Almost everyone wants to be successful. Many consider it the ultimate goal in our personal and professional lives.
But what happens once we reach it?
Most people don’t think that far ahead, says Paul Scolardi, a self-made millionaire who has figured out how to continue thriving after achieving success.
Scolardi, who spent nearly two decades in corporate finance as a Certified Public Accountant, has been investing and trading in stocks for over 18 years (“I manage my own money in the stock market; I do not manage or touch other people’s money in any way,” he explains to Business Insider) and is now a financial educator through his company, Super-Trades LLC.
“I became a millionaire by trading my own money with the strategy I now teach,” he says. “My goal was always to be financially independent and to be my own boss. That is what I have achieved and that was my litmus test for success: financial independence, being my own boss, and being able to work from anywhere. I would say I have [considered myself successful] for about three years now.”
From the moment he first felt like he had “made it,” Scolardi knew his work wasn’t done — he knew he had to keep going. That’s when (and why) he started his stock education business.
He says if you achieve your biggest goals and then lie back, put your feet up, and stop pushing yourself, “you become lost and directionless.” Instead, there are four things you should do as soon as you feel like you’ve achieved success. They are:
1. Stay humble.
Once you achieve success, fight the urge to get cocky and arrogant, he suggests. “That is what I did after becoming a millionaire the first time and I lost it all.”
If you have that mindset, you could easily lose friends, family, and supporters — and the joy that often accompanies success will be ripped away in a second.
2. Set bigger goals.
The next goal that will make you feel even more successful should be even bigger than the first.
For instance, if your first goal was to make it to the C-suite, earn six figures, and be in a job you love, your next one could be to figure out what you’re most passionate about in life and start your own company that revolves around those interests.
“Remember that was a point where you thought you would never be able reach where you currently are,” Scolardi says. “Now it is time to set similar ‘stretch goals.'” They may seem impossible, but you achieved a huge goal once before, so you can probably do it again.”
3. Work even harder.
Bigger goals require greater confidence, stronger motivation, and more work.
Stop, reflect, and think about how you achieved success the first time. Learn from your mistakes and the things you did right, and keep those things in mind as you work toward achieving the new goal(s).
“The tendency once you achieve success is to take the foot off the pedal and to stop learning and achieving,” says Scolardi. “Sure, you have to enjoy life, but continue to use and improve the work ethic that helped you to achieve the success you now have.”
4. Ignore the haters.
People will be jealous and mean when you achieve success. “I am not talking about people that give you constructive criticism,” he explains. “I am talking about internet trolls and people who talk behind your back. Be prepared to hear the meanest things about yourself that you can imagine.
“Not everyone is going to like you or believe in you. This has nothing to do with you achieving your personal goals. Energy wasted on such trolls is exactly what they want, and it is energy that you’re not spending building more successes.”
Scolardi says we live in a world where people have a “fast food attitude” towards success. “They think, ‘I want what I want now, exactly how I want it, and with as little cost as possible.’ But people need to know that anything worth achieving is going to take effort and hard work.”
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