A Potentially Fast Way to Change Your Life

Becoming part of successful people's world...and impressing them.

Posted Dec 02, 2019

KoiQuestion, Flickr CC 2.0
Source: KoiQuestion, Flickr CC 2.0

Five years ago, I wrote on a similar topic: Realistic Sources of Hope, but its focus was on incremental, the proverbial baby steps.

Many people would at least like to see if there's any even quasi-possible way to have a quick life turnaround, you know, the type promised to contestants on America’s Got Talent, Survivor, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, etc.

As usual and especially with such a huge challenge, there certainly are no guarantees, but here are my best shots at how to turn your life around quickly.

Put yourself into the world of successful people

The most likely route to a quick turnaround is to fly on a successful (however you define it) person’s coattails. To that end, consider one or more of these:

  • Volunteer at events attended by successful people, for example, an expensive fundraiser, a convention for executives, physicians, psychologists, etc.
  • Ask a professor in a prestigious graduate program to let you audit a course—You're more likely to get a yes if you explain that you don’t care about credit; you just want to learn. If you're impressive, the professor or a student in such courses could launch you toward a good career
  • Get an easy-to-get job, like receptionist, mailroom deliverer, or administrative assistant in a workplace that's replete with the highly successful, for example, a university, prestigious corporation, or the office of a group of physicians, lawyers, psychologists, or accountants.

You've opened the door. Now, how to walk through it

You need to look the part. Your filter should be, “On-the cheap, how can I duplicate successful TV and film characters’ look?" Part of that is a confident walk with an erect but relaxed posture. Regarding clothing, it could be as simple as having a tasteful friend and you scour your closet and drawers. Try on combinations until you both smile. If you need to supplement, careful shopping at low-cost department stores and/or consignment stores plus understated “fabulous fake” jewelry can inexpensively do the trick. Women, you might try a free makeover at a department store’s cosmetics department. Just be sure to resist the sales pitch at the end. Those free makeovers can end up costing you over $100, perhaps well over!

Of course, looking right can only take you so far.

Work hard at getting competent. Successful people respect competence. Use efficient ways to learn: ask coworkers for just-in-time help, read articles, watch YouTube videos, attend a conference, take a concise practical course (in-person or online perhaps on Udemy or LinkedIn Learning.) While there and in the situations above, use the following skills:

Get better at communicating. Everyone thinks they're a good speaker and listener but most people need to up their game to make a successful person value you. Get good at asking questions, professional and personal, and listen well, tactfully offering your own thoughts but talking a bit less than half the time.

Subtle flattery works, for example, “Good point” and even “Aha” with a nod.

If you wish, flirt. Accompany the previous tips with just a fraction of a second more eye contact, standing a bit closer, and having open body posture.

Instantly go from schlepper to CEO

On your own or with one or more trusted friends as partners, start something. If you want to be really successful, you need to think big, not lottery-odds big, but big. For example, a struggling bookkeeper might offer bookkeeping services to every local successful psychotherapist in private practice (lots of 5-star Yelp reviews.) When your schedule is full, recruit another struggling but quality bookkeeper to take your overage. Keep going until as you’re a big as you want to be—100-mile radius?

Shrug at rejection

You must shrug at rejection. For nearly everyone, rejection is the necessary prerequisite to success. Remember, you only need one big win. Yes, learn from your mistakes and yes keep improving, revising your goal, strategies, or tactics. But even if you’re doing everything well, the typical path from unsuccessful to successful is no-response, no-response, no, no, no, no-response, no, dead-end, no-response, maybe, no, no, no-response, dead-end, maybe, no, no-response, dead-end, maybe, YES.

I read this aloud on YouTube.