Success, failure or somewhere in between...?

“You know you are on the Road to success if you would do your job and not get paid for it” Oprah Winfrey

This popped up this morning on my Social Media and at a quick glance, I nodded to myself and carried on. Later, I took a second glance started to think about whether there is truth in the matter.

This then prompted me to think about what defines success and in particular, what defines a successful career. Within the recruitment world, I am always interacting with successful professionals and I thought what makes those people successful and others not? What do they do differently to guarantee their success?

I have looked at a number of people, some who are in the public eye and some who I just deem to be successful and they have very common habits. Out of these habits, there is most certainly one that is the most crucial ingredient, yet most of us neglect to implement.

Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Those who are successful understand that things take time. We live in a time where we are surrounded by instant gratification and most people just don’t like to plan! This is fueled by evolving technology setting unrealistic overnight internet success stories and this is where it goes wrong.

It can be easy to assume that many businesses suddenly became successful overnight when in fact, there have been hours, days, months and years of hard graft for them to get to where they are! This is the same for individuals….

Let’s look at Apple Inc – This brand in the blink of an eye was everywhere, the ‘must have’ gadgets of today and most households owning an apple device in some form. But can you believe this was all started by 3 boys, working out of a garage, chasing a dream that many told them to give up! Who would have thought that the picture below was indeed a creation of one of the most successful human beings in the modern world?


So, this was NOT an overnight success story!

The truth is – there are no overnight success stories – just a lot of long term planning a hard work. So, if you want a slice of the ‘Apple’ pie. (Excuse the pun) You must commit to it, and this involves planning for the next few years, not just weeks!

So, I put this to task – I asked a lot of people about how they going about their business (personal and professional) and the majority is centred around planning. Some have even planned for up to 50 years. (That’s right some plan for the next half a century whilst most of us can barely plan for next week.)

Let’s get started… Let’s start planning… Let’s get successful!

Whether is a new business venture, a new start in a different career, a workplace promotion OR even something personal to you, stop what you’re doing and put aside some time to plan for the future.

I found a few tips that I think ring the most truth:

1) Don’t dream of making it overnight: It’s unrealistic and will only jeopardise your attempts in the future. “Tomorrow I want to become a Senior Partner of one of the largest accounting firms”

2) Appreciate that it takes a long time to be successful: If it was that easy, then everyone would be successful

3) Make a long-term plan: Be realistic about your goals and how you will achieve them

4) When the going gets tough: ……remember that every other success story has been through the exact same thing as you! “I didn’t get that promotion I was really hoping for”

5) There is light at the end of the tunnel: Know that if you are persistent and determined the hard work WILL pay off. Commit, stay focused and never give up!

So, I speak to the job hunters reading this, whether you are at the beginning, middle or somewhere near the end of your career, when it comes to your next move make sure if fits within your plan, and you WILL be on the road to success.