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7 Steps To Become Successful Sooner

There are no overnight successes, but the process can still be expedited.

Timothy Sykes

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In this day and age, we tend to want things fast. From weight loss to internet speed to a response to your latest email or text, it’s all about instant gratification. This extends to the career sphere, too, where people tend to want to make money and become successful ASAP.

Truthfully, there’s no single secret hack that will make you successful overnight. However, there are certain proactive measures you can take in your career that can help you streamline your journey toward success. Try these tips to become successful faster:

1. Set concrete goals

To become successful faster, you first need a road map for your career. After all, you can’t take shortcuts if there’s no end point in mind. The definition of success is different for everybody, so it’s important to get clear on your personal goals. What do you want to achieve in your career? Be as specific as you can, because it’s only when you’ve defined concrete goals that you can create actionable steps toward them.

Big, long-term goals help you create a framework for your career. With goals in mind, you can create mini goals that act as achievable milestones. By setting the bar high, you’ll always have a source of motivation to work hard, which will help you become successful.

Related: 10 Successful SA Women Entrepreneurs’ Top Advice On Balancing Work And Family

2. Establish a routine, and stick to it

Most successful people already know this: There’s a big benefit to repetition. Routines keep you moving forward and help you to keep growing. For one thing, if you follow a routine, it’s much easier to monitor your progress over time.

For another, a routine helps you establish good habits that can advance your career fairly rapidly.

For instance, say your routine is to read publications related to your career path for an hour after dinner every night. If you set aside specific times for specific activities, after a while it will be like muscle memory. With positive routines in place, you often begin to see results quickly.

mentor

3. Find a mentor

Many highly successful people have this in common: They had a mentor. A mentor is someone who is on the same career path as you, but further along. From a place of experience, they can offer relevant information and guidance on your chosen career path.

They can also guide you through things like how to avoid potential pitfalls, and how you might approach the next steps of your career. A mentor can often facilitate networking between you and others who can help further your career as well. Having a mentor can benefit you in many ways, and can absolutely help you find success faster than if you had no guidance.

Related: Watch List: 11 Teen Entrepreneurs Who Have Launched Successful Businesses

4. Streamline your routine

What if I told you that you could simplify your life and remove roadblocks that are keeping you from becoming successful by doing less? Positive routines can help you advance in your career faster. But bad habits and time-wasting routines can have the opposite effect. So how do you streamline your routine to remove the bad habits?

First, consider all the things that take up your time that are not helping to further your career. You know, things like checking Twitter every few minutes, or browsing on Amazon while you should be working. Once you’ve identified these time sponges, work hard to either eradicate them or at least keep them in check. It takes discipline to remove distractions, but you’ll be able to focus more, which will get you where you want to go career-wise a whole lot faster.

5. Learn how to say no

Writer Herbert Bayard Swope mused, “I can’t give you a surefire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: Try to please everybody all the time.”

Saying yes is easy and it’s gratifying. But if you say yes to too much, it could be sucking you dry. If you’re a yes person, you’re probably agreeing to take on way too many projects and commitments. Or you’re the type of person who agrees readily to things and then flakes out at the last minute. Either way, these tendencies are not doing you any favours in terms of career advancement.

It can be hard to say no, but it is usually better in the long run. It shows integrity, and you won’t find yourself wasting time on things that aren’t advancing your career.

6. Be smart about money

It’s hard to get ahead when you’re constantly playing catch-up or living pay cheque to pay cheque. If you want to become successful faster, you need to get smart about saving money.

Do yourself a solid and put away some of every pay cheque in your savings account. Yes, it might be boring, but a little restraint now can add up to success in the not-too-distant future. Successful people often live below their means. This isn’t to be stingy, but because they know that it sometimes takes money to make money, and they want to be prepared.

When you are smart about saving money, you’ll be able to grow over time with a safety net. When it comes to making an investment or starting up a business venture, you’ll be ready to move quickly and do it without breaking the bank.

