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Half-hearted effort and occasional focus are unlikely to create anything that looks like success unless achieving average outcomes is your career goal.

Are you unhappy with your career path or where your business is at? Entrepreneurs have a lot of responsibility on their hands and it’s inevitable that from time to time you’re going to hit a brick wall.

“All too often I meet people who are working in roles they don’t enjoy, who feel trapped by their circumstances with little hope of a more fulfilling career. The simple truth is building a successful career begins with taking ownership,” says Karen Gately, leadership and people management specialist, and co-founder of HR firm Ryan Gately.

Gately works with HR teams and leaders to drive business results through talent. Here’s how she recommends you reclaim your career and determine your own success:

1. Know yourself

Get to know who you truly are and what success means to you. Understand what you are capable of as well as the factors that might be holding you back in your business. Know what you love, what you don’t and the reasons for it. 

2. Set clear goals

What are your long-term goals? Are you looking to boost business growth or develop an exit strategy? The first step in creating the career you want is to understand what your preferred reality looks like. 

3. Have a healthy ego

Building a successful career demands you maintain accurate self-perception and an ability to balance confidence with humility. Understand your strengths while always thinking about ways you can improve or grow.  An inflated ego will close your mind, limit your ability to learn and damage your relationships. 

4. Be optimistic

How often have you set out to achieve something in your career but run out of stamina? Remember why you are passionate about your product or service, and why you got into business in the first place. Regularly renewing your hope and determination will help keep your outlook positive.

5. Develop your capabilities

Upskill and look for ways to improve your knowledge in order to keep your business thriving and competitive. Further your ability to apply your talents by working with managers and mentors who are willing and able to guide you. 

Richard Branson provides a great example of what is possible when we are willing to learn. As he famously said: “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”

6. Remain committed and stay the course

Half-hearted effort and occasional focus are unlikely to create anything that looks like success unless achieving average outcomes is your career goal. Work with discipline and maintain focus on your end goals, as well as how you will execute the plan to get you and your business to your desired destination. 

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