Training, Discipline, Hard Work and Career Success

I send a career success quote to my subscribers every day.  If you would like to start receiving these daily success quotes log on my website http://www.BudBilanich.com and enter your name and email address in the box to the right, just under the image of my career success book, Success Tweets.  Sunday’s career success quote came from David Rockefeller.  “Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.”

Three tweets in the Outstanding Performance section of Success Tweets reflect Mr. Rockefeller’s thoughts.

Training — Tweet 81: “Become a lifelong learner.  The half-life of knowledge is rapidly diminishing.  Staying in the same place is the same as going backwards.

If you want to become an outstanding performer, you need to become a lifelong learner.  I once saw a great quote from Louis L’Amour, the great American writer of stories about the old west.  I think this quote captures the essence of lifelong learning…

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished.  That will be the beginning.”

I know a lot about career and life success.  I’ve written several books on it.  I give lots of talks about it.  I’ve coached hundreds of people – helping them build the life and career success they want and deserve.  I write this blog.  At one point, I thought I knew it all.

And you know what?  Every time I write about life and career success, every time I speak about it, every time I coach someone offering my career advice, I gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to create life and career success

I begin anew every day, doing whatever I can to learn about life and career success so I can pass on this knowledge and wisdom to others.  I choose to keep learning.  So should you.  Pay attention here – this is solid career advice.  I’ve learned that if you don’t keep learning, you don’t stand still – you fall behind in the game of life.  I’ve also learned that what I learned after I knew it all was some of the best and most important of my learnings.

Discipline – Tweet 97 “Today, do the things others won’t do; so tomorrow you can do the things they can’t do.”

I got this one from Jerry Rice an American Football player.  He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.  When he retired, he held all of the important records a wide receiver could amass.  I’ve never seen anyone better – and I’ve watched a lot of football over the years.  Growing up in Pittsburgh, Sundays meant two things – church and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jerry Rice was well known for his commitment to fitness.  He worked out harder and longer than any other pro football player.  When he was asked the secret of his success, he said, “I am willing to do the things today that others won’t do, so I can do things on Sunday that they can’t do.”  In other words, work hard, prepare, commit to taking personal responsibility for your own success.

It’s simple, really.  Success is all up to you, and me, and anyone else who wants it.  We all have to take personal responsibility for our own success.  I am the only one who can make me a success.  You are the only one who can make you a success.  Become willing to do things that others are unwilling to do – and this can be a million little things like keeping your clothes in good repair; shining your shoes; rehearsing your presentation out loud; proofreading your emails, not just relying on spell check; staying up-to-date on your company, your competitors and your industry, building relationships by doing willingly for others.

If you already do these kinds of things, bravo.  You’re in the minority.  Too many people do only what they have to.  Successful people always go the extra mile.  As Jerry Rice says, they do the things others won’t.

Think for a minute.  What are the kinds of things that you can do that go above and beyond, that demonstrate your commitment to your own success?  Make a list.  Then go about doing these things regularly.

Hard Work – Tweet 100: “Care about what you do.  If you care a little, you’ll be an OK performer.  If you care a lot, you’ll become an outstanding performer.”

I care about helping people create the life and career success they want and deserve.  I care a lot.  That’s why I wrote Success Tweets and I give it away for free.  That’s why I wrote a series of blog posts explaining each of the 141 tweets in more detail.  I care so much about this that I committed to writing 700 or 800 words every day for 28 weeks.  I care a lot about helping you achieve the kind of career success you deserve.  And I know that this caring will pay off in me becoming an outstanding career success coach – somebody who gives really great career advice.

When you care you do your very best.  Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of one of my favorite books: To Kill a Mockingbird.  There is a passage in that book that has always stuck with me.  It’s in Chapter 11 and is spoken by Atticus Finch, the father, played by Gregory Peck in the film.  He’s speaking to Scout, his daughter…

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.  It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.  You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

It takes courage to care. Because when you care, you put yourself out there.  You do your best.  And doing your best can be a scary thing.  When you care, when you consciously do your best and fail, it is heartbreaking.  But at least you have the satisfaction of knowing you did your best.

I remember when I applied to graduate school at Harvard.  I decided that I was going to demonstrate to myself how much I cared by writing the very best application I could.  I wasn’t going to let myself off the hook if I didn’t get accepted by saying, “I could have written a better application, but I just didn’t spend the time I should have.”

When I put my application in the mailbox – we still did quaint things like that back in the old days – I was proud of what I had written.  I knew it was the very best I could do.  I was also frightened because I knew that my best might not be good enough.  After all, both of my other degrees were from state schools.  Who was I to think that those kind of credentials would get me accepted at Harvard?

I cared about the quality of my application, so I did the very best I could.  The story in this case has a happy ending.  I was accepted and got my degree.  Even if I had not been accepted, I would have been proud of myself because I cared enough to write the best application I could, and I dared enough to admit it to myself.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  David Rockefeller provides some great career advice when he says, “Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.”  Here’s my take on what he has to say.  Keep learning and growing – that way you won’t stagnate.  Discipline yourself to take on difficult tasks and to do the things that other people won’t do.  Care about your job.  Demonstrate how much you care by working hard – every day.

That’s my career advice prompted by David Rockefellers quote on training, discipline and hard work.  What do you think?  Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily thoughts on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.

Bud

PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to http://budurl.com/STExp to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened a membership site on September 1.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  You can find out about the membership site by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.

 

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