How To Be Successful – 7 Things Anyone Can Do To Be Successful

How to be successful

How To Be Successful

7 Critical Success Factors

1. Be Consistent: This may be the most important factor of success.  The willingness to consistently show up, ship your art, try again when you fail, write when no one reads, paint when no one appreciates, etc.  Example: Seth Godin consistently writes a blog post every day of the week and post it at 6:15 am eastern time.  He has done this for more than 4 years now.  At first Seth says nobody read his blog but he consistently showed up, shipped his art and now he’s operates one of the most influential blogs in the world, and has written a dozen or so best sellers.

2. Be Crazy: Don’t be afraid to live on the the edge, seek fringes, be weird, or have people think you’re off your rocker.  The middle is an overcrowded place where simply being good unfortunately is enough.  Don’t fake it though.  The idea is to be true to who you really are regardless of what the world thinks.

Average people often don’t recognize genius at first glance and defer to calling it crazy, bizarre, or weird….think Richard Wayne Penniman, AKA,  Little Richard. Who despite being considered weird for being openly gay, and wearing women’s makeup invented a new sound (R&B), gave first starts to Jimi Hendrix, Ottis Reading, James Brown, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones.

3. Be Committed to a cause greater than yourself and give your talent to it with no expectation of anything in return.  My friend world-renowned photographer David Sacks travels to Africa every year, shoots the most amazing photos of people living there, and donates them to non-profit Covenant Mercies. They then auction the framed art to help build schools, homes, and provide aids relief.

4. Be Connected to sneezers.  The more sneezers who know what you do the more likely you’ll reach your goals.

5. Be a Connector: Don’t keep your network to yourself.  Seek out opportunities to connect those in your network who are in need to those with ample supply.  My friend Shelton Mercer, @SheltonMercer, runs TwittChange and that’s their whole mission.  His non-profit organization raises money for victims of devastation by connecting his network of celebrity, and professional athletes with a worthy cause.  Follow him on Twitter and tell him Rodney sent you.

Critical Success Factors

6. Be a Change Agent: Instead of waiting for change to occur become the change you want to see in your industry, neighborhood, job, family, the world, etc. You might as well because change will happen anyway.  In fact change is the new normal, and with change always comes some level of chaos. That’s why most people seek stable environments, they avoid change at all cost, they fear change.

Learn to embrace and adapt to change quicker than your competition, co-workers, etc.  In fact be courageous and seek out industries, environments, projects, etc, where change is happening rapidly because where change occurs there is always a new challenge in need of a new solution.

Successful change agents…Princess Diana, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, The Dalai Lama.  Believe it or not Russell Simons is moving in this direction check out his book Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All (it’s not at all what you would expect nor what it sounds like on the surface) and follow him on Twitter and you’ll see.  He admits he’s no Gandhi but he has changed and he trying to be the change he wants to see in the world and that’s the whole point.

7. Be Complicated: Steve Jobs was a barefoot walking, bathing his feet in toilets, Bob Dylan listening, yelling at people, crying (actual tears) in meetings, LSD taking, over emotional, impossible to get along with, say what ever was on his mind regardless of how much it hurt others, hippy, who loved art.  He made a dent in the universe by packaging all of that complicated stuff into everything he shipped.  Thanks Steve!

What other factors can you think of to help people be successful?  Share them in the comment section.


If Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

My friend Edward Gay taught me this poem when we were college students.  It’s been with me since then and has motivated me through many tough times.  I believe it has a place here for my readers because as marketers, entrepreneurs, etc, we dream, take risk, we experience triumphs and disasters.  ‘If ‘by Rudyard Kipling offers insight, hope, and encouragement for those in need. I hope you enjoy it.

Rudyard KiplingIf you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

by Rudyard Kipling

Did you enjoy this poem? How does this speak to you?  Share with the world in the comment section.

How To Fail Your Way To Success

How To Fail Your Way To Success

Fail Your Way To Success: Why most people don’t

The number one reason people don’t succeed is simply because they fail to start (whatever it is). They become paralyzed by the fear of failing.  To be able to fail your way to success you first have to embrace failure as your best friend.  Realize it’s there to help you.  

Within Each Failure Lie The Seeds To Your Success

Have you ever watched a toddler learning to walk.  Take a step, fall, get up, another step or two, fall, get up, and the pattern repeats until one day the child is walking (and of course walking leads to running).  But there would be no walking, nor running without the falling.  Failure is how we learn, so you see it’s quite possible to fail your way to success.  

Fail Your Way To Success
If you can fail your way to success like these folks did you’ll be in good company.

4 Keys to Fail Your Way To Success

1.  Fail Early

One of the most important keys to fail your way to success is to start trying early in life, your career, etc.  The sooner you start attempting success the sooner you’ll likely find it.  It’s also important to leave yourself enough time in life to enjoy your success.  Robert Kiyosaki says that it took him 3 attempts at business before failing his way to success with with the Rich Dad series.  But because he started early in life when success came in his 30’s he was left with plenty of time to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

2.  View Failure The Way Thomas Edison Did

Edison failed at the light bulb 10,000 times. When asked about is 9,999 failures he replied ‘I have not failed. I have just found 9,999 ways that do not work’.  Learn to view your failures as a stepping stone instead of an end in your path, and you will developed the correct mindset to fail your way to success.

