Life isn’t always a bed of roses. Even billionaires with countless success stories to their names have faced shortfalls and failures in their lives. The constant struggle to be the best really does take a toll on a person and depending on how you look at things, life begins to look like a steep, uphill battle that never cuts you any slack.

But that’s the thing with success, it’s not meant to be easy. Take it from seasoned entrepreneurs like Neil Patel, an expert at growth hacking, who says that “entrepreneurship can suck”. Now Neil, for those of you who don’t know, is a pioneer of all things digital. He’s built several multimillion dollar software companies like KISSinsights and KISSmetrics to help businesses stay on top of customer trends by using powerful analytical tools.

If there’s one thing that Neil stresses upon, it’s that generating a constant influx of revenue stream is not the key to success. You could still run a company that makes a tremendous bottom line but live broke.

Success is the culmination of years of hard work, perseverance, and just a little bit of talent. Many people distil the definition of success down to something as menial as a ‘stroke of luck’. If success stories have taught us anything, luck doesn’t play a role in defining who you are and what you do. Only you can steer your life and business to success or toward an untimely doom.

It all boils down to the choices and decisions you make. A bad call you made decades ago could come back to haunt you. But you don’t have to let the past hunt you down since there are still ways you can turn your life around and transform yourself from nothing to something. Here are a few tips to help you carve your own success story.

personal life changes zero to heroPersonal Life Changes to Make

Building a Strong Work Ethic

It’s time to adopt a policy of ‘no compromise’ when it comes to work ethic. You shouldn’t let your hunger, tiredness, or mental fatigue get in the way of finishing the job. In the earliest stages of your career or business, you need to strive better than everyone else. Because, let’s face it, just about everyone is doing the bare minimum these days.

How can you expect to stand out from the crowd if you’re rinsing and repeating same old, same old? You need to work your tail off to make those clients happy and keep coming back. Those relationships you foster as a result of your continuous ongoing efforts help you come across as an authoritative figure in your target industry. And that’s good for business.

Focus Only on That Which Matters

Everything else takes the backseat. Dinner, sleep, and your hobbies need to be put on hold until you get the job done. In order to achieve success, you need to focus on the task at hand. Everything else is a deterrent that distracts you, and once you’ve lost focus, you’ve lost half the battle. It’s not easy to refocus once you’re derailed, so whatever happens, prioritize on maintaining that focus for as long as is possible.

Don’t Be Lazy

Ever found yourself staring into a blank for long periods of time? You’re daydreaming again! You’re so bored of your work and passion that staring into a blank wall or doing just about any other pointless activity is better than the alternative. It’s because you haven’t conditioned yourself to let go of pointless procrastination.

You’re not doing yourself any favors by giving in to the temptations of the comforts of procrastination. Time is running out, and time is money.

Make New Friends

It’s good to keep in touch with old friends.  But do you know that making new friends is even better? Make a positive impact on other peoples’ lives, and let them play a role on yours. Their experiences, their stories of success and failure, and their fresh perspective on life could help your search for the next best business model.

Or better yet, turn those friendships into healthy long-term relationships.

If friendships turn toxic, it’s better to cut them loose. Toxic relationships are like a dead weight; they’re going nowhere and are keeping you glued to the same spot. A good relationship, on the other hand, is like a catalyst that speeds up your chances of success.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s good to try mending relationships and see if you can make progress, but if you can’t budge the enemy after the umpteenth attempt, don’t just walk away – run for your life.

Focus on the Journey

It’s good to keep the end goal in mind, but don’t forget to pay attention to the journey. Many people set up goals and milestones but forget to take into account the journey along the way. Walking the road to success is like exploring uncharted territory. You may feel frightened, depressed, or hopeless.. Don’t let the unexpected obstacles along the way catch you off guard. Be prepared for everything.

When you take into account every single building block of success, you will start gaining small bursts of momentum, and instead of losing focus at the occurrence of seemingly insurmountable challenges, you will take them head-on. Why? Because overcoming them is now priority number one.

Don’t Make Excuses

Lying to others is bad. But lying to yourself is even worse. People do it all the time; make up false excuses so they don’t have to come to terms with failure. Let’s get one thing very clear, you control your life. Every decision you make will play a small incremental role in the positive or negative direction.

So if you’ve gained success, don’t be afraid to give yourself credit, and if you’ve failed, acknowledge that you’ve made mistakes and rectify them. Remember, just because you’ve failed, doesn’t mean the journey is over. Countless entrepreneurs will say the same, that success takes time, effort, and lots of failures along the way.

Take Those Risks

Plunge into the unknown abyss. You won’t know what you find; it could very well be a gold mine that becomes a source of perpetual revenue.

What’s the one thing that sets apart successful entrepreneurs from lesser known victors? Taking risks. Elon Musk took a risk when he bet all his life savings on building space rockets for a living (SpaceX), Bill Gates took a risk with Microsoft and Jack Dorsey when he turned down Facebook’s offer to buy off Twitter for $500 million.

These were calculated risks that paid off. Don’t take ridiculous risks that you know won’t pay off. Weigh the pros and cons to see if a risk is worth taking, and if the outcome is unexpectedly good, take the plunge.

The Secret Sauce to a Successful  Life

You have to be unrelenting, unabashed, unashamed, undeterred, and unrestrained to go from zero to hero.