Secret to Success: Success Starts With YOU

June 29, 2011 Katja Presnal

secret to success, Aaron Peirsol, Olympic Swimmer
Pictured: Olympic medalist Aaron Peirsol showing his Gold Medal.

I’ve met a lot of successful people; Olympic athletes, business owners, famous actresses, and when I’ve asked about their success and how to get there most of them answer the exact same things. Hard work, keeping your goals high, going after what you want, not giving up. Not even one says, sit at home and wait someone will discover your talent. People like to tell stories of for example Justin Bieber of making little music videos on YouTube until he was “discovered” and skyrocketed to his stardom, but that’s not true. That kid was working hard since he knew how to speak and walk – and he still keeps working hard!

I think we live in this illusion that things come easier for other people. Sure, sometimes people get lucky, or they have money, or know right people, heck, sometimes even all of them and that helps them succeed. But some people can also have the right settings for success, and they never make it. Success starts from within. You have to know what to do with the money, know how to act when opportunity knocks, know how to work with the right people you know.

Years in college, numerous business books, and several companies later I can still testify that everything that matters in business, success and life I learned from my parents. Should this tell you to listen to your parents? Maybe. But this absolutely should tell you to use the lessons you learn in life in every aspect of your life – and if you are a parent; start teaching the lessons for your children when they are still young.

My children are 8, 9 and 11, and I already talk about the business/work world with them. No, I am not pressuring them to seek a specific career, but I answer all of their questions and teach them innovative problem solving skills and to follow their passion. My son is eight years old, and during a recent dinner talk we asked him what he wanted to do when he grows up. An entrepreneur mother and a pilot father, and his answer was wanting to found the Presnal Airlines, and offer private jet experience for travelers. Very cute, huh? But instead of just diminishing his dream as cute, and unattainable, we discussed about ways to make it happen.

Too often we are crushed because our goals seem too high and people laugh at us because our dreams seem impossible to achieve. But yet, every day we read about people doing remarkable things, and think why not me. Or worse yet, we tend to think that other people are so much more amazing than we are, we could never start our own business/run a marathon/travel around the world/invent a new product.

Success starts with YOU. You can make it happen.
And don’t you let anyone ever tell you can’t be successful.
And don’t you let anyone ever tell you what your success should look like.
YOU define what success means to you, and it is OK if it means different things than for most people.

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Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal shows how to live Nordic inspired life to the fullest and plan your dream life. Katja owns Presnal5 strategic marketing intelligence agency and wants to help marketing professionals to combine a dream career and dream life via freelance work.Katja is an award-winning marketing strategist, and a well-known speaker. Katja has lived in five different countries, and seven states in the USA. Her three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks.

Comments (13)

  1. I love you! You are awesome!!! I needed that, seriously needed that! I live by everything happens for a reason however need to remember exactly what you wrote above to live by that!

  2. Ahh I absolutely love this! And what a great lesson for your son. Not only can he share his dreams with you, but he can be secure that you will take him seriously. What a gift.

  3. What a great way to motivate your kids and remind us all that you have to work hard to get what you want. Stay postive and motivated.

    First time visitor, great blog!

  4. LOVE this. I wrote about something similar today, too!

    Thanks for the motivation.

    Winks & Smiles,
    Wifey

  5. Nadia

    Bravo Katja, excellent post! Your children are lucky to have such incredibly supportive parents such as you and your husband.

  6. Love your message here Katja. I would add that it is important to create your own definition of success based on your core values as otherwise it is very easy to end up chasing someone elses definition of success and living someone elses life.

  7. Enjoy Life Oils

    Yes Zippy. And also many people don’t realize that they ARE in the right place at the right time, and they simply miss the opportunity. The opportunity isn’t always loud and clear, but you have to keep your eyes open for it, and be ready when it does come along. Opportunity to win an Olympic medal doesn’t even come around once a year – but you have to prepare for the opportunity for years. The “big hit” doesn’t start with an opportunity or luck or whatever you call it – you have to start preparing and working towards it so you can make it/do it/win it/crush it when the time comes.

  8. So many people think that success is a matter of luck, or being at the right place at the right time. It’s really quite simple. We are responsible for whatever comes to us in life. Thanks for the reminder.

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