This article is written for the graduating class of 2014 and young professionals, with the hope of helping to guide them as they embark on the journey of fulfilling their hopes and dreams, and also to face their fears as they move towards their ultimate success. #IfIWere22
If only I knew then what I know now.
If you are going on a journey you need a road map or you will travel aimlessly. One of the most important things a young professional can do is map out your journey of success. What will I use as a map, one may ask? Your map is made by setting your goals, writing them down, and keep them in front of you at all times. It seems so easy, but believe it or not, less than 5% actually take the time to do this.
When I was 22 someone told me about this and I paid no attention to it. I thought “How can simply writing down my goals actually make me more successful? Just go and do it!” But because of the source of this advise, a man I highly respected , I did what he said and wrote my goals down. One of my goals was to start a small retail outlet to earn additional income. After writing them down I wound up tucking them away in my nightstand draw and forgot I ever did it. The year was 1985 and I was 21 years old. I remember it vividly because of the power of what happened next.
At that time I lived in Brooklyn, NY and was a NY Mets fan. As I followed the team I noticed, early in the 1986 season, a bunch of NY Mets video tapes were being produced and thought this would be a great way to make some money. In June of 1986, at a Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Networking Event, I found a wholesale video distributor that carried a variety of NY Mets video tapes, recapping the best of their games since 1969. I then looked for a location in Brooklyn where I can have an outlet to sell them. In July I contracted a small space in what was then called the Ave I Market, It was only open weekends Friday through Sunday and cost only $165 a weekend. I contracted that space and invested $500 in these video tapes. As the season progressed more and more New Yorker’s were getting excited to see the Amazing Mets and more and more of these videos were selling. The Mets went on to win the 1986 World Series and my little 10 foot by 12 foot booth in this market became the place to get Mets videos.
Shortly after the Mets won the World Series they came out with a dozen different commemorative video tapes recapping the 1986 season and that was just in time for the holiday season. Then the market announced they would open 7 days a week from November to January. The rent doubled and sales quadrupled. By the end of the holiday season, my $500 investment paid all the rent for the space and net profit was over $25,000. I continued in that small space until that market closed.
Sometime in 1987 I misplaced an important document and rummaged through drawers all over my house. To my surprise, I came across the goals I have written down in 1985 and recognized that the one goal I wanted most at that time had been fulfilled. Now mind you I didn’t even look at this in over 2 years and it had come to fruition. That’s when I realized the power of setting written goals. Since then I have written goals, accomplished them, set new ones. I keep them in front of me at all times realizing that they are my road map to success.
Recipe for Success.
Although many years have passed since then, and much success in my life has been achieved, I still am not where I want to be in life. My hope for you is the same for me, I never want to be. I always want to keep striving to be at a better place than I am.
I don’t claim to know everything about success, but I know one thing about the recipe for success.
Here it is
- 2% motivation,
- 3% inspiration,
- 10% determination.
- 85% Failure
Failure is the main ingredient to success and everything you want in life is on the other side of a person’s fear to fail. That’s why most people don’t succeed, simply because they are afraid to fail. Conquer your fear, move forward, fail forward and succeed.
Determination is the second most important part of this recipe. Your desire to succeed will drive you through your failures.
Inspiration, the 3rd most important. Be inspired by people who have achieved the success you desire. Keep these people around you. Create your inner circle of success. As the saying goes, “Hang around dogs and you’ll catch fleas”. You will become the combination of the top 5 people you spend the most time with, choose them carefully. If you can’t change the people you spend time with, than change the people you spend time with.
And finally Motivation. People may think motivation should be higher on the list. I say anyone can be motivated to do anything, but rarely do it. Most successful people will achieve their success because they were inspired to by someone they look up to, not someone they heard speak for an hour and never heard from them again. Although motivation is important in this recipe for success, it is the least important. If you are going to be motivated, get motivated by those who inspire you to accomplish great things.
The best advice I can give to you, the young professional entering today’s business world is one word, Listen. The saying goes ‘God gave you two ears and one mouth, listen twice as much as you speak.” Pay close attention to someone when they speak to you. Most everything you want to accomplish with them will be revealed to you by what they say. You will find that, rather selling them on your idea, product or service, you will be, fulfilling their needs and they will be thankful for it.
One last thing I will say to you in closing is…Never, Never Quit. #IfIWere22
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Thomas Camarda is a professional networker, expert in his field, and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers Networking training, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group.
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