You’re a hard worker. You work long hours and never complain. You’re always taking on extra responsibility even when your plate is spilling over. And yet, your career trajectory is as flat as a board.
Meanwhile, you can’t help but notice the other real estate professionals who put in fewer hours than you but who appear to be closing properties left and right. You’ve concluded real success is all about luck, and you just don’t have any.
Wrong! “I guarantee that the successful people you see every day don’t have anything you don’t have,” says Milazzo, author of the New York Times bestseller Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman (Wiley, 2011, ISBN: 978-1-1181-0052-3, $21.95, WickedSuccess.com). “There is no single factor that prevents success or one that guarantees it. If you aren’t driven by your passion or continuously working toward important goals, then of course, you’re going to feel stuck in one place. But when you focus on your goals, plan your steps forward and have a little more faith in yourself, you can achieve wicked success.”
The first step, according to Milazzo, is to hold up a mirror and really examine what you’re putting in at work. “How much time do you spend complaining? Do you have to discuss every issue ad infinitum no matter how small? Figure out how to become truly productive and to continuously make progress toward project goals. The success you seek will follow.”
If you’re still stumped, Milazzo explains as few success obstacles and how to get around them. Believe me, these tips AREN’T just for women.
1. You underprice yourself. The economy still isn’t great so “I’d better lie low,” you reason. This just seems like common sense. But settling for less than you’re worth is a big mistake—even in the wake of the Great Recession.
2. You’re viewed as a commodity. Commodities are easy to obtain and easy to replace. And that’s certainly not how you want to be perceived with your clients. Do everything you can to ensure that you aren’t seen as interchangeable or dispensable.
3. You don’t network with big players. Generally, we tend to gravitate toward people who are similar to us. That’s fine when it comes to your friendships, but you need to aim higher when it comes to networking. More than 60 percent of people find jobs through networking, for example, and you can bet that most of them didn’t achieve this goal because they knew someone at the bottom of the pecking order.
4. You doubt your abilities. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll reach any goal you set for yourself if you don’t believe with your whole heart that achieving it is possible. Among other things, you won’t be confident enough to take calculated risks if you don’t believe that the limitations in front of you are surmountable. Let past successes infuse you with pride and bolster your resolve.
5. You need a mentor. There are two ways to develop the skills, habits, mindsets, etc. that you’ll need to achieve wicked success. The first is to go it alone and learn by trial and error in the school of hard knocks. The second (much smarter) path is to learn from others who have encountered and surmounted problems that are similar to your own. That being the case, surround yourself with as many mentors as possible and practice the skills they pass on to you.
6. You are too bogged down in the little things. We’re constantly sabotaged by nonproductive energy wasters. There are emails to read. Facebook statuses to update. Dishes to be washed. Files to be organized. And on, and on, and on. These are the easy, albeit often unproductive, tasks that make us feel good. They may not get you any closer to accomplishing your greater goals, but at least you’ve checked a couple of things off your to-do list.
“Unfortunately,” says Vickie Milazzo, “this addiction comes at a high price, because that cheap check-mark high is guaranteed to frustrate, overwhelm, and stress you out in the long term. By majoring in minor things, we never get to our big commitments. Breaking these addictions opens the door to achievement. Remember, what you engage and focus on is where you will yield results.”
7. You aren’t going after your BIG goals. When is the last time you set a goal and really went after it? Milazzo encourages people to identify their Big Things—those goals that connect to their passionate vision. Then choose one to schedule their day around. “Set a target date for each of your Big Things,” says Milazzo. “And begin working steadily toward achieving each of them. Start strong and you’ll experience genuine elation from achieving real goals and solving real problems.”
“You can’t snap your fingers and suddenly become successful,” says Milazzo. “And the successful people you envy weren’t able to do that either. They worked for it. They set big goals. They didn’t settle for small-time achievements. Wicked success can be yours too if you make the same big commitments.”
Vickie Milazzo, RN, MSN, JD, is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman.”