Three Classic Principles of Success
When I first started working in the business of Dale Carnegie, my sponsor Bud Hogberg, was my first mentor. To me, he was larger than life -outgoing, charismatic, caring, inspirational, an incredible communicator and a salesman of ideas. He was everything that, as a 21 year old, I wanted to be. I watched and studied him and listened intently to his advice, doing what he told me to do. I copied everything as best I could and as stupid as it sounds now, I even tried talking and sounding like him. After all, I was kid and had achieved little and he was a businessperson, a recognized leader and winner. Trying to be Bud got me in the game and I never forget the tremendous impact he has had on my life.
“Success leaves clues”, he said to me. “So study the great achievers, ask a ton of questions, listen and learn, but above all write down what all of it means to you and make it fit to who you are. Be you – you are great.” Huh! Really? Who the heck am I?
I was clueless about what I wanted, where I was going etc. I was thinking more about survival, how to make a few bucks, and how to buy stuff I wanted. What was great about me? What Bud constantly did was to point out my strengths which seemed to give me the courage to apply what I was learning and copying from him. Then he repeatedly reminded me of every little achievement so that I could realize what I had accomplished and maybe I would realize I could do it again and again. After a while he told me, “Now build them into habits and let them carry you forward, because who knows what is possible for you.”
Wow – as I look back over all these years, since there seems to be so much classical truth and simple wisdom in his mentoring and advice, I put them into three simple principles:
1) Be yourself. I could have been a second hand Bud or an authentic me. Copying others is a common way to fail. No one is like you or ever will be. Phonies don’t last. So discover and nourish your strengths and let them shine.
2) Let your uniqueness shine by exposing yourself to experience. Listening, learning, recording what you learned, and applying it right away. It’s tough believing in people’s potential when they never bother to take notes. Always remind yourself of your blessings along the way and what you have accomplished. It will keep you in the achievement zone because it is tough staying optimistic and enthusiastic about success when you’re going through the normal ups and downs of life. It seems the older we get the less optimistic and more cynical we can become. Don’t let that happen to you.
3) Discipline is needed to develop any success habit. Keep practicing effective, time-tested principles every day and, as Bud said, they will always carry you forward. Finding a successful person to mentor you helps too. Thanks Bud.
What did today’s mentor mean to you today?
What are you going to do?
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