I believe that true success is achieved through love and hard work – and our own brand values of adventure, mischief and a rewarding sex life
As usual, we offer no guarantees. You know that, right? And although we know the definition of success is different for everyone, we’ve got some basic pointers for you. Are you ready? Let’s go….
1. At 18 you do not need to know what you want to do forever. You do need to embrace the idea that, from now on, the choices you make and the consequences of those choices are your responsibility.
2. Throughout your life, travel and education will make a difference to you and to how people respond to you. If you can, do and get as much as you can of both as soon as possible.
3. It’s all about ‘the company you keep’. Always. Surround yourself with people of quality. Work for good people when you’re starting out and you will make the best contacts and learn the best lessons for later. Good friends, that is friends who are ‘good people’, add value to your life. ‘Good fun’ friends are good mostly for Saturday nights.
4. When the time comes to focus at work, focus. Heads down. Life is a competition. Just because your mother thinks you’re special doesn’t mean you are. What will get you the next job and promotion is the added value you bring to every situation you find yourself in. You can’t succeed through fluttering through life. Or through believing that ‘it’ is all about you.
5. Treat yourself like a brand. What do you stand for? (Be clear and consistent, always.) What are your values? (Stick to them.) Work at your personal brand recognition – through networking, personal PR. (Write thank-you letters. Say sorry.) Present yourself well. (Don’t wear jeans to interviews.) Be memorable (Make that effort. Always!)
6. Even when you’re hugely successful, get sensible financial advice from a reputable professional. If ‘the opportunity’ sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
7. Optimism is a choice. If being positive doesn’t come naturally to you, teach yourself how to become more so. Optimists do better, not because things always turn out well but because success is based on expectations. If you are positive, chances are that you will make positive choices rather than fearful, self-defeating ones. The ability to bounce back is essential in success.
8. If you don’t go to the party, the meeting or the terrifying conference, you can’t benefit. If you do, you never know what might happen.
9. For most women, having children is an essential ingredient in success. You have enough time between 35 and 40 to crack the ‘man and kids thing’ but you do not have enough time after 40.
10. Flexibility is essential to female success. As a mother, your life and priorities will and do change. When thinking about your career, consider five to 10 years into your future. How do you want to be living then? If you’re honest about your expectations, you’ll realise your plan of working as a hedge-fund manager or an international travelling salesperson, for example, will have to be a short-term one. Freelance editors, for example, are able to work hours that are better suited to juggling the demands of a family.
11. Success is not about wealth. No-one should live to work. Or for money.
12. You are entitled to take some risks and do many silly things. Stupid risks and idiotic things usually have serious consequences. Don’t do drugs. Or go home with strangers. Or drive drunk.
13. The man you choose to father your children is probably the most important choice you will make.
14. If you have the chance, listen to a successful person talk. It doesn’t matter what profession or discipline they have succeeded in. And if you can’t listen to them, read them. Websites such as www.ted.com will expand your horizons and stimulate your dreams.