💡 7 Things I learned that helped me build a successful career without a university degree

My university career spanned 7 years, 3 departments and ended in me dropping out.

There is one thing I learned during that time that helped me build a successful career without a degree.

Ok, 7 things👇

1) Be proactive

Do not wait for the things you want (or believe in) to materialize out of thin air.

Look for opportunities to increase the odds of success. When faced with obstacles, let "What CAN I do in this situation" become your mantra.

2) Begin with the end in mind

If you're stuck it's often because you're not clear enough about the outcome.

Be concrete - what will you:

• see
• hear
• touch
• smell
• taste

when the task is done?

You do NOT need perfect clarity, just enough to take the next step.

3) Put 1st things 1st

Look at your list of goals. Rank them to identify the top 10, top 3 and top 1.

Now look at your calendar. Add entries roughly estimating how you spend your time.

Do you allocate time roughly according to your priorities?

4) Seek first to understand, then to be understood

I've wasted so much time trying to explain why people are wrong about something.

Now I know that the key to convincing people is first understanding them better.

I do that using LAO: Listen, Ask, Observe

5) Think win-win

To succeed in life you need to take into account the perspectives and needs of the people you interact with: bosses, customers, team mates, partners, friends...

All those relationships will fall apart if you play win-lose.

So play for win-win :)

6) Synergize

This word became so overused it became a joke about empty corporate slogans.

It's time to bring it back.

When you work with people look for ways to amplify each other - like a laser bouncing photons between two mirrors and resulting in a powerful beam.

7) Sharpen the saw

There is production and then there's production capability. If you do the same thing over and over again without rest or learning you will just burn out.

Intentionally set aside time to

a) rest and regenarate
b) learn (or invent!) better ways of doing things

That's it.

Those are the 7 things I learned during my collage years that allowed me to build a successful career despite not getting a degree.

So how did I learn all that?

Sharp eyed readers will of course recognize the source of these lessons

It's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey

I recommend the audiobook version even more than the book itself. I believe it contains the essence of the habits in a more concise form.