I was in New Haven Connecticut about to speak in front of over 1,000 new students. My upbeat playlist was blasting in the speakers and the auditorium was buzzing with energy and conversation. Before my presentations I float around and speak to students before I speak to get a better grasp on who the audience is and to take silly selfies and enjoy the moment.


About 10 minutes before I was supposed to present a sharp young man came up to me and shook my hand and told me he looked me up online. Here’s how the conversation went:


“Wow, it’s great to meet you Mr. Odell! From what I read about you online you seem like you’re really successful. What did you do to become so successful in your career?”

Humbled by his remarks I responded, “Thanks a lot. I don’t really think I’m that successful. I’ve got a long way to go, but thank you for your kind words.”

To which he responded, “But this is all you do right? Isn’t this what you want to do? I’d say that is success!”


Success like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people define success as a lot of money, luxurious homes and cars, and fancy trips. Others define success as getting a good job and a degree. No matter what your definition of success is there are common things that people (especially students) can do that will set themselves up to become better. After that conversation I developed a speech entitled: “4 Ways to Become a Guaranteed Success Story” and these are the major points from that talk:


‘Brainwash’ Your Mind for Success

Our minds are the single most incredible assets we have at our disposal. No computer, no algorithm, or anybody can fully comprehend the brilliance we all have access to. The blessing and the curse from having access to this great machine is that it does what it’s programmed to do. If we go 3 days without washing our bodies we will stink. It doesn’t matter if we don’t workout or do any strenuous activities, we will stink. The same is true about our minds. If we don’t ‘wash’ our minds with positivity, personal development, and empowerment on a daily basis then your mind and your attitude will gather the negativity and cynicism of society and social media timelines. So on a daily basis if you want to guarantee success for yourself read empowering information and engage in positive conversations.


Become a Leader

Everyone is a leader, but it’s the intentional ones Leaders of industry obtain fulfillment. People that lead organizations, families, and others have more opportunities to be more gainfully employed, galvanize others for businesses, and build positive relationships. To be an effective leader you have to learn how to positively interact with people. Be positive and do your best to always find win-win situations with the people you serve with. Another part of leadership is learning diversity. In order to learn diversity you’ve got to learn how to interact with people that speak, look, and act differently than you. I have saying that goes like this: The only thing in life that should be separated by color is laundry. If someone speaks differently than you, looks different than you, or does life differently than you as a leader you have to be able to relate to them and help them get acclimated into your community and your culture. The best way to do this is to simply approach people that speak, look, and act differently than you and shake their hands and tell them: “I’m happy to know you.”


Live Your Purpose

You never know who you are until you discover why you are. Your purpose is connected to the why. Most people are not successful because they never define the important things in life. What cannot be defined can never be determined. How can you determine if you were successful if you don’t define what success is? How do you determine if your partner or spouse is the right spouse or partner unless you define what the ‘right’ spouse or partner is? The same goes with the purpose of your life. In order to guarantee success for your life you have to define and live your purpose. I’ve given tens of thousands of people their purpose over the course of the last few years and I want to give it to you in this article, your purpose in life is to give the world a glimpse of Heaven by what you do, what you have, and who you are. This means that your life should perpetuate good. Even if you’ve gone through negative things. To begin living your purpose look at all the bad things in your life and figure out how they can be turned into positive things, disconnect with people that are limiting your growth, and celebrate those people around you that are expanding your growth.


Build Profitable Relationships

There’s an adage that says: Your network determines your net worth. Networking is often looked at different ways by different people. I can define networking with two words: relationship building. Success in life is more about who you meet and less about what you create. Out of all the ways that you can guarantee success, relationship building is supreme. Figure out what industry you want to be successful in and find someone who is successful in that industry and connect with them. Nowadays you have LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and different ways to connect with people that you never could connect with 20 years ago. Utilize these mediums for more than just posting the dinner you ate or seeing what your old friends are up to. When you’re beginning to build a relationship there are four specific ways to do it:

(1) Do a great job meeting the right people in person.

(2) Find common ground with the right people.

(3) Get their contact information.

(4) Follow up with ways to be helpful.


Building relationships takes a lot of time, that’s why it’s best to start now. Figure out what industry or career field you want to succeed in and email someone locally prominent and set up a meeting with them. Ask them questions and begin making a strong friendship. Make friends that will elevate you and friends you can add value to as well.


What success tips do you have? Please comment below.