T Nation

How Do You Become Successful?

Gents,

Ive stumbled unto this website and found the keys to become strong via structured programs and knowledge from over seas.

However other parts of my life are still lacking therefore I’m asking for help from people on here.

I want to be successfull! I have a struggling business and I havent finished school yet at the ripe old age of 27.

I feel like i’m in a video game were I can’t get to the next leval!!!

I followed a program for weights and became successful(in the weight room).
So are there any programs for “life” that one can follow to become a success in that area as well? Websites, books you name it…

Regards,

[quote]Mustang50 wrote:
Gents,

Ive stumbled unto this website and found the keys to become strong via structured programs and knowledge from over seas.

However other parts of my life are still lacking therefore I’m asking for help from people on here.

I want to be successfull! I have a struggling business and I havent finished school yet at the ripe old age of 27.

I feel like i’m in a video game were I can’t get to the next leval!!!

I followed a program for weights and became successful(in the weight room).
So are there any programs for “life” that one can follow to become a success in that area as well? Websites, books you name it…

Regards,
[/quote]

The single most important thing almost anyone can do is this: Get rid of the TV. If you watch ZERO TV, you will be surprised at how quickly success follows. (Just don’t use your computer as a form of television!)

Very few people are willing to dispose of their televisions, though. Which is why so few people are actually successful. Most just barely get by through life.

Dump the TV and don’t surf the web. I’ll bet in 6 months you will be well on your way to being successful.

[quote]Mustang50 wrote:
Gents,

Ive stumbled unto this website and found the keys to become strong via structured programs and knowledge from over seas.

However other parts of my life are still lacking therefore I’m asking for help from people on here.

I want to be successfull! I have a struggling business and I havent finished school yet at the ripe old age of 27.

I feel like i’m in a video game were I can’t get to the next leval!!!

I followed a program for weights and became successful(in the weight room).
So are there any programs for “life” that one can follow to become a success in that area as well? Websites, books you name it…

Regards,
[/quote]

Be diligent in all things.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
The single most important thing almost anyone can do is this: Get rid of the TV. If you watch ZERO TV, you will be surprised at how quickly success follows. (Just don’t use your computer as a form of television!)

Very few people are willing to dispose of their televisions, though. Which is why so few people are actually successful. Most just barely get by through life.

Dump the TV and don’t surf the web. I’ll bet in 6 months you will be well on your way to being successful.[/quote]

damn good advice. I got rid of my tv and it helps a lot. from time to time I find myself 'surfing too much though, then I have to self-regulate the 'net. Anyway, great advice

Thanks for the reply,

I have dumped the T.V about 4 years ago instinctively; and yes, yet helped!

In regards to being diligent, I notice that I’m diligent in things that only I want and LIKE to do; nothing else. People say that I’m stubborn and hardheaded and only want to do things my way.

I will admit; if I used my efforts that I apply to weights, say, towards school I would have a PHD! So am I doing something wrong? Is my thinking incorrect?

Regards,

cobrar1994

Study how to be rich. Read books. Go to seminars, buy get rich schemes.

If you study to be a doctor, then you will most likely be a doctor, if you study to be a lawyer you will most likely be a lawyer, doesn’t it follow if you study to be rich you may be rich?

[quote]Petedacook wrote:
Study how to be rich. Read books. Go to seminars, buy get rich schemes.
[/quote]

This is completely correct. Except for the last two, of course.

Life is like a box of chocolates. Most of them taste like shit. Too much information, too much bad information. How long did it take you to find this site? Were you lucky? Did someone show you the error of your ways in doing machines and cardio and standing on bosu balls? Or did you realize that what you were doing was not giving you the results you wanted, and you dug until you found what you were looking for?

You can be lucky in wealth. There are levels of luck. Odds say you won’t just walk into wealth.

You should not take what I say as canon, though I’m wealthy relative to the amount of time I spend trying to be so, and you should not take what anyone else says as canon. What I’m going to do, because I have a tremendous amount of free time on my hands and I’m feeling like I should be helpful (rare), is give you recommendations that will set you on the most stable and proven path.

I can’t make you follow the path, but I can show you where it is, and maybe entice you to go down it by strategically placing small pieces of ham leading down the path into the distance.

My recommendations might be terrible, just like any recommendation you might be given. If you don’t take what I write with cynicism, then you’re fucked because you’re probably not going to do it with anyone else.

I’m also going to start with you as if you were a blank slate, incase anyone else chooses to read this drivel. You pick what applies to you, but you never skip a step if you haven’t completed it.

