Success in Business & The Golden Ring: Define It; Get It; Use It; Share It; Lose It; Wish You Never Had It…

Success in business. “Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success”. ~Dale Carnegie

A Google search on the word ‘success’ brings up nearly 100 million results… That says people are interested in ‘success’…  and, in having more of it. Regardless of what ‘success in business’ means to you, it’s within your reach and a lot closer than you might think. How do you reach success? The quest for success and the search for the ‘golden ring’ have given us many ‘formulations for success’, and we will discuss a few of them.

There is a theory that Murray Raphel, business expert, has about business success: If business is good, it’s not because of the weather, the time of year or the economy. It’s because of  ‘you’. You are doing something right. If business is bad, it’s not because of the weather, the time of the year or the economy. It’s because of ‘you’. You are doing something wrong.  Today’s world is no longer satisfied with simply success–we want to know how the successful get to the top.

The Russians developed a concept called ‘anthropomaximology’ in which they try to answer the question of why some individuals outperform others. Through the years I’ve done some ‘anthropomaximology’ of my own and found there are certain qualities that describe successful business people. Here are a few:

  • Constantly set higher goals; successful business people are mountain climbers who, having climbed one peak, look beyond to the next highest.
  • Avoid ‘comfort zones’. To a successful person, standing still feels like going backwards. People who stay in their ‘comfort zones’ do what they did before ‘it’s the way we’ve always done it’
  • Driven by accomplishments, not money. Successful people follow the theory of Apple Computer’s founder Steve Jobs, who said, ‘The journey is the reward.’
  • Solve problems rather than place blame. Successful business people do not waste their time looking at problems and saying, ‘It’s not our fault’ or ‘Why didn’t we …’ They say, ‘Let’s look at what went wrong and realize it was a learning experience and figure out how we can make it work next time.’
  • Look at the worst possible scenario. ‘What’s the worst possible result if we follow this plan?’ They understand the most harmful result and then decide if they can live with the outcome.
  • Rehearse the future as they see it. Successful people move towards the pictures they create in their ‘mind’s eye’. They rehearse coming actions or events as they ‘see’ them.

In an article by Johnny B. Truant writes: “Folks, I don’t have a formula for success, and there is no magic formula that will work every time. I’ll be blunt: If you believe you can be assured of success by buying some ‘guru’s product or consulting, or any one thing, you’re in for a rude awakening.”  The internet is filled with promises of: “Do what I do and say (and pay my price) and you’re guaranteed riches.” But it’s a lie. It’s all a big lie. “There is one — and only one — true formula for success that actually works. Get your pen ready, because here it comes: The one and only one true formula for success”:

  • Step 1: Try– something.
  • Step 2: Repeat Step 1— until the desired result is achieved.

In the article “Formula for Success” by Tolani Brendan Moseu writes: There are some principles of success that will always produce the same result when adhered to. My ‘formula for success’ is as follows: Formula for success = ‘your human capital (what you know)’ + ‘your social capital (who you know)’ + ‘your reputation (who trusts you)’.  This formula is summarized as follows: Business Success = ‘Applied Knowledge’ + ‘Relationships’ + ‘Trust’.

In an article “Einstein’s Formula for Success” by Pastor Tim Henry writes: The other day I printed out a paper called ‘Einstein’s Formula for Success’ by Ron White for my 11 year old son. Einstein has always been kind of a hero for him. People pick different heroes. My son picked Einstein.  And as a result, I have been able to teach him a number of valuable lessons about life by relating (Einstein humor here!) his life and theories to everyday situations.

This morning I found this quote about ‘not trying to be a success’… by Albert Einstein:  “Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value”. Einstein had a formula for most everything and this was his formula for ‘success’.  The formula goes like this:  If ‘A’ equal success, then the formula is: A=X+Y+Z. where; X is ‘work’, Y is ‘play’, Z is ‘keep your mouth shut’.  I know. It’s algebra. We’ll get through it. To get success, Einstein said that you measure each of the three elements…’work’,  ‘play’, ‘keep your mouth shut’, then you combine them in such a way to produce ‘success’.

Therefore; ‘A (Success)’ = 99% ‘Work (X)’ + 1%‘Play (Y)’ + 0% ‘Keep-your-mouth-shut (Z)’.  See, we’ve done it!  Does this mean ‘success’ for you: ‘Working 99% of the time…?  Playing 1% of the time…? Never shutting up? Although Einstein gave us this formula, he didn’t tell us what particular ‘mix’ was right for each of us. 

In an article The  4+2 Formula For Success by Tahl Raz writes: Why do some succeed while others fail? Nitin Nohria, Professor Harvard Business School, recently concluded an exhaustive study of 160 companies in 40 different industries over two five-year periods in an attempt to answer the most basic question in business: Why do some companies flourish/succeed while others fail?

The answer he found, is as ‘simple as 4+2’. Nohria and co-authors William Joyce and Bruce Roberson argue in the book ‘What Really Works: The 4+2 Formula for Sustained Business Success’, that success requires managers to implement four primary fundamental business practices; strategy, execution, culture, organization; and two of four secondary one; talent, leadership, innovation, mergers & partnerships. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what macroeconomic circumstances you face: Successful companies, Nohria says, invariably are those that employ ‘the 4+2 formula’.

In an articleSuccess Formula’ by Coach John G. Agno, he writes: Over the years, I have discovered success is powered by three things: know-how, reputation, network of contacts. That’s it. That’s the secret. Formula for success = ‘your human capital (what you know)’ + ‘your social capital (who you know)’ + ‘your reputation (who trusts you)’.

In an articleFormula for Success’ by Brian Tracy writes: You have to put in many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you can achieve anything worthwhile or success.  You can be successful at anything that is important to you, if you focus on the little things that matter. The steps of the many little things are:

  • Step 1. Select an Issue: One of the most important things in your life in which you have a burning desire to be successful. 
  • Step 2. Identify the Little Things: List as many little things as you can think of that play a role in helping you achieve your desired results.
  • Step 3. Get Started: Organize and prioritize your list of these little things. 
  • Step 4. Give Your Best: Strive for excellence as you begin to focus on each item on your list. 
  • Step 5. Expand Your List: Continue to look for little things you can add to your list.

Accordingly to Andrew Carnegie to have business success; ‘aim high’ and believe that ‘your place is at the top’. ‘Then vow that you will reach that high position with an untarnished reputation; honest, truthful, fair-dealing and free from pernicious or equivocal associations…’ This is great, but the key question is: How does the person rise from a lower position to the position for which they aspire?

Carnegie says he has the secret, and it lies mainly in this: Instead of the question, ‘What must I do for my employer?’ substitute ‘What can I do?’ Carnegie says that faithful and conscientious discharge of the duties assigned you is all very well, but the verdict in such cases generally is that you perform your present duties so well that you had better continue performing them; now, this will not do.

He goes on to say; there must be something beyond this. The rising person must do something exceptional, and beyond the range of their regular dutiesThey must attract attention with extraordinary performance… for as Emerson says, “no one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourself.”

“What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do” ~John Ruskin

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually fear that you will make one.” ~Elbert Hubbard