappointed.
- Take a few risks. If you know what you want to do and what you believe will make you happy, chances are you will have to take a few risks to get there. There are very few business owners that have not experienced both financial risk and the risk of failure. When you decide to have children you are accepting responsibility for their wellbeing and taking a risk that you will know how to be a good parent. If you go from a relatively secure job to a new one that is performance based and more challenging, but has the potential to be more rewarding, you are taking a risk. You need to embrace the fact that most success results from taking some risks – so don’t shy away from it.