You need to start with a basic understanding of economics. I am horrible at math. Bad, awful, couldn’t divide my way out of a paper bag much less understand the geometry of the thing once I was inside of it. Math is not necessarily economics. Understanding economic principles does not involve an understanding of mathematics so much as an understanding of the processes and habits that drive economic theory.

Read Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science first.

Wealth, wealth you build as opposed to wealth you are given, is like a really fucking tall thin ladder made out of Donald Trump’s hair. It’s not sturdy, and it smells kind of weird, and it’s probably some kind of dead animal. I guess you can eat it if you’re trapped in the wilderness and waiting for rescue.

What I mean to say is that you have to start off as sturdy as possible, because the further you go up the ladder the more relevant your beginning will become. You can float cash forever, but it won’t mean you’re rich. I drive a Corvette, a neighbor drives a Arnage. Which one of us has more money? If you guessed him, you’d be wrong. There are ways to float money you don’t have.

I’ll preface it with this important message: PAY OFF DEBT NOW (unless you’re me and you hold debt on purpose but you’re not me so don’t do what I do okay)

I probably should have left that last part out because I think it weakened the message. Oh well.

Your first step, in anything, is a 1-2 pay check cushion in your checking account. It is not even a cushion. You look at it as your minimum. You make $900 a week? Your checking account minimum just became $1200. Each time you go below that I’ll hit you in the face with a brick.

Then, a savings account. Always a online bank. You can have a discussion of a monkey market account later, CDs are always shit (I’ll argue this with anyone and they’ll lose), but you need to have liquid savings. Why? Aaaa-Congratulations! Hack Wilson just ran you over in the street in his Mercedes because he thought you were an inconsequential plebian. Do you have the emergency funds to pay for hospital treatment of your broken pelvis if you’re having an issue with your insurance?

What do you want your savings to be? You’re laid off. Hack Wilson broke your pelvis. You don’t get a job for 6 months. How much would you need to live for 6 months without an income? That’s how much needs to be in your savings account.

Your third task, if you choose to accept it, is a retirement account.

And, your second (and third, and fourth…) book.

You’re going to read The Four Pillars of Investing by Bernstein, or a Random Walk Down Wallstreet by Malkiel. Whichever you choose doesn’t matter, I prefer the Four Pillars but it’s a harder book to read. You’re going to follow up either book with Common Sense on Mutual Funds by John Bogle (don’t take all of Bogle’s book at face value, but use it to readjust your thoughts on the stock market).

From there, your employer (you own a business, I’m speaking in generalized terms) will provide you with something under most conditions, and if they offer dollar matching on that account it’s imperative you max that out. It’s free money. As to what they’re investing in for you, well, you sure as hell shouldn’t be in a money market account, and that’s all I’m saying. There are too many variables for me to get deep into it.

Since I’m going to gear this a little to my experience, I don’t have an employer sponsored retirement fund. You follow the recommendations of Bernstein towards the end of his book based on allocation for the point you’re at in your life. I have a way of doing things, but I make a fair portion of my money off of this, whereas you’re creating a base for wealth.

Yeah, you’re not rich, and I probably have you putting down $15 grand already ($4,500 into a Roth IRA by April 15th, a few thousand into your employers retirement fund, a few thousand into a savings account, a couple thousand in a checking account). You’re not wealthy. You haven’t even started on the path to being wealthy. You haven’t even poured the foundation, though I just helped you to buy it.

Might as well pour it assuming you’ve reached this point, though.

You’re going to go read the fifth edition of Investing in Real Estate, you’re going to buy Property Management for Dummies, and you’re going to read (I said read, not buy) Buying a House for Dummies. If you can’t see where I’m about to go with this then you have bigger problems than wealth. Some form of cognitive impairment. Is there a fork sticking out of your forehead? Did you jump into a pool that had been drained? Are you taking Xyience products? Do you think Britney Spears is still smokin’ hot? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, speak to a neurologist immediately.

So, uh, go get 30 grand and buy a house. While continuing to contribute the maximum to your IRA and your work retirement fund. Already have a house? Buy a second one. It’s what I was going to have you do after you bought your first, anyway.

Why? Why. Why, why. Why would you buy a second house when you already own one? You’re not a real estate investor, you don’t even necessarily want to be a real estate investor. Why? Because you’re going to make money off rent for 30 years to supplement your income. And by the time you’re about to retire, you’re going to have an additional $150,000 of equity in that house and you can refinance and continue to rent it or sell it. Helpful, no?

