This article was adapted from Scott Petinga's book, No One Ever Drowned in Sweat.
There is a long list of admirable people, ranging from corporate gurus to internet startup sensations to sports greats, that have become extremely successful in their career endeavors. Many believe that such people have some magical formula or divine gift that gives them an advantage over everyone else.
However, there are certain foundational qualities that success is built on, and all those who achieve success ultimately have them. The act of building a successful career consists of a variety of nuts and bolts actions, but it will all tumble like a house of cards if these foundational principles are not applied.
The guts to get things started
The first foundational quality one must have to achieve success is having guts. It can be extremely intimidating to start a business, and if you lack the courage to face your fears and get started then success will not materialize on any level.
Does having courage mean you have no fear? Of course not! Everyone fears something or has fear arise at some point. Men and women in whatever career field they’ve selected experience fear and must stand in the line of fire of whatever threat looms before them.
Being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. Being brave means that you control your fears instead of them controlling you. You swallow hard, take a deep breath and rush headlong into the fray of battle. That’s how victories are won, both on the battlefield and in the business world.
Obstacles will assuredly arise that seek to prevent you from taking your first step. It’s not the avoiding of obstacles but the facing and overcoming them that leads to victory. Obstacles cannot stop you if you have the courage to face and find a way around them. You most certainly can and will get past those obstacles and fears if you have the guts to forge ahead.
The art of not giving up
Mustering up the courage to take the step in a new direction is one thing, but if you don’t have the resilience to keep pressing forward through the bad times as well as the good then your journey will come to an abrupt end. Many people fail simply because they don’t stay in the game. Success comes from weathering the storm when everybody else has been swept away.
In most of the arenas of life, if you get knocked down and decide to stay down because you’re afraid, uncomfortable, intimidated or have your feelings hurt then you are not going to make any progress, much less succeed. You’ve got to pick your sore, tired and humiliated butt up off the floor and try again!
You have to keep coming back without limiting yourself to what’s immediately doable. Instead ask yourself, “What’s possible?” If you give in to the negativity of harsh and seemingly defeating experiences then you significantly limit your ability to overcome, both for that particular instance and those that follow.
Stumbling, bumbling and falling are inevitable parts of the journey. The trick is to not only get back up, but learn from those experiences and move on. You can bet your ass there’s another obstacle around the next bend and you can equally be sure that it will be different than the last. So, there’s no sense dwelling on past mistakes. Get back up, learn from the experience and move on.
You need the guts to start in order to succeed. The need to start moving before you can reach success is eloquently summed up in the quote by Michael Hyatt: “You can’t steer a parked car.” If you don’t have the guts to get moving, you won’t have the ability to reach your destination.
You need to face the fears that seek to stop you from succeeding. When obstacles arise, find ways around them instead of being paralyzed by them.
You need the staying power of resilience to realize success. You will undoubtedly face tough struggles and fights on your journey. Resilience is the staying power to keep you in the fight until the victory is won by helping you recover, learn valuable lessons, proceed with caution, and become more confident that you can make it to your goal.