Success is one of those words that always beg for an "it depends" type of answer when asked to be defined. Because truly, it has no exact and accurate definition. Some relate it with rank and achievements, others with value, journey, lessons, and happiness. If you think there are too many definitions, wait till you see the many ways to become successful in life. Apparently, there are a lot of people or experts who know the formula. Among these known formulas is experience. Does the old saying "experience is the best teacher" ring a bell? Sure it does.
Let's talk about life experiences. More specifically, let's talk about these experiences and how they help people succeed (or fail for that matter). Let's take the point of view of career professionals and businessmen. At face value, success to them definitely has something to do with sales, profit, rank, achievements, quotas, accounts, projects, teams, and even having their own office overlooking the city and a parking slot. These people know that success doesn't happen overnight. They know it isn't easy. They know they have to go through certain life experiences to be truly successful. Here are some of those experiences and tips to become successful in career and business.
Failure and always seeing the "best" in it
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They say that success is failure turned upside down. Think about this: Thomas Edison perfected the light bulb but not until he performed thousands of failed experiments. But do you know what he said? He said "I have not failed, not once. I've discovered ten thousand ways that don't work."
In order to be successful, we must also learn how to look at "failures" in a different perspective. Missing a sales target does not mean you failed. It could only be showing you ways on how not to go about running your business. Keep working.
Learning and NOT stopping from it
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One thing that successful people know is that they don't know everything. Be humble and learn more, as much as you can, until you can.
Take learning to the next level by studying abroad. There are many ways how studying abroad can help you become successful in your career and in life. It's not just the degree or diploma. It's the experience. It should come as no surprise that a 2013 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that nearly 4.3 million students are enrolled in university-level student programs outside their countries. The benefits of studying abroad go beyond what will look good on paper or your resume later on. People who take the risk to study outside their comfort zone are bound to experience what limitless possibilities look like. They meet new people, learn a new language, understand different cultures, and appreciate diversity. These study abroad experiences can help you become a better businessman, not only in theory but even in how you deal with people and all their nuances.
You have got to take a risk. Of course, take calculated and educated ones as much as you can. To be successful in business, you have to experience taking risks and making decisions. You can't keep doing the same things and expect different or better results. For example, purchasing a new equipment to improve services may mean additional cost to your business, but may also help grow it. Study its potential then make the call. In business, you have to make decisions, quick and long-term, every day. Do not be scared of the consequences, just be prepared for them.
Making people happy
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To be successful in your business or career, you have to know how to make people happy. A book by Dr. Noelle Nelson entitled Make More Money by Making Your Employees Happy is every businessman's guide to success and leadership. The experience in making people happy is priceless. It feels good and it makes the business look good. According to Dr. Nelson, "When employees feel that the company takes their interest to heart, then the employees will take company's interests to heart." Fortunately to business owners, employees are not necessarily looking for a raise or additional benefits. They just want you to keep your promises, show compassion, and show appreciation for what they do. So, if you are thinking of hacks to be a successful businessman, why not put the interest of people above your own?
Being a good follower
You might think that the only successful people are bosses or managers who have a herd of followers working for them. That's a lie. To be a successful leader, you have to be a good follower, too. After all, we are in follower roles regularly in our families, religious congregation, and social circles. And if you look closely, there are important skills and experiences you can get from being a follower to eventually become successful in your career or business.
Barbara Kellerman, author and leadership lecturer at Harvard University, said that among the skills you can learn from being a follower is awareness. You are aware of your audiences, your staff, your colleagues and their needs and also know what it takes to "bring them along." You learn about diplomacy and collaboration. You also learn courage and how it feels to take a stand and use your gut. These are all important life experiences that will make you a more effective business owner or professional.
Experience, not success, should be your teacher. Success can drown you eventually, so don't swim in that wonderland for too long. Microsoft founder Bill Gates used to say, "Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose." Imagine if all successful people in this world stopped trying and experiencing new things. Innovation, advancement, and changes wouldn't be possible. So don't quit on what seems to be bad and bitter experiences in life, for they could exactly be the ones you need to succeed in it.