Mary Simms' Secret to Success
Throughout my multi-faceted communications career as a journalist, spokesperson for the federal government, PR executive and publicist, I’ve found that successful people are simply willing to do what unsuccessful people aren’t. It's simple yet so foundational: Get up early, force yourself beyond your comfort zone and work hard. Because for most, success won't come knocking. You have to fight for it.
It's easier to work hard when you love what you do. I'm passionate about storytelling, so at 21 I enlisted in the U.S. Army as an embedded military journalist to cover stories and people in Afghanistan that would forever change my outlook on life and embolden my work ethic. From then to now, I've observed commonalities among four-star generals, celebrities, athletes and influencers at the top.
As an executive producer for the popular iTunes podcast Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show, I’ve wondered what some of our celebrity guests would say if they had to weigh in with just the one element they would credit most to their own success. Here’s what they shared.
A world champion skateboarding icon, Tony Hawk leaves fans slack-jawed with awe at his physical skills and dazzling artistry. He’s been honored four times as “Best Male Athlete” with the Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Award, and his best-selling book Hawk: Occupation Skateboarder helped fuel an award-winning video game series that continues to break sales records worldwide. His Tony Hawk Foundation creates public skateboard parks to empower youth in low-income communities.
He said, “The one thing I’ve had above all else is perseverance. I’m willing to complete a challenge or idea through seemingly endless hours of trial and error, sometimes against what appears to be insurmountable odds. Some would call it pure stubbornness, but I believe it is a virtue of patience and passion.”
2. Outwork Everyone
Sean Conlon came to America from Ireland in 1990 with $500 in his pocket and began working as a janitor. He spent his nights making hundreds of cold calls until he began to make a name for himself. Today, he presides over one of the most extensive real estate businesses in the country and stars in CNBC's series, The Deed: Chicago.
“Firstly, I absolutely credit my success with my willingness to outwork competitors," Conlon said. "When you’re selling houses, that’s all you have to differentiate yourself from the pack (particularly when you’re starting out and have no assets). Secondly, I can’t stress how important it is to read everything and anything you can. Remember what they say: ‘Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.’”
3. Stay Healthy
“Although often underrated, staying healthy is one thing I would credit my success to. You don’t perform at the level I've been able to perform without staying healthy," said Emmitt Smith.
Since retiring about a decade ago, NFL Super Bowl Champion Smith has become the CEO of EJ Smith Enterprises, a premier real estate development and asset management firm, and co-owner of The Gents Place, a high-end, luxury men’s grooming lounge with plans to expand from coast to coast.
4. There's No Single Factor For Success
A high-profile trainer and life coach, Jillian Michaels starred on the reality TV show The Biggest Loser. "She has her own video workout series, a clothing line, a newsletter with millions of subscribers and several books, including Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life,” according to Biography.com.
“There's absolutely not one thing. And I believe that's the point," Michaels said of her success. "There are many things along the way: Sacrifice, education, calculated risk-taking, setting aside ego, passion, authenticity, and integrity are all essential to my professional success.”
5. Give All You've Got
Tamika Catchings, a recently retired WNBA star, and four-time Olympic gold medalist, now owns Tea’s Me Cafe in Indianapolis, Indiana. She also works for the Pacers Entertainment Group and is the founder of Catch the Stars Foundation, an organization that "empowers youth to achieve their dreams by providing goal-setting programs that promote fitness, literacy and youth development."
"The one element in my life that I feel has contributed the most to my success is my faith and devotion to being 100 percent in whatever I'm doing. Wherever I am, I've committed myself to give everything that I can possibly give in that moment to help my team succeed," she said.
6. Create Opportunities And Replace Yourself
A dedicated producer and self-made entrepreneur, Brent Montgomery has built a television empire as one of the unscripted TV industry’s most successful executives. As CEO of ITV America (and creator/executive producer of Pawn Stars), he is well-known to virtually all television executives and is quickly becoming a household name in the worlds of entertainment. His advice?
"Replace yourself!" he said. "You can only grow your business as fast as you can take on the next opportunity, and if you don't create opportunities for those below you, they’ll move on — and you’ll end up spending too much of your time trying to get back to base camp instead of ascending the mountain.”
7. Be Unwilling To Fail
“I credit the bulk of my success to perseverance and an absolute unwillingness to fail,” said Josh Dorkin, who describes himself as an "internet entrepreneur and product specialist focused on content, social media, blogging, podcasting, marketing, publishing and online communities." He built BiggerPockets, the leading real estate investing social networking community and resource portal, as a safe space for investors to connect.
In my own career, if I had to choose just one thing, I'd credit persistence. Especially in PR, rejection is part of the gig. You have to be willing to go again.
Original article: www.forbes.com
Written by: Mary Simms