What’s the secret to repeated success? This four-part series looks at the things that highly successful people do, which you can learn to do too and thereby guarantee your own success.

D = Done- not right!

D is for getting it done not getting it right. Possibly the biggest barrier to success for many people is perfectionism. That is they set themselves very high standards and then spend a huge amount of time trying to get every detail perfect. On the plus side, a passion for excellence means that they are prepared to go the extra mile to get that extra benefit. However on the downside, getting stuck on minutiae in the belief that it’s never quite good enough is immobilising. I once heard of someone who spent five years getting their website right. That was five years of tinkering and making it perfect during which they didn’t start trading, weren’t making any money, and weren’t getting on with business.
Successful people recognise that it is more important to get it done than to achieve perfection. Indeed recognising that there will always be opportunities for improvement means that you can take action and make progress, rather than be immobilised by perfectionism. The world rewards the action takers – not those on a Holy Grail like quest for perfection.

E = Effective

You’ve heard the expression the busy fool – well successful people focus on being effective and/or productive rather than being the busy fool.
The Pareto principle tells us that only 20% of what we do is required to get 80% of our results. Looked at the other way round this means that 80% of what we are doing is only producing 20% of our results. Successful people have learned how to identify the 20% and focus on doing that rather than busying themselves with the 80% and only getting 20% of their results. In other words they are working smarter not harder!
One of the biggest things to overcome in order to be successful is the idea that you need to be 100% occupied all the time in order to be of value. Perhaps this is a remnant of Protestant ethic – the idea that the devil makes work for idle hands and therefore we must be constantly working hard and busy in order to be godly/of value. In reality just as hiding behind perfection is a way of not taking action, hiding behind busyness is a way of deluding yourself into believing that you are doing what it takes to be successful.
If you are one of the people who are constantly struggling with being busy then before you do anything, stop! and ask yourself this question. “How is what I’m about to do moving me towards my goal?”
Just in case you are one of those people who is very good at making things relevant, irrespective of how tenuous the link, quickly follow it with this question “what would be a more productive way of doing this?” The more alternatives you come up with the more likely it is that you don’t need to be doing the task at all!

F = Fulfilling Friendships

A fulfilling friendship is a friendship or association that fulfils you; one that is supportive and enables you to grow. Successful people know that in order to be successful they need to socialise with people whose energy is going to raise their energy level rather than bring it down. The sorts of people that will enable them to make new and valuable connections, to associate with other influential individuals and who are attuned to their thinking in the sense that they are the right people for their goals and dreams.
Whilst it is true that you are the sum of the people you spend most time with, and so if you hang with the wrong people, they will eventually negatively affect you; no one likes to think that they are too good for their friends. Ensuring that you have fulfilling friendships is not to suggest that you necessarily have to break all ties with people already in your life that don’t fit this profile. Often the people who drain us emotionally are stuck in their own emotional dramas and so they are more in need of help than to be cast aside. The trick is to make sure that you have as many if not more people around you of the fulfilling friendships kind.
If you associate with the right people you will become far more capable and successful than you could ever have become alone.
Next week Part Three: G – I

How about practising your D – F steps to success this week? Is there something that you have been working on for ages in a bid to get it just perfect? This is your week for just doing it. Review the things you do each day and pick the two that will have the most impact and ignore the rest. Get out there networking and make three new fulfilling friendships .

If you missed part one A-C you can read it here 

About Ola Agbaimoni

Known as "The Business Detective" due to her "Sherlock Holmes" like problem solving abilities, Ola works in partnership with her sister Carole Pyke, The Business Bard. Together they run Eélan Media, a new type of Business growth agency offering a forensic approach to business and a creative approach to marketing. As well as being an expert in business planning, training and development, Ola is also a certified coach, NLP practitioner; an accomplished author, speaker and presenter.

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