GUEST BLOG: Carly Ward's five secrets to success

Hope you are all getting on well in your ventures since my last blog and that my advice is helping some of you out a bit!

It has been busy as always at YES. I have been told I am a finalist for another award - Haines Watts Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Haines Watts are one of the largest firms of accountants in the country and I did my pitch to one of the bosses last Thursday - it lasted an hour. I think he was finding it hard to ask questions as I talked so much he could hardly get a word in! I made the final five, so I'll have to re-pitch to a panel of judges on November 4th - then dash to a YES meeting in Buckinghamshire. Busy times. Anyway... I wanted to share with you my top five secrets to success which I hope you'll find useful.

1. Start at the top and work down!

Lots of people seem to think successful people are out of reach. Having interviewed some of the top entrepreneurs in the country myself, I now know these people are not hard to contact at all. In business, it is easier to speak to decision-makers - either senior directors or the business owner - because they can give you a direct answer and help you more. Try and get in front of the people at the top first. You will get quicker results than starting at the bottom and working up!

2. Follow up!

Following up business meetings etc can be very hard to keep track of. Always put appointments in your diary so you can refer back and see who you have met and when so you can determine how long things are taking to happen with that person. You need to contact every person with a thank you email after meeting with them and then call them the next week. People are generally very busy but don't let them forget you otherwise you might lose that client. Persistence is key!

3. Set written goals!

Set your top seven goals for the year. It's good timing with the New Year approaching. Write your goals down - this is VERY important! Break the goals down into BE, DO and HAVE. The HAVE stuff is easy, we all want to HAVE a nice car and HAVE a nice house but we can't HAVE any of that unless we know what we want to BE and DO first! Create a vision board. Cut out pictures from magazines and newspapers and stick them around the house, visualise your goals but more importantly take action! If you take baby steps every day towards your goal it will be inevitable - your goal will be reached!

4. Enter for awards!

Liz Jackson's book taught me to enter for awards. They are free publicity and if you get to the final, it's free PR for you and your business! Having taken Liz's great advice, I entered for the Haines Watts Young Entrepreneur of the Year and made the final. It works!

5. Read business biographies

At the moment I am reading Duncan Bannatyne's book Anyone Can Do It, It is one of the best books I have ever read. It's great to learn from people who have already been there and done it. Learn from their successes and failures and then apply that to your business where appropriate!  A book only costs a few pounds! Another great entrepreneur is Liz Jackson (Young Entrepreneur Society Millionaire Mentor) - her book StartUp! is fantastic. There are thousands out there. Look them up and let me know your favourites by emailing me

To the future!

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