“What’s your ‘quick road map’ for success?” I was asked this question recently when meeting someone for the first time. He was interested in becoming a speaker and hoping to learn shortcuts from someone with experience.
Have you noticed that success always looks easier from the outside peering in? The truth is, however, that whether you’re observing successful businesses, marriages, parenting or health: The common strand that weaves them together is that it was much harder to achieve–and maintain–than it appears.
Here’s is a list of “shortcuts” I took to become a successful speaker and author:
1. Spend five months in a hospital.
2. Endure 18 months of therapy and 36 months of recovery.
3. Advance through 16 years of school. Then, start three businesses in 10 years.
4. Invest in career coaches and commit to being a lifelong learner.
5. Deliver your first speech to Girl Scouts followed by two years of speaking in church basements.
6. Write two dozen book proposals; receive rejection letters for each.
7. Write newsletters weekly (even when only a few friends receive them at first).
8. Contribute on social media (even when your network is small).
9. Host a show on a small AM channel for a year that has three listeners (two are your parents and the third is a lady who writes in that she doesn’t like you.)
10. Faithfully remain focused on why you started in the first place, and what drives you so that you remain hungry and humble going forward.
I share this list–these challenges–not to scare you, but to encourage you to find something you are so passionate about doing (personally or professionally) that no roadblock will stop you from success.
Frequently we want the quick fix. Great abs in four minutes, perfect health in three pills, success in two payments. But real success never comes easy. I learned this lesson on my recent Live Inspired Podcast episode with self-discipline expert Rory Vaden (check it out here). Equally as important is the lesson I learned from my guest Michaela Haas: We ALL will experience not only challenges but trauma–extreme challenges that “pull the rug out from under us” during our lifetime. And we are capable of becoming stronger because of these challenges (check out Michaela’s insights on post-traumatic growth here.)
Skip the quick fix. Choose a path that sets you up for long-term success.
Today is our day. Live Inspired.