Five Ways to Succeed in Business
What does it take to succeed in business, let alone in life? Carmine Del Sordi, MBA ‘02, shared five tips with students at the University of San Francisco that he thinks new business professionals need to keep in mind.
“The beauty of college is that your path to success is planned out for you,” Del Sordi said. “They give you a list of classes to take and clubs to participate in. But what happens once you’re out? It’s a lot of work learning how to manage and pave that path of success, but what it really comes down to is discovering who you are and what you want to be.”
Based on his recently published book, Welcome to the Big Leagues; Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie, Del Sordi focused the discussion on five areas of well-being that lead people to discover their fullest potential: social, physical, mental, occupational and economic. “They are all interconnected, like spokes on a wheel. If one falls off, then everything else will tumble down,” Del Sordi said. In his opinion, the first five years out of college are the most difficult, but working intently on these five areas of life paves the way to a healthy and thriving life.
Del Sordi is no stranger to the ups and downs of life. In college, he studied Business and Journalism as an undergraduate in Arizona, intending to pursue a career in advertising. However, after the death of his mother, Del Sordi decided to focus his attention solely on business in the hopes of attaining a more clearly defined career. In the years following his college graduation, Del Sordi overcame numerous financial difficulties and poor health and felt inspired to write a book that would coach others to overcome adversity. “I like to help others,” Del Sordi said. “I see these common pitfalls and the ways you can fix them. It all starts with awareness and realizing who we are. Then we can follow the path leading us toward success.”
Del Sordi led the University of San Francisco students in a discussion on each part of well-being, highlighting that people thrive when all five parts work together.
1. Social well-being
In an age where we interact through computer screens and text messages, Del Sordi stressed the importance of staying engaged with others. “Relationships are key. Love is vital to our well-being, so it’s important to make an effort to stay engaged,” Del Sordi said. Whether that means attending seminars and lectures for work or meeting people face to face over a meal, it’s important to interact with others, be empathetic and build relationships and a support system.
2. Physical well-being
Fitting in time to exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep can be difficult, Del Sordi said. The USDA recommends people exercise 30 minutes every day. “This could mean walking around the office or fitting in a few workouts between television commercials,” Del Sordi said. When it comes to nutrition, Del Sordi noted that fats in avocados, nuts and olive oils signal us to stop eating. “Shop for color,” he advised the students. “Stay hydrated. The food we eat impacts our mood. It’s all about taking ownership over the things we eat and sticking to a plan to thrive and stay healthy.”
3. Mental well-being
Del Sordi stressed that mental health is a vitally important part of our overall health, and an aspect that we can care for by communicating well with friends and family about stress factors and asking for help when we need it. “Today, around 30 million Americans take anti-depressants,” Del Sordi said. “Between 1999 and 2010, suicide rose by 30%. If you feel lost, know that it’s OK to reach out for help. It’s difficult after college, I know, but it’s important to search for that higher purpose. Never lose gratitude and keep a positive mentality.”
4. Occupational well-being
Del Sordi noted that it’s easy to fall into an occupational routine. In order to prevent a slump, he argued, it’s important to remember that we are constantly learning new skills every day, and to keep developing ourselves. “Stay engaged and follow what you love,” Del Sordi said. At the end of the day, in Del Sordi’s experience, it’s best to work in a field that you are passionate about. “I was very money-driven in my early career, but that doesn’t always lead to satisfaction,” he said. “Happiness comes through engagement. The greatest question to ask is who do you want to be. You have to be in a job for something more than just money. The job has to give you something of value and that feeling of self-worth that fuels happiness.You’re twice as likely to thrive if you love what you do.”
5. Economic well-being
Being economically successful really boils down to being financially literate and knowing how to manage your money,” Del Sordi said. Many students face crippling loan debt after college. Making smart decisions about where money goes is crucial, including living within your means and planning for the long term. “Be aware of what you can afford,” Del Sordi said. “Budget, and stick to that plan.”
Now that he has written his life lessons down, Del Sordi’s main goal is to educate college students and recent college graduates in order to prevent them from struggling as much as he did in the first years after graduation. “There are many problems that young people face after college, but it’s important to find that inner strength to thrive,” he said. “Right now, I am trying to educate them on all fronts in order to reach them with this information earlier. Life is a journey. Never give up.”