Years ago, I sought out the advice of a friend on becoming a business owner. His advice was to read Og Mandino’s Classic, The Greatest Salesman In The World. I devoured the book in three days. Now,14 years later, I have read over 1,000 non-fiction business, leadership, and personal development books, which include over 200 biographies and auto-biographies.
These books, and the advice contained in them, are the reasons for my success in business and life. Books written by or about the world’s greatest leaders and business owners are easily my preferred reading genres. I’ve come to realize that these books contained the wisdom and experiences of the subjects. It’s virtual mentorship!
Recently, I read Behind The Cloud by Salesforce.com founder Marc Bienoff. As I was finishing this read, I realized that there were three things that all of the people that I have read about had in common, and that these points were actually signs that they were becoming successful. I’m sure you will enjoy discovering that you likely already have one or more of these signs in your life.
Success breeds contempt. It is the most fascinating part of being successful. The disdain that some develop for the successful is actually envy and a lack of self-control that the hater has. As we get closer to the goals we set for ourselves, our confidence grows, our belief grows, and we tend to separate ourselves from the flock. New York Times best-selling author Chris Brady calls it becoming a Rascal.
"Rascals separate themselves from the sheeple," he says, and in doing so, they stand out. Average people struggle with anyone who stands out. It is inevitable that you will attract haters the closer you get to your goals.
The closer we get to our goals, the more offers we will have presented to us. People will notice as our success grows, and we will start to be seen as wise and as an authority. We will notice the amount of people who come to us with offers of investments, advisory board positions, and opportunities to try new things increase with our success. We are all looking for someone to help us rise to the next level, and the easiest place to look is those who are already having success.
Have you noticed lately that people are approaching you on a regular basis about new partnerships in business, philanthropy and giving? This is another clear sign that you are hitting your goals. The old saying is, “You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with." If you are getting approached about new partnerships—congratulations, you have likely developed into the type of person who other people want to be around.
The collective wisdom that I have learned from my books and in the art of dealing with haters, offers and partners is to stay even-keeled. It is very easy to have your head swell when you start to be solicited with offers or partners. When the offers and partners come, remember where you started. Remember how hard it was in the beginning.
Obviously, the most important thing to remember is to stay focused, and don’t over-commit to anyone. It feels nice when others seek you out for advice and opportunity, but it can be easy to say yes. The best route is to ask for time to consider before responding.
As far as the haters go, congratulations! It is the clearest sign that you are getting there. The bigger the success, the greater the pests. Over time, you will realize that even the haters will help you. If you are having a hard time understanding that, then take a few more minutes and read my article, ‘3 reasons to thank your critics.’
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor.
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