10 Factors That Determine Professional Success

Science can predict whether or not you’re going to achieve your personal and professional goals. Cognitive theory, goal attainment theories, and positive psychology all point towards several key factors that determine the likelihood of achieving success, whatever your goals are.

Whether or not we are “successful” ourselves comes down to all of the little successes or failures that make up our day-to-day lives. Maximizing our daily successes, and ultimately being a success, requires us to perform at a high level in our ordinary lives. Setting goals, then working hard to achieve them, will help us to feel good about ourselves and what we do.

People should consider maximizing the 10 factors that predict your ability to achieve success, as theorized by author and high-performance coach, Brendon Burchard. He discusses at length the idea that to feel like we’re firing on “all cylinders”, our actions must align to our end goals. Luckily, it doesn’t take much more than self-knowledge and discipline to begin moving in a positive direction.

10 Factors Predicting if You Will Achieve Professional Goals

We all want to live a high-performing life that is filled with energy and clarity. Building momentum and feeling good about ourselves can go a long way to ensuring our happiness and sustained success throughout life.

The 10 factors that Brendon Burchard theorizes are critical to personal and professional success can be used by people to evaluate how realistic their goals are, and identifies what can be done to strengthen your chances of success.

Bouchard used these 10 factors to create the Success Indicator Assessment, a tool that anybody can use to develop and stick to goals. Using a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being “I do not resonate at all” and 10 being “I resonate very much with this point”, you can develop an understanding of threats that may prevent you from successfully achieving the goal.

His criteria are as follows:

1. Future Identity

Can you see yourself becoming the future person you want to be?

This relates to you being able to mentally shift between who you used to be and who you want to become. Failure involves accepting your current state as the only one that will ever occur, whereas success relates to evolving to achieve more, take a new position, or champion a new project.

2. Intrinsic Value

Would you pursue this goal or dream because it feels internally fulfilling?

Receiving a 10 in this category would involve pursing a goal because it’s something inherently important to you. Nobody needs to encourage you to get it done; you’ll do it because it’s going to feel good to succeed with it. Alternately, ranking oneself as a ‘1’ in this category would relate to someone who is working towards a goal dictated by others, or something that provides little to no satisfaction upon completion.

3. Utilitarian Value

Does your goal bring a tangible result to advance your life?

 Utility, the usefulness of completing your goal, is also critical in determining whether or not you’ll be successful. Having a tangible reward, such as money or new skillsets motivate us because they’ll positively impact other areas of our lives. Lack of these valuable, tangible benefits results in wavering effort, and more often than not, failure.

4. Opportunity Cost

Can you pursue your goal without sacrificing other factors of your life that are important?

Creating and pursuing goals is a great practice, but we’ll never have enough time or energy to accomplish every goal we’d like to set for ourselves. This forces us to prioritize and choose the goals that are most important to us, then work hard towards them. Science shows our chances of successfully achieving your goals increase when the opportunity costs are low.

5. Delay Time

Will your actions provide quick and recognizable results?

Chances are, the longer it takes for you to drive some result from the goal, the less likely you’ll be to succeed. Consider the example of someone who wants to start their own business. While they may be passionate about their idea and have a great market opportunity, the risk of not get paid for several years can deter them from pursuing the dream. Even if there is a bigger goal down the road, try to implement smaller, more attainable goals along the way to continue fuelling your success.

6. Personal Control

Will you have the power to affect the goal and make it happen through your own efforts?

Personal control is all about whether we feel that we have the power to achieve a successful outcome. If we bring the feeling that we can’t succeed because of external forces, then it’s much more likely that we’ll quit and never get to our goal. However, if confronted with a challenge where you feel you have a great degree of control, it’s much more likely you’ll feel motivated to overcome it.

7. Social Support

Is your goal something that other people will support you to make happen?

As humans, we seek the support and encouragement of others to help us get through difficulties. When it comes to achieving goals, this is especially the case. We look to accomplish goals that others will reward us for, or come up with ideas that people support. When we have this support and positive reinforcement of our goals, its easier to succeed. The opposite is also true, where if your family, friends, or professional network are discouraging or resistant to your goal, then chances are you won’t succeed.

8. Bandwidth Belief

Can you commit the time and focus to meet your goal or vision?

The perception that people “don’t have the time” to achieve their goals is one of the biggest factors preventing people from getting started. If, from the outset, we believe that the goal is going to take too much time to complete then it immediately becomes less appealing. Achieving success is most likely when you have lots of time to devote to it, while goals that you don’t have time for will often fail to materialize.

9. Resource Availability

Will you have the resources needed to accomplish the goal?

Do you have the budget, employees, equipment, or abilities to accomplish the goal? If you uncover these roadblocks from the outset of your goal, it may de-rail your progress or force you to fail completely. Being fully stocked with resources (and being resourceful) will help you to successfully achieve your goal.

10. Autonomy

Will you have the decision-making authority to achieve success in your goal?

 Autonomy comes down to whether or not you have the permission and trust to accomplish your goal. Some of the goals people set in life require the permission of others first. Consider a big promotion that requires you and your family to relocate to another part of the country. Achieving ‘success’, or taking that opportunity to move up in your career impacts others and requires consent/permission to happen.

Develop a Plan for Your Small Business’ Success

Managing these 10 factors and understanding how they relate to success is the first step in performing at a higher level. Now, evaluate your goals and think about how likely you are to achieve them. If you have goals that are not practical, eliminate them and adopt new ones that you’re more likely to succeed with.

Maintaining a plan is vital to success. Whether a personal or professional plan, understanding your environment and developing strategies is critical to becoming successful in the long-term. One way to make sure your business is aligned for success is to build a government funding plan that accesses a combination of Canadian government grants and loans.

Mentor Works can confirm your eligibility for a range of government funding programs, and can accelerate your business’ document preparation/submission. To discuss a breadth of small business funding programs you may be able to access, contact us.

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Naomi Roberts holds a B.Comm at the University of Guelph, Majoring in Management Economics in Industry and Finance. As a Business Funding Analyst at Mentor Works, Naomi specializes in working with clients to develop strategic funding opportunities.

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