The Ultimate Source of Success in Business


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by Jayaram V

Summary: The essay is about the ultimate source of success and prosperity in any field, especially business.

What is the ultimate source of success, name, fame, recognition, happiness, or prosperity in any venture? Whether it is business, art, science, politics, civil service or any other field, one may achieve success for any number of reasons. However, the one power which makes all the difference between success and failure is you. Yes, it is the person who engages in any organized activity or endeavor who determines the course, the direction and the outcome of it.

You are at the center of all that happens to you. It is true even in case of chance. You are directly or indirectly responsible for your life’s destiny by either making things happen or responding to the ones that happen. Your reality depends upon how you perceive the world and manage the complexity, and with what attitude and conviction you give shape to your thoughts, desires and dreams.

In success and failure, a lot depends upon how you act or react, how you adapt to situations and how you persevere in the face of problems and setbacks. Your personality and mental makeup or mindset are therefore of utmost importance. If you want to achieve success in life or if you decide to pursue any goal or start a venture, you must first focus upon self-preparation. You must mentally and materially prepare yourself and develop the required qualities, skills and attitudes, which are needed to carry it out.

Your first investment must be in you. You must prepare yourself according to your goals or needs. If you want to achieve extraordinary success, you must develop extraordinary qualities. For example, if your goal is to participate in the Olympics, you must first train your mind and body to qualify yourself for a place in your national team, for which you must meet or break the national records. The same goes for any activity. If you want to invest in business, you must invest enough time and energy in yourself and build the knowledge, qualities and aptitude, which are essential to become a successful business person.

No one achieves success overnight in any field, especially in business. Even if you have all the required qualities and favorable circumstances, your success is not guaranteed even with hard work. However, by cultivating the required mindset, knowledge and skills, you can greatly improve the chances of achieving it. The following suggestions are useful to anyone who wants to pursue business or become an entrepreneur.

1. Know your strengths and weaknesses: We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Some skills, aptitudes and talents come to us easily, while we have to struggle for others. You are more likely to succeed in any business where you have a greater opportunity to rely upon your strengths, abilities and talents rather than weaknesses. By knowing them, you can choose your purpose as well goals and the nature of business. They will also help you devise suitable strategies where you can effectively use your strengths, while compensating for your weaknesses with necessary workarounds. You are more likely to achieve success if you choose a business or profession where you have the ease and facility, and where you can put your talents and skills to better use.

2. Define your purpose: Without purpose you cannot have clarity, the direction or vision about your future or business. You must know what you want to do and why you want to do before you work on any business project. If your intentions are selfish, the scope of your success will be limited. Through your business you must not only express who you are or what you intend to do but also find opportunities to help others in tangible ways so that instead of being selfish and self-centered you can share the benefits of your success with others. If your purpose is limited to your aims and interests only, you are going to make many people unhappy who might have contributed to your success and prosperity. It will also undermine your achievements, relationships and reputation.

3. Be prepared to make tough decisions: Do you have the strength and courage to make tough decisions and weather through difficult situations? About 90% of new businesses fail in the first few years. If you are weak and vacillating, it may happen even faster. In business, you cannot always make people happy or win their approval. You must know with whom to work and whom to avoid, and where to focus your energies. Business people are expected to make tough decisions, which may result in collateral damage or invite criticism. You must be ready to act according to situations. Sometimes, you may have to let go of customers who are too unreasonable or taking too much of your time, or fire employees who are not in sync with your goals or plans.

4. Cultivate realistic thinking: Nowadays, we give so much importance to positive thinking that we neglect its downside. Primarily, a business person must be neither be optimistic nor pessimistic, but realistic. Both optimism and pessimism have their own advantages in life and in business. However, they must be tempered with realism and objectivity. Whether you are drawing plans or making decisions or solving problems or creating goals, you must consider strengths and weaknesses as well as threats and opportunities. You must plan and act according to the situation rather than your personal likes and dislikes or beliefs. You can do so only when you and your decisions are grounded in reality and sound judgment, and when you pay attention to details, consider the pros and cons, listen to others and study people and situations.

5. Improve your cognitive skills: Business people experience a lot of stress and anxiety as they have to regularly deal with many ambiguous and uncertain situations and face the prospect of failure and loss. The constant pressure which they experience can seriously distort their thinking and perception and make them prone to many cognitive errors and logical fallacies. As a business person, your best asset is your thinking and reasoning. Considering the consequences, you cannot afford to make mistakes in your thinking or understanding or weighing situations. As humans, we are prone to many thinking (cognitive) errors which can distort our perceptions and get in the way of our success and happiness. By knowing them, you can improve your thinking and reasoning and respond to situations in balanced and realistic ways.

6. Free the mind from self-destructive behavior: We entertain many negative thoughts, beliefs and assumptions about ourselves, which affect the way we think and act, set our goals, respond to situations or make decisions. We also limit our opportunities and possibilities for success by becoming narrow-minded when we place rigid expectations and demands upon ourselves, others or the world. See whether you are holding yourself back from pursuing any goals or taking actions due to any negativity or restrictive thoughts, which you may be harboring in your mind. By getting rid of irrational and self-limiting thoughts about yourself or your abilities and accomplishments, you can free your mind from self-imposed, rigid demands and harmful rules and pursue your goals with greater confidence.

7. Set yourself apart: If you want to succeed in any business, you must stand out and exceed the expectations of your customers, associates, business partners and stakeholders. For that, you must set higher standards of performance for yourself and your business organization and strive to achieve expertise and excellence in the chosen field with resolve, passion, dedication and determination. You may not have all the answers, nor can you have expertise in every aspect of your business or profession. Yet, you can build an effective team or network of experts and specialists to help you and guide you in achieving your goals. Ultimately, whether you do it alone or with the help of others, it is the image you build, the quality, service or products you provide and the impressions you create, which set you apart from others and lead to your brand success and customer loyalty.

It is important to know that you are responsible for your success as well as your failure. Your thoughts and actions directly influence your life and accomplishments. Accepting that you are the ultimate source of all that happens to you, you must take responsibility for your actions and decisions and proactively deal with problems and challenges. Knowing that the initiative and commitment to achieve anything in life must come from within, you must invest enough time and energy in the plans and projects you want to implement and the goals you want to achieve.

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