by Pauline Caruana

It’s not often that you’ll find me inspired in a business sense by a musician but that’s exactly what’s happened this week.  I went to see a concert by Passenger and listened to his story of busking for many years, travelling the world and staying in 16 bed hostel dormitories and writing hundreds of songs.  All of this in the hope that one day, his dream would come true and his music would become well-known.  It took 5 or 6 years of these hard yards before he had the breakthrough that lead to him having a number 1 hit, Let Her Go, around the world.  After having this success for quite some time, Passenger thought that people still wouldn’t come to see him however 2 years later, he’s still enjoying sell-out concerts around the world.

There are 3 aspects to this story that struck me that are lessons applicable to the workplace:

Success has no pre-set timeframes.

It can be easy to say that we need to persist when we have career or business goals that we are trying to achieve.  It can be just as easy to give up when we don’t see results quickly but persistence can’t be limited to a certain number of days, weeks, months or years.  Success takes as long as it takes and although popular media promotes the idea of quick fame or overnight success, the truth is that for most people this just doesn’t happen.  

Persistence requires a clear and strong vision.

It’s hard to persist if you are vague about what it is that is to be achieved.  What does success look like for you?  How will you know when you are successful?  Personally, whether you are aiming to change jobs, to take a step forward in your career, to obtain a salary of a certain amount or to achieve a certain work life balance, are you really clear about what it is that you want?  And in your workplace, what’s your vision?  A certain culture, a certain level of revenue, a certain number of employees or being innovative, cutting-edge in your work practices?

Ongoing success takes ongoing hard work.

Once you have achieved your vision, it still takes work.  To continue to be successful, you need to continue to work hard.  It may be that you need to keep undertaking professional development to ensure that your skills and knowledge are current, you will need to keep networking and keep practicing your craft or profession to best you can be.  

And one last thought, take the time to enjoy and be grateful for your success once it’s achieved!

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