From there? I don’t know. You sure as hell better, though. You’ve got two houses and upwards of what- 30, 40 grand in retirement accounts? Better not fuck that up, you know?

Do what you want, because you’re going to be informed by the time you get, in real life, to the point I’m pushing you to at the end of this post. Real estate investor? Enjoy getting sued. Constantly. Are you going to become a day or swing trader (good luck with that, princess)? I don’t know, and you won’t know until you find what you like. What you will find is that you’ll be retiring with over a million dollars and two houses, and that may be enough for you.

Some good advice being offered so far. TV should definitely be minimized if not cut out all together. As previously mentioned don’t make computer your new tv. Same could be said for radio. Basically when it comes to media unless it is building you up and making you a better person don’t partake.

There is always the classic success books like Think and Grow Rich and How to Win Friends and influence People. I would say the biggest factors in the attainment of success are: 1)have clearly defined goals
2)be consistent with your
actions
3)be persistent (Thomas Edison
experimented with the light bulb 10,000 times before he was successful. Colonol Sanders had tro approach over 1000 restraunts before he was able to sell his recipe for chicken.
4)Approach every situation and every minute of your day with integrity. you wont b given dollars until you look after the pennies.
5)people skills-learning how to positively impact and influence those around you is a massive part of profit
6)serve as many people as you can. its been said that the amount of money you make/or amount of satisfaction you attain id directly proportional to the amount of people you serve. ie if your business only has 30 regular clients figure out how you can serve 300, 3000, or 30,000.
7) surround yourself with people who are where you would like to be.
8)80% of your time produces 20% of your results, and 20% of your time produces 80% of your results. Find out what you are doing right and focus on those activities. Find out what drags you down and try to cut those activities out.
9)Read like crazy-the only difference between most CEO’s and their employees is the amount they read (and apply of course) many CEO’s read up to 50 books a year oe more. their employees maybe 1 or 2. formal education makes you a living, self education makes you a fortune.-don’t worry about school unless their is a specific skill set you need. You can teach yourself anything you need to know and if you can’t learn it you can hire someone to do it for you. its amazing how man billionaires in the world are high school/college drop outs
10)action,action, action, the power is always in the doing not the thinking or planning.

my fav sources for success info:

www.jimrohn.com -him and all his associates have amazing info, almost every success guru today is somewhat linked to Jim Rohn.

www.danijohnson.com- mostly geared for mlm but has amazing training programs and inspiring info that can be used in any business-go to one of her seminars if you can

www.tstn.com- success tv, Jim Rohn and hundreds of others have put together a 24hr network of shows geared toward personal and business development

www.mattfurey.com-his zero resistance living course, magnetic mind power, etc all great stuff

www.accessabundance.com-take all her courses-phenominal stuff

I have many more but these are great places to start. PM me if you want more.

Here you are confusing the source of the difference. The CEOs read more because they are smarter, and they are also CEOs because they are smarter. Both situations are correlated with the same variable.

Good to hear that some others on this board dumped the TV. I got rid of my TV about 1.5 years ago and it has been one of the best things to ever happen to me. Less advertising bombardment, less desire for junk food and expensive gadgets, less stress about my body image, more time to read and write and exercise.

All of the other tips have been excellent as well. Good posting.

[quote]hardcopy wrote:
There is always the classic success books like Think and Grow Rich and How to Win Friends and influence People.[/quote]

They are not classic success books. They provide you with zero tangible information. They are classic social conditioning books. They are classic ‘motivational’ books. The guy isn’t asking for books that are comparable to The Purpose Driven Life or Robert Kiyosaki garbage.

Wealth is application of knowledge with luck as an incalculable variable.

Yes.

[quote]2)be consistent with your actions
3)be persistent (Thomas Edison[/quote]

These are the same, and there are fallacies to this. Thomas Edison died over 70 years ago, and while I hate to break that to you the game has changed. For every person who is consistently rejected and ends up succeeding there are a thousand people who didn’t take their rejection for what it should have been seen as: a sign that their idea was shit.

Every minute? Sometimes you’ve got to jack off, man.

People skills? You’ve got them, or you don’t. If you cannot learn to smile and be funny there’s no point studying books that will essentially tell you to do those two things. If you try to apply knowledge gleamed from sources teaching you how to influence people you’ll only come off as tremendously phony to anyone in a position of power.

Too broad a generalization. Constant growth is not a positive for all companies.

The people who are where you want to be are busy. They left a message for me to inform you that they would like you to leave them alone.

Somehow I don’t think this came out correctly.

