How To Be Successful in Life

how to be successful in business and in life

Aaron Helander, Director of Marketing & Operations, recently gave a keynote address on How to Be Successful in Life at the Honorary Golden Key International Honour Society at Oakland University, Michigan.

Everyone has seen some list of things you need to do to be successful in life. Such as, “7 ways to live a successful life” or “10 tips to success”. But most people feel far from being able to accomplish what’s on those lists. You need to understand that success is very unique and personal to every individual. So it is possible to use all these steps and still not turn out like others. The question is, why would you even want to turn out like someone else?

Everyone is on a journey which is particular to that individual. So different things will work for different people. Besides, putting pressure on yourself to meet up to other people’s success levels is only going to make you feel like you failed if it’s not exactly the same. Here is the easiest way to build a successful life.


The Four Ways to Success in Life

  1. Your time is valuable, make it count.
  2. The company you keep matters. Surround yourself with successful people.
  3. Take ownership of the good and the bad. You learn from all experiences.
  4. Be a leader. Look for ways to help others.


Life Success Tip 1: Your Time Is Valuable

There is a famous saying that time is money, and this relates more in the business scene and of course, Wall Street. Everyone has experienced procrastination, and somehow we know how time we lose by procrastinating. Your time is important. Remember that.

Throughout your walk in life, you will have times that you need to make important decisions with very little information or sometimes a truckload of time. Being able to make up your mind on something and follow with that decision is critical. You would need to step up to the task because as they say, time waits for no man.

You also need to learn to be prompt in turning in tasks that may be assigned to us, and this can only happen when you can master your time and use it effectively. When you succeed in managing your time, you will succeed in life. Your time is valuable, so make it count.


Life Success Tip 2: The Company You Keep Matters

If you’ve ever gone crab fishing, you would understand this. When you fill up crabs in a bucket, it is quite easy for them to start crawling out. However, when there is just a handful of crabs in a big bucket when one crab tries to crawl out, the rest start clawing at it to keep it down. No matter how hard it tries to push itself up, the others drag it down. The question is, do you have people like this in your life?

People who only drag you down no matter what you do, people who make you feel bad about yourself and who cannot see the good in anything you do, are the kinds of people you shouldn’t associate with.
Make an effort to be with people who lift you up rather than those who drag you down. When you group up with others who lift you up, you’ll all just grow to be successful together. Their goals and passions to be successful will rub off on you. If you surround yourself with people who drag you down, it’s incredibly hard to be successful because you don’t have a support system of people who are like-minded in success. So be mindful of the people you spend time with.


Life Success Tip 3: Take Ownership of The Good and The Bad

When something goes wrong; whether at work, maybe a trip with your partner that didn’t pan out well, or perhaps something out of the blue just happens that messes up your entire day or week; don’t blame others. Many people look to point fingers and accuse someone else of bad things and want to take the credit for anything good that happens.

Have you ever had a bad teacher? What did you do to take ownership of the situation? Did you do everything you could to get a good grade? Or did you just blame your teacher for being a lousy teacher and get a bad grade?

Taking ownership means to do everything you can to be successful. In the case of having a bad teacher; you could study more, watch videos on YouTube, hire a tutor, start a study group, talk to the teacher and tell them you are struggling, and so on. By not allowing yourself to blame others, you begin to find a path to success in nearly any situation.

If you want to be successful in life, you will need to learn to take responsibility and ownership of your life. This is the only way to learn and move forward. So take ownership of your life, own the failures because they prepare you for your successes.


Life Success Tip 4: Be a Leader and Help Others

Being a leader means watching out for others in your circle. It means taking the higher path by doing things like forgiving one of your colleagues who has hurt you. It means taking responsibility, it means sacrificing for the good of a cause or a dream.

When you’re a leader, you are willing to accept your failures as things that happened to make you better. You do not see it as the end of the world or classify yourself as dumb or a total failure but simply put, you learn the lessons the failure teaches you and you move on to achieve other successes.

So you need to be a leader in every area you find yourself. At home, with your family, in a group, and at work, learn to take the higher path.


A successful life is one that encompasses all of the tips above and much more. It includes going all out to work for and achieve your dreams regardless of the circumstances you find yourself. It also includes removing mediocrity, procrastination, and just living the best life possible. So try to utilize all the opportunities that life will give you, and the sky will be your limit.

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About Aaron Helander

Aaron saw early success as a National Champion swimmer and an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. He did great work as the Cheif Bean Counter at Detroit Bold Coffee Company before joining KARMA jack Digital Marketing as the Director of Marketing & Operations where he and his team now help small to mid-sized companies grow through social media, advertising, and website make-overs.  One of his many recent successes was helping a local Detroit area company increase their quality leads over 300% while saving them money on advertising by over 2000%!

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Full Keynote Speech on How To Be Successful In Life at the Induction Ceremony for the Golden Key International Honour Society

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