5 Keys to a Successful Career Path

Posted by The Editors on January 5, 2012
5 Keys to a Successful Career Path

After catching up with a friend this week and exchanging stories about the working lives and struggles of 20-somethings, he mentioned he was very inspired by a video (see at bottom) he saw featuring Gary Vaynerchuk. Who’s that?

For those of you not familiar with Gary, he is the creator of Wine Library, a wildly successful video blog where he educates viewers about—what else—all things wine-related, but without all the stuffiness usually associated with wine connoisseurs. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author, social media expert, dedicated New York Jets fan, and he also helped grow his family business significantly from $3 million to $45 million. (Not too shabby.) So even if you don’t enjoy wine culture, there’s still much you can learn from him and his business savvy.

So I went home and watched the video, and think it’s worth sharing. Here are five things you need, according to Gary, in order to be successful in whatever career you choose.

1. Passion
Stop doing something you hate because you can lose just as much money being happy as hell. Wise words from the wine guy and all too true.  Gary became just a smidgen unhappy with selling wine and that’s when he decided to make a change and start Wine Library. He admits it was—and still is—tough, but he loves it. As Gary says, “if you love what you do, you’ll win.”

2. Patience
All great things take time, so be prepared to put in the hours to make your career as successful as you want it to be.

3. Find Your Niche
So maybe an oaky Chardonnay isn’t your thing and you’re more of a sports person, or you like to knit. Once you figure out what you’re passionate about, it’s time to find the niche in it.

“You love Alf? Start an Alf blog. You collect Smurfs. Smurf it up! Whatever you need to do, do it,” says Gary. And I agree. There are so many opportunities and tools to take advantage of these days to help share your interests. Try out new social tools like Pinterest (see Mashable’s Beginner’s Guide) and Vizibility, and don’t forget those old classics (YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter). There are tons of new tools to use, so dabble in each of them.

4. Build Community
Listen to your users because some people will actually listen and enjoy what you’re doing. Like Gary says, if you’re pumping out good stuff, people will follow. One line that Gary repeatedly uses in this video that I love is “Legacy is greater than currency.” Not only do we have cameras, but we have camera phones, we’re able to record video on our phones, and we have the Internet that does pretty much anything and everything. What we do in life will live on long after we die, last much longer than money, and what we leave behind should matter. So make it count.

5. It’s All About Hustle
Get a business model or have some sort of plan. If you can’t give up your 9 to 5 job just yet, Gary assures us that 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. is plenty of time to do some damage and still catch a few hours of sleep.

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