3.  Fail Fast

Keep the time between failure and the next try short.  The faster you fail the sooner you’ll have success.  Only 1 out of 10 small business succeed, so be willing to start 10 with as little gap in between as possible.  It may not take 10 starts, perhaps you succeed on try #2, or #3.

4.  Fail Forward

Don’t make the same mistake twice.

Fail your way to success – Examples of famous people who did

  1. Michael Jordan failed to make his high school basketball team on his first try, has lost more than 300 games (more than most NBA players have actually played), missed 26 game winning shots, missed more than 9,000 foul shouts.
  2. Starbucks got their business model wrong the first time.  The original focus was on selling coffee beans to customers and teaching them how to grind the beans and make freshly brewed coffee at home. It wasn’t until the early 1980’s when Howard Shultz entered the picture that Starbucks began focusing not on selling coffee beans, but on making coffee, tea, and espresso drinks for customers inside the store.
  3. Oprah Winfrey endured an abusive childhood, and was fired from her first television job because…she was unfit for TV (somebody is eating their words).
  4. As a child Paul Orfalea thought to be dim witted, and placed in a special needs class…he later revolutionized the copy industry when he founded Kinkos.
  5. John Mackey and Rene Lawson Hardy were forced to live in their store because they could not afford rent in the early days before founding WholeFoods.
  6. Expelled from school, considered “mentally slow” by his teachers, and “sub-normal” by his own parents, and a laughing stock by many of his peers until he published the “The Theory of Special Relativity” – he’s Albert Einstein.
  7. Considered weird Prince was booed off stages during his early years.  His true musical genius recognized by only a small tribe until 1999 hit record stores (remember those?).
  8. Considered unfit to lead, and rude in 1985 Steve Jobs was booted out of the company he co-founded.  In 1996 he returned, in 1998 introduced the iMac and transformed Apple into the most successful technology company to date.
Remember it’s not about the battle, it’s about winning the war.  If you persist you’ll fail your way to success and be remembered for your successes not your failures.  So pick your head up and keep moving, if you’re failing you’re in good company.
Something to make you go…hmm! “Failure is an event, not a person.” – Zig Ziglar (Thanks Zig)

How to get the results you want

marketing speaker rodney goldston results

I was getting dressed the other day and putting on my belt noticed that I was on the last hole of my size 36 belt.  I had just had this belt on yesterday.  How could my belt have gotten smaller overnight?

The fact of the matter is my belt didn’t shrink, my waist simply got wider (and not overnight).  It’s been happening over a peroid of time.  But what would happen if I continued to look for answers to this problem outside of myself.  It’s easy to see I’d never solve the real problem.

People make the same mistake in business.  When they don’t get the results they want they blame factors outside themselves.  It’s the company, the customer, the boss, the economy, the spouse, etc.  Not that these and other things can’t create hurdles but that’s all they are, things that you must get over to get what you want.

How to get the results you want

We are the sum total of our behavior.  If you are not getting the results you want, waist size, weight, leads, sales, followers, etc. then change your activity.

The right activity drives the desired results.  What would happen if you….

  • blogged every day
  • walked/ran every day
  • double your giving
  • spent 1/2 hour on social media everyday
  • ate with your family
  • watched less TV
  • stopped eating fast food
  • did something nice for someone without any expectation for anything in return
  • asked someone to mentor you
  • asked someone if you could mentor them
  • or ______________ (you fill in the blank)

This is just a short list off the top of my head but there are lots of behaviors we can change to drive the results we want.  We just have to stop looking for the answers outside of ourselves.

But this is human nature, to blame our issues on anything/anyone but ourselves.  Humans are notorious finger pointers.  The problem with this is that when you don’t properly diagnose an issue it’s likely you won’t come up with the correct solution.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

Just be sure to take the additional step of turning thinking to action/activity.

Finally be thankful for your problems…If you woke up this morning without any problems you woke up without a business to run, job to do, relationship to work on, etc.

Now, I’m off to the gym to see if I can get my belt to stop shrinking.


How to eat an elephant

There’s an old African proverb which goes ‘How to eat an elephant, one bite at a time’. But this of course is not actually about eating elephants.

  • It’s about the difference in viewing a project, what ever it may be, as one giant insurmountable object versus manageable individual steps (or bites).
  • It’s about the difference between being consumed with the prospect of failing and actually getting started on something.
  • It’s about the difference between brainstroming and actual bootstrapping.  The brainstormer has lots of ideas but starts none the bootstrapper has an idea and gets started on it.
  • It’s about taking joy in the journey versus arriving at the destination.

The key to succeeding at anything is simply to start.  If you’re unwilling to start you’ve got no shot.  Take the first small step.  I does not matter if the step turns out to be in the wrong direction, you’ll correct as you go along.  Just take a step.

You can always be 100% certain of the results you’ll get for the things you don’t try

  • A runner who does not enter a race has no chance of winning.
  • Someone with something to tell the world who won’t start a blog limits her chance of being heard.
  • An author can’t finish a book until they write the first word.

Gandhi said “A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step”.

Here’s a great way to teach this principal to children, or adults like me who are child like – learn the lyrics to the Jules Bass song ‘Put One Foot In Front Of The Other‘.

What journey have you been putting off that you can take the first small step towards today?