What you THINK you need to be successful

What do you think you need to be successful in your role? More resources, more freedom, more help? While these will certainly make your job easier, what we’ve noticed with most leaders we work with is they don’t need more resources, freedom or help. What they need is a different mindset.


Recently, I was helping a close friend move out of his house and we paused to chuckle at his first office. A dusty bunker under the stairs, which was the starting point of his now wildly successful company. He said, “Can you believe I did 1.5 million dollars in business from this place?”

Flash doesn’t get you success. Function and drive get you success.

If you are caught up with having a sexy title, a fancy office, waiting for greater influence to arrive, or for more customers to show up,  gift-wrapped with your fancy title – forget it. Save yourself the inevitable frustration. Success can’t be ordered off Amazon.

What you need to do is roll up your sleeves and get in front of people. Inspire others with your vision. Dazzle customers or colleagues with the value you create for them. Whether you are a leader of people, an entrepreneur, or a student. Instead of chasing an illusion of overnight elation, build a strong foundation for your success that is sustainable.

Here are three things to remember:

  1. Perfection is for losers. It’s a long game of iteration. Step into action, reflect on the impact, iterate a better version and go at it again… and again and you’ll get closer to perfection.
  2. Sweat and pain are part of the game. To be good at anything, you have to be a masochist.
  3. Hood ornaments don’t make the car go faster. What engine do you have or proven process for your success? Spend more time tuning the engine instead of polishing the hood ornament that nobody but you cares about.

A few years from now, you will look back and laugh at the humble beginnings you created your success from and celebrate the sweat it was built upon.