We have all read about people who are successful briefly. They win a gold medal, make a fortune, or star in one great movie… and then disappear. Or, there are those like Marilyn Monroe and Howard Hughes who achieve extraordinary success, at the cost of their own lives. These examples do not inspire me!
My focus and fascination are with people who seem to do well in many areas of life and do it over and over through a lifetime. These are the people who inspire me and I’ve noticed they have the following traits in common:
1. They work hard!
Yes, they play hard, too! They get up early, they rarely complain, they expect performance from others, but they expect extraordinary performance from themselves. Repeated, high-level success starts with a recognition that hard work pays off.
2. They are incredibly curious and eager to learn
The study, ask questions and read – constantly! An interesting point, however: While most of them did well in school, the difference is that they apply or take advantage of what they learn. Repeated success is not about memorizing facts, it’s about being able to take information and create, build, or apply it in new and important ways. Successful people want to learn everything about everything!
3. They network
They know lots of people, and they know lots of different kinds of people. They listen to friends, neighbours, co-workers, and bartenders. They don’t have to be “the life of the party”, in fact many are quiet, even shy, but they value people and they value relationships. Successful people have a rolodex full of people who value their friendship and return their calls.
4. They work on themselves and never quit!
While the “over-night wonders” become arrogant and quickly disappear, really successful people work on their personality, their leadership skills, management skills, and every other detail of life. When a relationship or business deal goes sour, they assume they can learn from it and they expect to do better next time. Successful people don’t tolerate flaws, they fix them!
5. They are extraordinarily creative
They go around asking, “Why not?” They see new combinations, new possibilities, new opportunities, and challenges where others see problems or limitations. They wake up in the middle of the night yelling, “I’ve got it!” They ask for advice, try things out, consult experts and amateurs, always looking for a better, faster, cheaper solution. Successful people create stuff!
6. They are self-reliant and take responsibility
Incredibly successful people don’t worry about blame, and they don’t waste time complaining. They make decisions and move on. Sometimes they are criticized for taking this to extremes – Jimmy Carter carried his own briefcase and a President “shouldn’t” do that! Extremely successful people take the initiative and accept the responsibilities of success.
7. They are usually relaxed and keep their perspective
Even in times of stress or turmoil, highly successful people keep their balance. They know the value of timing, humour, and patience. They rarely panic or make decisions on impulse. Unusually successful people breathe easily, ask the right questions, and make sound decisions, even in a crisis.
8. Extremely successful people live in the present moment.
They know that “Now” is the only time they can control. They have a “gift” for looking people in the eye, listening to what is being said, enjoying a meal or fine wine, music or playing with a child. They never seem rushed, and they get a lot done! They take full advantage of each day. Successful people don’t waste time, they use it!
9. They “look over the horizon” to see the future
They observe trends, notice changes, see shifts and hear the nuances that others miss. A basketball player wearing Nikes is trivial, the neighbour kid wearing them is interesting, your own teenager demanding them is an investment opportunity! Extremely successful people live in the present, with one eye on the future!
10. Repeatedly successful people respond instantly!
When an investment isn’t working out, they sell. When they see an opportunity, they make the call. If an important relationship is cooling down, they take time to renew it. When technology or a new competitor or a change in the economic situation requires an adjustment, they are the first and quickest to respond.
These traits work together in combination, giving repeatedly successful people a huge advantage. Because they are insatiable learners, they can respond wisely to change. Because their personal relationships are strong, they have good advisors and a reserve of goodwill when things go bad. And finally, none of these traits are genetic! They can be learned! They are free and they are skills you can use. Start now!
About the Author
With qualification in Business Administration and Project Management, and years of corporate and small business experience, Gail Layh was attracted to the VA industry because of the opportunities to help other business owners.
Virtual Assistant & Bookkeeping Solutions provides affordable and professional support to business owners to reduce their workload and stress so they can focus on growing their business.
Services are provided online and include Administration, Bookkeeping, Business Planning, Business Management, Email & Diary Management, Websites & Social Media, Word Processing, Data Entry and more.
Gail’s team has extensive experience in all aspects of business operations and uses technology to streamline tasks delegated to them – saving the business owner time and money.
“Our focus is on providing high-quality service and client satisfaction. As your business partner, our success depends on your success”.
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