An Unconventional Formula for Success You Need to Apply TODAY

Everyone wants to have a quick fix for success, but not everyone understands that the formula for success is a wee-bit more complicated than that. Many will argue that the formula for success will result on achieving one’s desired goals, when in reality the formula for success is about more than achievements.

The formula for success is about how you learn (tweet this!).

Not too long ago I wrote an article about the entrepreneurial mindset to allude to the fact that everyone has entrepreneurial skills as part of their skill arsenal. Then, after writing about how to become successful last week, I thought it wise to continue exploring the topics of success and entrepreneurship.

To recap that article about the entrepreneurial mindset in one simple quote:

“Being entrepreneurial is essentially about thinking and doing something that we have not done before in order to achieve a desirable goal or outcome” Donna de Carolis, PhD.

I love this quote because it demystifies entrepreneurship and makes it an achievable goal. In other words, to be an entrepreneur you do not have to own or operate your own business. It just so happens to be that entrepreneurs more often than not choose to become their own bosses.

So what does this have to do with success and this so-called formula for success?

Self-awareness + action = success (Tweet this!)

Allow me to elaborate.

The role of self-awareness in this so-called formula for success:

Ultimately, the formula for success is as simple as developing self-awareness. For the sake of simplicity, we shall think of self-awareness as the thoughts you have about your thoughts, behaviors, and emotional states.

As I wrote last week, becoming successful largely depends upon your ability to do three things: honoring where you are at, keeping your eye on the big picture, and defining success in your own terms. But in order to fulfill any of the above requirements, you have to know yourself, and you need some sort of awareness of your thoughts, behaviors, and emotional states.

One of my old bosses used to say “to think outside the box you first have to know the limits of the box”.

Self-awareness, as the sole foundation for the formula for success, is the difference between going off on a tangent of doom inside your head, and knowing when to stop this inner-conversation because you know that this pattern is not self-serving of whatever goal you have in mind.

I am going to be writing a lot about self-serving thoughts, behaviors, and emotions as I am on a “what is going to help me accomplish my goals today?” kick. And in order to figure out what is and what isn’t going to help me accomplish my goals today I need a certain degree of self-awareness.

For example, I joined the NaNoWriMo movement because I have always wanted to publish a book, and because I wanted to beta-test a program I am developing to overcome procrastination and increase productivity (sign up for my newsletter at the top of the page or below this article if you want to be the first to find out more about this program or even becoming a beta-tester yourself). As I was developing a plan to achieve my goal of finishing a book I decided I could easily write 500 words daily over the next 90 days.

If I want to accomplish my goal of finishing my book by the end of January I have to get really honest with myself.

Is watching TV going to serve my purpose of writing 500 words today?

Is my low self-esteem going to serve my purpose of writing 500 words today?

Is not being in the mood to write today going to serve my purpose of writing 500 words today?

By now you have probably guessed that the answer to these questions was a big, fat HELL DUCKING* NO (in case you are not familiar, iPhones autocorrect the F-word+ING with the word “ducking”).

But in order to know if any of these issues are self-serving to my goal or not, I first have to become aware of how I am using my time, what I am afraid of, why I have low self-esteem, or why I am not in the mood to write.

So far I’ve written 4800 words out of 5500 that I should have written by November 11th. I consider this a success—but that’s another conversation that shall be continued in weeks to come.

The role of taking action in this so-called formula for success:

Now that you understand the value of self-awareness to success, you will want to take action on what you learned about yourself. You can think of it as a feedback loop in which your awareness of yourself provides you with the information that you need to implement in order to make the desired changes that can help you achieve your goal.

See what I did there? I added italics to the word implement to draw your attention to the fact that you have to take action. No excuses, no questions asked. You just do it.

The one thing that you can do right now that is going to contribute towards the success you wish to achieve is starting today.

Today, not tomorrow, today.

