5 Ways to Ensure Success

There are so many ways to better yourself professionally and personally. Reading books written by successful, well-spoken people is certainly one of those ways!

To start off my new career, I decided to read the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

The book was incredibly rich with suggestions regarding how to be successful in relationships, business interactions, and everyday communications. At first, I was so nervous to read this book. It seemed daunting to potentially change the way I communicate with people. Also, reading something and realizing, “Man, I’m really not good at X, Y, or Z” is hard, and I wasn’t sure if I was prepared for that.

Even though I had those initial concerns, I am so glad I read this book! It was enlightening, and allowed me to set goals for myself that weren’t too daunting. If you want to ensure that you’re successful in your relationships, business interactions, and everyday communications, take a look at these five points:

Be enthusiastic.

If you want to be successful, you need to be able to win people over to your way of thinking. What better way to do that than sharing your excitement and passion? This requires no manipulation or coercion on your part, it just requires your dedication and confidence in your cause. Enthusiasm makes people pay attention. It motivates them to look into your product, business, or friendship and assume that it is worthwhile. Why else would you be so enthusiastic about it?

I think this point can be especially applicable to those of you trying to start businesses and blogs. My guess is that you’ve noticed how difficult it is to get reach the audience you want, and even when you do, how to keep them interested. You certainly need to do your part and offer a great product or service, but being enthusiastic will get your foot in the door until your product can speak for itself.

Listen and be interested.

I’ve found that the best mentors, friends, and colleagues have a knack for making us feel empowered after having a conversation with them. How do they do that? One thing they undoubtedly do is listen wholeheartedly and actually take interest in what you’re saying. I think we can all agree that when we’re listened to and empathized with we feel valued and important.

I realized the importance of this principle last week when buying a new car. The first dealership we went to had a great car that I was super interested in, but it was a little out of my price range. As I talked with the dealer, he was set on his original price and would not bend at all even though there was a dent in one of the doors and the interior hadn’t been detailed. The next dealer I went to spent time getting to know me and what I was looking for in a car. He suggested multiple cars in my price range and have me both advantages and disadvantages, including how it would be able to drive across the country. This was particularly important to me since I’ll be moving this summer.

Obviously I bought a car from the second dealer, because he listened and took interest in what was important to me.

Spaces

Be agreeable.

This is a tough one for me sometimes. Most of us, even if we’re generally kind people, have an unfortunate first instinct… Which is to be disagreeable and defensive. Since this is the case, we need to try our best to think before we speak. Mind-blowing, I know. This can be especially difficult when we have completely different views from the person we’re talking to. Here are a couple tips for staying agreeable

  1. Avoid criticism. This is the exact opposite of being agreeable! When trying to win someone over to your way of thinking, you want them to know that you value them and appreciate the work they do.
  2. Focus on the things you do agree on… and reinforce those points often. Even if you disagree on some points, bringing up the points on which you agree will help you come off as the reasonable person you are.
  3. Don’t be a downer. People want to be happy, so give them a pleasant conversation that leaves them in a better mood than you found them in.

Give Praise.

In addition to being enthusiastic, agreeable, interested, and a great listener, it’s important to give praise to others. Make sure when you give compliments that you’re being sincere. Sincere praise makes people feel valued and reinforces to them that their efforts are acknowledged and appreciated.

This is a great tip for being successful in any kind of communication, even in problematic situations. For example, if you have a family member or employee that consistently has behavior problem of performs poorly, it could be beneficial to praise the things you see them do well. This will give them a desire to improve, because they will see that they can! Praising them every step of the way, even with slight improvements, and remembering not to criticize will improve help you be a more successful communicator.

It’s about them.

This point seems to go without saying, but try not to make the conversation about you. Don’t brag about your accomplishments or vent about your problems. Everyone has accomplishments they want to talk about, and everyone has burdens… And their accomplishments and burdens are much more interesting to them than yours. This may sound harsh, but it’s so true! People will get bored with you very fast if you spend the whole conversation trying to make yourself seem important. Your job, instead, should be to make THEM feel important.

Let me know how these tips go for you! Try to set some specific goals and see if your success in relationships, business interactions, and everyday communications improve. Do you agree with these points? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Makayla

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66 thoughts on “5 Ways to Ensure Success

    1. I completely agree, thanks for sharing! I’ve followed your blog and look forward to learning money tips!

  1. Extremely helpful advice.
    In today’s world, people of all ages dream of being successful but most of them get let down in the the first try. This post could really help them understand the true meaning of success and how to achieve their goals🙂

    1. Thanks so much! I think it’s definitely helpful to be diligent in your pursuit of success, because like you said, no one really succeeds on the first try.

      1. Hey Makayla! My name is Udita and I’m a new blogger around here. I was wondering if you could give me some tips on success. How do you know whether something is worth pursuing? If you dont like something or dont get it in the first try, should we be gritty and keep trying or let go and find something else that truly pleases us?

  2. “Man, I’m really not good at X, Y, or Z” is hard, and I wasn’t sure if I was prepared for that.

    I think this is the most important step, when pursuing a better life. Be true to yourself in self-reflection,
    the truth is easy to hear anytime its not your own.

    1. I completely agree! I think it’s really hard to be honest with yourself in self-reflection sometimes. No one wants to hear criticism and if you admit to yourself that you need to change, then you’re completely aware of it. So, if you don’t do it… then it’s completely your choice, not just lack of awareness.

    1. Oh wow, thank you so much! If you have the time, post a link to your sister site. I’d absolutely love to check it out.

