Two Areas to Master if You Want to be Successful

We all desire success, but success has many meanings. For some, success means we are high-achievers, earning multitudes of accolades. For others, it means massive financial success. And for many, it means having flexibility with their day-to-day routines. Finally, there are a lot of us that define success as having healthy, positive relationships with family, friends, and their community.

The real question is this, “What does success mean to you?”

Regardless of what success means to you, there are two major areas you must master if you want to be successful. The good news is, we all have the option to make these decisions. Everyone qualifies. There is not one person reading this who lacks the power in their circumstances to choose wisely in these two areas.


The first decision you must make if you want to be successful is how you will spend your time. Have you seen the social media gif that says, “We all have the same hours in the day as Beyoncé?” It’s true! We all get twenty-four hours a day to maximize. Time is the one commodity we don’t get back. It’s so precious!

Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t have power over my time. I have to take my kids to daycare, show up to work, pick my kids back up after work, go grocery shopping, make dinner, do some laundry, put my kids to bed, and at some point, I need to sleep.” 

While I won’t argue that you may have tremendous responsibilities, I will argue that you still have the power to prioritize your time. For example, you can choose to get up before your kids do in order to get your workouts in. You could spend your early mornings reading books on salon business or development prior to starting your day. After work, you can choose to hit the gym before going home. You can choose to substitute television for planning your digital marketing each week. We may have a lot on our plate, but we still have the ability to maximize our time. Depending on what success means to you, how will you choose to spend your time? 

I personally choose to get up before my ten-month-old son does so I can have a quiet time. I also start work before my salon opens so I can make it to a 4 p.m. yoga class – which I do so I can make it home before my husband is home from picking up our son from daycare. Additionally, I go to bed by 9 p.m. so I can easily wake up early and refreshed. Every choice has to be purposeful because there are many tasks to complete and many events I need to be accountable for. I once heard that success is simply making a few value-based decisions and managing those decisions each and every day. I make sure I book no more than two in-person meetings per day, while giving myself at least two uninterrupted weekdays to accomplish tasks. I’m mindful about only scheduling one afterwork event per week so I’m not neglecting my family time, and I’m especially intentional about getting enough sleep. I’m sure there are many other little things I could share, but you can get a great picture of what this means to me. The question is, what does prioritizing your time mean to you?


The second decision you must make if you want to be successful is determining what standards you will live by. I prefer to set standards versus setting goals. Why? A lot of times goals turn into wishful thinking. In fact, the University of Scranton came out with a study where they determined that ninety-two percent of people who set New Year’s resolution goals did not keep them.

That’s sort of a downer isn’t it?! That’s why we need to shift the mindset away from goal setting and move toward setting standards in our lives that we will live by. These standards are non-negotiable. Outside of work – which I absolutely love doing (for real), I make sure my non-negotiables are: reading, writing, checking in with my managers, and funny enough, doing one load of laundry per day. It’s easier to keep up than catch up! 

To guide us on setting up our non-negotiable standards, I’d like you to think about your environment, identity, and values. First, your environment is the places, events and people you surround yourself with. You must decide who you will and won’t be spending your time with. This is critical because you will become the sum of the people you spend the most time with. Meaning, you are who you hang out with. Who has the kind of success you seek? Are you hanging out with them?

You will also want to take some time to think about the places and events you go to. Where do you need to be (i.e. what environment) if you want to be challenged and push towards your meaning of success?

Second, your identity is who you are. Think about who you are right now and who you want to become. Are there areas in your life you’re in denial or refusing to take accountability? If you were the dream version of yourself, who would you be?  What do you need to do in order to become the person you were meant to be?

A few years ago, Dave Ramsey taught me about displacement. In his terms, displacement is “pouring in the good to remove the bad.” In other words, instead of focusing on getting rid of the areas of your life you’d like to change, focus on the new positive behaviors or habits that you’d like to add to your life. For example, if you have a shopping addiction in which you always go shopping after work or on the weekends, you would instead fill up those hours with a new activity such as joining a golf league, volunteering, or joining a book club. If you struggle with gossiping with a co-worker, you need to ask a positive teammate who will be a fabulous influence, to coffee. Start booking yourself with new opportunities that lead you toward success!

Finally, your values are what matter to you and how you display those values in your life. Simply put, your values are displayed by your actions. You may say that you value education, but when you’re asked to sign up for an amazing opportunity, you decide to pass because you’d rather use your lunch break to sit on Facebook. You may value reading books on salon marketing or personal growth, but when the rubber meets the road, you choose to turn on your favorite Netflix series.

Friends, you cannot change what you don’t acknowledge. Today’s topic is to encourage you to live by new standards where you are wise with your time—all in order to get you to the level of success you truly desire. I was convinced when I heard Brad Sugars say, “If you don’t know where you’ll be in five years, you’re already there.” Use this as an opportunity to create the life and legacy you’ve always desired. 

About the Author: Kati Whitledge is an entrepreneur, speaker, author and podcaster, as well as the owner of  Be Inspired Salon in Madison, Wisconsin. Her passion for salon marketing and business grew tremendously and encouraged her launch of Meet Your Stylist, a matchmaking marketing tool used by salon owners nationwide. She’s also the host and founder of The Beyond The Technique podcast—where valuable education is provided on the vast topics of salon business. Kati’s mission is to equip salon owners and their teams with the most innovative business marketing strategies.

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