How to be successful

DelightYou’ve just landed on a great business idea.

Your mind is racing and you feel like a five-year-old in entrepreneurial Disneyland.

So many possibilities, so much excitement.

The world is bright and full of possibilities, and then, the little voice inside your head begins to rumble and thunder:

“But, what if it doesn’t work?”

“Who will my customers be?”

“How will people even find me?”

Suddenly, the clouds of doubt and uncertainty are threatening to rain on your parade.

Is it time to pack up and head home? Or are you willing to risk getting a little wet to chase your dreams?

If you’re up for chasing your dreams, there is a simple perspective shift that can act as your “raincoat” as you board the entrepreneurial roller coaster.

This raincoat help should keep you dry, and maybe even sane. In fact, it might even help you answer the question: “Will my business be successful?”

Skill #1 — Resilience

While we all wish we could predict the success of our business, it’s impossible to accurately forecast the seemingly random twists and turns you’ll encounter along your entrepreneurial journey.

Some days you’ll be on the top of the world and feel like you’ve got it all figured out.

Then, the next day, you’ll find out that you don’t know as much as you thought you did and get knocked down.

It’s how you deal with the emotional roller coaster and your willingness to get back up after you fail that will ultimately determine your success.

  1. You’re successful. — This is what we all want.
  2. You fail, but you get back up. — This is where resilience comes into play.
  3. You fail and you quit. — You never hear about these people, but they do exist.
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Sure, there are life situations that may set you back due to lack of planning or financial resources — which is typically caused by lack of planning — but, unless you throw in the towel and say, “Hey, this roller coaster isn’t for me,” then it isn’t over yet; you haven’t really given yourself the opportunity to succeed and you should keep on going.

Being Comfortable with Discomfort

cold-shower-therapy-by-nick-reese-1Once you’ve mastered the two key skills of entrepreneurship, you’ve got to “do the work” and learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

If you’re interested in exploring how you act in uncomfortable situations, then I’d challenge you to join the Cold Shower Challenge.

Right now there are hundreds of other entrepreneurs working with the metaphor of “cold showers” to see how they act in their business and life, when faced with doing something they don’t want to do.

I seriously think that there is no better tool than the Cold Shower Challenge to help prepare you for the entrepreneurial roller coaster that lies ahead.

Join the Cold Shower Challenge

Two Types of Students looking for success

I’m going to do some generalization here to illustrate how important mindset is. Let’s talk about two types of students and how their mindset ultimately shapes how successful they each are in college.

Confident Charlie Charlie is stoked to be in college. He has been planning his enrollment for a while and is confident he will earn his degree in four years and then land an awesome job. He always completes his online coursework and turns everything in on time. Sometimes his grades are a little lower than he thought they would be. Yesterday he took an exam online and scored 75%. He’s bummed because he really studying for the exam and thought he was in great shape.

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Today Charlie sets up an appointment with his professor. He asks for feedback and advice on how to study for the next course exam. He picks up a couple of tips from his professor and starts working on the new strategies right away.

Deflated Dale Dale is in the same online course with Charlie. He’s not sure online courses are a good approach and questions if he should have gone to a traditional classroom. Charlie always turns in his assignments on time, but sometimes forgets to complete all of the coursework or gets so busy at work he doesn’t make time to finish.

Yesterday Dale took the same exam and also got a 75%. He was really upset by his score and felt the questions were unfair and didn’t match up with what he studied. This exam has him questioning the online course again. He’s hoping the next exam will be fairer.

How to be Successful in College

OK. Are you ready to hear how to be successful in college? You have to work first on your thoughts and mindset, then sprinkle in some study skills. Check out these resources to help you get started:

Mindset and Thoughts

Study Skills

7-Day Study Challenge | Jump start your college success. | collegestudysmarts.comNeed an extra boost to get started? Sign up for the FREE 7-Day Study Challenge It covers both our thoughts and study skills to help you get a jump-start in learning how to be successful in college.

Dale & Charlie Designed by Freepik

Additional Resources for Program Success

  • How to Do Graduate Level Research: This PDF guide, written by a Rutgers professor, describes in detail what may be expected when conducting graduate level research. It’s a good in-depth primer for students either entering grad school or struggling with program requirements.
  • On Writing in Grad School: This article, published by the Chronicle of Higher Education, includes surprises and tips pertaining to graduate school writing assignments.
  • Publishing Work as a Grad Student: This comprehensive guide from Leaving Academia outlines the ways in which a graduate student might publish his or her work.
  • An Insider’s Guide to Choosing a Graduate Advisor: Written by a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor, this guide is meant for students at any research university. It outlines what to look for and what to avoid in an advisor, as well as giving advice on working with that advisor on research.
  • Choosing an Advisor Wisely: provides another perspective on how to choose your graduate advisor. The article lists seven tips for both choosing and collaborating with an advisor.
  • Can’t Miss Tips for Writing a Thesis or Dissertation: This article from Tufts University is both comprehensive and easy-to-understand, featuring anecdotes and advice from graduate students who recently completed their theses.
  • Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My Dissertation: This article from The Guardian takes a conversational tone, but it provides excellent advice for how to manage your time, expectations and stress while completing a dissertation.
  • All-But-Dissertation Survival Guide: This is a wide array of resources aimed at graduate students completing a dissertation, from style guides and editing tips to helpful software and scholarly networking sites.
  • Managing Time as an Online Graduate Student: From one student to another, this article describes strategies for getting the most out of your online degree. Though it is aimed at online students, the time management tips may be applicable to any student.
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