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Posted: March 14, 2013

Top 10 pillars of success

How to make 2013 your best year yet

Michael Schmidlen

I have enjoyed a healthy dose of both success and failure over the more than 30 years I have been in the business world, and success is certainly more fun – and definitely pays better. There are many different pillars of success, but these are my 10 favorites:

1. ACTION: Take focused action on a daily basis toward your dreams and goals. Establish a goals checklist, a personal “road map” so that you can track your step-by-step journey to success.

2. ATTITUDE: As Henry Ford famously said: ““If you believe you can do a thing or you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”  Your attitude will either lock or unlock the door to success. Your attitude is a choice that you make; you can choose to be positive!

3. DEDICATION: Today, everyone has to do more with less; dedication to one’s profession is no longer “optional." This is not to say that you can’t strive for “work-life” balance; but understand it’s not something that you can any longer take lightly.

Tip: Taking responsibility and caring for family should be at the top of your list.  The best way to do that is to excel at your job, profession or business.

4. FOCUS:  Avoid the trap of “shiny object syndrome," the single biggest distraction most entrepreneurs face.  Find the balance between “tunnel vision” and being all over the place in your thinking and actions. A trick that has helped me: Set a time limit for using social media and email.

5. HABITS:  Successful people have arrived at their success by establishing and maintaining the necessary habits to enable them to achieve their goals.  Here are some key habits to develop and nurture for long-term success:

a. Start off every day on the right foot.

b. Take regular breaks during the day.  “Me” time (meditation, listening to soothing music, walking, etc.) is very important to both your mental and emotional health.

c. Try to eat well. Not only does it make you feel better, but it’s better for you too.

d. Utilize technology.  Control it, or it will control you.  It’s a tool, like any other it must be properly maintained to maximize its effectiveness.

e. Maintain a flexible daily “To Do” list.  Take care of your most profitable and important tasks first.

f. Strive to balance your workload. Delegate those tasks that you struggle with and focus on the things that you excel at.

g. Understand that perfection doesn't exist.

h. Learn how to say “NO”.  Your time is a finite resource. Treat it like gold!

TIP:  Do what works best for you! I’m constantly working on these to refine them for myself.

6. HARD WORK:  The United truly is the land of opportunity.  Nowhere else have so many stories been written about “rags to riches.” No place can equal of the U.S. when it comes to honoring and rewarding hard work.

Tip: Reward yourself for achieving goals and milestones –  you’ve earned it!

7. PASSION:  Give your passion fuel and room to grow. Your passion has the need to expand, and the surest way to do that is to share it with others.

TIP: Spend more time with those who share your passion.

8. PATIENCE, PERSEVERANCE and PERSISTENCE: Long-term success requires patience and a willingness to endure the tough times knowing that you can pull through them and emerge better for the experience.

9. PLANNING: Make conscious choices and decisions instead of dwelling on what you “should” be doing.  This will enable you to reach your goals quicker and help you to ensure your path to success.

TIP: Set up a list of written goals and objectives, read them daily, keep track of what you’ve achieved and add new ones.

10. VISION, WISDOM: There’s a huge difference between vision and prognostication. Vision allows you to survey the business landscape and try to determine what direction things are headed, while prognostication typically sets you up to become ridiculed, marginalized or ruins your reputation and credibility.

TIP: I humbly suggest that you use tools, such as a Vision Board, to help keep you focused on your goals and dreams. 

Make 2013 a year to remember!

NOTE: The “10 Pillars of Success” is an excerpt from my upcoming book (working titled) Memoirs of THE Underwear Entrepreneur, which will be released later this year to coincide with the 20th anniversary of my company.

Michael Schmidlen is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully run his multi-million dollar home-based business for 20 years. Michael is working on his first book, “Memoirs of THE Underwear Entrepreneur," where he shares his many business experiences and unique stories. The book is designed to be a blueprint for other small business owners, would-be entrepreneurs and startups to beat the overwhelming odds to create a successful, thriving small business model.

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