Set Yourself Up for Success: 5 Ways to Win at Work – and Life - Home Artisans of Indiana w
Set Yourself Up for Success: 5 Ways to Win at Work – and Life
Set Yourself Up for Success: 5 Ways to Win at Work – and Life

“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” Estée Lauder

Success is not synonymous with perfection, nor is it a linear process. In fact, if you were to map out a true “success story,” it would zig, zag, hit dead ends, and send you the wrong way down one way streets. It may look very much like a map of failure… If not for the persistence, the course corrections, the obstacles surpassed, the new avenues forged.

While success is not a straight path (for most of us mere mortals anyway!), there are some steps you can take to make each step easier – and to ensure you get further ahead along the journey.

5 Tips to Set Yourself Up for Success

You can find an endless supply of self-help books on becoming more successful, from the classic How to Win Friends and Influence People and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to You’re the F*cking Problem and Get Out of Your Own Way. This is not that. This is a simple, yet actionable, list of ways that you can set yourself up for success in work – and in life.

1. Join a Professional Community

If you do not belong to a professional community… Run, don’t walk, to a group of likeminded, ambitious peers who want to connect, learn, teach, suggest, and support. Or, rather, pull out your phone and investigate options in your area. Members know what it’s like to navigate the challenges, and opportunities, of the home improvement industry, and peer organizations deliver myriad benefits.

But the crux of the matter is that, while you are a unique person and your business has a unique value proposition, you are not alone. Others have faced the same or similar challenges, have waged similar battles (e.g. the War for Talent), have tried strategies that have failed, have found solutions that have worked. Leverage their knowledge, expertise, experience, insight, and support. And offer them the benefit of yours. We grow better businesses together.

2. Build – and Nurture – Connections

Here’s the deal about networking. According to a global survey, 80% of professionals think that networking is critical to success – and 40% find it hard to do. A lot of us find it really hard to do. Why? It’s awkward. We may feel a little overwhelmed by the process. We may be (no, we are) busy and trying to fit more into our schedule is difficult.

One factor that may be interfering is our perception of ourselves as businesspeople. But, as Jiyin Cao, associate professor of management in Stony Brook University’s College of Business, says about her intensive study of networking, “If you know you have value to bring to the relationship, you will feel more comfortable about doing this type of work.” You have a great deal to offer those in your industry and community; you bring tremendous value – in terms of know-how, skills, experience, etc. –  to the table. Share it. Benefit from it. Help others benefit. It’s how networking should work.

Need some tips to network like a boss? We have you covered.

3. Learn… Continually

As Brian Tracy, author of yet another acclaimed self-help book – Eat That Frog – says, “Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.” If you want to grow, evolve, solve problems more effectively, operate with more efficiency… You need to prioritize your own education and development. It can mean taking courses, learning a new area of your business, reading books and articles, attending industry talks, discussions, and events, watching podcasts and webinars, or reaching out to a mentor or your professional network for suggestions.

Continuous learning can mean investing a lot of time in classes and programs – or carving out a few hours each week (and making it an appointment so you actually do it!) to learn in a way that resonates with you. If you stop learning, you stop growing. It’s that simple.

4. Get a Life

One of the best ways to set yourself up for success is to give yourself a break. Taking time away from work to focus on family, friends, social events, community groups, and other priorities is essential for your health and wellbeing. People who take vacations, for example, lower their stress levels and risk of heart disease while boosting their motivation to accomplish goals and improving their outlook on life.

Take the time you need to do you. As home improvement industry pros, we put our clients/customers first, and our schedules are… Well, they make us tired just looking at them! By taking care of ourselves through exercise, meaningful interactions, fun, recreation, and downtime, though, we have the energy and motivation to tackle our tasks and bring our best ideas to our work. Do this – every day.

5. Remember That You Have Support

It is so easy to get lost in the overwhelming schedule, the endless demands, the pressure of running a business. When it gets tough, remember that you can access support. You may need a new perspective, a new idea, a new direction, or simply an ear to listen. Reach out and get it. You will also find your peers are searching for the same from you. Give it back. It’s a reciprocal process that is infinitely – and mutually – beneficial.

And someone will definitely be able to tell you what “eat that frog” means.

Home Artisans of Indiana: Set Yourself – and Others – Up for Success

Home Artisans of Indiana gives you the opportunity to do much more than swap business cards. You will interact with peers in your space, develop meaningful connections, expand and sharpen your professional toolkit, give and get quality referrals, and have the opportunity to take a breath and know that the people around you understand.

Learn more about Home Artisans and join a community that works for you.

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