From Rock Bottom to the Peak:The Secrets to Success

Here’s a powerful phrase with a dose of reality: We are all start-ups at one point.

By start-up, we mean we all have to start from the bottom and work our way to the top. In the working world, this means starting at the bottom rung of the corporate ladder as a fresh graduate or someone with minimal work experience.

Yes, being at the bottom may or may not be fun to you and it can involve tasks such as preparing coffee for someone else, getting someone else’s lunch bagel or being a messenger. Before you say to yourself, “Why am I doing this?”, “How long before I can climb into higher positions”, here are some points to ponder…

Success is hard earned

Do you ever wonder how Chief Executive Officers and leaders of the world’s biggest companies started? How did they become multi-millionaires and leaders of some of the world’s most powerful and successful corporations? Well many of them started from humble beginnings- they began from the bottom and with hard work and ingenuity worked their way to the very top.

Successful business leaders such as Apple’s Steve Jobs and Virgin’s Richard Branson both had humble starts and worked their way to the peak to become legends in their respective fields. Success doesn’t come easy- it is hard-earned. Your road to success may be winding, with obstacles on your way to the peak. As famous Filipino businessman Lucio Tan once said, “All of us should learn from our setbacks.” So don’t give up! Let setbacks be your driving force, your biggest motivation to continue on your journey to the top of your profession.

Of course, there are examples where people were the big boss once they stepped in. Some people inherit wealth or positions and didn’t need to start from the bottom. Though remember that these people are exceptions.

For the most part, success is hard-earned and that means starting from the bottom. This may hurt our ego at times, especially if we are offered a lower position than what we think we’re capable of. But if you work hard and persevere, you will you will climb your way up that corporate ladder into higher positions and be rewarded with higher salary and greater decision-making powers.

Wouldn’t you feel  more accomplished knowing you’ve worked hard for the stuff you have when you are the big boss of your company?

Success involves a lot of things

Success is not just about the happiness and victories you get. It involves a lot of things including stress, office politics, and much more.

Before you see the rainbow, you have to see the rain, a thunderstorm, perhaps.

Realistically, your time for loved ones, time for romantic relationships, social life, holistic health, and many more have to be sacrificed. Just make sure you strike a healthy work-life balance and prioritise what is important to you, without having to put your career progression on hold.

Success is relative

Success is relative because you define your own success. But first, let us be realistic, smart, and time-bound.

You need to be able to craft a long-term plan for yourself- have your goals set. It is relative because success means different things to different people- define your own goals and achievement targets. If success was a road, it may involve detours, U-turns, and rough roads. What matters most is that you define your own success- don’t let others decide for you what is successful and what is not.

Success isn’t always about comparing yourself to others. Set your own timeline.

Success starts with you

As the old saying goes, “each man is the architect of his own future.” Therefore it must start with you. You need ample self-motivation and self-determination to be the master of your own peak.

It starts with you, because in the previous passages, you are the one who defines and takes charge of it.

It starts with you, because if you do not start moving, who else will do it for you?

And so, success does not start at the peak. It starts at the bottom and can include tasks you may not enjoy doing in the next few days, months, or years! Don’t rely of cheat sheets for success- they may not always be around. As the previous passages tells us, success is relative, hard-earned, and dependent on your motivation.

To sum it up, the bottom is really the natural starting point part of reaching the peak of your career. We know you don’t want to work like a personal assistant fetching coffee or running errands that are far related from what you studied for, and far from what you imagined. But remember that success is sweeter if it comes form blood and sweat. It’s often not enough to have only intelligence and creativity- hard work is integral to achieving career success. And isn’t it so much more fulfilling to say “I started from the bottom, and now, I’m here”?

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