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What does it take to be successful?

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Do you want your lettering (or similar creative venture) to take you places that you never imagined? If so, let’s be friends, because I am in the same boat as you.

I’ll bet that not a single day goes past where you don’t think about how you will get there. Some days you feel extra motivated and upbeat, whilst other days you think, ‘what if I just don’t have what it takes to be successful?’.  

I want you to know that you’re not alone. There are so many people out there who started out with less than what we have, but turned it into something huge. They spun hay into gold. Whilst I’m certainly not Rumpelstiltskin, and don’t have the secret recipe to success (I wish I did), I’m convinced of one thing. Actually two things:

  • Find that thing that you’re naturally amazingly good at, and;
  • Put it out there before your perfectionist side comes out and starts to overanalyse everything that you do.

I’m sure there have been things you’ve done where people say to you “wow you’re so good at [xyz], I wish I was like that”, and you’re surprised because you never thought of it that way. You’ve always been that good at it that it just feels normal to you. My second point touches on the importance of speed of execution. It’s better to get your ideas (and products) out there so that you can quickly get feedback on what’s working and what’s not, then readjust your approach accordingly. There’s nothing worse than spending all your time trying to iron out the little things then realise later on that either your initial idea missed the mark, or someone came along and beat you to it.

I know that all of this is easier said than done. Sometimes we doubt our own strengths, or our perfectionist nature is too hardwired within us. For instance, I can be a perfectionist when it comes to writing. I um and ah about whether my grammar is accurate, or if my wording could’ve been better. I like things to be amazing before I show it to people. But you know what, sometimes that’s to everyone’s detriment. I remember writing a piece of advice on a tax issue when I was working in Corporate, and I didn’t want my boss to review it until I’d finished it. Finally, when I thought I was done, I was so relieved and happy. However, it came back to me and turns out that my initial assumptions were wrong and I had to redo a massive chunk of it. The boss was disappointed because the piece of advice had to go out the next day and I felt that awful feeling when your stomach drops. In hindsight, I wish I had produced a rough draft first, and sought feedback on it quickly. It would’ve saved a lot of time and avoided disappointment on both ends.

What does all this mean? Basically, that it’s a slow process of honing down on your strengths and doing things before you think you’re ready. It also involves constantly trying new things and self-reflection. You know what? I never feel like getting out of my shell of familiarity. I have to make myself do things even when I don’t want to. Today I published a post on Instagram that I wasn’t sure I liked (because the flourishing didn’t look perfect enough to me) for the sake of cutting off one of the heads of my ‘perfectionist hydra’. I need to just do stuff. Even as I’m typing this, I’m pushing myself to type out these words as they come into my mind, because the moment the flow stops, my fingers will somehow find themselves clicking on Facebook or Youtube. And that, my friends, is where motivation ends and the ‘I suck at life’ bleh-ness begins.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. What do you think are the most important contributors to success?


4 comments

  • @Sourabh: Thank you for your feedback! Feedback like yours helps me know that what I’m saying is valuable and means that I will keep continuing to post. Best wishes for your own journey.

    @Raed: I agree with your thoughts – success definitely needs hard work, listening, learning and analysing.

    @Charlotte: Yes! Reflection is the key to growth – glad you enjoyed this one.

    Fiona Ariva
  • Wow Fiona, loved reading every bit of it! It’s such a good way to reflect on myself a little bit while reading your thoughts. Keep them coming, we’re definitely on the same boat here! xx

    Charlotte
  • Dear Fiona ,,,
    Many of people wants to be successful but less of them do that!
    I try to be the best always, reading more and more, hearing from wise people, think then analyze then I do. I believe that success needs hard work and eligibility to do this.

    This is my opinion of success with assisting Allah.

    I love your work, your style, your soul.

    Sincerely yours…

    Raed Fayomi…
    Amman-Jordan
    11:30 PM

    Raed Fayomi
  • You always inspire and motivate me by your comments on my posts or personal messages for that matter.And here is another one “ What does it take to be successful? “, this blog for guys like me is who wanna flourish as u want too, means a lot which guides and supports you for what you’re good and grow much better.

    Fiona you’re doing a great job with this initiative. There are lots who are in need of this. Hope you continue this for infinite time and keep us inspired.

    Are we friends now??

    My heartiest wishes to you.
    Good luck??

    Sourabh S Chavan

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