According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, African Americans make up less than 5% of the lawyers in the country. That slim statistic didn’t keep one African-American woman, Jamie Wright, from blazing a trail right toward the front of the line and becoming successful. She found what works to help her reach the top, put it into action, and hasn’t looked back since. Her success, especially in a field dominated by men, has inspired others to not let the statistics and naysayers hold them back.

“You have to be the one to help change those statistics. You have more strength than you may realize. You can do a lot more than what you, or even the messages you may be receiving from society, may have led you to believe.”

Network. Many people think it’s a weakness to get help from people. That’s just not true. It takes a strong person to seek out the right kind of support. Get to know successful people in your chosen field, so you can get support and advice from them. Take good notes. Take the support and advice knowing that someday you will be in the position to provide it to someone else. Surround yourself with good connections, but, never cease to be independent. Independence and being strong enough to move forward even if you are taking the next step alone is crucial in being successful.

Think positive. We get in our own way, because our minds are consumed with all of the negative thinking. Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want, and immediately replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Use the laws of attraction to bring to you what it is that you want in your life.

Banish excuses. People are caught up in their own excuses for why they can’t do things. This year, get honest with yourself as to whether something really is a hurdle, or it’s just an excuse. Banish the excuses and keep moving forward. Make individuality a priority, so you leave the excuses behind, define who you are, and stand out.

The Golden Rule. In all areas of life, including in your career pursuits, you should be treating people the way you want to be treated. The way you treat people will always come back to you. Put good things out, so that good comes right back to you. It feels good to treat people with kindness and will open many doors. Having integrity in all you do is important and will help you get ahead.

Forget expectations. It doesn’t matter if something has always been done a particular way, that’s not a legitimate reason as to why you can’t change it. In other words: Blaze your own trail.

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