Back when I was in college, my roommates and I had a saying: "Do Things". At the time, it meant do cool things and we used it to push ourselves to complete tasks we didn't want to do. It was mentioned a lot, but I had no idea the profound impact it was going to have on me as I launched into my career.
After college, I began consistently reading books and listening to podcasts on many different topics: real estate investing, starting a business, sales and marketing, financial independence, and general interviews with successful people in all different fields.
I began to extract common traits possessed by these individuals who were the best in their industry. The three main traits are genuine connections with countless people they can call on, endless curiosity about their field causing them to always be learning and becoming refined in their craft, and pursue adversity causing them to grow and make day to day problems seem trivial.
Genuine Connections. While your closest connections are valuable in their own respect, the most underutilized set of individuals are your "weak ties". These are friends of friends and people outside your direct sphere of influence. They know who you are, but you don't interact regularly. These are the connections you should choose to strengthen first when you don't need their assistance. I am not suggesting you only take from these people; I am advocating the opposite. I recommend when you're starting out you should reach out asking if there's any way you can help them. It may seem counterintuitive at first, but this gets at the law of reciprocity--when you do something for someone else, they will have a deep pyschological desire to reciprocate your generosity (potentially even to a greater extent) and you now have someone willing to help you in the future. You should not keep score and plenty of people will only take from you; however, everyone doesn't need to return the favor for you to see massive benefits. The more small favors you can do for your weak ties without personal expectation in return will allow you to have a larger network you can call upon when you need help down the road and allow you to grow faster in your own venture. Having countless people willing to help you will be the single greatest component that will accelerate your success.
Endless Curiosity. We all grow up curious as kids. At some point, that curiosity seems like it fades. I believe it gets masked by the busyness of life. We are constant consumers of information and we don't give ourselves time to let our mind wander and be curious. When I have been stuck on a problem, I tend to have a revelation on how to solve it or at least uncover where to begin the search for a solution when doing something completely unrelated. Give your mind time to make connections subconsciously and think through solving an issue while focusing your thoughts on another interest outside of work. When you come back to your work, you will have a new perspective on what you need to research and understand. You will continue to broaden your knowledge base making you more aware of what is possible and improve the value of your product or service. An endless curiosity will ensure you never stay stagnant with your knowledge and are always innovating thus maintaining your status as a leader in your industry. Your customers will stay engaged and follow your brand, therefore increasing their lifetime value while enriching your interactions with them. Curiosity will keep you continually excited about what's to come since you never know what your mind will uncover.
Pursue Adversity. A task is only as difficult as it seems. By having a broader spectrum of difficulty from putting yourself in adverse situations, you allow the problems that used to cause you lots of stress to fix seem trivial now. If you seek out adversity, especially if you can pair it with an audacious goal--running a marathon, taking the stage to perform stand-up comedy monthly, or committing to a morning routine before work every day--that becomes your new level of hard. You reset your range of difficulty. By expanding that range, it allows all of your smaller problems to fall closer to the easy side of the spectrum and they become seemingly easier and easier to deal with. This has been one of the most beneficial things in my life. Once this process clicked for me, I sought out adversity. It sounds strange, but it's rewarding once you conquer it, it's humbling in the beginning when you realize you have a long way to go before you get through it, and it boosts your confidence when you are able to finally power through and accomplish the goal. The more strategic exposure you can have to select adversity, the more efficient you will become dealing with daily problems allow you to focus on the most impactful decisions and propel your business forward.
All of these characteristics are intertwined and by possessing all three, you will excel at whatever you put your mind to, live a more fulfilling life, and success will follow more naturally than ever before.
Always have a diverse set of audacious goals and pursue them relentlessly. #DoThings
I would love to hear about your goals and your plan to accomplish them! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org I'll see how I can help and offer encouragement to propel you forward.
Stay connected and curious,