There are many ways to pursue success in life . . .
Each of us travels by the different pathways to reach success - based on our upbringing, values, beliefs, gifts, talents and pure guts.
Some of us will reach our goal very fast. Some will take much longer. Some never. Not even in a lifetime . . .
Why is this so?
Is one to be more fortunate than another? Is it based on luck – that some are lucky, some are not? I don’t think so . . .
Let’s look at some hard facts!
Bill Gates (Microsoft), Paul Allen (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Larry Page (Google), Sergey Brin (Google), Stephen Spielberg (Movie Director), Ted Turner (Turner Networks), Michael Dell (Dell), Ralph Lauren (Fashion Designer) etc are all successful billionaires and multimillionaires who never graduated from college.
John Grisham (A Time to Kill), Tom Peters (In Search of Excellence), Deepak Chopra, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, D H Lawrence, Edgar Allen Poe, George Bernard Shaw, James Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy) etc are examples of hugely successful authors who self-publish their first major book.
J K Rowling (Harry Potter), Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad) etc are hugely successful authors whose first bestseller was rejected by many publishers before a gutsy publisher finally agreed.
Was it luck or that they were born on some lucky stars etc? Definitely not . . .
Now, what may be the possible explanation & contribution to their success?
If we reflect deep enough, we would have arrived at the possibly similar key factors: – (a) Attitude, (b) Character, (c) Knowledge, (d) Skill-sets & (e) Strategic Network.
Both Attitudes & Character are crafted from young - thru a lifelong process. One can try to change one’s Character & Attitudes to attract success. This may be a difficult process but not altogether impossible. It requires overcoming bad habits & behavioral patterns acquired from one’s growing experience. Adjusting for positive change in these areas will depend on how much one is determined to achieve success. Sometimes, it could be some crisis or problems that arise which challenge for this positive change. J K Rowling was a struggling single mother when she wrote her first book on Harry Potter – oftentimes in a restaurant or café whilst tending to her kids. Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup) was down & out and living in his car before he turn around. Anthony Robbins (Awaken the Giant Within) was a depressed down & out kid who wanted to even commit suicide before he turn around dramatically. Read their life stories and you will find out how they turn around.
Knowledge & Skill-sets, one can gain this thru education, training, learning from attending talks/seminars/books/audiotapes or from life experiences itself. One need to set time & effort to acquire & hone the needed tools for making a living. In the current information age, it is essential to invest in this as lifelong ongoing pursuits.
The last major factor is acquiring and gaining one’s Strategic Network. No man is an island. We need others to complement us to succeed in life. Successful people have their strategic network. Unsuccessful people don’t or fail to reciprocate with what they have. Bill Gates & Paul Allen founded Microsoft together. They have the help of Steve Balmer, a host of others on their team and not forgetting, Steve Jobs (and their love-hate competiting relationship) to help bring Microsoft where it is today and their current wealth. We see similar patterns in many other businesses and successful stories and also in the early booming years of Apple (until its decline - the result of an ego-inflated Steve Job ignoring his founding partner of Steve Wozniak & other trusted colleagues - is when not reciprocating your Strategic Network brings decline). The latest successful story of Larry Page & Sergey Brin founding Google with their Strategic Network & collaborators – listing in the USA stock exchange at an impossibly all-time high IPO price (but then again this is nowhere near where Google’s share pricing today of above US$400!)
In today’s globally connected world, being connected with a Strategic Network is what makes the big difference. How we can achieve this Strategic Network, the all-important relationships, would have to depend on our commitment & desire to be successful in life. Strategic Network can provide us many of short cuts to success!
It is essential in today’s world to reflect on where we are at with these key factors of success. Are we investing & facilitating for our success or are we hampering it? You decide.
Kevin Yeow is a dynamic & influential professional specializing in Business Networking, Sales & Marketing, Business Development & Strategies, Public Speaking and Technology.
He has founded SNSI working with clients & partners worldwide. He is also a visionary, advocating for a new system for quicker response in today's market.
Kevin has formerly worked for Motorola (Fortune 500), WH Brady (NYSE) - been instrumental in their growth!