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A page from the hustler’s playbook

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If you want to be successful, you must observe this one important rule: Let no one ever tell you what to do.

  • If someone has to tell you what your goals are, then the only goals you’ll have are someone else’s.
  • If someone has to tell you what your major responsibilities are, then you aren’t doing enough to be as successful as you could be.
  • If someone has to remind you what you need to do, you might be failing them—and you’re likely failing yourself.
  • If someone has to tell you what to do, then you’re squandering the gift of being human and wasting your initiative, resourcefulness, creativity and determination.

If you work for someone else, develop your own goals and define what success means beyond what your company needs you to do. Seek out new responsibilities, take it upon yourself to find out what needs to be done and do it. Be so proactive that no one will ever dare tell you what to do. Do all these things and you will soon find yourself in a leadership role.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, own your own company and do your own thing, there won’t be anyone there to tell you what to do. Until you develop the ability to do what is necessary without being told, you aren’t ready to strike out on your own. Until you are willing to do what must be done—even when you absolutely don’t want to do it—you’ll never reach the level of success of which you are capable.

Learn from everyone; seek out good advice; model yourself on those you admire—but let no one ever tell you what to do.

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S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go


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