Success can be elusive, but it’s not impossible to grab. After all, there are many roads to follow, and there’s no single ingredient list that will get you there without a hitch. But with that in mind, success stories still share some common traits. It pays to mind your “Ps” and “Qs”—especially your P’s, as they can serve as a road map to get you on track.
Note that you may hear many people tell you that passion is one of the former. As a motivational speaker, I obviously agree to some extent. But as an entrepreneur and realist, I also have to say that there’s more to the story: Passion alone often won’t get you further than fandom, and many in fact actually walk you unprepared into a professional meat grinder if you haven’t done your homework.
Looking to really get ahead in life and business? Here are five essential ingredients for success you’re better off following – passion and persistence inevitably being extra Ps you’ll bring to bear, but not ones it’s easy to pin a lasting strategy upon.
Purpose: It’s essential that you have a sense of purpose. You need an end goal, you need to understand that goal, and you need a mission statement that outlines how you’re going to accomplish it. Passion is a fantastic motivator, but if you don’t know how you’re going from Point A to Point B, then you’re going to get lost before you end up anywhere near your final destination.
Platforms: As you work towards your objective, build platforms that will help you further your goal. Basically, you want to set up a stage that showcases your talents via works of value. Some examples of good platforms are blogs, eBooks, or even an active Twitter account with a faithful audience. There are more examples, but the basic idea is to have a vehicle that you can build upon.
Processes: To build any kind of platform, you need to think about the methodologies and strategies you’re going to use. You need to smash ceilings to build skyscrapers, but you also need floors to stand on as you construct them. Even a three-minute TV segment needs to be assembled with a lot of care and a lot of work – ideally, the kind that’s scalable and can be replicated without driving you insane.
Programs: Don’t get overwhelmed. Break down those platforms and processes into smaller groups of tasks that you can make happen. Think about the research you need to do, how you’re going to connect with your audience, the marketing you need to have in place, and so on. What is the product you’re going to create at the end of the day? It’s important to know, but so are the everyday groups of tasks you’ll need to get a handle on to actually assemble it.
Pinions: Dissect those groups of tasks down into individual pinions—day to day steps and goals that bring you closer to achieving your desired end results. Even when your goal seems very far away, pinions work like railway ties to help keep the engine of motivation moving forward. It doesn’t matter how slowly you move, as long as you’re moving.