So you want to know what the secret to success is. First, you need to change the way you look at and ask the question. Instead of wondering what the secret to success is, you should be questioning what the secret to YOUR success is. Spoiler alert: The answer is in the last little bit. The secret is YOU! You are the secret to your own success.

I often get asked how did I climb the ladder so quickly but to be honest, I didn’t at first. To understand this, we must go back to 2008. At that time, I had been out of college for 8 years. I had reached a “manager” level but was not managing people.

I was not being promoted any further and overall I felt as if the company was not doing anything to develop me. With all of this, I decided to do what most people would do, I found another job and left.

Shortly after starting my new job, I realized I was just as miserable if not more. So, I did what is so hard for us humans to do. I stepped outside myself and looked back. I started by asking myself what was the common denominator in both situations. The answer was ME. That moment was my aha moment in life.

I was lucky enough that my prior company took me back and from that moment on, I was able to grow and flourish in my career because I knew who was in the driver’s seat. It was me and it had to be me. I had to develop a plan to get to where I wanted to be. I had to work that plan. I had to be my biggest supporter and fan. I had to be responsible for myself. I believe there are 4 important steps to a person’s career success.

  1. Step 1: Coming to the realization that YOU have to own your development.
  2. Step 2: Create a plan that mimics a company’s mission statement and call to action.
  3. Step 3: Think of yourself as a brand and decide how you will market yourself.
  4. Step 4: Don’t think of it as “career development,” think of it as “career fulfillment.”


  1. Step 1: YOU have to own your career development and success. No one is going to do it for you. Yes, we all need support, assistance and opportunities but ownership belongs to you. Look at the word ownership itself. It starts with OWN.
  2. Step 2: When you begin to think of what success means to you and what your goal’s are, picture yourself as a company. Your development plan should be similar to a company’s mission statement and call to action. What is a person’s personal mission statement or purpose or ambition? What will you do to get there? And HOW will you get there? What are the core values that you want to use/”develop” to help you achieve your mission?
  3. Step 3: In a way, we are all products sitting on the shelves of the career marketplace of the world. Think of how you will market yourself.  You need to ask yourself how you would get someone to pick you off a shelf instead of your competitor (or co-worker). What makes your “brand” iconic? What are your “brand” truths (the parts of who you are that you will never divert from)?
  4. Step 4: Lastly, don’t think of it as “career development,” think of it as “career fulfillment.” Meaning, if you are doing things that make you feel fulfilled in your career, you will naturally be learning and developing. It is not always what is that next level or salary amount that should be aspired to but more of what will make you a fulfilled person in your career. For example, I write articles and speak at engagements because I enjoy it and with that comes continued development in communication, leadership, thought management, and strategy.

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