This column is by Larry Kim, Founder/CTO of WordStream.
“Success is not so much what we have as it is what we are.” — Jim Rohn
There’s no one secret to success, but it doesn’t happen by accident, either. Successful people work hard at themselves and their business. Importantly, they learn to stop hindering their efforts by avoiding these seven things:
1. Dwelling on regrets
Sure, it’s important to understand your mistakes and failures and learn from them. Dwelling on them, however, is a sure way to make yourself unable to move forward.
Stop looking back, and file those lessons you’ve learned. You’ll need them on your path to success.
2. Envying successful people
Look up to people who are successful in your space, whether in work or in life. Keep jealousy and envy in check.
Here’s what you should do: Emulate them. Analyze what they’ve done right and how you can use their teachings to propel you to success of your own. But beware the negativity that festers inside if you allow yourself to get envious — there’s a reason they call envy the green-eyed monster.
3. Surrounding themselves with turkeys
There’s an old saying a friend in college shared with me: You can’t soar like an eagle if you’re surrounded by a bunch of turkeys.
Avoid negative people, complainers, and those who suck the life out of you by taking without giving. It’s hard to move forward with your plans when you’re constantly bombarded by the negativity of people around you. Instead, surround yourself with successful, positive people.
4. Second-guessing themselves incessantly
It’s good to have a plan and to revisit it from time to time to ensure you’re on track. However, second-guessing and questioning every decision you make will keep you firmly in first gear, spinning your wheels.
Trust in your own experience and abilities. Remember all those lessons you learned and filed away? They’re driving your every decision, whether you realize it or not. Don’t become so paralyzed with overthinking and analysis that you can’t act on what you need to do to experience success.
5. Becoming complacent
It’s one thing to experience happiness and be content with yourself — that’s a really good thing. But don’t let yourself get so comfortable that you’re not hungry for change.
If you didn’t need to change anything, you would already be wildly successful. What you’re doing today can always be improved on and expanded.
Keep your hunger sharp and your drive strong. You can always afford to learn something new.
6. Talking the talk without taking the next steps
Again, having a plan is great, and it’s important that you have a clear vision of how it’s going to play out. If you find yourself constantly talking about the plan without making any meaningful achievements toward accomplishing it, you’re guilty of not walking your walk.
In business, we often have to talk a big game, but that can’t be all there is to it. Set clear, measurable goals to ensure you’re always moving forward.
7. Equating money with success
As much as we recite the old mantra “Money won’t buy you happiness,” most of us (especially in business) still default to money as the primary measure of success.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee, your revenue or salary can drive a lot of your feeling of self-worth — if you let it.
Focus instead on providing a great service, building a better product, inspiring others on your team. There are a million ways to measure success, but focusing on money as a metric is sure to bring a constant feeling that you’re less than worthy. That’s not a place from which to build a successful anything.
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