Susan's Blog

9 Tips for Young People in Business to Start Strong and Achieve Success!

Susan Ershler (1)

You recently graduated with your BA or MBA, you’ve applied for your dream job (or any job), and—hurrah—you’re hired! Congratulations. Now what?

When you’re starting out in business, the world is your oyster. But an oyster is no good without know-how: You must learn the rules of how, when and where to eat your oyster, you must have the tools to open the shell, the good sense to season it properly, and the leadership ability to show others where to find their own oysters.

As much as I love the oyster metaphor, the comparison that comes even more easily for me is looking at your professional goals as the highest peak of the highest mountain. This is likely because in my life I have both reached challenging business goals time and time again, and I’ve climbed the Seven Summits with my husband (a professional climbing guide)—together we set a world record when we were the first couple to climb all seven peaks. I am proud that we’ve both achieved these personal and professional goals, and honored to share our knowledge with others.

So, as a newbie, how can you reach your highest peak? What skills do you need? What training? Moreover, what do you need to keep yourself motivated every step of the way?

Here are nine great tips to motivate and guide you toward your summit—you can find more motivation in my books Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales, andTogether on Top of the World.

  1. First, project your vision. Articulate what you want. Every success begins with an ambitious and clearly articulated vision statement. Write it down, put it up on the wall, and look at it every single day.
  2. Self-assess. Effective plans are realistic and achievable. Set your goals high, but make sure you have a clear understanding of where you are starting, so that you might accurately measure how far you have to go.
  3. Measure your success. Create objective metrics to track your progress against goals. Write out concise, levelheaded goals that support your vision and track that progress.
  4. Prepare. Learn everything. Learn about your company, products, and services and acquire the in-depth market knowledge and industry expertise you’ll need to perform at the elite level. Read articles, listen actively in meetings, and ask questions to your boss or a mentor.
  5. Push through the pain. Every goal, whether it’s climbing a mountain or reaching a new level in the workplace has the potential to be mentally uncomfortable or even painful as you learn new skills and adjust to your routine. Push through that discomfort to meet your goals.
  6. Self-assess. Effective plans are realistic and achievable. Set your goals high, but make sure you have a clear understanding of where you are starting, so that you might accurately measure how far you have to go.
  7. Travel light. Declutter your life, both metaphorically and physically, and make sure your priorities are clear. We are living in an age of information overload and you have to be able to focus on what will actually create positive change for you as you work toward your goals.
  8. Do the hard things first. The things that can most impact your success are the things that often seem hardest, and therefore get procrastinated. Do the hard, high-priority things first, and you’ll unlock your potential and set yourself apart from others in the workplace.
  9. Achieve Balance. No one should work all the time. Peak performers strive to maintain a healthy balance between their personal and professional lives. Exercise, experience nature, spend time with your family and friends, and enjoy life. It will make you stronger when you return to your goals.

Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales by Susan Ershler