It’s high school and college graduation season. What’s next for the class of ’21? How can new grads go on to achieve even more success? These tips from Elena Cardone, author of the book “Build An Empire: How to Have It All,” can help.

Follow successful people online and in life. The best way to excel at something is to learn from someone who has already successfully accomplished it or is far more advanced in it than you. Follow experts in your field online. Even in your immediate circle, be around people who think big and want to make something of themselves, because it will have a direct impact on your performance. Remember, winners attract winners.

Grind your heart out. Whether you decide to go the more traditional route and join a company, or your heart is set on entrepreneurship and you want to build something of your own, in the beginning you must grind your heart out like never before. The days will be long. You must put in more blood, sweat and tears than you think you have. In the end, that’s how you grow into something massive, and it will have all been worth it.

Never stop learning. You might be done with traditional schooling, but the real learning begins now. The truth is the most successful people never quit learning. They might not go back to school, but they read books by other successful people, attend seminars and always look to improve themselves personally and professionally. They know the only way to get ahead and stay ahead is to always keep learning.

Fail over and over again. Yes, you read that right. One of the best ways to succeed is to fail time and again. Anyone at the top of their field is really nothing more than a professional failure. Instead of accepting defeat and letting it take them down, they learned from their mistakes and made the decision to come back bigger and better than ever before. Welcome failure with open arms.

Build strong relationships. We’ve all heard the phrase, “it’s not what you know but who you know.” Take that one step further. It should really say, “It’s who knows you and is willing to admit it.” Get to the point where your colleagues and customers are family. When you truly have each other’s backs and you treat one another like a respected relative, that’s a real relationship that builds business for years and years to come.

Go big or go home. In the Cardone household, nothing is average or ordinary. We either go big or we don’t go at all. There’s no point in trying anything if you are only halfway in. Set extremely ridiculous expectations for yourself and your career. Will you hit them? Maybe not. But when your goals are to the point where they seem unattainable, your work ethic and performance goes through the roof.

Develop your emotional intelligence. The smartest people don’t always become the most successful. People who succeed know how to interact with other people or have a very high emotional intelligence. They listen when others speak. They smile and make eye contact. They care. They remember details. They know how to make you feel important. These are skills that anyone can learn but many overlook, and they’ll serve you well.