Glassagh Consulting ideas to drive your business forward
Glassagh Consulting ideas to drive your business forward

Success is an Iceberg - Don't envy it but learn from it

Do you ever look at someone and think wow they are lucky? Perhaps they have succeeded in life or business or achieved something you have always wanted to do. I’d urge you to avoid that emotion and instead concentrate on finding out why they are successful achievers.


To paraphrase a quote I came across, I firmly believe, ‘shallow people believe in luck and strong people believe in cause and effect’.


Many people still believe in luck in business, as they have seen others succeed when an opportunity has come along, but is it luck or design?  The perception of luck usually comes from others when they see someone else succeed.


While some may look on enviously, the person or business that has succeeded, would not normally put it down to luck. They would usually attribute this to being prepared to take advantage of an opportunity when it came along.


Success does not happen overnight, it is the result of years of hard work, drive and determination.


In business, opportunities and success comes to those who are ready and failure to those who are unprepared for what the future can bring.


As the picture below shows success really is an iceberg, while there can be a perception of luck, in reality so many factors help you succeed in life and business.

 1.      Love what you do

A key element of the DNA of successful people is that they are passionate about what they do. They strive to fulfil their goals and make their vision a reality. Those that hate what they do and describe their working life as ‘a grind’, are rarely successful. I’d urge you all to be passionate about what you do and in fact go so far as to love what you do and see the results.


Alternatively, if on reflection you can’t do this it might be time to reconsider what you do!


 2.      Don’t be afraid of failure

Most successful people have failed in the past even President Donald Trump has been declared bankrupt! In 1991, unable to pay a $3.5 billion loan, he declared business bankruptcy. He also came close to filing personal ruin. At the time, his personal debt was estimated to be around $900 million.


Failure is part of life, the secret is not to repeat it too often. What we learn from it defines our future success. Do not be afraid of failure but plan to avoid it and if it sadly occurs learn all you can from it and ensure you don’t repeat your mistakes.


3.      Be persistent

Have a plan of action and carry it out. Define what you want and how you can make it happen. Top achievers are those that set goals, write them down and remain focussed on what they must do to achieve their vision.


4.      Be prepared to sacrifice

Success does not come cheaply and certain things in your life may have to be sacrificed to complete your goals. It is wise to sit down with friends and family and share your vision for the future and agree on what can and can’t be sacrificed in your pursuit of success. Then with them on board achieving your dreams becomes a lot less stressful.


5.      Take it on the chin and move on

Disappointments happen, it’s how we react to them that is important. Do we abandon our goals or do we stick to the plan and carry on regardless? How we as individuals manage the inevitable pitfalls along the path is what will define our future. Self-reliance is fundamentally important so always shoulder responsibility for your own destiny and stay positive it’s much more fun in the long run than being miserable. That is the difference between success and failure.


6.     Dedicate yourself to achieving your goals

Create the time to define goals for your future and make sure you devote the energy to make them happen. Goals are the engine that drives success forward. High achievers use their goals as their daily action plan. Goals that are not written down are just day dreams and remember, dreamers rarely achieve anything if all they do is dream.


 7.      Always act with integrity

Your personal brand is a fundamental part of your journey to success. Honesty, integrity and compassion for others should be what defines you. After all it’s nice to be nice and as the bible says for what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?


8.      Be prepared to work hard

In the 2008 book ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell, he discussed the concept that “ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness."  

His premise was that hard work dedication and natural talent are key to success no matter how lucky you may be perceived by others.

His examples included:

  • Bill Gates, who was able to start coding as a teen since he attended a progressive Seattle high school 
  • The Beatles, who played eight-hour gigs in German clubs long before they showcased on the Ed Sullivan show and tool America by storm.

Those opportunities to practice early and often — along with natural talent — allowed them to be successful.


Now you may not be a Gates or a Lennon, but if you have a goal and a vision, then work at it. There is rarely if ever an overnight success.


 9.      Self Confidence

 Life can be lonely, make sure you have at least one best friend even if it’s yourself. Never make excuses for your failures or the obstacles you may face. If you have trust in your ability to achieve your dreams than you are on the road to success. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself then why should anyone else?


10.      Be a connector and sell your vision  

 We are social animals, we are drawn to those who share our ideals are focused, and who are supportive. Successful people not only like to work with positive people but also like to socialise with those who create energy and positivity. Make sure you have a support network in place and sell your vision to them so they can be allies and help you succeed.


The next time you meet someone successful don’t think how lucky they are, or wish you could have their life, instead, ask them how they achieved their goals.  

Look below the iceberg to see what you can learn from them and how you can make your vision a reality.

Have a look at my website for a video on how to create your business vision

John Joe McGinley Glassagh Consulting February 2017


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