“Follow your passion” is a piece of advice that almost every graduate gets when starting out their career. What if I say that this is one of the vaguest pieces of advice one could ever give? How would your passion for breeding animals, for instance, make you a millionaire if you don’t even know where to start? Think about all those failed attempts of making a career around your passion. Think about all that mentoring that you needed but never really got. Success is a product of many other things apart from just passion, and no one knows this better than the ones who have had realised their dream of becoming a billionaire. While passion did play a vital role in shaping their career choices, it wasn't the only thing that drove them to success.
Here are five career tips from the most eminent billionaires of the century that will help you excel in whatever you aim for.
Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group
"You cannot unify everyone’s thoughts, but you can unify everyone through a common goal."
Quite simply, whether you aim at having your own enterprise or working for an organisation, leadership qualities are something that you need to inculcate in your conduct to succeed in your venture. A good leader does not reinforce individuality. It’s his responsibility to unite the company under a common goal. Leaders constantly think of finding innovative methods to make situations better at workplace.
To start, every morning, make a list of things that you can do to engage and motivate your team members to work toward achieving the common goal. Try to identify methods to boost the level of interactions among team members. Even if it doesn't work every time, it'll be a stepping stone towards ultimate success.
Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group
“If you ask any successful businessperson, they will always (say they) have had a great mentor at some point along the road.” – Richard Branson
Remember, nothing great was ever accomplished alone. For every goal that you want to achieve in life, you need a mentor or an individual who understands your passion and helps you achieve it. The hardest thing to achieve anything is to get started, and a mentor will give you a head start. When you have a mentor, you have the opportunity to learn from their experiences – both good and bad. Your mentor should be someone who has already arrived and sustained themselves at where you want to be. They should exactly know the best possible way to achieve your goal.
Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway
"The best investment you can make is in your own abilities. Anything you can do to develop your own abilities or business is likely to be more productive."
The best investment to make in life is to invest in yourself. Constant learning is vital to development and success. Perhaps, your career is a business and you are the product that generates revenue. If you won’t spend time in developing your skills, sooner or later, your charm will wear off, and it will be hard to find any takers. Being obsolete is the biggest enemy of success and innovation.
What can you do? Take classes for developing new skills, read about new developments in your industry, attend seminars and work out on areas that you think you lack in.
Oprah Winfrey, Billionaire Entrepreneur and TV Personality
“I don’t believe in failure. It’s not failure if you enjoyed the process.”
Every set back that you encounter in your life is a step toward ultimate success. Failures are just detours and a reminder that you are on a wrong track. The moment you see that something is not moving ahead as per your plan, stop, analyse your steps and make efforts to bring your life back on the right track.
It has been observed that about 80 to 90 percent of startups fail because they are not able to pivot or change direction despite knowing that they are building a wrong product. This eventually leads to failure. Sadly, about 80 percent of the failed startups do not know that success could be sweeter the second time around. Learning from failed attempts is the only way to realise your dreams. Try harder next time around and you are sure to gain momentum, if not the ultimate victory.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and bestselling author of Lean In
“There is no perfect fit when you’re looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.”
Seeking perfection is paramount in any business setting, but not being flexible in your approaches could be detrimental to you as well as for your career. If you want to change the world, you need to have a wider perspective towards everything that crosses your path. Every failure conceals another big opportunity and every success takes you a step further to becoming a better leader.
What is your mantra of climbing to the top of the professional ladder? Share what motivates you to chase your hopes and dreams.