We live in an instant gratification world, so everyone wants to know the secrets of fast-tracking success. Business experts from around the world met recently at the annual Business Expert Forum sponsored by Entrepreneurship Club at Harvard Business School and held at the Harvard Faculty Club. Ten business leaders, professionals, and functional medicine doctors shared their ideas about how to fast-track your success both personally and professionally.
Tip #1 Go Slow- Get Clarity
Social Media and the internet have made the word “instant” mean right now, so it seems that human beings are being conditioned from birth to expect everything to be delivered with minutes, and the concept of hard work and allowing time for success to develop is foreign to many people. Our brains are being rewired for fast results, but in the long run, the truth about success may be counterintuitive, according to Alana Fournet of the Intentional Living Project. She advises, to “Go slow. It really goes against the grain of the fast-paced-hustle life we’re programmed to live. When we slow down, we get clear. Clarity is the fastest path to success. You know that story about Gandhi and meditation? The busier he got, the longer he insisted on meditating- even against his assistant’s urging to get to work “
Tip #2: Focus
Over the years, I have found that distraction was my worse enemy, so much so, that I named my cat, Focus. So, as I called my cat’s name each day, I was constantly reminded to focus on the task at hand. Dr. Corinne Weaver of the Upper Cervical Wellness Center agrees and offers her own take on focus. “Don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep your eyes on the prize and your Big Vision. Enjoy your journey because life goes by you fast. Live each day on purpose.”
Tip #3: Become the Expert
You may have heard the term: Shiny Object Syndrome. In my world of marketing, that means that every new idea, social media platform, or product caught my eye and took me off track to becoming successful in my field. When I got clear and focused on becoming the expert and authority in my chosen field, my business boomed. Alan Porter, CEO of Strategic Wealth Strategies, and former Blackhawk pilot suggested that I educate myself and my clients. Porter says, “Become an expert on the things you are trying to sell. Make everything about the client. Know their goals and desires and become trustworthy.”
Tip #4: Adapt and Change Quickly
I hate change. Who doesn’t? It often requires time and pain. However, people who embrace change and jump on opportunities are often the people who are successful Making informed decisions based on solid information and your own intuition often prove to be the best decisions that lead to bigger and better things in all aspects of your life. Scientist Dr. Vijay Ram, RAMIC Solutions, Inc. told me: “Success in reaching elusive goals rarely comes to those who are not willing to adapt to new, changing and unexpected circumstances. So to truly embrace success, we must work on our inner drives. My advice is to invest in improving one’s inner skills: seek change from within.”
Tip #5: Know Your Products and Yourself
One thing I have noticed in life that whenever I am excited about a service or product, it seems to sell itself. The reason for this is because when you truly believe in something, you exude a confidence and authenticity that permeates your essence and radiates from you to other people. Navi Dowty of DuPage Tax Group told me, “Buy whatever you are selling. If your company sells a product, buy it yourself. If they provide a service, use it for you and your family. And most important, keep your agreements. Just that alone puts you ahead of almost everybody.”
Tip #6: Find Mentors
I have found that having advisors is key to personal and business success. Look around and you will see people who have already cracked the success code, so why would you want to spin your own wheels like Dr. Deborah Matthew of Signature Wellness says,
“Learn from others who went before you. Find mentors and don’t try to reinvent the wheel!”
Tip #7 Get Out of Your Head
Being stuck is like being sucked into a massive black hole of self-doubt, perfectionism, and fear. Most people realize that their fears are not real but inside their own heads. MJ Jenkins, author of Think No Pink and The New You Formula has survived divorce, disease, death, and disaster. She has some very simple advice to fast track success, “You must avoid these three mistakes. You need to get out of your head.. and get out of your way. Stop being a victim; stop eating bad foods, and stop allowing scarcity to consume you.”
Tip #8 Take the Leap
Have you ever had a dream you are flying? How did you do that? In your dream, you just elevated and took off and soared, right? You took the leap of faith and flew. Successful thinking and doing is just like that, you start with the right mindset and start working in tiny steps to achieve your goals and strengthen your muscles for success. Award-winning etiquette expert, Maryanne Parker of Manor of Manners took tiny steps to soar into her current high-level status as an advisor to world leaders on the art of etiquette. She says, “ Don’t look for a “fast-track,” because shortcuts to success simply do not exist. It is a process and every process takes time.We need to make the right choices and take calculated risks. We should be ready to “Jump” at one point of our life or another.”
Tip #9 Leaders are Born
One myth about the fast track to success is that you must be born into it. The reality is that while some people are born into leadership positions, no one is a born leader. To become a successful person or leader, according to Jeremy Matranga of Platinum Tax & Wealth Management, even people born into leadership “must practice and constantly work on their leadership skills. Being a leader is a huge responsibility.” So, if you want to become an overnight success, start today.
Tip #10 Reality Check
I have often wondered why at times, my hopes and dreams just flowed along like a rushing river of success, but at other times, it was like wet cement with success elusive and hard with lack of time and energy. Is there a fast track to success? Author Dr. Peter Osborne of Gluten Free Society told me, “There is no such thing as a “fast-track.” Don’t waste time trying to find a shortcut.”
In the 10 tips above, a recurring theme appears: there is no fast track, but there are thought processes and actions to take that will streamline the path to success. Success can mean many things, so it’s up to each person to choose the definition of success and to work diligently to make it happen. Clarity and focus are key to the action plan. Are you a dreamer or a doer? We all know that success is called “work.” Many people think that there must be a faster, better way to grow your business, to create wealth, to lose weight. There is, in reality, there really is a shortcut, and it is doing the work, one step at a time. One day at a time. Chose your goal and start this very moment. Keep working at it until you have achieved whatever your desire.
Tamara "Tami" Patzer is a Pulitzer-Prize nominated journalist, award-winning author marketer and creator of Daily Success™ Media Network. She is a regular contributor to Forbes Education Videos and is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council. Tami helps clients get massive media exposure on TV, Radio, Podcasts, Newspapers, and Magazines and is a frequent guest on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox,and CW discussing Social Media and Authority topics.