How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

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Top tips on how to succeed in business without really trying, at any stage in your life.

Success is the dream of every business student, business owner and aspiring entrepreneur. But just how can you succeed in business without really trying? Follow our effortless tips on how to succeed in business and you’ll be well on your way to business success.



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Have the Right Mindset

Success in business is all about your mindset. If you believe in yourself, you will go far. You should also believe in your work. Whether you are starting a new company, are currently in business school, or working for someone else, you need to believe in what you are doing.


Always try to remind yourself of the bigger picture. When you are in school, remember that you are studying in order to achieve something greater. If you are working for yourself or someone else, make sure you are working for a cause or a product that really speaks to you. Getting into business for a product or service you are passionate about will help you succeed because it will come naturally to you to want to promote and sell.



Have Goals

Setting goals for yourself is a surefire way to keep you motivated and on track to succeed. Make both short-term and long-term goals for yourself, and create a timeline for yourself in order to check in with yourself at certain points. At your check in you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I achieved this goal? If not, when should I adjust my timeline to achieve it?
  • What has been stopping me from achieving it, or caused me to take longer than anticipated?
  • What motivates me, and how can I use that to further myself for my next goal?
  • What are my next goals, and how will I achieve them?

Be specific when making goals. The more specific they are, the less likely you will be to push them aside due to vagueness. Write down your goals as well in a detailed plan, including how you will achieve them. Also consider whether your goals are realistic, and how you will measure them.



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Take Risks

Everyone knows that all business involves some level of risk. Taking a leap of faith can give you a big payout, and risk-taking is an inherent part of entrepreneurship. The important distinction between risks taken by those who succeed and those who fail is the idea of ‘calculated risks.’


Calculated risks are risks made after careful consideration. Successful business people will constantly re-evaluate the risks being made, and make smarter risks the following time.


In your life, you can put yourself out there with business partners, teachers and colleagues. Don’t be afraid to share a creative idea, or propose a new way of getting things done. These are easy ways to take risks that will make you stand out within your network. Try out your ideas first on people you trust, and make your pitches count!



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Be Flexible

Trying to succeed in business without really trying means that things won’t always go as planned. There might be snags in your plans, hiccups in achieving goals on times, and unexpected issues will always come up in business. The trick to keep yourself on track for success is not to let yourself get down by all the unexpected changes. Be understanding and forgiving with yourself when things don’t go as planned. The most important part is to be flexible with your plans and know when it’s time to move or change a goal. This is different than giving up, it is adapting to new circumstances, which is a paramount part of success.



Use Your Failures

Fail fast — use this tried and true philosophy in business to get ahead without really trying. Getting an iteration out quickly and frequently in the beginning is the best way to test for failures without much effort and lost time. The idea is that if you fail fast, you will succeed faster by way of quickly determining what your next steps are. Failing is a learning experience — with each failed attempt, you learn exactly what to change for the following attempt. Figure out what went wrong with each attempt, and make a specific plan for how to succeed the next time. Finally, don’t get yourself down from your failures. Look for the silver lining in your mistakes — that you can learn, grow and succeed after each failure.



Build A Network

Having a strong network is an easy way to succeed. If you are surrounded by successful people, you will be motivated to succeed yourself. You will have people around you to bounce ideas off of and get advice from. Make sure your network is full of like-minded business people who can help you grow and push you to go far.


Wherever you go, make positive connections, whether you are at a cafe, in class, or at work. You never know who you may meet and you always want to put your best self forward. Strike up a conversation with people and try to make a good impression with those who interest you. Introduce yourself no matter what, and see if you have any common interests or industries that you work in.



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Finally, your network includes people from your past. Stay in touch or reconnect with people from all walks of your life. This may include past jobs, distant family members or high school classmates. Don’t be afraid to call on someone from your past if you think they might have some valuable business insights or connections. This is part of taking a risk to expand your network and opportunities and will always pay off. Here are 12 more tips on how to network as a student.



Be Efficient and Save Time

Try outsourcing. Outsourcing tasks will save you time and money, and increase your efficiency. With outsourcing, you won’t have to necessarily hire more employees, but you can find someone with the skill set you need for a task that you may not have time for or know how to do.


Try automating. Another way to increase efficiency is to find ways to automate your work. Try using Gmail Labs to automate your emails. You can create email templates and premade responses so you don’t have to retype common email responses. You can also opt for an ‘undo send’ action that will undo a sent email if you realize quickly that you have forgotten an attachment. One of the best automation tools out there is called Zapier. With this app and others, you can create your own customized automated workflows, specific to tasks you use frequently.


Ever heard of the 4 hour work week? Business guru Tim Ferriss has perfected efficiency of work so much that he claims you only need 4 hours per week of work time! He has books and a podcast with the best strategies for increasing efficiency and saving you time in business.



Be Smart

Let’s talk degrees. Getting a degree is a great way to quickly acquire skills and knowledge to help you succeed in business. Getting an MBA, Bachelor’s Degree in Business (BBA), or Associate Business Degree will require some trying. But it’s not to be ruled out.


With so many flexible and affordable degree programs out there today, you can easily get a degree in business and set yourself apart from the rest of the workforce. Getting an online business degree will give you the skills you need to succeed in business, while you can continue to work in your desired field. To learn more about why you should get a business degree, read our complete guide for Business Administration majors.



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University of the People offers three business degree programs: Master’s of Business Administration, Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Associates Degree in Business Administration. All three of these programs are tuition-free and can be earned on your own terms — flexible and online.


Success is not something that can be achieved overnight, but it does not have to be something you constantly push for. It is possible to succeed in business without really trying, just follow the steps we’ve outlined and you are sure to go far!