Like many people, I have read business, self-help, inspiration and many other books in this genre over my 20+ year career.

But recently, I got asked what has really worked for me; what has helped me grow my career and personal brand.

I thought a lot about this and it finally hit me: trial and error. 

You can’t follow someone else’s path

You can take things from others but you need to see what works for you.

There are so many do’s and don’ts lists which can be helpful, but you need to do what works best for you.

For example, if you are not a morning person and you hear that getting up early works for others, why would you force yourself to become one if you know you work better at night

It makes no sense.

Let go of what works for others and figure out what really works for you

Recently I had to reach out to investors on LinkedIn, I tried the typical business opportunity type message and it did not work. Less than 5 people wrote back.

So I re-worked the text to sound more like a sales pitch and I heard back from close to 20 people. What you read online, or what works in Silicon Valley is not always what will work for you.

I see so many people trying to read all these books about how others became successful.

But maybe, you should try to put the books down for a while and see what actually works for you and what you are trying to accomplish.

Maybe you should get out there and start networking and make real connections with people that may create way more opportunities for you than reading books or online posts about the do’s & don’ts.

Also, in my experience, a lot of people do not always talk about what has not worked for them, which can be just as important.

Some of my greatest career advancements have come right after a failure. Sometimes it can take days, weeks or months to get back at it and try something new after you fail, but that is what successful people do.

You will be surprised by how much you can learn about yourself and the feedback from others when you really try and learn from trial and error.

It can be really scary at first, so start with something small. For example, take 10 people you want to reach out to about something. Then, send 5 of them one type of message and the other 5 a different one. You want the same outcome from both messages, but like I mentioned above, you might get different responses.

Once you know which message got a better response you can send it to more people and maybe update your content or profile online to accommodate the new messaging that people resonate better with.

When you can let go of what works for others and figure out what really works for you, you will feel way less stressed and have more confidence in yourself, your business and your personal brand.

Have you been noticing the same patterns on your career path, too? Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

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