Humility

Be humble. Seems so simple, but so many lack this ability. Let your work and your results do the speaking for you. That speaks louder than anything you can broadcast and self promote. You hear people say you can tell when someone has that “new money.” That saying is derived from the concept of not acting like you’ve been there before. People with “new money” often try to act as they think someone with money should act. While I don’t subscribe to that belief, I do realize where the sentiment comes from. Do what makes you happy. Do what’s gotten you this far. Don’t change because you’re looking to fit in with a new crew.

Accountability

If you don’t hold yourself to extremely high standards, no one will do it for you. Most people in life are lazy. And, I don’t mean in the sense that they are apathetic to work. I mean that in the sense that they don’t expand or challenge themselves to do great things. Most people are lazy in thought and expression. They do what makes them comfortable. They do what requires them to use the minimal mental capacity needed to get the job done. As a leader,  accountability is key. Everyone is watching you. Your team, your family, supporters, and outsiders. Inevitably, during the journey, you will make mistakes. Own them, turn things around, apologize when warranted, and move forward.

Relentless Work Ethic

Go out and go get it. I’m a strong believer that hard and smart work gets you to where you need to be in life. Things may not always work out, initially, as you planned. But, they will always work out as they were supposed to and you always end up ahead of where you were yesterday. Commit yourself to learning and executing. Try new things. And, most importantly, turn your dreams into goals. Dreams have an air of being unattainable or we tend to think of these as “hey, life would be awesome if…” When you draw out your goals, you approach them with vigor and with the expectation, that with hard work, can and will be accomplished. It’s a different mindset. It’s a go getter mentality and it’s absolutely infectious. You’re able to galvanize others around you when they can witness the fruits of the labor.

Consistency

Consistency is key. You have to perform. There’s no way around it. No one is going to buy into what you’re selling if they don’t see you selling. You need to be about it. Work harder than everyone around you and you’ll see their level of work and contribution level raise. People don’t like ebbs and flows. People like growth, whether steady and continuous or aggressive and to the top right. It doesn’t matter the speed, so long as you’re always moving in the right direction. Encourage the folks around you to hold themselves accountable to being consistent in action, in how they treat others, and in how they self prepare.

Self Belief and Assurance

Our hearts drive much of our emotion and actions in life. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. We’re more emotional beings than analytical ones. This goes a long way in determining how you perceive yourself. I’m a big believer in looking at patterns. Our past is the best predictor of our future. While you may think that saying is overused, there’s so much truth to it. The reason folks can look at friends from high school, years later, and say I always knew So and So was going to end up that way, is because we all believe in patterns and we watch actions. Learn to live a successful life. Success isn’t a point on a timeline. Success is how you approach and attack life every single minute of the day. Believe in your abilities and emulate successful acts that you see have worked for you in the past and for others to get to where they are today.

Compassion & Understanding

I love people. I love understanding what makes some tick and what turns others off. Even as I say that, I say it with the caveat that people can also be annoying as hell. I get that. But, you should use your differences and disagreements as a means to learn more and to expand your mind. I no longer get angry or confused when people “act a certain way.” I pay attention to patterns in their behaviors. That enables me to see things with as clear a mind as possible and not to let a false facade* or deceit fool me. Begin understanding the people you work with and would like to work with. When your friends and family are going through things, ask them about it and genuinely look for ways you can help them get through it. The smallest, but most powerful thing you can do for anyone is to: Remember. When you have a conversation with someone, take nuggets of information and hold onto them. It doesn’t matter if you remember where they grew up, where they went to school, or how many kids they have. When you can bring up, in future meetings, one of those points, they feel flattered and important…as everyone should feel.

Spiritual Guidance

I’m a believer in God. That’s the source of my balance, energy, excitement, and focus in life. I also believe in different strokes and am open to letting others live. All I know is that every uber successful person I’ve met, that truly inspires me to be better than myself, have been spiritually motivated and led throughout their lives. It’s just too hard to live this life and to achieve everything you would have ever strived for if you’re going about it on your own. I pray at least 10-15 times a day, because I absolutely have to. It levels me. It assures me. It guides me. If I had to go it all by myself, I would have burned out a long time ago. Determine what makes you tick, spiritually, and align yourself with it. A team of beings working together is always stronger than an individual.

Written By

Ofo Ezeugwu (@ofoezeugwu) is the CEO & Chieftain of WhoseYourLandlord. He graduated from Temple University (shout out to N. Philly!), where he was the VP of the student body and also the university's youngest alumni convocation speaker ever. He's a Techstars'​ Risingstar, one of BET's #30Under30, a Black Enterprise: Modern Man, and his work has been featured in Newsweek, TechCrunch, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, MSNBC, and more. Ofo is based in NYC/PHL and is also a professional actor and model who's walked in NYFW, been featured on the Today Show six times, and worked with Nike, ESPN, and Alfani. Ofo is also very actively plugged into the community and speaks with local high schools and middle schools on leadership, college planning, entrepreneurship, and life skills. He's a Big in the Big Brothers Big Sisters entrepreneurial program. And, he's also spoken on tech - entrepreneurship - and leadership at prestigious universities and institutions such as The White House, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Penn, Temple, Villanova, etc. He lives by the motto, "No steps backward; just forward progress."