The 10 Pillars of Success

10494577_729646160415538_4539878814088814867_nI have enjoyed a healthy dose of both success & failure over the 30+ years I have been in the business world and I will share with you that success is certainly more “fun” and it definitely pays better too!  While I will concede that there are MANY different pillars of success, these are my personal top 10 suggestions.

NOTE: The following “10 Pillars of Success” is an excerpt from my upcoming book (working titled) “THE Underwear Entrepreneur”.


1) ACTION: You MUST take focused action on a DAILY basis towards your dreams and goals or you highly likely WON’T achieve them.  The most successful people out there are the ones who have embraced these ideas and are DOING something to build their businesses. Taking targeted/focused action and making changes can be uncomfortable at first, but stick with it and watch what can happen!

TIP: Establish a goals checklist, a personal “road-map” so that you can track your step-by-step journey to success!

2) ATTITUDE: As Henry Ford once famously said: “If you believe you can do a thing or you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”  It is YOUR attitude that will either unlock or bolt shut the door to success!!!  Dare to dream (and achieve) GREAT things, and then go make it happen!  The ONLY difference between those who thrive and those who flounder is in their heads, successful people DECIDE to succeed! What are YOU going to decide to do???

TIP: Your attitude is a choice that you make; you can choose to be positive, or you can be negative, the choice is yours alone to make!

3) DEDICATION: The reality of today’s business climate is that EVERYONE has to “do more with less”, working long days & weeks are now the new “normal”, and dedication to one’s profession is NO longer “optional”.  This ISN’T saying that you can’t strive for “work-life” balance, but understand it’s NOT something that you can any longer take lightly.

TIP: I truly believe that you MUST have priorities, and taking responsibility & care of one’s family (if you have one), should be at the TOP of your list.  The BEST way to do that is to excel at your job, profession or business.

4) FOCUS: By being focused on your goals, you can avoid the trap of “shiny object syndrome”, the single biggest distraction that most entrepreneurs face.  Find the balance between “tunnel vision” (being TOO focused) and being ALL over the place (being completely unfocused) in your thinking and actions.

A trick that has helped me: Set a time limit for using social media and e-mail.

5) HABITS: Successful people have arrived at their success by establishing & maintaining the necessary habits to enable them to achieve their goals.  There are obviously “good habits” and “bad habits”.  There is NO hard & fast list of good habits, but I would suggest that these are 8 of the key habits to develop and nurture for long-term success:

  1. Start your day, each & every day, off on the right foot.
  2. Take regular breaks during the day.  “ME” time (Meditation, listening to soothing music, walking, etc.) is VERY important to both your mental & emotional health.
  3. Try to consistently eat well.  Maintain the temple.  Not only does it make you feel better, but it’s better for you too.
  4. Utilize technology.  Control it, or it WILL control you.  It’s a tool, like any other it must be properly maintained to maximize its effectiveness.
  5. Maintain a flexible daily “To Do” list.  Take care of your most profitable & important tasks first.
  6. Strive to balance your workload. Delegate those tasks that you struggle with and focus on the things that you excel at.
  7. Understand that perfection DOESN’T exist, so put the desire to be “perfect” in its proper place!
  8. Learn how to say “NO”.  Your time is a finite resource, treat it like gold!

TIP:  Do what works best for you! I’m constantly working on these to refine them for myself.

6) HARD WORK:  The United States, in spite of ALL of its faults, is still regarded around the world as the BEST place to start with absolutely nothing, and based solely on your willingness to engage in hard work, have passion about what you’re doing, perseverance and patience in achieving your goals, you can ACHIEVE almost anything. It truly is the land of opportunity.  Nowhere else have so many stories been written about “rags to riches” and they happen here EVERY day. NO place on Earth is the equal of the U.S. when it comes to honoring and rewarding hard work.

Tip: Reward yourself for achieving goals & milestones, you’ve earned it!

7) PASSION: Passion is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you think about before you go to bed at night. It can feel like an addiction, and if someone were to tell you to stop, it would be difficult, if not impossible for you to give it up. Those who have uncovered their passion feel compelled to pursue it, whether or not they are getting paid to do it. You MUST give your passion fuel and room to grow. Your passion has the need to expand, and the surest way to do that is to share it with others.

 TIP: Strive to spend more time with others who share your passion and spend less time with those who do not.

8) PATIENCE, PERSEVERANCE & PERSISTENCE: The 3 legged stool of long-term success.

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.” – Henry Ford

The road to success is often paved with failure– and failure can be a very expensive education, but it’s ultimately worth it!

TIP: While it can & likely will be difficult at times, long-term success requires patience and a willingness to endure the tough times knowing that you can pull through them and emerge better for the experience.

9) PLANNING: “Success is a journey, NOT a destination” – Make conscious choices & decisions instead of dwelling on what you “should” be doing.  This will enable you to reach your goals quicker and help you to ensure your path to success.

TIP: Set-up a list of written goals and objectives, read them daily, keep track of one’s you’ve achieved and add new ones.

10) VISION & WISDOM: Understand that no matter how “smart” you are (or think that you are), you CANNOT predict the future.  There’s a HUGE difference between Vision and prognostication; having vision is a “good thing”, in that it allows you to survey the business landscape and try to determine what direction things are headed, while prognostication typically sets you up to become ridiculed, marginalized or ruins your reputation and credibility.

TIP: I humbly suggest that you use tools, such as a Vision Board, to help keep you focused on your goals & dreams.  It serves as a constant reminder and is a visual representation of WHAT you want.  It can include pictures, words or other items which have significance to you & your dreams.

About the Author Michael E. Schmidlen

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