This is an adaptation of a stripped-down article written by Steve Tobak on entrepreneur.com about how to tune out all the noise, or whittle down all the words you read on the internet about success into these simple, time-tested, and common sense applications. 

I hope you ensure his objectivity, and his use of few words. Really, not much is needed after all!

1. Do Your Work

It doesn’t matter if you are an engineer, an actor or a plumber; work ethic is by far the most fundamental aspect of a successful career. It means making it your top priority to get the job done and do it right.  

2. Take Smart Risks

The goal here is not to make the riskiest bets or throw caution to the wind. Rather, you want to maximise return and minimise risk, although you can’t have one without the other. In other words, when you find what you think or feel is a great opportunity, you should go for it.

3. Make Good Choices

Success is all about making good decisions based on the best available information from trusted sources and your own instincts. Just because you read online that it’s a good idea doesn’t mean it is. Do your homework, always!  

4. Gain Exposure

If you don’t get out there and work, you will never gain exposure. Find opportunities or meet people who will end up making a real difference for you. You have to put yourself out there. This does not mean laying on the couch with your smartphone in hand! No, it means making real connections out there in the real world.

5. Build Relationships

Networking is expressly trying to meet people who might help you someday. Whatever path you choose to trying to meet such people, always ensure that you  genuinely enjoy getting to know these people, and spending time with them; as you also look for ways to help them out. Surprised? Yes, life is not only about the taking, it’s also about the giving. It’s really as simple as that.

6. Be Consistent

You cannot be consistent if you are not working, working hard that is. So, work hard and make smart decisions. Likewise, do not forget perseverance, because tenacity is the unsung hero of the business world.

All those overnight successes you read about did not happen overnight as if by magic; it took these brave men and women years of tenacious, consistent and persistent hard work as well as several failures to be called that. There was no overnight magic involved!

7. Focus On What Matters

What matters is that you figure out what you love to do (hopefully, something marketable) and strive to become better at it than anyone else. When it comes to your career, you should focus on what matters and forget about habits, networking, and all the other nonsense people write online.