“Can you guarantee my success?”
“How can I be sure I’ll succeed?”
“What if I lose faith and give up?”
Truth: I can’t guarantee anyone’s success all on my own. What I can do, however, is teach you the traits (I like to call them “pillars”) that are practiced by, quite literally, every single student who’s been successful following their training.
You are in control of your success. You oversee the building of your foundation and pillars for achieving and maintaining it.
We’re going to learn about those 3 pillars of success today.
I heard this quote recently: “Success is not owned; success is leased, and you have to pay rent every single day.” This scares some people — unfortunately, some people have lost the notion that success isn’t a guaranteed part of life.
Side note: You may have already read our super-popular post on FEAR … if you haven’t, you. must. read. it. now. This post is a follow-up to that one. Go read. We’ll wait 🙂
The 3 Pillars of Success
From working with all kinds of students and studying the many who’ve succeeded, I’ve been able to determine that the students who succeed (and keep succeeding) possess three specific traits.
They possess all three traits. Never just one. Never only two. Always ALL THREE.
Why all three? Because these traits act as pillars. They’re what’s holding up your success as if it were a building. If you only have two pillars, you’ll be shaky at best. If you only have one pillar, good luck managing that balancing act.
You must, I repeat: you must have all three of these pillars to find true and lasting success, no matter what you do in life.
What are these 3 pillars of success? Excellence. Optimism. Persistence.
Let’s dig in to each of these.
Pillar #1: Excellence.
This is a pillar, but it’s also the foundation — especially for a proofreader. If you totally stink at proofreading, you can’t catch errors, or exhibit poor customer service, you attempt to build your success without a foundation and a missing pillar.
How do you cultivate Excellence? Can you buy it? Yes and no. Partly yes, because achieving excellence may require an investment in your education. Partly no, because depending on the skills you need to succeed, it may or may not be your thing. In the case of proofreading, some people just aren’t cut out for it. Some people are, but they need to invest in some education first in order to expand their skill set beyond a basic ability to spot errors.
True excellence means knowing the ins and outs of your work as a transcript proofreader. You’re not just winging it, hoping being an English teacher will get you by. You’re committed to being the best you can possibly be — all day, every day.
From Excellence, confidence can grow, and from confidence stems optimism: the second pillar.
Pillar #2: Optimism.
You have to believe in yourself. I know — soooo hokey and cliché.
Sorry, but it’s true. Going into “this proofreading thing” thinking someone else is going to do the work for you or that simply paying your tuition fee will magically turn you into a fantastic proofreader is not the best form of Optimism.
With Optimism comes the ever-present belief that you are limitless. That you can literally do anything you set out to do. That with the solid foundation and strong pillar of Excellence, you are unstoppable.
Optimism is strengthened by Excellence. The better you are at something, the more confident and optimistic you feel about your abilities.
But it’s still not enough. You’ve got to take action.
Pillar #3: Persistence.
What if, in terms of your skill (Excellence), you were the best freaking proofreader the court reporting industry had ever seen, and you felt amazing about it (Optimism)?
What if you had the first two pillars in the bag … but then you never take any action?
Or you take action, but you don’t follow up. You don’t keep going. You make a few contacts, send out a few business cards and … you give up in frustration when you don’t get results instantly.
Nothing’s gonna happen, right?
If you were the best proofreader to hit the scene in decades, you felt amazing about it, and you used those two things to fuel yourself each day as you build your business … you’ve got the perfect trifecta for success. All three pillars. Embodying Persistence means you know building a business doesn’t happen overnight. It means you know timing plays a role in expanding your clientele. It means you know taking action isn’t just a one-time thing — it’s an every-single-day thing.
The pillar of Persistence goes far beyond simply taking action. Anyone can “try.” You must DO … and then you must never give up.
Tying It All Together
These pillars can’t hold up your success alone, or even in pairs. They must be present together.
You must do excellent work. Without this, you might be able to get clients if you’re optimistic and persistent, but over time? Clients won’t appreciate it, and they won’t keep you. Your business will not grow.
You must know you can do it. Excellence and Persistence are quite weak if you lose faith in yourself every time you hit a bump in the road.
You must never give up. Excellence and Optimism are useless if you don’t take action … and keep taking it. Are your clients on vacation slowing down your cashflow? So what? You’ve got the ability, the tools, and the support to go get more work to fill in the gaps.
Our goal here at PA will always be to provide the highest quality training for proofreaders: how to do the work and how to find the work. But we don’t stop there: we also teach you how to harness and cultivate these three pillars of Excellence, Optimism, and Persistence so you can achieve lasting success.
BONUS! Check out the video from our first-ever Live Q&A call! We gathered several students from very diverse backgrounds along with several proofreading-curious folks on a webinar to discuss the most frequently asked questions we receive here at PA. ENJOY!
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Have you built or are you currently building your 3 pillars of success? Has one been harder to build than the others? Share below!