Gini Dietrich

Three Secrets to Your Own Success

By: Gini Dietrich | November 21, 2013 | 
139

Three Secrets to Your Own SuccessBy Gini Dietrich

The best Christmas gift I could receive (well, other than a Cervelo) is being told I no longer have to turn off my phone or iPad during takeoff and landing on the plane.

Merry Christmas early to me!

So, while we were preparing for takeoff yesterday, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and came across an interesting article on Samantha Collier’s page.

Called “Nine Things Extremely Successful People Do After Work,” I thought, “I’ll bite.”

And I was pleasantly surprised! Of the nine things, I do seven quite consistently. Does this mean I’m extremely successful?!?

Take a look:

  • Unplug
  • Go to happy hour
  • Have sex
  • Plan your weekend
  • Play an instrument
  • Go outside and play
  • Play a crazy sport
  • Focus on family and friends
  • Get eight hours of sleep

Likewise, an article in Inc., revealed the “Eight Things Really Successful People Do.”

  • Make materialism irrelevant
  • Enhance knowledge
  • Manage relationship expectations
  • Practice emotional self-awareness
  • Commit to a physical ideal
  • Gain clarity about spirituality
  • Adhere to a code of ethics
  • Focus on time efficiency

And yet another article, “Early Riser? What You Should Do When You Wake Up,” describes what entrepreneurs who get up early do with their time (I’m writing this at 4:09 a.m.).

The point is, there is no secret to success. It’s different for everyone…and it constantly evolves.

Secrets to Your Own Success

But there are three things I think are imperative to anyone’s success: Eight hours of sleep, a commitment to a physical ideal, and unplugging.

Eight Hours of Sleep. I don’t get eight hours every night, but I do average that throughout the week (I know this because my UP band tells me so). I find I’m much more productive, energetic, and a better leader when I get enough sleep.

Commitment to Physical Ideal. I have always said exercise is like brushing your teeth … it’s just something you have to do every day. I used to have insomnia pretty badly. I’ve had nightmares since I was a kid and they used to wake me up and scare me so badly, I refused to go back to sleep. Then I started riding my bike a gazillion miles every day and my body decided it was too tired to even let me dream. I¬†always have nightmares on my rest days (which is why I unwittingly only take one each week) and I don’t sleep as well. Without the daily exercise, eight hours of sleep is not doable.

Unplugging. This is totally counter-intuitive, particularly in our society, but my New Year’s resolution this year was to stop working weekends. Even if I have a crap load of work to do, I let it sit. I shut my computer down on Friday night and don’t reopen it until Monday morning. I have found I am soooooooo much more productive during the week. There is no more telling myself, “Oh you can do that this weekend.” The work has to get done during the work week. Sure, I don’t totally unplug – I still check emails and the social networks on my phone or iPad. But the work, work? It waits for two days.

These are the three things I encourage among my team…and I challenge you to think about them, too.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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139 Comments on "Three Secrets to Your Own Success"

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Todd Lyden
2 years 5 months ago

Gert- good stuff. But what is your CRAZEE sport?

rdopping
rdopping
2 years 5 months ago

You forgot eating fruit loops! 
A guy I work with was a former professional athlete. 
When I started back on a health plan (eating the right food and regular exercise) he suggested that I have a “cheat day”. Apparently even the most rigorous athletes have cheat days. I suppose the idea is that you don’t let your vice or “nice to have” rule your life. So if you don’t want for it so much it weighs less on you. Personally, I need that.
It helped me so much I am recommending it for Rob Ford.

jasonkonopinski
2 years 5 months ago

Unplugging is a big one for me, especially with not touching “work” work on the weekends. And you’re right — it absolutely makes me more productive and focused during the week. Being “on” all the time doesn’t make me more efficient or more productive. Quite the opposite, really.¬†
Having a healthy amount of humility about the work that we do puts me in the right headspace. No one is dying on my watch. There are always things that can wait until the next day. Always.

Word Ninja
2 years 5 months ago

Todd Lyden For me, driving to the store to pick up milk during the holiday shopping season.

Word Ninja
2 years 5 months ago

All great points, even greater when we act on them! Thanks, Gini.
After I started freelancing while still working a “day” job, my youngest (ah, the wisdom of a teen) made me promise not to work on Sunday, which she reminded me is “the day of rest.” I promised, the world spins on, and my family and I are happier.

