People often ask me for advice on how to be a success at work. Some people 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, though, have helped me recognize that I have what it takes to be successful at work and in life.

Growing up with a single mom with four kids 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 was certain 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 gathered 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 7: Be Clear & Direct in What You Want.

In order to succeed in life and business, you need to know what you want and be clear and direct in asking for it. This may sound simple, but unfortunately I see women every day who are not clear in asking for something. In fact, they never actually give a direct ask! Communication is critical in business and in life. If you are not clearly identifying what it is that you want and asking the right person for it, you will not get it. Then, you will become frustrated. 

Often times I hear people say, “Well, they should have known that I wanted that promotion. I’ve been here for years!”  or,  “I am so upset I didn’t get that project. Doesn’t everyone know I love events?”  The only way that anyone will know what you want is if you ask directly and frequently.

Meet with your boss regularly to review your goals and give specific asks. For example, “I am interested in the next promotion that becomes available. What do I need to do to prepare now? What doubts do you have that I would not be the right person for that role? Are you willing to help me advance?” 

Ask direct questions and continue asking them until you get a direct answer. It’s a direct path to achieving success in life and at work.