I found this little gem on the internet about a small movement dedicated to improving your life today instead of waiting for tomorrow. In fact, this is the reason why I no longer make New Year’s resolutions.  If you remember last week’s post, only about 8% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions successfully follow through and achieve what they set out to do.

So what is going on here?

What is the #itstartstoday movement all about?

The #itstartstoday movement is a call to action to take whatever step you need to take today in order to live the life of your dreams. It is a call to live an authentic life full of meaning. It is a call to engage with your life more fully in this very moment, rather than waiting until January 1st to get started.

If there is a gap between how your life is right now and how you wish your life was, know that the gap can be bridged by taking action. Success can be defined as the completion and accomplishment of that desired life. But in order to get there you have to take consistent and continuous action.

Self-awareness can only take you so far in becoming successful. That is why action is such an integral part of the formula for success.

If you have built castles in the sky, build a bridge that gets you there – tweet this.


The formula for success is composed of two important elements: becoming aware of your thoughts, behaviors, and emotional states, and taking action upon what you have learned about yourself.

Self-awareness allows you to tap into the very entrepreneurial mindset that allows you to do something that you have not done before in order to achieve different results (surely you have heard about Einstein’s definition of insanity). But if you want to become successful you have to take action on what you have learned through self-reflection today.

Self-awareness says: “I know that I do not feel confident in my ability to reach my goal.” And taking action looks like developing the skills that I have identified will aid me in reaching my goal.

Always keep in mind that success is a journey. I cannot emphasize enough to read last week’s article on re-framing the meaning of success.

So… what will you do today to build that bridge to the castle you have built in the sky?


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Thank you for reading and bestestest of wishes to you!


  1. I SO agree with this post! Brilliant. Self awareness is everything. It puts you in the driver’s seat. And I always say that about the boxes too! How can you think outside of the box if you don’t know what your box even is? Love your point of view Victoria!!!
    (ducking ha! :))

  2. Great post. Self-awareness + action = success, I love that! We must be aware of ourselves, yes. and we must be honest with ourselves. I love that you pointed both of these things out. It seems so simple that sometimes we think everyone else knows this too but not everyone does.

    • Thank you for stopping by and commenting Michelle. I agree with you, sometimes I find that the answer to many of the problems I have faced has been staring me in the face the whole time. The point is to be gentle with yourself and divine timing.

  3. LOVE this post. As a brand strategist, knowing thyself is paramount to building a brand that’s aligned with YOU. As a business strategist, one of my mantra’s is ‘start small + pivot quick’ — so yeah… totally agree — and a HUGE congrats on your book writing progress. Awesome! xo, H

    • Hello Helene, thank you for the comments and the share! I love branding… it has been such a fun process for me and my brand… and yes, part of that process has all about knowing who I am and what I stand for.

  4. One of the secrets of success to NaNoWriMo is the “no excuses just keep on writing, and if you are stuck, you try something else” it teaches you. Which reminds me – I’ve fallen behind. No excuses. Part of taking action and self awareness is knowing that when something isn’t working, you don’t quit – you just change direction.

    • YES! totally. Glad to find another NaNoWriMo’er in the internet! I completely agree with you. For me it has become less about “am I in the mood to write” and more about “ok, let’s GET in the mood to write”… otherwise I wouldn’t get anything done. Good luck with your work!

  5. I absolutely love so many of the take away phrases in this post.

    Yes, getting out of my own head is a big part of moving forward to more success. Thanks for reminding me of how powerful I actually can be and that YES I am an entrepreneur that can really do anything when I set my intentions right. Great read!

    • Thank you so much for your comments Belinda and super glad I could help with some take-aways. I love your perspective on the material: re-connecting with your personal power. Best wishes!

  6. Thank you so much for this great post! Very thought-provoking, and great strategies I really need to apply to my own entrepreneurial endeavors (two of them: freelance writing/educational consulting and custom quilt businesses!) I’m adding your blog to my “Favorites” and blog folder, because I clearly need to come back and read lots more of your valuable tips!

