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Life Advice

9 Practical Success Tips from TEDx Speaker and Entrepreneur Deepak Hariharan

Success doesn’t happen overnight! It takes time and lots of hard work. Plus, you have to work in a right direction with a precise strategy. You have to learn new things and know success tips to make everything work in your way. Also, it is necessary to learn from people who are experienced and know how to handle tricky situations. One such person is Mr Deepak Hariharan, founder and CEO of MentorYes – A mentorship network which helps youth in seeking guidance on academics, career, and more from people who are experts in their respective fields. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, an experienced management consultant, and a TEDx speaker. 

In an interaction with Goodvitae, this multifaceted entrepreneur shared success tips that can help anyone in creating a bright future.

So here are nine practical success tips that can bring a positive change in your life:

1. Which quality or habit do you think is necessary to find success in life?

“Success happens when one has the right set of skills, knowledge and attitude.
a. Knowledge comes from outside – you can learn it.
b. Skills come from doing – working hard.
c. The most important factor – Attitude – is the toughest to build, and comes from a deep effort to develop the right spirit and mindset.
Of the three; Attitude is a game changer, which makes all the difference.”

Success tip #1: Make sure to improve your skills, knowledge, and attitude, but focus more on the last one as it can break or make you.

2. How should one plan to succeed in career?

“The first step towards success – is actually to take a step back and look at the macro picture. Think about your dreams and aspirations – on all dimensions: career, personal dreams, relationships, family and more.

Set the big goals in life as SMART Goals (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-bound) and then break it down into weekly progress plans. It automatically defines the direction for all your decisions and actions – and enables you to focus on the present and doing it effectively and efficiently.”

Success tip #2:  Set an ultimate life goal then divide it into smaller measurable goals and make sure to complete them in a time-bound manner.

3. How should one make improvements on a daily basis?

“I believe in a 5-a-day policy, which means doing at least five concrete tasks each day that get you closer to the goals (on all fronts, not just the work goal.) The rest of the time, energy and mind-space can go into routine activities. Think about it, if one does 1800 tasks in a year, everything is achievable in life.”

Success tip #3: Everyday do something which brings you closer to your goals.

4. Do you think that money is a measure of success?

“Absolutely not. To rephrase Aamir Khan (3 Idiots) – Chase your dreams and make sure to work hard, money and success will follow. There is no point in being the richest person on the planet if that means you lead a life of hoarding or fear of losing it. Once you have built success in other dimensions, money will find a way to follow.

Larry and Sergey while working on Google defined the vision as “Do no evil” and make peoples’ lives simpler. The revenue model of advertising came in much later. Compare that with Yahoo who was more revenue oriented and lost focus on its customers. Their contrasting stories tell a lot.”

Success tip #4: Success and money will follow you when you work for excellence to bring a positive change.

5. What is the importance of failure with respect to success?

“If you are not failing enough, that means you are not innovating enough – and you aren’t growing. Success built on the foundation of failures is far more resilient – and has the staying power for long. Look at Elon Musk or Richard Branson – they weren’t overnight successes, and have far more failure stories than successes. But their success is bright and so large that it hides away the failures that led to them.

Overnight successes do not last – look at the case of Rahul Yadav of Housing.com. When something comes too easy, you tend to lose it very fast.”

Success tip #5: Don’t be afraid to fail, as it will teach you valuable lessons, which are important in achieving success.

6. Can you share some success tips for students?

“There is no shortcut or a single route to success. Keep trying new things, continue learning, take time out to think and ponder over the big picture, and have interesting conversations with different people. Victory just requires that one great move that works and makes all the effort and stumbling worth it.”

Success tip #6: Work hard and keep learning and don’t give up even if you fail; you will achieve success for sure.

7. How to get rid of stagnation thoughts and step out of the comfort zone?

“It takes tremendous willpower and willingness to accept failure. Most people do not want to relinquish this comfort zone because of social pressures, lack of confidence and many more factors.

Remember, one does not run a marathon without running a few smaller races. The trick is to make small nudges initially – trying one small thing, speaking to one new person – once you get that done, do a little more the next day. It is very much like working out at a gym – it’s tough in the beginning, hurts all over and you don’t want to go back. But in a few days, you start liking it and gain momentum. Once you have broken the barriers of the mind that define the comfort zone, it gets a lot easier. Grunt your way and push through the first few days, and you’ll be fine.”

Success tip #7: Try new things every day to get out of comfort zone. Start with the easy ones first and gradually increase the level so that it becomes a habit. 

8. Which one is more important, life goal or external motivation?

“External motivation is temporary – it is a carrot or stick situation and disappears when the reward/penalty disappears. To stay true to your goals, the urge must be intrinsic. Though it requires an external stimulus to ignite the will, it is self-motivation that keeps you going.”

Success tip #8: It’s important to build intrinsic motivation to keep you working for a long time.

9. Can you recommend any book which can help anyone to become better in life?

“There are quite a few books that have helped me that I would whole-heartedly recommend:

1. Dale Carnegie has written a series of amazing books that help address a lot of initial inertia and fears. They have assisted me in building the right attitude and developing key life skills.

2. Productivity Ninja by Graham Allcott – The book changed the way I plan and work towards my goal. It’s a one-stop source for achieving high productivity in work life.

3. Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki was my bible when I started up. If you plan to become an entrepreneur – this is an absolute must-read.

To stay abreast of new thoughts and invigorate new ideas, I highly recommend checking out TED and TEDx videos.

Also, the course material for eDX is very good, and if you can access Ivy League content for free; it’s a no-brainer that everyone should benefit from this.”

Success tip #9: Read books and listen to different experts as they will help in learning new things and generating new ideas. It’s one of the most important success tips. 

Did you like success tips for improving life? If yes, then please share it with your friends and give your feedback in the comment section. 


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