Being successful generally does not just happen, it requires taking action. As with many things in life, being focused can greatly increase your odds of achieving an important goal, or goals.

Success is no different. If you want to be successful there are actions you can take to help improve your odds. Here are seven secrets of success you can focus on to greatly increase your chances of being successful.

  1. Get serious: Being successful is not about taking it easy, it’s about getting serious and being committed to task. You should also be serious about seeking excellence. While focus and getting serious means you should not have to work every hour of every day, you do need to be serious about taking action every day in pursuit of your goals.
  2. Training: Archilochos, the Greek soldier and poet once said, “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training.” We can imagine all the success at an activity we want, but at the end of the day, we will execute only as well as we have trained. What skills do you need to tune and practice? It’s essential you train hard and your train often, if you want to achieve success. It’s also wise to use a coach that can provide feedback and help you achieve peak performance.
  3. Surround yourself with the right people: Success demands hard work, determination and the right support. You can only be as good as your team. You can have the best quarterback in the NFL, but if the rest of the team sucks, your team is not going to the Super Bowl. In another example closer to home, take a look at the “tiki bar” at the Snook Inn. When it’s busy during happy hour, lunch or dinner, the bartenders work really hard. More importantly, if you watch them closely, you can see they work as a team. They could never keep up with demand during these peak hours if they did not support each other. You want to surround yourself with competent, positive team members, who also are willing to give 110 percent toward being successful.
  4. Physical health: Your physical health is extremely helpful for business success. If you are working long hours, or a road warrior, being in good health allows you to keep going in the face of adversity and long days. Physical health also improves energy, speed and charisma. All of which are useful in achieving success.
  5. Be self-aware: This may be the most challenging of the seven for most of us. It’s not only important to understand others, we must be self-aware of our own behavior. This can be critical in assuring we bond with customers, partners and suppliers, as well as those that may be able to help us through the day. Smile when speaking on the phone, treat others with respect, and learn to listen. Practicing these skills will allow others to be more empathetic when you need help and support. Life is too short not to spread the good cheer.
  6. Take positive action every day in pursuit of your goals: Be proactive in reaching your goals. As an adult no one else can best do this other than you. Accept responsibility for the outcome you achieve and you will find that you will achieve more. If you lose a sale, instead of blaming someone or something else, look in the mirror and say, “What can I do better.” Ask yourself how you can work harder, learn new skills or help your team.
  7. Work harder than the rest: When you are in charge, there is no try, there is only do, or no do. By giving 110 percent you will find that over time your results are much greater than average, because most won’t give 110 percent. It takes time, preparation and commitment to task to be successful.

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Andy Singer is the president of Singer Executive Development, a professional training and development company that helps optimize business performance of employees and executives. They work with companies of all sizes optimizing performance and key skill sets in areas such as sales, marketing and operations. Singer is also on the board of directors for several organizations.

by Andy Singer