    • Hello hello. Glad I could help out and honored that you invited me into your inbox. I hope I can continue providing you with help and value around your own entrepreneurial endeavors (custom quilting, how fun is that!). Best wishes!

  7. What I learned lately is that, once we become aware of our own reactions, the next step is to create the desired reaction. I’m still working on that 🙂

  8. You can’t get anything done if you don’t get off the couch and start. I used to procrastinate a lot until I realized that if I just stand up and go start whatever it is I have been thinking about doing, not only do I not waste my time on the couch, but I end up doing it. Life is so much more meaningful when you are constantly moving.

    • Zach, thank you for your comment… I totally agree with you. I was (still am to a certain extent) a HUGE procrastinator… until one day I decided that I wasn’t going to achieve any of my goals by coasting by on my couch.

  9. “self-awareness + action = success” . . . yes, yes, yes. what a motivating formula, victoria! you have inspired me at the perfect time. i just began what i am calling an overhaul/renovation of my inner life – digging deep and critically examining my intentions and my responses. (and i am intrigued by the #itstartstoday movement – going to go read up on it now!)

    • Hello April, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I too am on a inner life renovation–I love reading your studio notes because we seem to be going through something very similar.

  10. What an inspiring blog post! It’s very refreshing! At times we may know the steps we need to take to get results but then they are not applied! Action is needed! Thank you for this motivating post!

  11. Hello Victoria…..I think you have nailed it with this post….If a person keeps the right mind set and adds action , success comes…..It takes practice to gain that self awareness , so a person can steer the mind set to productive positve awareness and push away the counter productive mindsets……I struggle with this type of thing every day it seems…….Thank you for your words and wisdom…….Smokey

    • Hello Greg, thank you for your comment. Struggling with mindset is definitively a work in progress, so keep on rocking! It’s all about not giving up.

  12. Nice post, Victoria.

    Success for online entrepreneurs is largely based on the 2 key points you make here: know who you are, and take immediate action.

    I’d say the biggest factor in helping my clients to become successful is in developing an actionable strategy in coordination with their purpose…

    Those that take the actions necessary on a consistent basis over a sustained period of time, are the ones whose businesses reach the highest levels of success, in the least amount of time.

    • Yes, David, thank you so much for your comment. Glad to know you are helping your clients with the implementation stage… we need more people reaching for the stars.

  13. A great read Victoria, more people simply need to ask the question whether what they want to do serves them, like you do. I’ve never met anyone who has absolutely no time at all to write a book in small chunks. Everyone has “fat” that they can cut out of their day. I turn off Facebook and fire up Rescue Time and stuff gets done.

    • Hello Sarah, thank you so much for the comment. I agree with you completely about people having the time, unfortunately, oftentimes we don’t do anything of it because we’re so busy being unconscious.

  14. I absolutely agree that self awareness is a huge factor in our success. It’s the ducking key, in my opinion :). Of course, action needs to accompany that. I agree, too, that success is a journey.

  15. This says it all!

    Victoria, I felt that the willingness for voluntary change of one self. That would be the beginning of it all. Then, follow your formula. It will not work without one changing. Can’t keep doing the same things, which doesn’t work. Would you agree?

    I just can not get enough Victoria, of all your sharing here. This is a fresh breath of air from the normal stuff I am reading day in and out. Thank you and I appreciate your insight.

  16. My good stuff Victoria!

    Because it’s just as you laid it out. First, we’ve got to come to grips with the fact that we are
    where we are!

    And there is no specific place to be that’s better than anywhere else because we’re all on our
    own paths!

    And next we’ve definitely got to keep our eye on the big picture and continually chip away at it with proven daily productive
    activities of some kind.

    And lastly, defining our success in our very own terms! Which means no comparing ourselves to where others are currently or where we may think they’re headed!

    Thanks for providing such clarity! I’ll definitely be sharing this one!
    Mark recently posted…So What Lesson Can Some Ski Masked Wearing Shoppers Teach You About Building Trust Online?My Profile

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