Is there such thing as a Shortcut to Success?

Success means something different to us all and we all have different goals but something that most of us associate with success is hard work. If we think of some of the most famous entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson and Lord Sugar they share a commonality in that they started from the very bottom and worked their way all the way up, in these cases earning millions if not billions of pounds along the way.

But is there such thing as a short cut to success and if there was, would you take it?

My career path has been fairly unconventional. Having worked my way up from a teacher to a head teacher where I was at what many would have thought was my peak for 7 years. I then began looking elsewhere for job satisfaction having become disillusioned with the education system and feeling constantly stressed. I took on a side project which after a while really started to take off. It reached the point where I was able to give up my full-time job as a Head Teacher and invest my time and energy solely into what I do now.  Fast forward a few years and I am now mentoring a large team, have an excellent work life balance and I am earning far more than I ever was in my career in education.

My views on what I consider “successful” have changed considerably along the way, partly as I’ve gotten older and wiser and partly as my priorities in life have changed. Reaching the status of Head Teacher, many people including myself considered it a success but at the time I wasn’t happy. I have climbed the ladder within my new role and again, would consider myself as successful but this time I am in a much better place physically and mentally. In my experience, this demonstrates that there isn’t really a shortcut to success out there and what’s more, it is the learning process that you go through at every stage that helps you to define your own views on success and truly appreciate it.

What I love about my work now is that whilst there is a clearly defined path for progression for our Distributors, everyone has to go through each stage. There are some great benefits to this; we celebrate every milestone as a collective meaning that at that moment in time, that person has achieved a level of what would be defined as success and is being recognised for it. By experiencing these positive feelings at the time, most people become spurred on to reach even bigger things and in turn their idea of what success is to them grows. Without these stepping stones, people can get disheartened focusing on the unattainable. Secondly, there are experiences to be learned at every stage and without going through them, is the person actually successful at what they do? Take for example someone who lands themselves a managerial role but they’ve never managed a team of people before. Yes they may have the managerial status but they lack the required skills meaning it’s very unlikely they will be immediately successful in the role!

Going back to my original question: is there a short cut to success and if there was, would you take it?

In truth, the answer is yes, there are some shortcuts to success including luck, inheriting a position, and even cheating your way to the top, but would I take it? I’d like to think not. The knowledge and experience I have built along the way have not only shaped me as a person but have shaped my definition of success.

What would you do?

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