5 Secret Success Skills for the Modern Southern Gentleman

Every man wants to succeed, our struggle is deciphering how. Do I go to college? Is grad school a necessity. Or do you follow Mike Rowe’s plan and learn a trade like welder or electrician? (BTW, I am a huge fan what Mr. Rowe is doing and covet his voice).

Good news and bad news.

First the bad news, I have no clue if you should go to college or learn a trade. Both are good choices but you’re going to have to figure that one out on your own.

The good news is I’m going to let you in on a secret. 5 secrets to be precise. These secrets will set any man who takes the time to master them up for success. Doesn’t matter if you’re a welder, roofer, engineer or salesman, these secrets will help you succeed. In fact any ONE of them will get you going, but there’s a compounding effect in play here. The more of these you master, the higher your chances are to become the successful man you want to be.

(If you’ve found a job but you’re having trouble getting promoted, this will help you.)

Public Speaking

Ask the average man what he’s most afraid of and number one is prostate exam but public speaking is a close second. I can’t help you with exam but I want you to know you don’t have be afraid of public speaking. People (employers, bosses, the opposite sex) view men who are good public speakers as confident and trustworthy. Learn how to speak in public and you’ll be able to promote and sell anything- from products to a worldview to a religious system and yourself, which translates into better jobs, promotions and opportunities.

Most guys are terrified because they don’t think they came up with anything to say. I’ve been a public speaker for over 20 years and I’m going to let you in on a secret I wish someone had told me when I started. There qualities that make people want to listen/watch a speaker are confidence and enthusiasm. Your success as a public speaker is less about the content of your presentation and more about how you present yourself. A study was done and discovered the ways a public speaker communicates with his audience, 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and 7% words. The secret to public speaking is stand up straight, smile and act like you believe in what you’re saying.

Congratulations, you are now better than 80% of all public speakers.

Writing

If you can’t speak well, you can write well. Good writing is not just using proper grammar, it’s the ability to organize thoughts into a coherent stream. Every guy needs to learn how to write something longer than a text or tweet because nothing will get a resume or job application thrown in the garbage faster than misspelling and grammatical errors. There are tons of websites dedicated to helping you identify and correct basic grammar. One of my favorite is the Hemingway Editor.

Bonus Tip: Go pickup a copy of The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead and read chapters 14-19.

Organizing

You can’t succeed in life if you spend all your time looking for your keys, debit card or phone. Here are a few rules to get and keep you organized

If you take it out, put it back
If you make a mess, clean it up
If you open it, close it
If you take it off, hang it up

Networking

Before you turn up your nose and say “I’m not kissing anyone’s butt for a job”, STOP. If that’s what you think networking is, you’ve been reading way too much false news and blogs written by losers living in their mom’s basement. The fact is we live in a world dominated by ideas and innovation born out of collaboration and it’s kind of hard to collaborate by yourself. It’s mission critical that you make connections with others.

The How is simple: always look for ways to add value to the lives of others. Do that, and you’ll have more connections than you can handle.

Critical Thinking

Do you believe everything you see on the internet? Is your credit card statement a list of infomercial product purchases? If the answer is yes, you need to develop the ability to consider the vast amount of information you come into contact with every day. Learn how to not only decide if something is true but also if it’s important and how does it relate to other information you’re seeing.

The how is to look for the other side of the story because there’s always two sides to the story.

What about you? Got any success secrets you want to share with us? Leave in the comments.