Related: 25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

7. Learn from your mistakes

As Truman Capote once wrote, “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour.” The more you venture out of your comfort zone as an entrepreneur, the higher the likelihood you have of making mistakes.

If you want to become successful, you can’t let these missteps crush or break you down. Rather than seeing them as the end of the world, can you see them as an opportunity? Ultimately, failures can be our biggest teachers. After all, what feels like failure today could in fact be teaching you a lesson that will help you avoid a much bigger failure in the future.

Focus on progress, not perfection. If you can learn from your mistakes, you’ll become stronger and more savvy, and this can help you become successful far faster.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Timothy Sykes is an entrepreneur and a penny stock expert, trader and advocate. He has been featured on CNN, Fox News, CNBC and more and has spoken at prestigious institutions such as Harvard University.

Lessons Learnt

(Podcast) ‘Bizarre Foods’ Andrew Zimmern: ‘I’m Addicted To The Hustle’

How this week’s ‘How Success Happens’ guest overcame personal struggles and built an empire.

Dan Bova

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I didn’t know what to expect when we scheduled an interview over breakfast with today’s guest Andrew Zimmern. As you may know, the chef, writer, restaurateur and TV personality made a name for himself traveling the world and eating some, well, bizarre foods on his hit travel/food show, Bizarre Foods.

Turns out our breakfast was pretty normal – we didn’t dig into a fresh plate of scrambled brains or anything – but the conversation was anything but typical.

Over the past couple of years, Zimmern has built a true empire around his name with books, TV shows, restaurants (including his new Twin Cities joint Lucky Cricket), and a production company, but as he very candidly told me, the road to success has not been easy. He has gone through a lot of personal pain on his journey, and he says it is a daily endeavour to keep himself moving on the right track.

As Zimmern explained, over the course of his life, he’s had problems with substance abuse, depression – even homelessness – and he was very open about sharing the lessons he’s learned along the way about coping and finding redemption. We also spoke about his dear friend, Anthony Bourdain, and about the struggles of feeling overwhelmed that most of us face.

Related: Gareth Cliff Shares His Tips For Starting Your Very Own Podcast

But don’t get me wrong, he’s really funny, too! There’s nothing “normal” about Andrew Zimmern. Hope you’ll enjoy our conversation, thanks for listening.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Lessons Learnt

How BrightRock Is Disrupting The Insurance Industry With These 2 Pivotal Strategies

Developments in technology, and clear communication are positioning BrightRock to disrupt their industry and transform the consumer experience.

Monique Verduyn

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Vital Stats

  • Players: Sean Hanlon, Leopold Malan, Schalk Malan, Suzanne Stevens
  • Company: BrightRock
  • Est: 2011
  • Visit: www.brightrock.co.za

BrightRock was started around a dining room table in 2011 by four people with years of industry experience and — importantly — a diverse set of complementary skills.  They wanted to make changes to an industry with an age-old methodology by allowing customers to co-create a solution that precisely meets their individual needs, and adjusts as those needs change. Today, BrightRock is the fastest-growing insurer in the intermediated individual life risk market. It also provides underwriting management services to funeral parlour businesses and, more recently, has entered the group risk insurance market, offering its needs-matched approach to employees.

The founders of BrightRock, established in 2011, knew the life insurance industry all too well, and they found its methodology wanting. “Traditional life insurance lumps all the individual’s needs into one policy,” says CEO Schalk Malan.

“It’s a methodology that has been around for centuries. We started afresh and looked at how we could design life insurance based on individual requirements. Our cover is designed to exactly match each specific financial need. Because there is no waste, it’s more cost efficient and sustainable. And if circumstances change and our customer needs more cover, it’s easy to get it because needs-matched design enables the policy to change in line with changing needs.”

1. Embracing digital technology to provide needs-matched insurance

Suzanne Stevens, marketing executive director at BrightRock, points out that this type of innovation achieves efficiency (cost savings) and effectiveness (higher returns). “By harnessing digital technology, we have made our operations more efficient, and aggressively lowered costs by up to 30% for our customers. Every rand they spend with us works harder for them. That’s the benefit of a solution designed around the customer.”

