Everybody wants to succeed in life but many of us are unwilling to really do what it takes to succeed. In fact, most people love to find ways to "succeed" with the most minimal effort required--hence the millions of dollars poured into the lottery each year. If you are reading this because you thought I'd give you some secrets to succeeding in life and business with little or no effort, well, I apologize for the deception, but that just doesn't happen.

True success doesn't come easily but requires patience, determination, hard work and sometimes even personal sacrifice. If you do want to succeed and are willing to put forth the effort, here are seven steps to success in business and in life.

  1. Grow Daily: Growth is essential to success. Nobody ever moved up without developing themselves personally and professionally. If you're not willing to improve yourself physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually then you just won't improve your present situation, whatever that may be.

  2. Value the Process: Success isn't always about the destination. In fact, for many of us we will never be quite as successful as we would like. True success isn't about the destination but rather the process that helps you grow and improve. It's about the daily path that takes you from where you were yesterday to where you'll be tomorrow. Stay on that path, continue to learn from the process and you'll achieve a new measure of success every day.

  3. Don't Wait for Inspiration: My writing professor in college told us that we should write daily and not wait for inspiration. This is so true in all areas of life. While inspiration is great when you have it, if we make it a habit to wait for inspiration before doing anything then very little would get done. In fact, I often find my inspiration comes after I start moving forward. Don't wait for inspiration to strike, but strike inspiration by moving toward your destination!

  4. Be Willing to Pay Now: There is a saying that says you can pay now or pay later, but you will pay. Kids that don't want to study in school today often pay a significant price later. There is an inflationary aspect to life, if you pay now you pay a lot less than if you wait to pay later. And if you are willing to pay now, the rewards soon follow.

  5. Don't Focus on Your Limitations: Everybody has limitations, but if you spend your time looking at what you can't do, you'll never find those things you can. Focus on your goals and do what it takes to reach them. Limitations may block the path but there is always a way around for those willing to look past them to the goal. The paths to success are much hard to find if you do nothing but focus on the limitations in front of you.

  6. Master Your Time: Time is the one constant in life. Everybody has the same amount of time each day and to be successful that time must be managed efficiently. Time can be wasted and poorly spent, or managed and mastered. Spend each hour of your day deliberately. Don't let work, leisure, or the problems of other people master your time. Set aside time for everything that is important (including leisure) but when the time for something is up then its up. You have other important things to do now.

  7. Trade Up, Not Down: You have to trade many things to succeed. Always make sure you come out ahead. In other words, don't sacrifice family time to work more while still keeping your TV time. Trade out the lesser important stuff for the more important stuff.
Everybody has a different definition of success. For some it's money, others its family, and still others it's being able to retire in style. Your definition may be a combination of these and other things. But whatever success means to you, you have to achieve it deliberately. It won't just happen. Set your goals and do what it takes to fulfill your dreams. Nobody else will do it for you, so whether you succeed or fail in reaching your destination; it's up to you.

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.

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