SavvyCopywriter
SavvyCopywriter
2 years 5 months ago

These are fantastic!! The commitment to living a healthy lifestyle (sleep, exercise, and smart eating) is big in my world. And I wrote the start to a talk I’m giving last night in the middle of the night – hey, that’s just when inspiration hit! Now if I could just learn how to really unplug on the weekends! ūüėČ Thanks for posting this!

annelizhannan
2 years 5 months ago

I thought you were going to start off my morning reading about your consistent sex life but I will have to leave that to my imagination which I also consider a trait of successful people ūüėČ

KensViews
2 years 5 months ago

Bravo re: your turning off on weekends! Please note that taking a call from me on the weekend is NOT part of business, so would not be in¬† violation of your new rule. So I’ll expect NOT to get your voicemail when I call (And remember, you never know when it’s officer Fikowski of the Illinois Mental Health Association calling for Kelly!) While I’m not yet doing seven hours of exercise a day, I’m shooting for five, but generally doing six!

lizreusswig
2 years 5 months ago

Thank you, ginidietrich¬†for another kick in the butt (can I say “butt” here?)…I KNOW these are important and yet it’s too easy to push them to the bottom of my daily priorities! ¬†So, I’m getting a jump on 2014 and making these three my focus as of today!
I’m pretty sure of the 9, you’re not unplugging, so I’m wondering what the other one is you’re not doing…for Mr. D’s sake I hope it’s playing an instrument! ūüėČ

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

lizreusswig ginidietrich Butt is appropriate.

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

lizreusswig ginidietrich OH MY GOD I just finished reading your comment to the end. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! #NOTappropriate (jokes)

lizreusswig
2 years 5 months ago

belllindsay ginidietrich Phew!

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

annelizhannan Oh dear.

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

KensViews¬†I just can’t ‘turn off’ on weekends. But I think that says more about my personality than any *need* to be constantly wired. I like being connected.

ClayMorgan
2 years 5 months ago

Thanks for this ginidietrich. I seem to be blowing all three.
Unplugging is the hardest for me. Sure I can avoid the social, the email and not mosey over to the computer to do some work. But I have trouble unplugging my brain.

jasonkonopinski
2 years 5 months ago

ClayMorgan ginidietrich If you figure out how to unplug your brain, help a brother out?

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

SavvyCopywriter¬†The healthy lifestyle one is tough for me. I mean, I’m as healthy as I can be – but as Gini says, you can always do more. #lazy

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

rdopping I love cheat days. Lately though, every day is a cheat day for me. Must change that. LOL

jasonkonopinski
2 years 5 months ago

belllindsay SavvyCopywriter #somethingabouthosecigarettes.

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

Todd Lyden¬†Riding 8,000 miles a week. Amiright, Gini?? ūüėČ

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

jasonkonopinski¬†ClayMorgan¬†ginidietrich¬†I can easily unplug my brain. But doing so flies in the face of the ‘healthy living’ part. #beer

MikeSchaffer
2 years 5 months ago

With two kids under 3, the 8 hours of sleep thing isn’t happening. But the other two seem pretty spot-on.
I’ve made a counter-intuitive change that has really paid off on my work over the past six months. I’ve GREATLY reduced my caffeine and cut all sodas (except for the rare mixed drink). I find that it helps make the green tea more effective when I really need it, like before trainings and presentations.

JohnMTrader
JohnMTrader
2 years 5 months ago
Smart list here. I find it incredibly difficult to unplug over the weekend mainly because I work for a small company that has the mindset of working as hard as we can to create value so we can boost our profile as an acquisition target. That requires digging a little deeper so we can’t afford to take weekends off.¬† I dig the physical balance though. If I didn’t have running/exercising in my life, it wouldn’t be a pretty sight. It truly helps me to relax, sleep more regularly, and pretend the punching bag at the gym is the face of… Read more »
JohnMTrader
JohnMTrader
2 years 5 months ago

MikeSchaffer¬†Considering giving up coffee myself (already mastered the soda cleanse). Glad to hear it’s working for you.

SavvyCopywriter
SavvyCopywriter
2 years 5 months ago

belllindsay¬†Just cause it’s big in my world doesn’t mean I’m always doing as much as I can be ūüėČ I love my wine on the weekends, I use my treadmill desk to justify not making it into the gym probably more than I should, and one of my guilty pleasures is terrible reality TV… there… I admit it!

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago
Ok, here’s the deal: I *love* doing a bit of work on the weekends. I find that I get more done in one hour on a Saturday than I would in THREE during the work week. No pressure. No emails. No pings. No interruptions. Same reason I like to work in the wee hours of the morning. And I don’t feel that working a little on the weekend necessarily means you’ve been unproductive during the week. I think of it as prioritizing. “I think I could knock this off better and more efficiently on Sunday” is me freeing up valuable… Read more »
belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

JohnMTrader¬†MikeSchaffer¬†Yeah, the kids thing really throws a wrench into things. LOL But, having been through it, I can assure you it will get better. Soon, you won’t be able to get THEM out of bed. Or off the bloody couch! :)

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 5 months ago
I feel so bad for all those emails, texts and phones calls I use to complain about rdopping and what he says in the comments here. I will refrain til Monday! 8) These are great. It is hard when you have kids to have time for somethings. Like my exercise time is almost none lately which is killing me.¬† That said I will just use a quote from an obscure Pink Floyd song: The memories of a man in his old age are the deeds of a man in his prime. And to me work is not deeds unless you… Read more »
belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

SavvyCopywriter You have a TREADMILL DESK!!?? *swoon*

yvettepistorio
2 years 5 months ago

Yes, everyone is different, but this is a great list. We all will find our own way to have the work/life balance we crave, but these are a good start and something I try to do every week.

