What does it take to win? This is probably one of the most talked about questions in the arena of business development/personal growth/etc. 

Here’s my take. I don’t claim this to be scientific, but it’s worked for me and I feel like it’ll work for you as well. 

Winning. Success. Whatever you want to call it, for me, follows the following equation: 

Talent + Hard Work + Focus + Persistence + Determination + Belief in yourself = Success 

Let me break that down for you…because I realize that seems like a lot. However, it really does require all of those and here’s why. 

You have to have talent to be able to accomplish your dreams and goals in whatever it is you’re trying to do. Notice I didn’t say “natural talent” because I believe talent is a skill and can be learned. Steve Martin is a very talented banjo player, but didn’t pick up the banjo until he was 30 years old. He developed the talent…and now has Grammy Awards. 

It takes hard work. Period. If you want to achieve the level of success of other successful people…be prepared to work harder than they did. To get things you’ve never had…you must be prepared to do things you’ve never done.

Focus is crucial. If you’re working hard, but not focused on what you need to be…you’ll not get where you want to be. Focus allows you to transition, as the old cliche says, to working smarter.

Without persistence, you’ll quit before you really even get started. Persistence is what will allow you to take the pain of defeat and turn that into motivation for success. 

Determination defines your destination. Determination is what will keep you going when people around tell you to stop, or tell you that you’re an idiot for even thinking you could have done it in the first place. 

And finally, how you feel about yourself. Dr. Maxwell Maltz said it best, “it’s absolutely impossible for anyone to outperform their own self image.” You will never be able to do any better than you believe you’re capable of doing. To quote Henry Ford, “whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” 

Take ALL of those…put them together…and I assure you…you’ll win. You can’t help it. It may not happen overnight…but it WILL happen.