I’m convinced that in the universe, all totaled, there are about a billion books on how to be successful. Some are valid; some are not. There is no doubt however, that everyone has an opinion on what it takes to be successful, and their opinion usually is connected to a new “breakthrough” now available in an app that they’ve designed or a book that explains their latest success discovery.

I’ll throw my x-large hat in the ring to say that my opinion is that achieving success can be boiled down to this…It’s not that hard. Really it might be that we’re just making it hard by believing what certain “expert opinion leaders” tell us while they’re leading us to their merchandise table.

It has been my observation that while the world has us trying all kinds of success techniques and apps, that we’ve forgotten about mastering the basics of success first. I’ve been lucky enough to sit at the feet of some of the giants of personal and professional development, and the consensus is that you cannot do anything fancy until you master the basics. Unless you have a solid foundation a house, a skyscraper or your career will simply fall over. You must have that rock-solid base to build from.

Here are just six of the foundational building blocks that are imperative to master.

  1. Listening: Become a world class listener. Listening is the lost art in world business. Master listening and you soon become known as someone who cares enough to listen. The key is to listen more than you talk. If you do, your prospect/client will always tell you how to sell them!
  2. Respect your past. Never abandon the knowledge that you have acquired in past lives. Draw confidence from what you already know about business and life. People will sometimes fail because they’ve never done a particular job or task before. Yet they have years upon years’ experience at very high levels of business learning, management, sales, marketing, negotiating, communication, leadership and so on. All traits that have given a person knowledge that can be applied for a lifetime.
  3. Set clear goals. Set goals and write them down. Understand what you want in life and where you’re going. Long term clarity on your future drastically improves your short-term decision making. With clear and precise goals, you can then focus all you do on a daily basis on achieving your long-term vision.
  4. Work Ethic. There comes a time where you can plan too much. Sometimes you just need to get out there, take a deep breath and step out in faith and just go to work. Ask yourself if your really busy or you’re really productive. Most people go through their day simply being busy and not getting anything of substance completed. The greatest killer of dreams in this world is the distractions that we allow into our lives. When you’re at work, work. Shut all distractions off and focus on your prime tasks at hand. If you do this one simple thing, you can double your productivity in 24 hours.
  5. Continuous Learning. You should make it a lifelong discipline to be a lifelong learner. I have made it a habit to read every night. I read to learn. I read to relax. I read to improve myself. I read to get better at my profession. You should never stop learning. Do not become the person who was in a business 1 year, thirty times. Meaning that they were around for thirty years but went to one seminar and then stopped learning.
  6. Priority and Time management: The #1 skill that I have ever learned and mastered, without a doubt is that of time and task prioritization. In today’s fast paced digital world, the leaders of today and the future understand a powerful principle. The principle is that they don’t have to do everything that they can do, but they have mastered the concept of doing only the most important things, the tasks that carry the highest consequences if not done.

Your success platform simply isn’t built by putting the roof on first. You must first build the most solid foundation possible. You must work on it and master it. Then and only then will your success, now and in the future be able to survive and thrive for the long run.

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