First of all, I’ll admit that the inspiration for writing this post came from the book Hero, which I’m halfway through. When my mother-in-law gave this book to me for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t know how much I’d be taking from it, and how motivating it would be! She’s amazing at giving gifts.
Because I’m currently in the throes of marketing my first book, I’ve been paying attention to both the words of wisdom and inspiration from that book (Hero; not my own), and also my husband’s podcasts. Or, to be more specific, the podcasts he listens to while he showers every morning. Once you get over how annoyingly loud they need to be in order for him to be able to hear clearly while being fully immersed in running water, you find that the content is actually pretty good.
And by “you” and mean “I.”
The podcasts are always presented by people who have achieved great success in their businesses, and since both my husband and I are in business for self (he’s a mortgage broker; I’m a freelance health and wellness writer), we both spend a lot of time trying to learn from other peoples’ failures and successes and overall experiences.
Let’s quickly define my current definition of “successful people,” in regards to business: I’m referring to those who manage to create something, and then flourish…people who not only do what they love, and what ignites fire within them, but are able to make a pretty decent living doing it. This is what I deem to be a successful business person.
Your definition might be different.
This is what I have learned thus far; my top twelve observations of highly successful people:
1- They believe in themselves. People who achieve success in their business know they have something to offer, and they don’t let other people’s opinions deter them from achieving what they know they’re capable of. They visualize themselves being successful, thereby never creating an excuse for failure. In order for others to believe in your product, you need to believe in it yourself.
2- They’re passionate. I’m not talking about in the bedroom, though numerous studies have shown that more fulfilling sex coincides with higher career accomplishments. Successful people are passionate about their product. They’re excited, and they convey that excitement to others thereby building a buzz.
3- They have a willingness to work hard. Let’s face it: in order for your business to be preferred against someone else’s you’ve got to put in the effort. You get what you put into it, right? This handy little rule of thumb goes for almost everything: relationships, health, happiness, and…business.
4- They dream BIG. Dreams of any size are great, but successful people aren’t afraid to dream bigger than the average Joe. Whereas most people might get deterred at the very thought of doing something scary, there are a small percentage of people who love a challenge, and possess the desire to do something that others won’t.
5- They’re focused—and I’m talking unwavering focus. Success comes with sticking your nose to the grindstone—and leaving it there. Being dissuaded or distracted or becoming bored are not options.
6- They set specific goals. This is an incredibly common practice for highly successful people. They know what they want, they give themselves a timeline, and they make sure they follow it to the end. Setting specific goals means that you can cross them off once they’re achieved—and this creates a powerful sense of accomplishment and fulfillment when that time arrives.
7- They surround themselves with like-minded people. Hang with who you want to emulate. Right? If you’re in med school, hang out with doctors. If you’re patenting a product, make friends with people who have been there, done that. By surrounding yourself with people that have or have had similar dreams, you become instantly motivated and encouraged to follow through. There’s a writer’s conference that I go to every year, and I leave that function PUMPED UP. This is important.
8- They’re open to criticism—and they can handle it. This is HUGE. Nobody and nothing is perfect, and sometimes we need to hear it. Being open to other people’s criticism means that you have an edge on your competition—you’re able to understand that not everyone thinks and feels the same way, and that knowledge can help you produce a better product or service. Which brings me to…
9- They’re not afraid to tweak. People who do well in their endeavors aren’t afraid to edit their work for the better. Quality first, right?
10- They love a challenge. I touched on this a bit already, but those who don’t like challenges quit pretty quickly, and determination seems to be a fairly common trait of successful people. Nobody’s handed their OWN success. They have to create it—and that can be challenging.
11- They don’t try and BE other people—they realize that their uniqueness is what makes their ideas special and one-of-a-kind, and they use that to their advantage. The realization that you’ll never please everybody, and that there will always be haters is a big one. But it’s instrumental in your acceptance of yourself and your ideas. You don’t have to prove yourself to everyone—just be YOU.
12- They pay attention to detail. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but details really matter. Details are what make your plan or vision or dream or product different from other people’s. It’s all in the details—and highly successful people know this.
Bonus observance? They take care of themselves. Highly successful people tend to eat better, exercise, consciously attempt to de-stress, and forgo smoking.
Maya Angelou has been quoted as saying “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”