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One of the questions most frequently asked to those of us who have made it is, “What is the secret to success?” Wouldn’t it be nice if it could be boiled down to just one answer? Look no further, here it is!

The background story for how this came to mind took place during a recent two-week stay in Germany. You see, my mother turned 80 and my sister and I threw her a fancy birthday party. While I was there I visited my dad, who passed away eleven years ago, and my favorite aunt, who lives in the little historic town of Pfarrkirchen located deep down in Netherbavaria where people often still wear traditional clothing.

My cousin also lives there with her daughter, 18-year-old Stella. There is just something about Stella that touches my heart. She grew up without a dad (like my daughter) and she has always gravitated toward my own micro family of two. Stella has big dreams like coming to the US, traveling, and finding her place in the world. But she doesn’t know if she has what it takes to make it happen. So, she asked me how I did it.

My answer is surprisingly simple: I never wondered IF I could do it, I only wondered HOW.

Let’s take a look at what that means for you, your situation, your career, and how it can help you get through whatever you are facing.

First, get over it—”it” being any task that’s got to be done. Stop wondering if you LIKE it, or if it is FUN, or if you FEEL LIKE it. If it needs to be done, get it done. Get it done first before anything else. Nike was right, just do it.

Second, be clear about what your objective is. Is it lots of money, is it balance, is it to be able to work from anywhere in the world? If you don’t have the answer to what you want, turn the question around to eliminate what you don’t want. For example, if you don’t want to work 60 hours a week to make corner office, then what is the opposite of that for you? Perhaps what you do want is to work 30-40 hours, make enough to pay your bills, and have the security that comes with a job.

Third, you’ve got to let go of preconceived notions and trite statements that I hear day in and day out. They are: I am broke, I can’t afford it, it’s too hard, the show business is hard, the music business is a hard, getting to C-Level is hard, they are not looking for people like me, I am too old, I don’t have enough experience, or one of my favorite empty statements: I am trying (you either do or you don’t, trying is useless).

All careers that are worthwhile are hard work. Most “overnight success” stories are a lot like my own 13-year journey. You just don’t hear about the failures that lead us to the point where opportunity knocked on the door.

At the end of the day, it is simple. Someone before you has taken an idea and turned it into gold. Someone before you has risen from living on the streets to creating a huge fortune. Someone before you has immigrated to another country, become a CEO, and made a huge success out of him or herself.

So it must be possible for you, too.

Now the question is only, “How do I find my success?”

The secret to success is having a clear idea of what you will do to reach your goals and not letting tired excuses hold you back. I wrote a series of four blogs recently (starting with this one) that can help you get started. Let me know how you are going to pursue your next step right now.

As for Stella, I could see there is a fire in her that is ready to ignite. She is looking for her how so that when she is ready to leave home, she’ll already possess the secrets of her own success and she’ll never question if it’s possible or not.

Beate Chelette is a respected speaker, career coach, consummate entrepreneur, Author of Happy Woman Happy World, and founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to leadership, and personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private and digital world. Determined to build a community of women helping each other, after selling one of her companies, BeateWorks, to Bill Gates for millions of dollars, Beate created The Women’s Code to share with women everywhere her strategies for success and leadership. Through her corporate initiative “Why Acting Like a Girl Is Good For Business” she helps companies with gender diversification training, and to develop and retain women.

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