Dave Kerpen | How to Get to the Top on Your Own Terms
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How to Get to the Top on Your Own Terms

How to Get to the Top on Your Own Terms

Finding a job you love and a career you can rise in is no easy feat. I changed my career many times before I realized my passion, and before my wife and I founded Likeable. From a ballpark vendor, to a reality TV star, and an insurance salesman, to math teacher, I had many jobs before venturing into entrepreneurship and authorship. I had the pleasure of speaking to Lauren Maillian Bias a few weeks ago on my radio show. Lauren is a serial entrepreneur, investor, advisor, and now author. Her new book, The Path Redefined: Getting to the Top on Your Own Terms highlights professional and personal success in today’s world. I asked Lauren for a roadmap to get to the top on your terms, and these are the 9 things she told me:

1. Embrace fear and failure as growth. Failure is a place of potential between where you are and where you want to be. Once embraced, failure allows you to accelerate success by quickly adapting through clear communication. How you handle failure speaks to if you have actually failed.

2. Realize your value and identify your strengths. Build your reputation on your strengths and explore other areas of interest or skill once you’ve already established your expertise in your core competency.

3. Use the power of transparency to build integrity and reputation. The most valuable strengths — integrity, honesty, and humility — cannot be taught. Incredible opportunities are given to those who will handle them professionally and have shown they are committed to quickly learning everything they need to know.

4. Don’t shy away from responsibility. Experience under your belt trumps the title on your resume. Get your sleeves dirty, especially early on in your career.

5. Trust your intuition and refer to logic to design your own professional life. You know in your gut what makes you happy. You know in your head what you must do. Combine these two to define your professional plan.

6. Make connections before you need them and know how to work and add value within your network. The earlier the connections, the better, and the more genuine connections, the better. The key is to make connections and help others before you need their help. Then, they’ll be there for you when you do need it.

7. Become very self aware to accelerate your professional maturity. Learn the value of being inquisitive and processing feedback to evolve, and handle situations with additional perspective.

8. Accept that perception is reality and know how to monitor how your actions are perceived by your colleagues. You may think you know better but the reality is, how you’re perceived by others is the reality. If you’re not sure how you’re perceived by others – ask! (even anonymously). Regular feedback is necessary for growth.

9. Your professional success depends on your personal happiness. Integrate what keeps you professionally motivated into your personal non-negotiables.

This last one is most important for me – too many people think success at work and happiness at home and in life are unrelated – when that couldn’t be further from the truth. In order to “get to the top” at work, you’ve got to be happy both at work, and outside of work.

What are your thoughts? How are you “getting to the top” on your terms? What does that mean for you. Please let me know in the Comments section below!

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