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

Howie Goldfarb rdopping Holy CRAP I nearly spit my coffee out! HAHAHAHAHA!! Howie, we must do that some day! #epic

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 5 months ago

belllindsay SavvyCopywriter seriously that is the worst thing having a dreadmill desk if it means working longer hours. But a great idea if you work normal hours because sitting is the worst. I am so going to miss being able to walk outside of my home and within 200 steps start hiking wilderness. But there is now a gym within a few minutes drive. Not sure it is a good trade off. City/Town life kind of sucks for that.

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

jasonkonopinski SavvyCopywriter Unlike Mayor Ford, I will happily admit to being an addict. #smokes

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

SavvyCopywriter¬†Howie Goldfarb¬†How big is this “city” you’ve moved to Howie? LOL

MikeSchaffer
2 years 5 months ago

belllindsay JohnMTrader MikeSchaffer We hit a milestone this week when our 7-month old slept 8 hours. In a row. Hallelujah!

MikeSchaffer
2 years 5 months ago

JohnMTrader¬†MikeSchaffer If you can get past two weeks, you’re home free!

JayDolan
2 years 5 months ago

I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one that was considering what kind of blog post this was going to be after that first list.
And I recently found my crazy sport. Best decision of 2013 for me.

SavvyCopywriter
SavvyCopywriter
2 years 5 months ago

Howie Goldfarb belllindsay SavvyCopywriter Not working longer hours Рjust getting a little bit of movement in during the regular work day :) But nothing can beat getting outside for a quick midday break to breathe some fresh air! And be glad your gym is only a few minutes drive away Рmine is 35 minutes one way! Eep!

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 5 months ago

jasonkonopinski¬†ClayMorgan¬†ginidietrich yesterday I drove to my folks a new way from my new home which took me past the place I learned to fly fish on the White River. And Irene wiped out the campground completely. So badly the owners just walked away from it. There were 4 trailers left tossed in the woods and trees felled everywhere. And knowing Jason loves to flyfish and we are talking about unplugging…how better to unplug than to put on waders and hunt for trout. Was so sad seeing that place yesterday.

MikeSchaffer
2 years 5 months ago

belllindsay Scheduling some tasks for weekend work can be really helpful! I like to plot out tasks by where/when I can do them best. If I have a ton of writing on my plate, I plan a day to work from Panera. For some reason, I do my best writing with scones.

DwayneAlicie
2 years 5 months ago

Howie Goldfarb¬†jasonkonopinski¬†ClayMorgan¬†ginidietrich¬†Yeah, or maybe you don’t have turn off the brain completely, you just have to march it in another direction … like embroidery or making candles or building Unicorn Castles in Cotton Candy Clouds in your daydreams. Those are just mine, you can choose your own.

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

JayDolan¬†HAHAHA! What’s your crazy sport…?

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

MikeSchaffer Exactly. :)

biggreenpen
2 years 5 months ago

JayDolan¬†Jay you’re going to keep us in suspense re: what your crazy sport is? Harrumph.

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

MikeSchaffer¬†Mike, I really can’t even fathom how I got through those years. Big props. :) ¬†JohnMTrader

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

DwayneAlicie Howie Goldfarb jasonkonopinski ClayMorgan ginidietrich Love this.

DwayneAlicie
2 years 5 months ago

belllindsay¬†DwayneAlicie¬†Howie Goldfarb¬†jasonkonopinski¬†ClayMorgan¬†ginidietrich¬†I think Laura Petrolino would have brilliant insight on being “off” while being “on.” How do we summon her? Usually she just materializes.¬†laurapetrolino

KensViews
2 years 5 months ago

belllindsay You may have what one of my coaching clients told me I might have, vis a vis my FB addiction: FOMO Fear Of Missing Out. What I realized from her insight was that I was actually missing out on more–growing my business, quality time with my family, etc.–by my need to know everything my many contacts were posting on FB. So what might you–and I–gain if we reserved weekends for non electronic connections: Time with family and friends, connecting over coffee or even the phone, but not texting, email, FB, etc

jasonkonopinski
2 years 5 months ago

DwayneAlicie¬†belllindsay¬†Howie Goldfarb¬†jasonkonopinski¬†ClayMorgan¬†ginidietrich¬†laurapetrolino¬†You know, Dwayne, I think you’re really on to something. There’s always a place for some mindless entertainment, but I find that I need to keep my brain engaged deeply, even in leisure.

blfarris
2 years 5 months ago
Gini; This year (and by that I mean 2014) I’m focusing not so much about what¬†good leaders DO, but who they ARE. It strikes me that some of these items cross over to both lists. Shutting down isn’t so much a thing I “do”, but instead I am a person who knows my limits. I CAN’T get it all done, and so I have to be OK with some things that go undone. Exercise and getting good sleep are things I DO because I AM a person who values my health and wellness. Somehow making them about my identity makes… Read more »
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