How do you define success? When a group of 5- to 16-year-olds were asked that very question, their answers ranged from being good at karate to being Justin Bieber. Meanwhile, a poll of the elderly (with a mean age of 80) viewed self-acceptance and self-contentment as evidence of success.
And for those of us who fall somewhere in between, wrestling with defining (and achieving) success, there’s plenty of wisdom still to be gleaned from Sam Walton’s 10 Rules for Success:
Rule #1: Commit to your business. Believe in it more than anything else. If you love your work, you’ll be out there every day trying to do the best you can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you – like a fever.
Rule #2: Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners. In turn, they will treat you as a partner, and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations.
Rule #3: Motivate your partners. Money and ownership aren’t enough. Set high goals, encourage competition and then keep score. Make bets with outrageous payoffs.
Rule #4: Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners. The more they know, the more they’ll understand. The more they understand, the more they’ll care. Once they care, there’s no stopping them. Information is power, and the gain you get from empowering your associates more than offsets the risk of informing your competitors.
Rule #5: Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.
And my personal favorite:
Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction.
I encourage you to read through his full list, available here, and can tell you from personal experience, building others up to be successful, happy, and fulfilled – whether your employees, spouse, children, grandchildren, or any of the others who are part of your circle of influence – can’t help but pave the way towards your own success. Karate mastership is optional.