I was having dinner with my business partner and we were talking about his son Dalton, who is a sophomore at the University of Arizona. Dalton is involved in several peer development groups and still maintains a high grade point average.

During this conversation I realized we were talking about the secret sauce for success. This recipe only requires three ingredients and all of them are important. If any one of the ingredients is missing, success becomes dependent primarily on luck.

First, you are going to need desire. Desire is the compass that steers the ship and propels you in the right direction. Without desire it is hard to achieve anything worthwhile. An absence of desire may cause you to wander aimlessly and be easily distracted.

Secondly, you must have a good work ethic. This is what gives you the energy to work hard while other people are out playing. A strong work ethic will launch you over obstacles that stop most people.

The final ingredient you are going to need are connections. It is not just who you know, but more importantly who knows you. Connections are the doors to opportunity. The better your connections are, the better your opportunities will be. Your connections are the gatekeepers to things of value. If they trust you, they will open doors for you.

Dalton seems to have all the necessary ingredients for success. His desire for success is what motivated him to become actively involved in several groups at the College of Business. His work ethic helps him maintain a high GPA. Finally, the connections he is making will pay dividends for the rest of his life.

How would you rate your level of desire and work ethic? How good are the connections you have? Which area would you like to improve upon?

Bill Nordbrock is vice president of community relations for SCORE Southern Arizona, a nonprofit group that offers free, small-business counseling and mentoring by appointment at several locations. For information, go to southernarizona.score.org, send an email to mentoring@scoresouthernaz.org or call 505-3636.