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Seeking to Succeed? 14 Ways to Get an Edge in the Business World

No matter what field you are in there are some basic strategies that can help you succeed in life. Here are 14 things you can do to improve your chances for a successful life.

Set Smart Goals

If you’re really serious about succeeding in the business sector, make sure that you take the time to set goals. These goals will empower you to stay organized and focused on the specific objectives that you’re trying to accomplish through your career. Remember that without a clear plan, you can wind up wandering around in circles without completing any real business-building work that establishes you in your field. Note that the goals you set could be anything from qualifying for a promotion to meeting a specific sales goal. When you set goals, make sure that they are SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-Specific

Manage Your Time

In today’s society we have so many “time-saving” devices… we no longer have to spend hours going to the well to carry a bucket of water (although in some places in the world this is still a problem), we can just turn on a faucet. We don’t have to hand scrub the laundry, we have a machine to do that. We don’t have to go to the library we have the internet to learn anything. But with all these time saving devices we have many time-wasting devices… like the internet, online games, facebook, etc. The key to success is to use your time wisely. You only have so many hours… and days and years.  Don’t waste them. Don’t let the time leeches steal your hours and days learn to manage your time wisely. The average person only spends 20% of their time doing the things that will help you get ahead and 80% of your time is “busy work”. Learn to avoid the “busy work” and focus on the important stuff  and you will be miles ahead. Imagine if you could shift just 10% from the 80 column to the 20 column. You would be 50% more productive than the average person… that is a major advantage!

Learn to Speak in Public

Public speaking is a skill that will last your lifetime. Once you feel comfortable in front of an audience you can get your ideas out and that leads to our next way to get ahead.

Become a Thought Leader

In addition to getting in the habit of setting goals, make sure that you focus on becoming a thought leader. This is one of the most powerful business-building strategies available because it grants you more visibility and credibility.

Becoming a thought leader is all about you publishing interesting, information-rich research that pertains to a topic that has been deemed relevant and important in your field. Presenting your research findings at conferences and lectures is the second part of cultivating thought leader status. Also note that publishing helpful, knowledge-based posts in your own business blog is a wonderful way to help you develop a reputation as an individual who is well-informed regarding the field in question.

Stop Whining

You can be a whiner or a winner but you can’t be both. Stop whining and do it.

Stay in the Present

If you are living in the past you’ll be depressed, if you’re living in the future you’ll  be anxious. The only time you have is now, you can’t change the past, the only time you have is now.

Be Consistent

Suppose you wanted to get from New York to Chicago. You know it is west so you head off into the sunset. The next day you choose a random road. Without a map there is a very good chance you will never get there. The worst way to try to get somewhere is to head in random directions. Be consistent in your search of a destination.

Get Enough Sleep

If you are constantly dragging because you don’t have enough sleep you won’t have the energy to scale the peak of success.

Network, Network, Network

Another strategy you can implement to optimize success in the business world is networking. Networking is integral to the success optimization process because it ensures that you’re constantly meeting the individuals who will eventually become your business partners, customers, mentors, etc. Note that there are at least two types of networking that you could do.

One is formal and the other is informal. Formal networking can involve things like attending a business luncheon. An informal mode of networking would include attending a baby shower and serendipitously meeting an individual whom you later hire to run your digital marketing campaign.

Keep Adapting

You may have a great idea but before long it will be copied so you always need to be adapting and changing to the current environment. There is an old saying, “If you are green you’re growing, if you’re ripe you’re rotting”.   The key is to always be growing.

Take Leadership Training Courses

Investing in ongoing education and training courses is a big key to getting an edge in the business world. This is the case because doing so ensures that you’re constantly expanding your skill set while also remaining cognizant of best practices and emerging trends within your industry. You should consider taking training courses in leadership development strategies.

Taking this step will empower you to interact with your fellow employees and supervisors in more productive, positive ways. Leadership training courses can cover numerous topics, including how to lead effective, productive meetings. As noted in Eagle’s Flight, skill-building activities for meeting optimization can include things like getting to the primary points quickly, staying on time and on task, and limiting distractions.


Develop self-confidence. By trying new things and constantly developing new skills you will develop self-confidence. When you have confidence in yourself others will follow and you will become a leader.

Learn to Listen

If you are always talking you close the door to new knowledge. Learn to listen to others you will learn more and you will discover what they want and need. If you can figure out how to fill those needs you will succeed. It may seem strange but life is not about getting but giving. Once you learn how to give others what they want you will get what you want. But to do this you must listen with an open mind. Don’t jump to conclusions, listen without judging until the end.

Have Empathy

Once you understand and listen to others you can have empathy for them and this will help you develop friendships, network and discover needs that need filling.

Start Succeeding Now!

If you’re serious about getting an edge in the business world, you should begin deciding which strategies you’ll use to realize the goal right now. Four strategies that can prove particularly beneficial in helping you move forward include taking leadership training courses, setting SMART goals, becoming a thought leader, and networking regularly. By implementing these strategies individually or synergistically, you’ll likely find that you develop the skills, knowledge, and social connections necessary to take your career in business to the next level!

About Tim McMahon

Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+