What are the real factors of success for the employed or entrepreneurial CPA in 2016?

Modern society has put an emphasis on intelligence and fast technology adoption as the definitive factor in success. While having a good IQ and intelligence can contribute to an individual’s level of achievement, research today shows that the attitude and perspective that a person holds is by far the driving factor in ongoing achievement and overall well being and success.

Whether you’re seeking a new job, higher placement within your own company or building out your own vision as an independent CPA, there are certain choices that you make as an individual that set you up to succeed in life regardless of the challenges and competition you face.

1.    You learn and adapt from failure.

When you fail at something, you learn. You gain essential information on what you can do the next time — better or differently. This skill is huge when applied to life because you continually grow and expand your learning. This aptitude for adjusting to adversity and learning from it also helps you put on the path to greater achievements in the future.

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill

2.  You need more than intelligence alone.

Your intelligence can serve you very well in an optimal environment when things are going smoothly. However, when you face obstacles or uncertainty, you’ll need other skills to add to your toolset if you are not using them already. For example, if you are in the middle of a conflict with another individual at your company or elsewhere, you’ll need to have good people skills ranging from emotional intelligence to being adept at communicating and also having personal boundaries.

3.  You have a growth mindset.

How you handle setbacks and challenges you face really defines the growth you will make in your life. People who have a ‘growth mindset’ do not shirk from obstacles but welcome them, recognizing that they are lessons in life.

This essential difference in handling adversity is the determining factor of success in life according to psychologist Carol Dweck at Stanford University who has spent her career learning about the connection between attitude and performance.

Her study revealed that people’s attitudes fit into two primary categories: fixed mindset or growth mindset.

People with a fixed mindset, take the approach that you are who you are and cannot change. This attitude limits their interactions with others and in seizing or recognizing new opportunities. It also creates problems when they endure obstacles.

On the other hand, people with a growth mindset, believe that their performance improves continually through effort. They accept challenges as learning opportunities even if they fail and continue moving forward. This is a key factor as people who maintain such a perspective outperform people who have a high IQ but a fixed mindset.

To a person with a growth mindset, failure no longer induces hopelessness or self-judgment, but instead is accepted as part of the process to achievement. Such an individual recognizes that falling down is inevitable and can be frequent but it’s the getting back quickly and learning the lesson from the experience that is most important.

Taking action on any goal you have is what’s important and that involves redirecting any prior worry and anxiety into positive energy that is focused on a goal. Even the smallest improvement takes you further along, keeping you motivated and pushing for better results and seeking higher levels of achievement.

This can also be very helpful when you work with customers. Financial planning is essentially life planning and life is full of changes, obstacles and unknowns. Bringing a growth mindset into your interactions with your customers who come to you for a range of services from bookkeeping to payroll, tax preparation and financial planning, enables you to assist your customers for the long-term. Your perspective can make you more successful in your career and in turn, the people you work with.



photo credit: Mahatma Gandhi A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes via photopin (license)