The Guarantee to Success
They never teach you how to run a business in law school. You graduate knowing how to practice law, but you have no idea how to run a practice. This is a problem a lot of professions deal with. Recently, I ate lunch with a chiropractor who I sometimes send referrals to. During the meal, our conversation turned to the challenges of running a business. At one point, he quoted an old saying, “There’s no guarantee to success.”
I’ve heard this quote before and, personally, I think it’s total nonsense. When people say this, they mean there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for success. Obviously, what works for a lawyer may not work for a chiropractor, but no matter what industry you’re in, if you want to be successful, you need to be willing to keep moving in the right direction. What I mean is this: You can’t sit around waiting or rest on your last victory. If you want it, and you’re hungry for it, then you’re willing to make all the decisions that will move you in the right direction.
I’ve talked to a lot of successful people, and one thing they all share — regardless of their industry — is an ability to make decisions quickly. When there’s a choice to be made, these people look at the options and choose a path without wasting a lot of time. And once they’ve made a choice, successful people tend to be very slow to change their minds.
Stop Being Afraid of Bad Decisions
This is completely opposite of the kind of people who never seem to accumulate much success in their lives. These people make decisions very slowly, then change their mind several times before acting. As a result, they never stick to anything and never take action. We all know these people. They’ll talk about painting their office blue, then a week later see a different color they like more, only to waffle back and forth. Then six months have passed, and the office still isn’t painted!
Decision-making is a big part of success. This applies to business, as well as to your personal life. Whatever you want to achieve, you need to make a decision and commit to it, even if that decision is to read a book or take a class. Keep making decisions that will drive you forward.
I once heard someone say that life is designed to be successful. Everything in the universe is designed in such a way that it can thrive with just a little effort. Take a seed, for example. A seed could fall onto a concrete sidewalk, but as soon as it finds a crack with just a little dirt, it will start growing. There are seeds that fall onto desert cliff sides, and they can still turn into thriving trees. Life is built for success, you just have to keep making the right decisions that propel you forward.
The thing that trips many people up is the fear of making the “wrong” decision, but it’s like I said last month: As long as you learn something, there are no bad decisions. When I was young, I decided I didn’t want to spend my life working 60 hours a week like my parents had to. After that one decision, every time I came to an opportunity that would push me forward toward my goal, I took it. Not every decision was right, and some of them knocked me down, but I didn’t complain. I learned something and I kept moving forward, closer and closer to success.
No, success isn’t guaranteed, but being successful is a lot easier than most people think it is, provided you’re willing to put in the work and make decisions.
–Ramiro Rodriguez, Jr.