It’s no surprise that people who dislike their boring-but-safe, 9-to-5 jobs tend to be unsatisfied and unsuccessful in their careers. “That’s because the first ingredient to success is to do what you’re passionate about,” says Parviz Firouzgar, serial entrepreneur and author of 20/20 Hindsight. “We all need money to get by, but if you ever have the opportunity to take a chance and do what you actually love, take it. If you don’t like what you do, you will tend to have an aversion to doing what it takes to be very successful. Without passion, it’s almost impossible to distinguish yourself.”
Firouzgar left a middling corporate job in his early 20s and eventually earned a fortune. “When I started out, if you had told me that in a few years I’d be an expert in sweepstakes promotions, I would have laughed – but it happened,” says Firouzgar. “I went on to learn to grade and price diamonds of any size and quality, became a radio talk show host, invented a new way of supporting needy children around the world, and I now own a gold mine. Those are just some of the adventures I’ve had.”
Through trial and error and after decades of experience, Firouzgar has uncovered these four reliable tips for achieving your dream job.
A mentor can help you with 20/20 foresight. Firouzgar recommends developing a relationship with a mentor, who can also help you fast-track success. You’ll want to choose someone who is already successful so that the advice isn’t some form of wishful thinking. Ideally, you’ll find someone who has experienced hardship in life, and at least one major business failing. “Had I known what it would take to earn my first million before I’d earned that knowledge, it would have come much quicker and easier, and that’s why I wrote my book,” says Firouzgar.
Failure is life’s greatest teacher. It’s our failures that positively mold the most important features of our character – including humility and gratitude. It’s when we experience and overcome failure that success becomes a sustainable possibility.
The quality of your business plan largely determines your start-up phase. Getting excited over an idea is the fun part, but actually working through how an idea may develop is where the work begins. Creating a business plan entails creating something where, previously, there was nothing more than an idea. So, if you truly believe in your idea, do it justice by putting in the appropriate time, thought, and energy.
To-do lists provide the practical application of achieving goals. To-do lists act as cheat sheets for keeping your busy mind focused on what needs to be addressed at any given time. Entrepreneurs need to multitask to an extent. A list will keep you straight, and since you’ll be adding to the list regularly, make sure to cross out tasks that have been accomplished. “An added tip for a to-do list: do first what you like doing least,” says Firouzgar. “Even very disciplined people push off what they dislike. But if you get in the habit of accomplishing unattractive duties in the morning, the rest of your day can be that much more pleasant.”