4 Tips That Can Help to Set You Up for Long Term Success
There are all sorts of different reasons why people become entrepreneurs, and why they embark on the journey of creating their own businesses, and taking their professional futures into their own hands in a direct and significant sense.
One big draw is always the level of autonomy provided by the entrepreneurial life, as opposed to the life of a traditional office worker. An entrepreneur can – within reason – set their own schedule to a significant degree, work from a variety of different locations – or even become a “Digital Nomad” outright – and much more besides.
Becoming an entrepreneur also means that you remain constantly open to the possibility that you will become wealthy, or experience dramatic success, down the line. Whereas in a conventional job, you will have a much clearer idea of what the path ahead is likely to look like.
In any case, all entrepreneurs are highly motivated to do whatever they can in order to achieve success. Whether that means looking into property management in order to pursue a fortune in real estate, or whether it means trying to predict the next great paradigm shift within a given field.
Here are a few tips that can help to set you up for long term success, as opposed to the kind of “get rich quick” schemes that people sometimes fixate on.
Work on constantly expanding the range of your skills and experiences
It’s always going to be difficult – if not impossible – to know just what it’ll take in order to make you successful in the long term, either with regards to a particular incarnation of your business, or just on a personal level.
Generally speaking, the most reliable way of boosting your odds of overall long term success, is to expand the range of your skills and experiences as broadly as possible, so that you are able to do many different things, and to approach challenges from many different angles.
The book “Range,” by the writer David Epstein, makes precisely this point, and argues that in the vast majority of cases, and the vast majority of fields, it’s this kind of breadth of skill set and experience that really makes the key difference in how successful someone is likely to be.
Not only does this apply in the world of business, but the author even makes the point that Nobel prize winning scientists are significantly more likely to have a variety of hobbies in their personal lives, than other less exceptional, but still high level, scientists are.
Keep busy, and emphasize action over abstraction
Unfortunately, it is possible to think about a subject, and to “plan things out” essentially forever, without any of those plans having any tangible impact on the course of your life, or the world around you.
When all is said and done, what actually moves things forward in the world – and in both your personal and professional lives – is action.
When you take action, you affect things in the world around you, can gauge and assess the results, and can learn a lot from the process as well.
One thing that people often don’t keep in mind to an adequate degree, is the simple fact that our own thoughts mostly produce mental models of the world that are based on abstractions and theories. When we visualize how something is going to play out, we are largely relying on a mental simulation, rather than on reality itself.
It might be that your “mental simulation” of the situation leads you in the right direction, or the wrong one. But in many cases, you will simply never know how something would play out, before you take action and find yourself in the situation head-on.
Of course, it’s always essential to do your due diligence and to spend enough time in the planning stage to avoid obvious and especially grievous mistakes.
Still, though, if you want to have the best chances of future success, keep busy, and emphasize action over abstraction.
Focus on routines and habits rather than goals
Various people in recent times have advocated for focusing primarily on habits and systems, rather than goals, in order to maximize both personal well-being, and also to ensure the greatest possible chances of professional success.
There are various problems with focusing too much on goals and on goal setting.
For one thing, it puts you in a hyper-focused frame of mind that leaves out a lot of detail and information present in the world around you today, and instead has you obsessing over a potential future point in time, and feeling unfulfilled until you reach that desired state of being somewhere down the line. If you reach it.
As much as we like to think that we’re in full control of whether we achieve our goals or not, the reality is that any goal is subject to all sorts of factors that are out of our control. You never know when external circumstances – such as, for example, a global pandemic – might completely destroy or subvert your goal.
You are always in control of your habits and daily systems, however. You can always do the right thing in the here and now, based on the scenario that presents itself to you. And if you do the right thing in the here and now often enough, with a broad awareness of the direction you want to head in, you can often achieve remarkable things over time.
Develop a sense of connection to your “ideal self”
Visualization exercises are increasingly popular these days, but often with regards to things like visualizing the achievement of some particular goal or other.
What might perhaps be more useful and effective as a rule, is to visualize your “ideal self,” or in other words, to develop a sense of connection to the kind of person you want to be, based primarily on your own actions and characteristics, rather than other people’s reactions.
Do you want to be the kind of person who lives a passionate and energetic life?
Then start off down that path. If you stay on it, you may well be somewhere remarkable in the not-so-distant future.
JR Dominguez is the technology, finance and music editor for MiLLENNiAL. When he's not writing, you can find him day-trading stocks, playing video games, or composing commercial scores.