Successful businesses and successful people have a long list of attributes that contribute to and foster their accomplishments. However, today’s objective is to focus on five foundational attributes that apply to both personal as well as business success. Understanding and committing to these five core attributes will definitely propel you to a higher level of success.

Perspective: Fanny Crosby lost her sight as an infant. Yet, amazingly, she went on to become one of the most well-known lyricists of Christian hymns. During her long life, she wrote over 9,000 hymns. Among them are such enduring favorites as “Blessed Assurance” and “To God Be the Glory.”

Some people felt sorry for Fanny. A well-intentioned preacher told her, “I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when He showered so many other gifts upon you.” It sounds hard to believe, but she replied: “Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I was born blind? . . . Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior.” Fanny saw life with an eternal perspective. She was focused on the outcome – her final prize.

For the last three summers the Food Network has run the show “The Next Food Network Star.” Within the first several weeks of the season the judges inquire as to each contestant’s culinary point of view. What is his/her unique perspective on food, cooking, and the potential audience he/she may be in front of with this individual’s own show? Why would the audience at home want to watch their show and learn these recipes and techniques? Differentiation is critical as it is with your business and you. What is your business’s unique point of view? How does your perspective differ from the competition? What are your unique set of beliefs to business and your life, and how can YOU capitalize on those?

Conviction: Having a strong belief in yourself and your business goes hand in hand with your unique perspective. On a scale of 1-10 rate your belief in yourself and your belief in your business. Are your ratings where you want them to be? If not, why not? What you accomplished yesterday is a great measurement of the success of past decisions. However, your conviction or belief in yourself and in your business is a huge predictor of your future success.

Vision: Where do you want to go? What do you want to become? Why? Just like an organization’s vision your personal vision should be a short, succinct, and an inspiring statement of what you intend to become and achieve at some point in the future. Vision refers intentions that are broad, all-inclusive and forward thinking. It is the image that a business must have of its goals before it sets out to reach them. It describes aspirations for the future, without specifying the means that will be used to achieve those desired ends. Warren Bennis, a noted writer on leadership says: “To choose a direction, an individual (an organization) must have developed a mental image of the possible and desirable future state.”

Experience: Every individual and every business represents a unique set of skills and knowledge. How can you leverage those talents?

Attitude: “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.” This quote by Charles Swindoll states that attitude is more important than many things. The remarkable thing about attitude is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past, and we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is control our attitude and stay focused. Your attitude is your greatest tool!

Your challenge is to review these five attributes and conduct an honest assessment of where you stand as it relates to your perspective, conviction, vision, experience, and attitude. Are these five attributes propelling you to success, or are they hindering your desired outcome? Based on your answer to the last question what additional steps do you need to take or what do you need do differently? Your outcomes are directly connected to your choices—so choose wisely.

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