Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.
Building a sustainable business from your creative ideas is a long process. It requires endless hard work and the ability to withstand a great many dark moments before the light of success finally shines on you. Drawing on the 8 dimensions of character, identified by Wintley Phipps, can keep you going when your resolve and commitment are stressed to the breaking point.
The 8 Dimensions of Character
1. Strong faith: the ability to believe in what you cannot see.
You must believe in yourself and the value of pursuing your passion for business long before there will be any tangible evidence of a valid basis for it. When the going gets tough, you might be driven to abandon your dreams of a better future. The stronger your faith in yourself and your work, the less likely this is to happen. Not quitting when many others would surrender in defeat increases your potential to succeed.
2. Moral integrity and goodness.
The road to success is littered with opportunities to take shortcuts that include: lying, cheating, engaging in deceptive practices, and even stealing. You may even see many such actions being rewarded and few of the people who choose to operate this way suffering any obvious penalty or punishment for their undesirable behaviours.
You instinctively know when something isn’t right. Your reputation is a valuable asset that must never be knowingly compromised. Don’t let others corrupt your moral integrity or sour the goodness in your heart. Success achieved in less honourable ways, such as by gaming the system and taking advantage of people driven by desperation, is not worthy of having and often short-lived.
3. Love of learning, knowledge, wisdom (knowing how to apply knowledge).
Along your business-building journey you’ve likely invested in your future success by purchasing books and courses, attending conferences, and perhaps even by working with one or more coaches. You’ve paid close attention to what was being offered and did the work required to apply this advice without question. Yet, still you might not be seeing the results you’d hoped for. How does this happen?
Sometimes it happens because you applied what you have read, seen, heard or learned incorrectly. It almost always happens when those you’ve studied and worked with in the past did not give you all the pieces needed to make your business work. (Sadly, this is a very common practice. It does not reflect in any way on you or your ability to created a successful business.) And, occasionally, it happens because those you’ve paid to help you weren’t professionally qualified or experienced enough to guide you appropriately and, subsequently, gave you advice that simply doesn’t work.
However, if you have a love of learning and knowledge you will continue working to achieve your goals and objectives. You might have acquired some wisdom from all those lessons learned the hard way but, more importantly, you will not stop. But I doubt you need to continue spending thousands of dollars on more books and training courses to make progress. What you really need is expert guidance and support, a framework that delivers transformative results, and the self-discipline to do the work required.
4. Self-control: If you cannot walk away from something, you do not own it; it owns you.
As much as you love the things that you love, you must not become emotionally attached to them. Like life, all success is temporary. Let it, and the financial rewards that come with it, be your servant, not your master.
5. Patience: People of strong character are people who can hang in for the long haul. They don’t try get-rich-quick schemes.
Every day you are bombarded with offers that condition you to believe your success only requires mastering the latest tip, trick or trend. And, if you’ve fallen for this nonsense, you’ve no doubt learned these cheap tricks are very expensive. They haven’t solved your problems, or eliminated the obstacles holding you back, and you don’t have any of the results that distracted you from what really needs to be done to succeed in business.
There is no shortcut to success. And that’s the truth.
It’s all about you:
- doing the hard work,
- focusing your effort,
- applying the best practices needed to keep you moving confidently toward your goals, and
- rising up and eliminating the fears and obstacles keeping you from stepping into your own power.
It takes time to succeed. And that time requires your patience.
6. Respect for what you hold sacred: people who don’t hold anything sacred aren’t safe.
We are all unique. So too will be what you, I, and anyone we meet hold sacred. When you disrespect what you and others hold sacred, you destroy your chances of success. And, if you surround yourself with people who hold nothing sacred, you put yourself in harm’s way. Both situations are a sure path to losing it all.
Everyone you meet knows something you don’t. And, everyone you meet is carrying burdens you know nothing about. The people you treat badly on the way up are likely the same people you’ll need support from on your way down.
Success is never achieved alone. Kindness in word and deed often costs you nothing. But, a lack of kindness can cost you everything. Be kind always.
8. The ability to love: choosing to be at your best when the other person is not at his or her best.
You must love yourself first to be able to love anything or anyone else. While building your business and success you’ll be working with a great many other people including: prospects, clients and customers, team members, suppliers and business partners. And, hopefully, you’ll be supported by friends, family and significant others.
Because we are all human, we make mistakes. We disappoint each other. We sometimes even hurt each other, both consciously and unconsciously.
It’s when our others are showing us their worst, that we have the opportunity to choose to rise to our best. This won’t be easy most of the time. The ones who deserve our love least, are the ones who need it the most. When you can choose love in situations like these, then you will know what it truly means to be successful.
More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.
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