The world is an overwhelmingly large playing field with too many players. Sadly, it isn’t a level field. There is always somebody with more qualifications and experience, more connections, and more resources at their disposal. That is your competition.
To be able to rise to the top takes sacrifice, it takes hard work and unlike what your friends have told you, even when you get to the top, the struggle never stops. It’s the hard work—late nights and crazy mornings that will sustain you. In other words, commitment and consistency.
But before we talk about the top, I and you are in the same struggle. I am a young social entrepreneur who is trying to find my way in life. I am assuming that you too are trying to go to the next level—you wouldn’t be reading this.
So, let’s start with the basics, how do you make it to the top?
Renown American Author Zig Ziglar once said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” It sounds simple. Yet, starting is one of the hardest things to do. The trick is, don’t wait for conditions to be perfect; they will never be. There is no better time to start than today.
In his blog, Why You Should Start Today, JM Severin notes that, “You will never know everything you need to know. You will never be an expert until you begin.”
You will make mistakes and it will not be easy, but you will learn from it. Remember that every great journey starts with a single step—start yours today.
Get a Mentor
Find someone who has done it before, someone who can root for you and advocate for you. There is always going to be somebody who has done it before, find them and ask them to help you grow. Getting to the top requires that you are able to combine knowledge and wisdom to execute tasks and make decisions, and this is how the mentor comes in.
Because mentors have done it before or know people who have, they will be able to give you the guidance you need to make appropriate decisions. They might also connect you to bodies of knowledge and/or people both of which you need to make it to the next level.
And when things aren’t going to plan and you need someone to simply listen, you mentor will be that “someone that allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”
Do not lose your edge
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out”, asks Dr. Seuss. We spend so much time trying to fit in. We live in constant fear of being different, of standing out, of being ourselves. We try so hard to live to other’s expectations. Shouldn’t we spend this time focusing on what truly matters to us, where we want to go and how to get there?
Do not be afraid of being different because “it allows you to be yourself, to be unique and to be more creative.” And when you find your differentiator, work on it—polish it and refine it, because that is what will make you stand out of the crowd.
Persistence and consistency
When you set out to do something, see it through. Do not jump ship to the next “sexy” project just because things aren’t working out. Will things be easy always? No. There will be difficult times; in fact, there might be times when things completely fall apart. The difference between people that make it to the top and those who don’t is that the latter will pick up the broken pieces and march on.
That is what winners do, they do not quit. So, do not give up, keep pushing and keep your eyes on the prize!
By Veronica. M