BrightRock’s founders took a similar approach. ‘We ditched legacy thinking in favour of creating a product that is intuitive and easy to navigate. An enormous amount of time and effort went into writing and designing that system, and creating the optimal customer journey.”

Related: How BrightRock Is Rocking The (Industry) Boat In Only 5 Years Since Launch

Unlike clunky legacy systems, BrightRock’s platform is modularised, and was built according to the agile principle of rapid delivery cycles. The result is a technology stack with longevity, that is also flexible enough to be tweaked when needed.

“The advantage of the technology available today is that you can plug things in and pull them out as required,” says Suzanne. “That’s one of the enablers of a truly disruptive mindset. To step away from accepted norms and find new solutions requires curiosity and creativity, as well as a lot of courage to go up against large incumbents in the market. There is always resistance to new technology, although we are fortunate in this country to have one of the most innovative insurance sectors in the world.”

2. Effective communication is critical

These disruptors have set themselves above the rest through one surprisingly simple tactic —  effective communication. They agree that it simply doesn’t matter how world-changing your product or service is if you don’t communicate it to the right audience at the right time. New companies that fail to communicate their remarkable new development will quickly be pushed aside by other disruptors. Without a clear communication strategy that reaches the audience in the industry you’re trying to disrupt, you’ll set yourself up for failure. A key question to ask when you are developing your communication strategy is simply whether people understand what you do.

“Because the premise for our product was fundamentally different from anything on the market, communication and clear messaging were critical to convincing our clients to put their trust in us,” says Schalk.

“It was especially important to educate insurance advisors so they would understand what we were doing, why we were doing it, and how it was better than the other options available. That was key to disrupting the individual life market.”

Currently, BrightRock employs 380 staff, has experienced 40% year-on-year growth, and has an annualised premium income of more than R1,3 billion. The company has recently entered the group risk environment with a similar offering that addresses many of the same shortcomings of traditional group risk products. “The inefficiencies of the structuring of group products has meant that, to remain competitive, insurers have cut the benefits offered to employees, undermining their sense of financial security. Change is needed, and we believe our needs-matched philosophy positions us to change the group risk market too.”

‘We ditched legacy thinking in favour of creating a product that is intuitive and easy to navigate. An enormous amount of time and effort went into writing and designing that system, and creating the optimal customer journey.”

Unlike clunky legacy systems, the BrightRock’s platform is modularised, and was built according to the agile principle of rapid delivery cycles. The result is a technology stack with longevity, that is also flexible enough to be tweaked when needed.

Related: BrightRock’s 5 Entrepreneurial Tips For Start-ups

This iterative, modular approach typically begins with defining the strategy and programme plan upfront, delivering a core capability fast so it can provide benefits immediately, and then continuously improving with regular, incremental capability improvements to achieve the objectives of the strategy. It’s an approach that fosters closer collaboration between stakeholders, improved transparency, earlier delivery, greater allowance for change and more focus on the business outcomes.

“The advantage of the technology available today is that you can plug things in and pull them out as required,” says Suzanne. “That’s one of the enablers of a truly disruptive mindset. To step away from accepted norms and find new solutions requires curiosity and creativity, as well as a lot of courage to go up against large incumbents in the market. There is always resistance to new technology, although we are fortunate in this country to have one of the most innovative insurance sectors in the world.”

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Lessons Learnt

The 9 Obsessions You Need To Have To Become A Self-Made Millionaire

Here’s how to stay focused on your millionaire goals.

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The ones who succeed weren’t handed a golden ticket; it wasn’t chance that helped them cultivate their fortune. To reach millionaire status, you must be driven to reach your dreams. You must be obsessed in order to be successful.

These are the nine obsessions that give every self-made millionaire an edge in creating success and wealth.

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