Whether you play the game for fame or success, you have surely set some lofty goals for yourself. In order to accomplish success (however you perceive it), you need to work hard, understand that people are everything in business, make the right decisions, execute, and proverbially speaking, “cut and paste” this formula onto new frontiers.

With success comes fame. With fame comes scrutiny. With scrutiny comes a desire to give it all up and run for the hills, in the comfort of one’s anonymity — sheltered from the media, and its criticism and finger-pointing.

Any ambitious person on the path to fame and success should keep a fundamental checklist close by. Consider this a list of things to do, look out for and keep in mind while you ride up the ladder of success, in the words of one Christopher Wallace (a.k.a. Notorious B.I.G.), “elevator style.”

1- Always be professional

Whatever you do, you have to remain professional. Yes, it might be cool to act like a typical Al Pacino character and go crazy on associates, but doing so will have you pegged as a loose cannon. This characterization can only harm you. No one wants to have a ticking time bomb as a colleague. If they did, they’d join the US Postal Service.

With this in mind, remember to be fair and remain cordial because the tables can turn at any moment in social and professional dealings.

2- Look ahead

Today’s decisions will dictate your path and alter the course of your future. Insult an employee today, and they may just pass you up for a job in the next decade. Choose to go with one supplier, see your margins shrink in the next fiscal year. The key is to avoid making knee-jerk decisions, but rather, to accurately assess both the short and long-term impacts of your decisions. Are you working to build General Electric or Enron?

Looking ahead means managing relationships in a courteous manner and acting out decisions in the best fashion. Too many people fail to see beyond the tip of their nose, and then wake up wondering what happened to the rest of their face.

Fun in the public eye…

3- Understand your mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. This has a lot to do with how ambitious, how bold and how crazy you are. And I mean crazy in the nicest way possible. Babe Ruth hit the most home runs in history until Hank Aaron belted his 715th home run in 1974. But The Babe was also a strikeout king. Decades later, Kobe Bryant said that he had no qualms about aiming for the fences even when he was told not to.

In your quest for supremacy and world domination, you might aim for the fences and strike out. The key is knowing on which pitches you struck out and on which you crushed the opposition, or ball.

Learn from your mistakes; no one is infallible. Avoid the arrogant swagger and despotic denial of tyrants that felt they could do no wrong. I have erred, so have you, and so have your biggest critics and most dangerous enemies. The key, when all is said and done, is how you bounce back.

Livin’ it up

You should also remember that when you’re in the public eye, you will likely have to face a level of scrutiny unimaginable to you today. So you know what? You want to be outrageous? Do it in a civil manner (is that possible?). You like to entertain? It’s show time! But be careful not to do anything you might regret down the line.

You cannot hang from chandeliers, get rowdy and make a scene when you are running a multinational corporation. Well, you can if you are Virgin’s Richard Branson. But then again, he aimed for the fences, struck out, hit a home run, and lived life to the fullest to tell about it.

Ash Karbasfrooshan is also the author of Course To Success, available at www.CourseToSuccess.com.