When you watch the nationally syndicated TV show “Liftoff with Jeanniey Walden” or tune into her podcast “Liftoff Journeys,” you receive insights, advice and information that will help you find the perfect blend of work and life successes. Whether you are looking for success financially, professionally, or personally, Jeanniey’s work highlights those who have accomplished their goals and shares wisdom that can be applied easily. It seems so simple but also can seem unattainable.
What is it that you don’t see? What does the real life of a successful person look like? Is there a roadmap to success?
For the first time ever, award-winning marketing executive, business leader and TV show personality Jeanniey Walden shares her 5-step roadmap to achieving success.
Step 1: Defining Success
Success comes in many flavors. For some, it is monetary, being able to provide for your family and beyond. For some, it is emotional, being able to find peace and happiness with those you love. And for others, it could be something else entirely. The first step on Jeanniey’s roadmap to success is to “Define what success means to you.” Write it down. If you can dream it, you can get there.
You will find that you will define success differently in respect to different parts of your life. And your definition of success will change over time. That’s ok. Start simple and get clear on your personal definition of success. Here are a few of mine from my early years.
I was 11 years old, in the car with my parents and heard that if a person starts saving money when they are 16 they could be financially independent by the time they are 30. I dreamed about paying off my family’s bills and buying them things they always dreamed of. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but it became a criterion of how I would define my success.
Two years later, I read a book and was enamored by the most beautiful love story ever. The hero fought countless challenges and horrors to be with the woman he loved. They had the most romantic love story. They planned adventures and shared a life of true happiness. They were the best of friends. The moment I read this, I knew that finding a life partner that matched this undying passion, romance, adventure, and trust would be part of my definition of personal success.
Throughout my life, my mother made sure I knew anyone can have anything they wanted if they are willing to work hard for it. The key is to never stop learning. Very simply put, I saw this as a shaping element of my definition of professional success.
Step 2: Interpreting your Criteria for Success
Now that you know your criteria for success, interpret your criteria to define what level of success is good enough for you. Nothing you choose can be wrong. Some of it might even seem crazy.
For me, my success criteria included:
- Be financially independent by the time I was 30
- Find the dream life partner and have a great family
- Be a successful elementary school teacher
Once I had these defined, I was able to move on to the next step, Creating a plan and timeline for each.
Step 3: Creating a Success Plan and Timeline
This part is usually the easiest. Once you have your definition of success clearly built out, you can put a plan together. This is also the part where “real life” gets in the way.
And THAT is where the next step and the most important step comes in.
Step 4: Accepting Success Roadblocks and Using them to Fuel Greater Success
When asked, every successful person will share stories of defeat, obstacles, disappointments and challenges along the way. Some stories will even be so horrifying that you might wonder how this person never gave up on their dreams. The secret is: expect the unexpected. Things will go wrong. Give yourself grace when they do. Seek to have contingency plans to help you get back on track.
Like you, my life has been riddled with roadblocks and unexpected challenges. Life happens to everyone. How many of these roadblocks have you also experienced?
I got a D in high school. (That was the first time I had to learn how to deal with disappointment). I was fired from a job I thought I was amazing at (when they fired me, I thought they were calling me in to promote me).
When I graduated with my master’s degree, there were no teaching jobs open, and I had to start building a new career from scratch. I had trouble getting pregnant. One company I worked for failed, and we lived without a paycheck for months. I was propositioned at work before #MeToo existed. My 1st marriage ended in divorce. I lost my father to cancer.
When you live through challenging times, you may feel like there is no end in sight. With each challenge, you get thicker skin, you learn empathy, and you build expanded skills. This enables you to realize that roadblocks make your potential for success greater. For that reason, every person can make it to the final step in creating a successful plan.
Step 5: Learning the True Meaning of Success
As you learn how to manage your views of success based on your life and your ever-changing needs, you will realize that success isn’t really about the big things; it’s about appreciating the small things that happen daily. Success is not a destination but a journey.
As for my original definitions of success, here is what happened. I saved enough money to provide my family with a life without worry. That is a success.
As for love. I am remarried. He is an incredible man and we have a blended family of 5 children.
My teaching career ended three months after I graduated. That led me down the journey to where I am today. And with each new opportunity I get professionally, I learn more and am even more excited about the future.
While it didn’t match my original plan, it ended up even better! To get to the part in life where you can truly appreciate your success, you need to:
- Define what you think it is,
- Create a plan to get there,
- Trust that the world will put the right opportunities in front of you at the right time and
- Embrace the good and the bad.
If you do this, you will clearly see that you are a success. While some days you might not feel like it, look around; your actions inspire others. Every day, without you even knowing it, your actions make someone else smile, and that inspires them not to give up on their success journey as well.