People often ask me for advice on how to be successful at work. Some may assume I’ve had things easy in my life and in my career, and that’s what has led to my success. I want to be very clear: I have not had things easy. My challenges have served me well, though, because overcoming them has helped me to be successful at work and in life.

Growing up as one of four kids with a single mom often left me feeling “less than” other kids who had much more than I did. My mother worked really hard at multiple jobs just to keep food on the table, but even as a child I was able to see clearly that some people were successful, while others were not. I watched others and I tried to determine what I needed to do to succeed.

As an adult, I made sure that I would not struggle financially the way my mother had. I decided to outwork everyone and put myself on the fast track for success—in all aspects of my life.

I’ve hand-picked my top 10 easy tips for helping you outshine others and set yourself apart for this blog series, How To Succeed in Business and Life. With each tip, I’ll address in detail how to become more successful in all that you do.

Tip 8: Let Email Hold You Accountable

Everyone is very busy. This transcends cities, professions, religions and various lifestyles. Communication is a major key to success in life and at work, but sometimes communication fails. When people are overly busy, they miss things. I have spent my career doubling back on emails to ensure that I don’t miss things, so communication can continue smoothly.

Email is my accountability and communication tool for work and life. When I don’t get a response on something, I often send an email using the “send receipt” verification that reads clearly in the end, “If I do not hear back from you on this, I will understand you have agreed to the above.”  That always gets a response! After an important meeting, I recap the notes and action steps so everyone is on the same page. That way, if I haven’t seen the plan executed in two weeks, I can circulate that email and ask each member to respond with an update on our agreed- to plan. 

When you work like this regularly, very few balls get dropped and it naturally improves communication. Let email be an easy tool to help you achieve success and stay on top of things!