Find out what you’re doing wrong and fix it. Strengths are strengths. You can only expand on them so far. If you intend to be self-made, you must work on weaknesses as opposed to flaunting strengths.

What drags you down will eventually be your downfall if you don’t address it.

Yes, and CEOs are related to people, grew up with people or knew people that were able to put them into the position they are in. Someone who applies for the job of Chief Executive Officer has formal education, someone who starts his own business can rise to CEO. I assure you, the first is infinitely more common.

School is important insofar as networking is important. If you have your priorities straight you will make money. If you aren’t in extreme amounts of debt and you start early you will retire a millionaire. Anything beyond that is sketchy and relies on many variables.

Someone who’s too gung-ho is almost worse than someone who suffers from paralysis of analysis. Almost.

“MLM” = throw-away. Throw the fuck away. Stay the fuck away. Go the fuck away.

24 hour network for personal and business development. I’m sure it’ll be a big hit with people that will never become anything. You learn, you learn, you learn. You apply. You do not need 24 hours a day of ‘personal development’, and if you do, you’re not going to be doing well in general anyway.

Matt Furey is a jackass.

Don’t take any fucking courses. You don’t need courses, you don’t need seminars.

Actually, you might. Some people do. And if they do, they’re so far behind the curve that they are better off becoming alcoholics. These people that are running motivational seminars 24/7/365 are doing it because it supplies them with income- not because they are billionaires giving back to Joe Public.

I go to seminars for fun. I vividly remember a WizeTrade seminar (free continental breakfast at a Hilton, totally worth going. I got pens and shit too, it was awesome) I went to where the guy promoting the software was talking about all his success as a private broker and how he had a small brokerage firm in North Florida that did real well. As I was leaving he was on the phone with someone saying he’d be doing another seminar about 2 hours North of where we were tomorrow. Somehow I think his tremendous success was less than genuine.

They’re horrible places to start. You are starting nowhere. For someone who has one of his points as taking action you sure seem to be a huge fan of sitting around listening to people who failed in the business world telling you all about how to succeed in the business world.

And shut up with this TV thing, seriously. Yes, if you watch cable news all day you will be a depressive, passive aggressive little piece of shit. Television has its place in moderation with everything else. I like listening to Mike and Mike or Imus when I’m at home. I watch House, Nip/Tuck, sometimes Battlestar Galactica. I like PTI and Sportscenter. Oh no, I will be a massive failure because of this! The pro bald jew plastic surgeon drug addict future space machine lobby is really going to brainwash me.

If a television is such a distraction for you that you experience significant change in your life when you remove it from your life then it is a red flag about you, not about an inanimate object which you have the capability of turning off.

“Find out what you’re doing wrong and fix it. Strengths are strengths. You can only expand on them so far. If you intend to be self-made, you must work on weaknesses as opposed to flaunting strengths.”

Weakness betterment has obviously a steeper learning curve in comparison to strenght betterment. What I’m saying is that you should first decide whether fixing the weaknesses isn’t too time-expensive in comparison to expanding the strenghts.

Yeah, what is it with you guys and TVs? Don’t they make them with “Off” buttons anymore?

Let me think of all the successful people I know personally… Yup, they all have TVs, and generally more than one.

As for being successful, it depends on how you define “success” for yourself. Is it having a lot of money? Being happy? Doing what you love everyday? Those aren’t mutually exclusive, but I see a lot of people who concentrate on one of them (usually making a lot of money) at the expense of the others.

I don’t think there are any real secrets. It’s more like common sense advice. Apparently a lot of people have trouble applying it to their own lives.

The advice would be: Find something you love to do and figure out how you can get paid for doing it. For example, if you love being in the gym and are successful there, you could become a personal trainer or a gym owner. Doing something you hate just to get the paycheck will really make you miserable after a few years.

Seize opportunities. Don’t be afraid to take chances and try new stuff. Of course, you have to evaluate each opportunity as it presents itself, but most people, I think, like to play it safe. They don’t want to risk what they have now, so they won’t try something that could make them more successful if there’s a chance for failure. If you have a family and kids, then playing it safe can be a wise choice, but if not, don’t be afraid to take chances when something interesting presents itself.

The last thing I’d advise is to keep out of debt. This, more than anything else, seems to ruin the life of a lot of people. A lot of folks would do better to keep the TV and get rid of the credit cards. While some debts are ok, a lot of people spend more on interests than they put in savings. You’re old enough to know whether you’re able to handle credit correctly by now, but if you’ve got more outstanding debts than house and car loans, you might want to get that situation in order.

Do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it.

Repeat as necessary.

