5 Life-Changing Tips for Highly Ambitious Go-Getters
As a headhunter for positions ranging from junior to chief executive level, I’ve had the privilege to speak to and meet with literally hundreds of thousands of professionals from all walks of life, at various stages of their careers. Here are the 5 life-changing tips I learned from the most successful candidates I’ve worked with in addition to my own experiences:
#1. The rule of 10.
The most challenging obstacle on the journey to success is surviving the increasing financial, emotional, and physical stressors you’ll inevitably face. Work problems, personal issues, mental state of health, all of these may combine to threaten your self-confidence, financial situation, and path forward. If you don’t quickly identify a stress mitigation strategy, you may run out of gas in the tank to keep going along your high-powered path.
As the Founder of CEO Lifestyle¬†Nelson Wang¬†once told me, when any stressful event arises, consider the rule of 10: will this matter in 10 seconds, 10 minutes, 10 hours, 10 days, 10 months, or 10 years? When you think about the lack of impact a “dire emergency” will have on your life 10 days from now, you can hopefully realize that the amount of emotional upheaval you may be feeling in that exact moment in time, won’t matter later in your life, thus reaching a rational state that helps you resolve and diffuse problems smoothly.
In other words, deploy a deescalation tool to help you compartmentalize, recuperate, and react quickly to upsetting events.
#2. Leave people behind.
Contrary to the utopian ideal of being a team player and supportive member of the herd, most people who reach career success early actually peel out of the masses to think differently and move out of social circles as one grows and develops. This process can be painful to the majority of people who hold onto their friendships and sentimentality, unable to cut the chord of negative influences.
As someone who has always left one social group for another, constantly increasing my station in life, I’ve left many groups behind, not out of malice or arrogance, but out of self-preservation and self-development. Due my rapid development from awkward and dorky teen, to lost college kid hustling to make a living, to top-billing recruitment professional, to real estate investor, and now entrepreneur, I have to be highly selective who I invest my time into and who I allow in my life to keep my environment pure, encouraging, and positive.
As much as I’d like to think everyone is wonderful and supportive, the reality is that the human species has many personality variants that include those who are jealous, negative, petty, financially irresponsible, possess bad habits that can rub off on you, and gossip-prone, negatively impacting your ability to focus on what’s important in life.
To thine own self be true. Don’t allow others to negatively influence your mindset, environment, and the direction you’re going.
#3. Increase your sense of urgency and responsibility – think about maximizing your NOW bandwidth.
One of biggest reasons why people plateau in life is that they feel like they’ve “made it”, run out of juice, and just settle. Whether that’s putting all their money in a vehicle they don’t understand (real estate primary home-buying), marrying the wrong person, or staying in a job that doesn’t challenge them nor push them to be better.
The scariest thing about these short-term shortcuts is that the after-effects of these decisions hurt you many years down the line. Your short-term privilege of choice and decision to take the easier route may end up hurting you down the line if you don’t play your cards right!
You pay for the decisions you make today. For instance, you took the easier job now that pays well, worked decently, didn’t invest too smartly, married a decent match that was good enough, but then 20 years later, you realize you worked in a job you don’t really like, you’re not happy with the person you settled with, and you don’t have enough money to live the kind of retirement you want.
Well, unfortunately, life doesn’t give you second chances! Your mess-ups today by giving into your lower self will lead to tomorrow’s problems. The solution? Don’t mess up in the first place! Be the best you can be NOW. Work hard NOW to rectify your character flaws and behaviors to insulate yourself from an undesirable future.
The power is in NOW, not later. Because later, you’ll be screwed if your NOW is not being maximized.
#4. Decrease your cost of living and your addiction to the good life when you’re young.
The life hack that took me to own 5 houses and a thriving business by 30, was my ability to control my spending throughout my 20s, a defining decade that put me at an advantage over my peers. Other than a few luxury items, everything else I chose the most cost-effective option.
Instead of living in luxury high-rises in NYC, I plowed my money into owning real estate with tenants paying off my mortgages, while I rented with roommates, decreasing my cost of living. That allowed me to quit and retire from needing to work for someone else, which in turn, allowed me to create even more wealth and freedom as the owner and operator of my own recruitment firm.
Everyday, while I’m skimming costs that don’t need to be wasted, I see so many wannabe-rich people blowing their paycheck money on alcohol, partying, lavish vacations, materialism, gym memberships, furniture, and high-cost rent. How will they ever build wealth with such a high cash burn rate? The sad reality is that they won’t.
The numbers don’t lie. If you want to become wealthy, you have to control your spending.
#5. Maximize your time alone.
Similar to #2, when you’re an ambitious go-getter, you simply can’t afford to do the things everyone else is doing, think the way everyone else thinks, and live to the same standard everyone else aspires to. Most people I encounter in my personal life don’t prioritize wealth creation thus our investment strategies, approach to life, next steps, and opportunities available to us are night and day.
Thus, you need to learn to get used to thinking on your own, relying on yourself, and building new networks of contacts or reading books to learn from other successful people. People like me, who came from humble beginnings as the babysitter’s daughter, don’t have extensive networks of wealthy entrepreneurs nor family money, so we have to seek out those answers, evaluate the advice for fit (not all advice is good!), and then proceed, according to our vision and self-belief that our plan produces rewards worth the risk factors that we can afford to take.
Go-getters are different than the masses. To be successful is to be in the minority. The majority of the human species is happy with mediocrity, average performance, and a regular, peaceful life. Whether that’s genetic or conditioned, right or wrong, it’s up to you to decide what you want from yourself to make you “happy”, whatever that means (another topic important to ponder).
If you make a commitment to success, your journey will be very different than others around you. The price you must pay for success is high as well. You’ll need to work harder and sacrifice more than your peers. At the end of the day, don’t forget the drivers that took you on this difficult path because these motivators will carry you through the moments of despair and hopelessness. Whether it’s money, status, material goods, freedom, or power, remember why you decided to take the path less traveled and go forward resolutely.
I’m always looking to network with go-getters who want to create an incredible life through a career in agency recruitment. If you enjoyed my article, get¬†in touch¬†if you’re interested to enter our sales career and work hard for a successful life.