The 3 Keys to Success

I got caught up reading another “These are the 5 things successful people do daily” types of articles today. I fall for it nearly every time. Yesterday it was “All successful Entrepreneurs share these 7 things.”

Every time I finish one of these articles or blogs I think only one thing – bullshit. It’s such complete and total nonsense, as if ALL successful people could possibly share 5 or 7 or 10 or 15 traits or habits or rituals. As if you should feel badly about yourself because you are actually not a morning person and you don’t create a list of goals and you don’t self-evaluate and ask your peers for constructive criticism and you actually haven’t read a book in a decade because you know – life and kids and work and spouse and friends and you are tired.

In my experience, this is what all successful people share – grit, tenacity, and resiliency. That’s it. It doesn’t matter if you are more focused at 5am or 11pm. It doesn’t matter if you wear jeans and flip-flops to work or a tailored suit. It doesn’t matter if you make lists and self-reflect and see your mentor and work-out and eat well and blah blah blah. Here’s what matters. How do you accept failure? What happens the day after you lost the biggest deal of your career to your competitor and you thought you had the verbal commitment? What happens when an integral member on your team quits – and you thought he/she was happy? What happens when you bomb an important meeting? Do you wallow, do you give up or do you dig in?

Successful people dig in after loss. Successful people are resilient, tenacious in the pursuit of success, and have more grit than you can imagine. That’s the common thread – and as far as I can tell, that’s the only commonality. Everyone in my office operates on different schedules, everyone dresses differently, some of us workout and others don’t, some read tons and some never do – the list goes on and on. We are wildly different and come from all sorts of different backgrounds. But we all share the three things above. We don’t stay down – we take all the failures and work harder towards success. Failure is our fuel.

I’m not telling you to stop clicking on these links – I’ll likely continued to be enticed for the rest of my days – and some valuable lessons can often be discovered by reading others thoughts on the topic. I’m suggesting that you don’t give it too much headspace – be true to yourself and whatever “it” is, stay at it until you are the best.

Mikal Harden