Recently I had the unique opportunity to speak with a group of new college graduates, offering advice on an array of career minded topics. These discussions prompted a great deal of reflection as I carefully contemplated their questions and what it takes to be successful in today’s fast paced and constantly evolving world.
Interestingly, I am convinced now more than ever that there are no secrets to achieving success. Some individuals are simply willing to work harder and smarter than others. With this in mind, here are the five (5) recommendations I made to this next generation of business professionals:
A People Business
Despite all the different ways there are to communicate today, you are still interacting with people. Invariably, you will find that clients have different needs but you must be able to listen and react accordingly. Great companies and their people understand this. Smart phones and tablets certainly help us communicate but they will never replace a personal relationship.
If you are only working 40 hours a week, you are probably not committed to being a top performer. The harder you work, the more luck you will have. There are no shortcuts.
It is not enough to work hard and be nice. You have to be an expert. Dedicate yourself to being a continual student of the game. The business landscape is constantly evolving, your knowledge and skillset must as well.
Closely examine the quality of your relationships both personally and professionally. They will provide great insight into the direction you are heading. If they are not honest, productive, encouraging growth and bringing out the best in you, it might be time to reconsider the role they play.
Never allow a client to dictate your ethics. Let your reputation reflect anuncompromising commitment to honor, integrity and the highest principles. It will pay off in the long run.
The very best in any industry understand what it takes to be successful and they don’t deviate from their plan. They have a different outlook and it is apparent in everything they do. It is in their thoughts, style, and attitude towards life and business. In essence, the model is readily available for anyone to follow.
A final note, sales can be challenging but the rewards are extraordinary. Whether new to the business or a longstanding veteran, if you are going through a tough period, don’t lose sight of the fact that success is frequently preceded by failure. Disappointments are inevitable. How we respond to them is something entirely different.