There are many facets to success. The road is different depending on your profession, but in all situations it involves opportunity and preparation, as well as timing and hard work. The preparation and hard work count as investing in yourself and your future.

Preparation makes the hard work look easier to those on the outside. It’s the investment in yourself. Sometimes you can wing it, but most times you aren’t fully prepared, someone who matters will know. Preparation may be easy, which is always nice. But other times it’s hard and trying. In all situations it’s imperative to do so and enable yourself to do your best.

The hard work you put in helps create the opportunities you need along the road to success. It could be your boss noticing the hard work and giving you more opportunities or a promotion. Or maybe it’s your client or customer recognizing your efforts and directing you more business or connecting you with other opportunities for business. The point is people recognize when people are putting in time and effort, especially when it is bringing results.

This happens for me where my work for clients has resulted in the referrals of their friends, family and peers. It is a great complement when someone sees your hard work and trusts you enough to make such a referral. People don’t want to refer their friends and family to others unless they think the person can assist and will put in the time to do so, because referrals reflect on the person doing the referring. You want to be the person they trust to help people they care about.

The road to success is littered with potholes of all shapes and sizes. You will not be able to avoid them all, but the ones you hit provide lessons so that you can avoid bigger ones in the future. By continuing down the road of hard work and preparation, you will create opportunity and put yourself in the best position to achieve your version of success.