1. Success looks different from where you are
Success is an iceberg; people will only see the tip of the iceberg and forget about the amount of hard work that goes behind the scenes. Often, you will be dubbed ‘lucky’ but you are the only person who knows the recipe for your success. Success is different for everyone. Some measure it with how much money they have, some measure it against client satisfaction and appreciation, or some even define success by what they don’t have to do anymore. (e.g. not having to work for anyone or having time freedom). Therefore, we should never, ever compare ourselves with others. The only person we should be comparing with is our past selves. Think of how far you have come and reflect on your own successes.
2. You learn more from your failures that your successes
Here’s the twist; success makes you complacent, failure is a better teacher. While success gives you that high feeling, it can also make you complacent. This is why failure is a better teacher. Failure means you tried and learned that it did not work. It teaches you to be resilient and gritty. One should never fear failure, but instead embrace it. The term “fail fast, adapt quickly” just shows how failure can be our greatest teacher. Failure allows you to learn quicker and adapt better. Failure is better than regret. Once you have come to embrace failure, the best part is experiencing success after a failure. Having failed before means you have laid the necessary foundational stones for success.
3. It’s alright to have a rest day
The world will not end just because you took one rest day. You are only human. Even machines need to shut down and be properly maintained from time to time. You are no different. Taking a break does not mean you stopped caring, it just means that you need time to rejuvenate, refresh and reset – before you get burnt out! People tend to feel guilty when they take breaks longer than necessary, but why is that? Studies have also shown that people who take breaks show significantly increased productivity and focus. If you don’t feel like doing anything today, it’s perfectly alright to take the day off. You deserve it more than you think!
4. Cash is king
There is no denying that investing in your personal wealth or business operations is good for your long-term financials, but in the short run, cash is always king. Stocks, properties and derivatives appreciate tenfold in value, but they are not as liquid as cash. Holding cash, especially during unprecedented times (eg. Covid-19 outbreak) or in volatile economic times will give you freedom and options to navigate these difficult times. If you are not liquid, you will be forced into disposing of other assets to get by, or worse, file for bankruptcy.
5. Underpromise, Overdeliver
When you take on new clients or projects, it is always best to underpromise and overdeliver, rather than the other way around. As human beings, we would prefer if our expectations are exceeded rather than having them unmet. By underpromising, you are able to manage expectations or any unforeseen circumstances accordingly. When you overdeliver, both you and the client will gain from the outcome; the client’s expectations are exceeded and you reap the benefit of strengthened brand and long-term relationship with clients.
6. Believe in yourself
It sounds really simple but it can be so difficult to practice! Before you can even start to believe in yourself, you need to first believe that what you want is possible. Take the word impossible out of your life dictionary. The mind is a very powerful tool. Fill it with positive affirmations and expectations and you will achieve what you want. Always believe in yourself. If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them. If you argue for your abilities, you also get to keep them. Which do you want to keep?
7. Start before you are ready
Some of us like to plan every detail to perfection, whilst some of us want to wait and see. The trick is to start before you’re ready, before procrastination kicks in! If you keep telling yourself “I’m not ready to start yet”, then you are never going to be ready – and you are never going to start! (Not in this lifetime at least) Chances are, you are your own worst critic and holding yourself back with self-doubt and worry. Just stop trying to be a perfectionist and just start. Done is always better than perfect.
8. Don’t be afraid to push boundaries
You may hear things like “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.” Or “That’s just how things are done around here”. The status quo is barely average. Questioning the status quo fosters creativity and growth. No one ever got far from staying in their comfort zone. It’s time to ignore those naysayers and start making your mark. Be bold and question the status quo. Push the boundaries and see how rewarding it is.
9. If you don’t ask, the answer is already NO!
Asking questions is a powerful tool for learning and achieving what you want.
Do not let the fear of rejection or failure creep in. Stop thinking of reasons why people would say no to you. If you don’t take a chance or seize an opportunity when you see it, you are never going to get what you want. As Nora Roberts brilliantly put it, “If you don’t ask, the answer is already no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”
10. Don’t expect great results overnight
Great things take time. Success does not happen overnight. It takes time, commitment and focus, allowing you to overcome challenges and hurdles and teach some valuable lessons along the way. Even a seed must sit in complete darkness for some time before it grows into a beautiful, strong tree. Given that social media is filled with people sharing their successes, we need to remember that we only see success stories, not the duration or struggles getting there. Be kind to yourself by not setting unrealistic expectations. So why are we not practising delayed gratification and waiting for our seeds to sow and grow into something amazing? Practice delayed gratification and just watch as your success story unfolds!
Salient points are captured from various discussions with various entrepreneurs ranging from SME, CEOs of public listed companies, multinational companies, tech startups, ecommerce companies, restaurant owners, consulting firms and so forth.