1. Develop a strong work ethic.
In terms of building a successful career, work ethic trumps everything. What that means is doing your job and getting it done come hell or high water. It means striving to be better than anyone. It means working your a** off, meeting your commitments and making your boss, customers, or whoever deliriously happy.
2. Focus on doing only what matters.
Remember what I just said about work ethic? If you want to look at it in a broad sense, you need to figure out what matters most in life and focus on doing just that. If you prioritize and are disciplined about it, you can forget personal productivity, daily habits and all that other nonsense. None of it matters.
3. Don’t be a lazy slacker.
Quit screwing around and get to work. More importantly, quit screwing around and calling it work. What I mean by that is this: Everything you think will advance your prospects – building your personal brand, social networking, seminars and coaching sessions – it’s all just a waste of time.
4. Quit searching for answers.
There are none. Actually, let me rephrase that. There are no answers that don’t come from one of three places: Education, experience and introspection. They are the source of all learning. When I say education, I mean real education. School. Experience means working in the real world. And introspection means sitting quietly and listening to yourself.
5. Make smart and smarter decisions.
Smart people with good instincts and lots of experience take smart risks and make good choices. That, hands down, is the most important factor in determining how things turn out for you. Workers are paid to work. Managers are paid to manager. Top executives are paid to make smart decisions that end up making customers happy and making investors lots of money.
6. Accept that nothing you have to say matters to anyone.
There is no reason for the vast majority of you to be generating content. None. After you’ve become successful in the real world, then your experience, knowledge, insights, and opinions will matter. Until then, quit wasting your time and everyone else’s. The sooner you accomplish great things in the working world, the sooner you’ll have something to say that matters.
7. Build real relationships with real people.
Sure, social networks make it easier to connect with people, but every business and career opportunity that will ever come your way will usually come from a real person. Every single one. People will not lift a finger to help you until there is a real, human connection. One real relationship in the real world is worth 1,000 friends and followers in the virtual world.