Question from Charles in Shenandoah, W.V.: "I've recently graduated from high school and my entire life is ahead of me. I'm not quite sure what I want to do in life. Can you tell me what you see as the key ingredients to success in life?"
Fran's Answer: First, congratulations on Operation Graduation, Charles! I'm sending you a big virtual high five!
Next, celebrate what you've accomplished. Completing high school is no small feat. The good news is that the real fun starts now. You get to design your life and create an adventure that can lead to a remarkable legacy.
Let's talk about three delicious success ingredients.
If I spent the day with you and told you that we could only do the things that really fired you up, which three things would we do first? Those are likely to be the things that you're passionate about and they should never be ignored. Ideally, your life's work and your career should be closely aligned with those passions in some way.
There are two kinds of integrity -- inner and outer. Inner integrity is about you being true to who you are. It's about you not trying to fit into a round hole if you're a square. For example, don't pursue college or a certain profession simply because others think you should. This pattern will likely lead to tremendous personal dissatisfaction. So whatever you do, do you.
Outer integrity is doing the right thing even when you think nobody else is watching. These values will guide every personal and professional decision you make from here. Make a quick list of the qualities you cherish most in yourself and in others and let them lead the way.
I've discovered that the quality that distinguishes mega successful folks from moderately successful folks is hustle. That extra effort that creates a little more distance between you and the other runners in the race. It might mean giving up something in the short term such as a new car to invest in culinary school if being a chef is your greatest ambition. Or it could be as simple as passing out flyers about your mobile food cart business at all the tailgate parties near your town. Be willing to do the things that 97 percent of your competitors are not willing to do and you'll not only stand out but you'll also eventually become a game changer.
Basically, there's truly nothing standing in the way of you creating an amazing life, except perhaps you. Remember, no matter what you may hear or read about the state of our economy, we still live in the most prosperous place in the world. Guess what that means? We've got no excuses. Go for it!
Fran Recommends: COLLEGEPRENEUR
In 2008 I founded and published Collegepreneur, the world's first international business magazine for entrepreneurs ages 16-24. CP is more than a business publication, though, and it's not just for college students. You'll also find articles on leadership, time management, effective communication, networking, marketing, sales and the Internet -- all things that can help you as you plot your next move!
Read an issue of Collegepreneur here.