The Not-So-Secret Secrets to Making It Big: Five Surprisingly Doable Steps That Will Propel You to the Top

Have you ever said to yourself, How in the world did [insert name of powerful business executive] get to where he is? He’s not any smarter than I am! Well, chances are you’re right. That executive who made it big probably doesn’t have more powerful brain cells than you… but what he (or she!) probably does have are three non-glamorous but crucial qualities: focus, discipline, and follow-up.

These three qualities might not sound extraordinary, but they can truly set you apart. The truth is, there isn’t a simple magic bullet that will propel you straight to the top. Success in any endeavor, especially business, really comes down to specific character traits and habits. If you have those qualities, you’ll excel. And if you don’t, you probably won’t.

I speak from experience: I have launched a number of successful business ventures, including OfficeMax and my newest business, Max-Wellness, a new and unique health and wellness chain. And I think that making sure that you constantly work with focus and discipline, and always, always follow up are crucial ingredients of getting the results you want – whether you’re launching a start-up, leading a team of employees, or going after that big promotion.

Before you ever craft a sales strategy or walk into a client meeting, whether or not you have a chance of success has already been decided by how you think about your work, what you have to do, and how you do it. Outcomes are shaped by your focus, discipline, and commitment to follow-up…or lack thereof. It’s important to remember that achievements are often less dependent on your technical know-how and more dependent on how you organize and think.

Read on to learn what these three qualities look like in practice, and how you can make them work for you:


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About the Authors

Michael Feuer cofounded OfficeMax in 1988 starting with one store and $20,000 of his own money, a partner, and a small group of investors. As CEO, he grew it to more than 1,000 stores worldwide with annual sales topping $5 billion. He is also CEO of Max-Ventures, a venture capital and retail consulting firm, and founder and CEO of Max-Wellness, a comprehensive health and wellness retail chain that launched in 2010. After opening initial laboratory test stores in Florida and Ohio, a national roll-out is now underway. To read Michael Feuer’s complete biography, click here.

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