People often ask me how they can succeed in business. Though some people may assume I’ve had things easy in my life and in my career, I want to be clear: I have not had things easy. This has helped me accrue hard-won wisdom about how to succeed at work, and in life.

Growing up with a single mom raising four of us kids left me feeling “less than” other kids who had much more than I did. My mother worked hard at multiple jobs to keep food on the table, and even as a child I was able to see clearly that some people were successful, while others were not. I began to notice those around me and tried to figure out what I needed to do to succeed.

As an adult, I made a promise to myself: I would not have to 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 3: Get Specific.

Those that deal in specifics seldom fail. Those that deal in generalities seldom succeed. I was lucky to learn this mantra from my first sales job. By giving yourself a specific goal, specific plan and a specific deadline, you not only hold yourself accountable but you also set clear expectations for others on how you operate and conduct business.

Those that deal in generalities seldom succeed and they wonder why. A generality would be to say, “I want to get promoted in the future and I will do that by working hard.” That person will most likely not be promoted.

Dealing in specifics would be to say, “I want to be promoted within one year of taking this position. In order to do so, I will ask for 30 day evaluations and feedback from my manger. I will ask the top producer to mentor me and give me weekly feedback on how I can improve. I will read one book per month that will help me improve my negotiation skills, etc.” Because these specifics involve actionable plans, this person will most likely succeed.

Ask yourself: Are you dealing in specifics or generalities? I deal in specifics to ensure I meet my goals of success—both personal and professional—and so should you!