From sleeping for only four hours, to taking 3am calls or wearing clothes in only one color, we’ve all sometimes heard unique “proven and tested” ways to success from leaders and many successful people that we look up to or admire in our quest for success.

However, when it comes to success, does one size fit all? Do we have to do all the things that the people we so admire do to be a success? Must our principles be exactly aligned? When should we take advice with a grain of salt, especially if this advice is coming from people we view in high regard? These may be mentors, parents, leaders, and people our society considers successful.

I’ve met with many upcoming entrepreneurs especially in the Tech startup field that always proudly say how they are doing this and that because the person who inspires them does the same exact thing. This usually takes the form of how the person talks, what the person wears, dropping out of college to concentrate on their next big thing, purchasing a gazillion books that their inspiration suggested or read (whether they read them is another matter altogether).

All the above is done without considering the environment they are in or the other factors that were at play for the person they look up to to be a success.

In a world where everyone is trying to be someone else, finding exceptional, unique, and authentic people is becoming harder and harder.

Below are a few tips, especially for Tech entrepreneurs and all those that have been battling with keeping up with the people that inspire or mentor us;

 If you are more productive in the later hours of the day, then by all means sleep your full 6-8 hours and work when you are most productive (other factors allowing).

 Concentrate on books written by people closer to your external environment as they portray a more realistic setting.

 Put the phone on silent and have a good night’s sleep.

 Have more than just jeans and hoodies in your wardrobe. Believe me, what you wear matters, especially while still pitching your ideas. And it’s not just a matter of wearing expensive clothes, but being clean, neat and well groomed.

 Study all the relevant subjects, even if it means sitting through long classes. Key areas may include business communication skills, basic finance and accounting, management and leadership, project management courses, among others. These will come in handy at some point especially before you can afford to hire for all those roles.

 Know who you are, your strengths, and capabilities. Develop your strengths and don’t spend much time trying to emulate another person’s core skills to the dot, as we all have attributes that are unique to us.

 Know your personal principles and values. Know which lines not to cross and set those boundaries from the start. Be known for something that you absolutely stand for.

 Eat well and exercise regularly.

 Be courteous and kind.

 Run your own race. Many times, you will find yourself falling short of the people around you. Know exactly what you want, and always remind yourself of your goal. You have your own race to run and a different journey to take.

 Learn from your mistakes, both in your personal and professional life.

 You are an adult. Follow your own dreams, make your own choices, and take responsibility for yourself and your actions.

 Set company rules and policies that you can easily follow yourself, as your team will be watching.

Like it’s been said, your single most unique asset is being your true and authentic self.