3 Truths About Success You Didn’t Know Series (3/3)
Hello followers. Sorry for the long break. We are back and will be posting regularly from now on. In this 3 parts series examines the definition of success and what it means for Millennials and for people working in the 2010’s of all ages. There is something for everyone to learn here.
We talked to Mara Keller (The GhazStation’s social media manager) about success and discussed the last important truth about success.
In the previous two articles we discussed two important factors for success: The Determinent (luck) and The Struggle (hard work). But there are many who are super lucky and who work very hard who don’t make it.
The Shortcoming of Jack Ma
One guy specifically comes to mind when thinking of someone who worked really hard but didn’t make it, Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba. There is no doubt that Jack Ma was very smart and hardworking. There is no doubt that he had the correct circumstances for his success (the proof is his success now). But could Jack Ma have succeeded earlier. Jack Ma talked a lot about his application to work at KFC when KFC first entered China. He was the only one dismissed from the 24 who applied. So why would someone who is very intelligent and hard working not be accepted to work at KFC?
Jack Ma and KFC
This is partly speculation but Jack Ma is a very ambitious man. He was probably very ambitious when he applied to his job at KFC. He was probably overqualified. He was overambitious for the job. The people probably clearly could tell that this guy is meant for something else. He is not meant for serving fried chicken. He is a brilliant hardworking man and he is meant for more.
I am not surprised that Jack Ma got rejected from KFC
I am more surprised that Jack Ma applied to KFC. I am surprised that someone with such great talent and ambition was doing the wrong thing. Jack Ma followed the two other secrets of success: he kept trying and working hard until he got lucky. But the truth is he was doing the wrong thing when he applied to this job.
The Wrong Thing
Think about the goals you set for yourself and decide if you are actually doing the right thing. If you want to become a great financial advisor, why do you spend all your time learning how to improve your public speaking. It’s probably a skill you need to improve on but is that the number one skill you should be working on. Shouldn’t you be spending your time improving your financial advisor skills. If you are looking for a new job, shouldn’t you be spending your time applying to different jobs? Why are you spending all this time taking another online Coursera class for a subject that really won’t help you at your new job.
The Decisions You Make
I see many people set high goals and work really hard to achieve their goals, but they are doing the wrong thing. If you want to get into project management, you should be spending your time focusing on doing the things that will get you to your goal. I see many people apply to MBA programs because ‘it’s going to help them in their career’. But a lot of those people don’t need an MBA degree to do their future job. You don’t need an MBA to become a people manager in most places. People seem to be doing the wrong thing. Are you one of them?
Think About Your Goals and Actions
If your goal is to be successful, no matter the definition of success to you, you need to think about what you need to get there. If you want to get fitter and healthier then you need to eat better and exercise. You can do one, but you need to do both for maximal results. That’s everything in life. If you want to improve in your professional career, you need to do the right things for your career. If you are building a startup, you need to learn everything about running a business as well as your product. If you fail to fulfill a skill, your whole business will fail, and so will your professional career.
So What’s the Right Thing?
It’s hard to list what the right thing to do for a specific goal is. But here is some advise for you to follow
- Find a mentor and ask them what skills you should be working on/what you should be improving
- Set clear goals and have them be measurable (the more concrete the better)
- Be honest with yourself. You know when you are screwing around and not applying to jobs because you are scared, etc.
- Don’t be scared. Don’t be scared to try many things and see what works
Work Hard And Work The Right Thing
You can work really hard. You can spend years learning programming, but that won’t make you a carpenter. This sounds dumb now but think about all the things you tried to do to improve your professional career that didn’t help at all. Think about the time you wasted. Learn from that. The things that worked keep working on them and tell others about them. Get mentee and share your knowledge.
The Hardest Thing About Success
Many might think that working hard and not giving up is the hardest thing about success. But it’s not. Doing the right thing is not either. But knowing what the right thing is. That’s because knowing what the right thing is not always clear and not always obvious. You might have to do a trial and error with yourself and see which of the things you are doing are really advancing your career and goals.
Your To Do List
Think about your three most important goals and be honest with yourself about what you are doing to make those goals possible. Do you really want to buy a fancy house but you are spending all your money eating out? That’s not the right thing. Do you want to become a professional business analysts so you start taking analytics courses? That’s probably the right thing. Jack Ma applying to KFC when he wants to be the most successful business man is not the right thing. He should have applied to a job that matched his ambitions.
Share your goal with The GhazStation in our comments section or send us a message. We would love to hear from you.
Take This To Your Personal Life
Follow the same thing in your personal life. If you want to build stronger relationships with your family and friends make sure you do the right thing. Make sure you show up to birthdays and congratulate people on their accomplishments. Be there for people. Making those right choices and decisions are going to improve your personal life with everyone. Also showing up is not enough. You have to engage with people. That’s doing the right thing. If you want to build a fulfilling social life make sure you engage the people and be part of their life. Just showing up to events doesn’t guarantee you a strong relationship with people. That’s the difference between doing the right thing and not.
Originally published at theghazstation.com on September 12, 2016.