How Can You Achieve Success Without Waiting Your Turn?

Forget the time-honored tradition that younger workers need to “pay their dues” before moving up the ladder of success.

These days many young people see no need to wait their turn – and their refusal to patiently stand in line is the right idea, says Michelle A. Turman, author of Jumping the Queue: Achieving Great Things Before You’re Ready ( They understand that if what they want doesn’t happen within a certain amount of time, they can move on to something different, or go create an opportunity that works for them and their lifestyle,” says Turman, president of Catalyst Consulting Services.

Such an ambitious attitude might not match the stereotype of today’s young people, but that’s because the stereotype is often off base, Turman says.

“I do a lot of business with young professionals, and they are nothing like the lazy, selfie-snapping narcissists they are often portrayed as,” she says. “They are motivated young people who realize the world is changing and that they must change with it.” But they do face a problem. For all their enthusiasm and big ideas, they lack the tools and experience they need to execute and implement those ideas, which means they could use a little guidance along the way, Turman says. She offers a few tips for passionate and impatient young people who don’t want to wait their turn to achieve great things:

✅ Find a mentor. Having good mentors is critical to success, Turman says. “I recommend a local mentor because meeting in person, face-to-face, really matters,” she says. “Part of the mentor-mentee relationship is about hearing stories or advice from a different perspective, which in turn allows you to think more introspectively.” A mentor gives you someone to lean one when you’ve had a bad day, she says, but it’s also the mentor’s job to challenge you.

✅ Believe in yourself. If you’re determined to achieve success now, and not later, you can’t take the easy road. “This is about creating your own path and holding your head high,” Turman says.

✅ Ignore the naysayers. With every risk you take, there likely will be naysayers who will insist you are too young, too inexperienced or just plain unprepared. Turman says your strong belief in yourself will need to come into play here, and you will want to avoid your detractors and refuse to let them derail your progress.

✅ Make your health a priority. There’s nothing wrong with hard work, but know when to draw the line, Turman says. “Not enough is said or written about the toll that stress takes on your health, your body, and your relationships,” she says. “You have to be able to step back and say, ‘I’ve done my best. I have put in enough hours at work this week.’ The culture places a higher value on work time than on ‘me’ time, but if you don’t prioritize me time once in a while you will burn out and the work time will slowly kill you.”

When people wait until they are “ready” to achieve their goals, they risk missing opportunities, Turman says.

“Being ready is overrated,” she says. “Tune out the noise, rise above the detractors and start believing in yourself – even when no one else does.”

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Michelle A. Turman, M.A. CFRE
Michelle Turman, MA, CFRE is the CEO of Catalyst Consulting Services whose mission is to facilitate positive change in the areas of executive searches, organizational management, and fundraising. With over twenty-four years of nonprofit experience, Michelle established Catalyst Consulting Services and has been responsible for increasing the impact and best practices of nonprofit organizations she serves and has raised over $60 million for the Tampa Bay community through her professional and personal philanthropic efforts. In 2018, Turman was recognized as Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce for her leadership in the nonprofit sector. In addition to facilitating change nationally and in the Tampa Bay area, Michelle’s community service has included leadership roles on the boards of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Suncoast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Charitable Gift Planners of Tampa Bay, Donate Life America, Leadership Pinellas, the South Tampa Y and University of South Florida’s Women in Leadership & Philanthropy Mentoring, the Women’s Exchange (WE), and Working Women of Tampa Bay Foundation. Turman is author of the best-selling book, Jumping the Queue – Achieving Great Things Before You Are Ready which focuses on how young professionals can seize personal and professional opportunities, achieve great things, and get what they want and deserve. Turman is an educational trainer for the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay and at the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and specializes in professional education in the areas of change management, capital campaigns, volunteer management, board governance, and fund development. Turman has been featured in American Express: Open Forum, Arizona Business Magazine,, Inc. Asian, New York Daily News, Investors Business Daily, Nerdy Girls Express, Young Upstarts, and Rural Messenger as an expert and author for her focus on change management in the workforce. In 2015, Turman was recognized by Tampa Bay Metro Magazine as one of Tampa Bay’s Distinguished Women in Business and the Face of Nonprofit Change in 2016 and been nominated by Tampa Bay Business Journal as Business Woman of the Year in 2007, 2016 and 2017.
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