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The 3 Most Obvious Steps to Success

If you've seen my TED talk, you know I think BIG about success.

In the thousands of emails I receive there is one recurring request--my secret to success. Everyone wants to know exactly what I did, step-by-step. However, success comes in many forms. To some, it may mean becoming a millionaire, and to others, it's about becoming a nun.

Before we talk about the three most obvious steps to success, you must define success. I believe success is about self-expression. That means that you are doing what you want to do in the way you want to do it with people you like to do it with. Think deeply about what your success can look like.

If you've envisioned your ultimate success, let me give you three of the most obvious steps you'll ever read. Here they are:

1. Know What You Want: People fail because they lack clarity. They don't know what they want. Because they don't know what they really want, they get mere randomness. These people have little control and let their circumstances control them. After all, if you don't know where you're going, there's no way you can get there.

Most people will say "I just want to be happy. I just want to be successful." However, if they haven't defined success, there's no way they can have it. The only way you can become that person is to know what you want. The best way to do so is by writing it down on paper.

Make a list of all the goals you want to accomplish. What books must you read? What conferences must you attend? What do you want on your website? Once you gain clarity on all these details, you'll be able to realize big results. Remember, a dull pencil is better than a sharp mind.

When I started out, I wanted to be an 'entrepreneur.' Although I didn't know what that meant, I aimed to figure it out by doing a lot of research. As I started to understand entrepreneurship, I began to find avenues to achieve my goals of success. If you define what you want, everything will come on your terms.

A confused mind says "No" - Anonymous

2. Find Those Who've Done It: A lot of people become discouraged in life because they find out what they want, but they don't know what to do to get there. In other words, they become inspired, but do not connect with anyone who can help them reach their goals.

When I got fired up about entrepreneurship I made a list of every single business owner I knew. Even though most of my list contained people who weren't even as successful as I wanted to be, I still reached out to them and asked them for advice.

Whether my conversation with them was 5 minutes or 55 minutes, I took as many notes as possible. While some of the advice I heard was horrendous, some of it was actually good. In short, try to seek mentors who have accomplished what you want to do.

"The people you're looking for are also looking for you!" -Daniel Ally

3. Use Their Strategies: Once you learn from your mentors, apply their techniques. Be careful to emulate their strategies, not their personalities. If you apply their personality, you'll end up being just like them. No one wants you to be a duplicate version of someone else, so just be yourself.

There are many strategies you can use, so be sure to study a lot of different people. Many times, you'll even want to learn from people outside of your industry. I learn a lot from retailers, real estate, and restaurants. If you observe your surroundings carefully and take notes, you'll be able to gather tons of knowledge.

Once you use other strategies you will be able to create your own. That’s the beauty about becoming successful. For instance, ten painters might draw their paintings in a certain way, but since you’ve studied them all you can pick and choose which strategies you want to use, mix them or devise your own!

"If you're trying to be everyone else, who will be you?" -Daniel Ally


Success is within you. Take these three obvious steps and make it happen: know what you want, search for those who've accomplished it, and use their strategies until you create your own. That's my secret to achieving big success. What's your secret? Comment, like, and share!

Daniel Ally

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