It’s that simple. People do backflips and tell everybody they know how great you are when you make good on a deal on time with no bullshit.

Word of mouth is the best advertising.

Adding to some of the good advice above.

Grow up.

Life isn’t about doing things you like, it is about doing what needs to be done. Figure out what needs to be done, whether it is enjoyable or not, and get that shit done.

I hate giving advice, it makes me look at myself through the lens of my own words…

Recipe for an unhappy life.

You think it’s the way you write here because you actually enjoy knowing that you are doing what needs to be done. If OTOH somebody isn’t fulfilled by the though of doing what is expected of him, the he/she is going to be unhappy.

If you want to become successful in life and enjoy yourself every day, make a living doing what you enjoy. For example, if you like baking, become a baker, if you like fighting, train for the UFC or something. People do best when they enjoy what they’re doing and are more successful as a result. Other than that, grit your teeth and stick to it.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Grow up.

Life isn’t about doing things you like, it is about doing what needs to be done. Figure out what needs to be done, whether it is enjoyable or not, and get that shit done.
[/quote]

Vroom, I dont necessarily think you’re entirely correct. Of course, you need to do things that need to be done. But, on the other hand, life IS about doing things you like.

One of my favorite powerful quotes from here is [quote]Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.[/quote] by Bertolt Brecht.

Whats life worth if you’re going to be miserable the whole time? Life IS about enjoying yourself. Of course, not everything about life is going to be sugar-coated (sans an insulin induced coma) and shit happens, and you have to work your ass off to do things you enjoy, but thats some incentive to work your ass off.

My neighbor, who happens to be someone who I find to be full of the most wisdom I’ve ever met, and is smarter way beyond his years. He told me “Find a job that you enjoy doing, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I think this sort of negates your advice. If he’s able to do this, then he’ll be able to do what he likes, while doing what needs to be done.

To the OP, I’m not sure what your situation is, you said you own a struggling business. Others have given you good advice on wealth and financial issues, but look at success from another standpoint. Would you consider someone who lives in a mansion, all bi his or herself, miserable at work, only to come home to an empty house and wonder what his life would be like if he were married with kids? Or would you consider someone who feels adequate, feels they’re fulfilling a purpose in life, happy, and relatively stress free more successful?

Just something to think about, that wealth doesnt always equal success.

All that being said, I hope you do find, and reach whatever goal you make in life.

[quote]Imen de Naars wrote:
Recipe for an unhappy life.
[/quote]
LOL. No, instant fulfilment and an inability to make long term plans to achieve your goals (assuming you even have any) will leave you unhappy.

[quote]
You think it’s the way you write here because you actually enjoy knowing that you are doing what needs to be done. If OTOH somebody isn’t fulfilled by the though of doing what is expected of him, the he/she is going to be unhappy.[/quote]

No, you have to invest time and effort to acquire the abilities or the resources to allow you to chase your dreams.

If you want to build video games for a living, that’s fine, but you need to learn to program a computer to do it well. If you don’t or won’t put in the effort to get an education in the field, then you are not going to get very far.

Successful people figure out the skills, capabilities and/or resources they need to accomplish their goals and then they grow up and accept responsibility for doing what it takes to acquire those items, so that they can in fact achieve their goals.

Achieving your goals, whatever those might be, would be a fair definition of success as long as those objectives bring you satisfaction (it’s not just money in a bank acountt… as that can also leave you unhappy and unfulfilled).

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
and you have to work your ass off to do things you enjoy, but thats some incentive to work your ass off. [/quote]

This sounds pretty similar to what I was saying. Figure out what needs to be done and do it (work your ass off). You can’t just do any job you want without getting the necessary skills or resources together.

[quote]
My neighbor, who happens to be someone who I find to be full of the most wisdom I’ve ever met, and is smarter way beyond his years. He told me “Find a job that you enjoy doing, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I think this sort of negates your advice. If he’s able to do this, then he’ll be able to do what he likes, while doing what needs to be done. [/quote]

The same thing again. In order to “get” that job that you enjoy doing, if it isn’t flipping burgers and McDonalds, will require skills. Perhaps a degree. Whatever. That requires getting shit you don’t like done, so that you get to do what you do want to do.

When people read your comments, they think they can just sit on their ass all day playing video games and have their dream job land in their lap. Life puts a lot of shit in your path that you have to deal with, and when you have it under control, you can start to define your own path.

Sure, some lucky people run into a situation that requires no up-front effort… and thats fine. But if you are asking about being successful, you aren’t asking about finding happiness in flipping burgers or other general unskilled tasks.