Success. Inspired.

How to inspire others to success in business and life.

I have a client who mentors Virtual Assistants in hopes that they will one day be successful in their own businesses. Each day, I complete tasks that  show her audience the ins and outs of the business and inspire them to success. Recently, I caught myself pondering one of my tasks very closely: Collect Motivational quotes to share on Twitter each day. I thought to myself, what is motivation. Is it the same as inspiration? Does it matter? Here’s what I found:

Motivation is defined as the willingness of action.
Inspiration in its most archaic form is to breathe life into.

I’ll break it down. To lose 10 pounds – you need to be motivated.  To completely change your lifestyle and way of eating – you need to be inspired. To look for a job – you need to be motivated. To be successful in life – you must be inspired.

If you are a successful executive or entrepreneur, I’d like to give you 4 tips on how to pay it forward and  inspire others to be successful.

  1. Be successful

Achieve your own success. You may be considering a promotion, starting a business or taking some other great leap of faith. Well…do it! It’s not until you’ve started the journey, that you can show someone else how to take that first step.

You may have already become successful, but not yet given yourself the credit you deserve. Maybe you’ve started the business, but haven’t hit your goals. Maybe you’ve gotten a promotion to Director, but you aspire to be a VP. What you must realize, is that someone, somewhere aspires to be exactly where you are. There’s a person working an entry-level job in your company who wants to know how you made it to Director. There’s a person, who has a dream of owning a business, wanting to follow in the few steps that you’ve already been brave enough to take. All they need is a role model, a mentor, someone to inspire them to become what they were meant to be.

  1. Have a story, and tell it

We all come from somewhere. We are a culmination of the experiences that we’ve been through: our childhood, the way our parents raised us. Were you forced by poverty to start work at a young age or taught by hard working parents that every able bodied person has a responsibility to work? Did you grow up on the mean streets of the big city or climb your way out of the sticks of a small town? These are all stories; the key is that you are successful in spite of that story.  Now, tell everyone who will listen.

The interesting thing about our stories, is that we share them, with our neighbors, schoolmates, siblings and friends. If we can show them that we’ve overcome the very same story that they live every day and have grown past it to be something greater, they’ll believe that they can too. They’ll be inspired to change their life, overcome their circumstances, and become successful. But, if you don’t tell your story they will never know that what you’ve done is possible.

  1. Connect

In order to really tell people your story and know if it’s relevant to them, you must talk about their story. Or anything other than yourself. The biggest mistake I’ve seen “successful” people make is that every time you see them, they’re talking about their most recent win. Or even worse, they are trying to sell you their newest product. The last thing they want to hear is that you’re on top of your game and if they do what you do, they can have a shiny new sports car just like yours. That’s bragging. It’s a turnoff.

Instead of inspiring them to become a better version of themselves, you’ve made them resent your new sports car and anything you did to get it. You’re trying to motivate them with a fancy car, when they need to be inspired to overcome their fears and trepidation in the workplace. Connect with people first. We all know that everyone’s favorite topic is: themselves. Ask them what their goals are and what barriers they have to reaching them. In this way, you’ll open the door to tell them your story and maybe, inspire success.

  1. Stay grounded

You must remain accessible to those around you. It’s wonderful to celebrate your accomplishments; just do so in a way that shows that anyone with the same level of determination and inspiration can achieve those same things. If you’re a spiritual person, give credit to your God. Acknowledge the people in your family or community that have helped you get where you are.

Don’t put yourself up on a pedestal where others believe they cannot reach. Most of all, be honest about your accomplishments and your failures. Did you get a bad performance review at work, but turned it around in record time in order to impress your boss? Maybe you’ve started three businesses before that weren’t successful, but this one has finally taken off. It’s important for people to see that you’ve had failures, hit stumbling blocks and KEPT ON MOVING. That will inspire them to do the same.

If you’ve achieved a certain level of success you MUST share it. Why?

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” Benjamin Disraeli

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