Success Stories By Dick Kazan - Valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable
lessons on how to succeed in business and in life.
The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on September 11, 2007

Do you have an unfulfilled dream that has captured your heart?

Maybe you have long wished to find a greater level of self-esteem, or popularity, or to start your own company or get paid more for your time or to lose weight and be a healthier you, or achieve a better education, or you have some other great passion.

If so, I’d like to offer 7 Powerful Tips you can use today to help make your dream a reality:

1) Think Of Yourself As Worthy. People often have trouble believing this and are defeated even before they start, for they just know they’re not good enough.

Yet as God’s creation, within each of us are the seeds of greatness, however dormant. You may think you’re unworthy because people have told you you’re not good enough and failures along life’s journey have reinforced your frustrations and fears. But look into your heart and you’ll know there is a greater you waiting to come out.

2) Imagine Yourself In The Role. The mind is a powerful instrument that strives to achieve what it can envision. In your mind’s eye, see yourself as the confident businessperson or the thinner you that you wish to be.

When Conrad Hilton was a small struggling hotel owner, he put a picture of one of the world’s finest hotels, The Waldorf Astoria, on his desk so he could see it each day and day-dream he would one day own it. And many years later, against incredible odds, that “impossible” dream came true.

3) Write A Plan. Even if it’s just on a cocktail napkin, there is something magical about creating in writing a road map for attaining your dream. Think of it as being in Los Angeles and wanting to go to Disneyland. Without a map, you could drive aimlessly for years and never find it. But by placing a written plan, a map alongside you, you’ll soon arrive there.

In your plan, set a time frame to act on it. And in our example, write “Visit Disneyland” on a “Post-It” or scratch paper and leave it in plain sight every day to remind you and you’ll soon be nose to nose with Mickey Mouse.

4) Swim A Half A Lap. Many people have the misunderstanding that in business, in weight loss, in education or in other fields of endeavor, success comes instantly. This is rare for success usually takes time and builds on itself.

Recently, I began an aerobics swimming routine of 20 laps in a pool about 45 feet long. A lap is swimming to the far end and back. It had been years since I swam and at first that goal seemed overwhelming. To solve the problem I decided to swim a lap which I could do. And then I swam another lap and my confidence and conditioning built as I kept adding laps. With time and effort I began swimming the 20 laps that before had seemed so intimidating.

If you’re thinking of going back to school after many years away, and you’re not sure if you can handle it, take a class and find out. At this stage in life, you may become a better student than you ever were before because you’ve matured and you’ve learned the value of an education.

95-year-old Nola Ochs just became a college graduate last June after taking classes for over 70-years.

5) Read Motivational Real Life Stories. They’ll inspire you as you see what others overcame to attain success and you’ll learn how they did it. Ray Kroc was 52-years-old with an unspectacular career when he saw two brothers in San Bernardino, CA running a popular hamburger stand. He bought the rights from “Dick” and “Mac” and built McDonald’s into a global powerhouse.

6) Give Yourself The Time To Gain Knowledge. Google subjects of interest to you and read trade journals and other helpful publications and maybe take classes to gain the knowledge you’ll need. And then begin to practice what you’re learning, even if it’s on a part-time basis.

When Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays came into the Big Leagues as young men, they had been playing baseball since they were kids and their knowledge and skills were well developed. But even then, they had spent time in the Minor Leagues and then gained more experience in the Big Leagues before they became all-stars.

In business, it took time for John D. Rockefeller to gain experience and develop his knowledge and skills before he accumulated the vast wealth that brought him fame.

7) Don’t Give-Up. That you may not achieve initial success doesn’t mean you won’t learn from the experience you’ve absorbed and adjust your actions until they make you successful. Henry Ford was involved in two failed automobile businesses before he launched the Ford Motor Company at the then advanced age of 40.

Colonel Harland Sanders was 65-years-old and broke, living on Social Security when he got disgusted with his circumstances. So he got into his car and drove across the U.S. trying to convince restaurants to use his “Secret Ingredients” to cook chicken better and pay him royalties.

Because he had little money, he often had to live in his car, and frequently he was turned away by restaurant owners but Colonel Sanders persisted and eventually he built KFC into a business empire.

Success Tip of the Week: Be the Michelangelo of your life and sculpt it as you choose. Start now, even if it’s just taking a tiny step today to make it what you’ve dreamed it could be.

Editor’s Note: Thank you to Essence magazine (April, 2007) “Listen to your Heart: Release the Fear and Live the Life You’ve Always Wanted” for the idea that led to today’s column.

In the next KazanToday: The amazing story of a quadriplegic man who overcame his physical limitations to become a renowned Doctor

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Many of these short, inspirational success stories are about people from all walks of life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. These stories contain practical advice and a recipe for success for each of these renowned individuals. Some of their stories may help you to avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes that many of us make in life and at work. Learn from some of history's greatest winners on how to become a winner yourself, no matter what the obstacle, and no matter how daunting the task before you may seem. Good luck!