  3. I couldn’t help but chuckle at “be agreeable.” I sometimes find myself being so defensive, but when you bring yourself down a level and actually listen…well, that can go a long way! Really loved reading this post! I was big into reading PD books this fall and last summer. I need to get back on that train soon!

      1. Perfect! Thanks! I think the only two I read from that list is Habits and Tuesdays with Morrie. I shouldn’t be telling you this sounds great! Might add that to my very long list of books to read this year haha

    1. I totally agree. Determination could have it’s own post because of how important it is to success! You should write about that and send me the link when you’re done, I need some inspiration in that department! Haha

  4. Wow, I loved this post! All the pointers are on-point and am so glad I read this. Listening is super important and can make or break a conversation so I definitely agree on it being a part of building better relationships. I love the advise: don’t be a downer. In a time like today where everyone’s strangled with negativity, it’s good to not keep reminding people about the same and strangling whatever positivity the conversation is holding on. Amazing 😀

    1. I loved that piece of advice too. Unfortunately, being a downer is certainly the easier route and being a good listener takes practice and intention. I totally understand the struggle! I hope to get better at this as time goes on ☺

  5. I think this is really sage advice. As a social worker/educational assistant I don’t have much of a business mind, but if I am looking to market myself eventually as a freelance writer or artist as a change of career, I find this helpful. It confirms things I’ve wondered and enhances my understanding on other aspects. Great post.

    1. I’m so glad the advice was useful, Carnegie really knew what he was talking about! One really important thing to keep in mind is compassion, because without it none of the advice mentioned above would have any effect. Caring about people is always the most important thing, which I’m sure you have down 100% as a social worker!

      1. Sometimes to a fault, but yes.. the caring part and ability to read and assess people is also a benefit. To know what is helpful for them to hear, how it is helpful for them to hear it.. can make a huge difference. 🙂 The ability to listen can come in handy as well. 😉

    1. That is a really great question. I don’t think it’s reasonable for someone to ALWAYS be enthusiastic (sometimes you’re just tired, discouraged, or even just hungry!). I think the best thing you can do is work really hard during those bouts of enthusiasm so when you’re “not feelin’ it,” you won’t be as discouraged.

      For example, when I’m in the mood to write a blog post, sometimes I’ll sit down to write three and schedule two of them to publish on different days in the future. That way, if I don’t have enthusiasm later, I’m still okay. Does that answer your question? I’d really love to help.

      1. I was just curious what you do. It’s hard to ask for advice or give it since we don’t know each other, we’re all different people with different needs and habits.
        I always have enthusiasm to write. But it’s a different kind of enthusiasm. You’re more introverted, in your own world. The problem occurs mainly when we feel a partial or complete lack of enthusiasm for other people. So, it’s hard to listen to any kind of general advice which is supposed to apply to all. Each of us needs to figure their own way to recover, recuperate and find the strength so as to copy easier with the outside world.

        1. I see where you’re coming from. I didn’t want it to seem as if I know all the answers; I certainly don’t. I was just sharing what helps me, in case it was applicable and giving an example for clarification.

          Right now I’m a gerontology graduate student with a full time job at an investment banking firm. I enjoy reading personal development books and reviewing them to share the knowledge of others who have learned tried-and-true methods for success. My hope is that by sharing those more general methods, more people will be able to glean inspiration and apply them to their own lives, even if all of the information isn’t applicable.

          1. That’s perfectly legitimate. Besides, I don’t have to agree with every blogger on every topic. I see the blogging world not as a battling ground, nor a place for imposing ideas but sharing opinions, knowledge and experience. So, no judging, fruitful discussions instead.

  6. Here are a few more suggestions:

    Treat yourself with respect, and demand respect from others.

    Always act professionally, even if others do not.

    Do not rely on charm or beauty to achieve your business goals. These may be assets, along with your intelligence and capacity for hard work. But they cannot be your primary tools or you will never be taken seriously.

    Always act with integrity.

    Best Wishes,

    A.

  7. I agree with you, Carnegie’s advice is timeless! Another interesting book you may look at for a shifted perspective is Susan Cain’s: Quiet, the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. Great juxtaposition against Carnegie’s work. Keep posting, love your ideas! Can’t wait to see what is next!

    1. Thanks so much for the recommendation! I’m going to put that on my “need to read” list on Goodreads!

    1. Thanks so much! I’ve given you a follow. I’m glad we have similar taste in books; have you read any other personal or professional development books lately?

        1. Hm, I wonder if there’s another website that focuses more on other languages? You might find a larger following here on WP with English (if that’s a goal of yours!)

    1. Carnegie’s book definitely has a lot of information for all ages, thanks for reminding me! No one’s perfect, right? 😉

  8. Hi Makayla,

    I saw you tweeting about books and I thought I’d check out your website. I really like it. Looks like Makayla has come a long way!

    Building a mailing list like you are is so important too, I think people would really like to be signed up to what you have to share.

    Good job on the social buttons, social media is so powerful these days

    You should consider installing an SEO plugin like Yoast or something, theres loads of good free ones.

    Also places like supa growth make free software for websites like yours, be worth checking out.

    http://linkshrink.net/7dgYuH

    Keep making great stuff!

    1. Thanks for the advice! I do have an SEO plugin now, but the mailing list is harder. Let me know if you have any tips!

    1. I think that quote is definitely true. And if you COULD do it on your own, it wouldn’t be worth anything without other people anyway.

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