Successful people are the ones who follow their dreams. They fail. Instead of giving up, they get back up. Entrepreneurs or those who fail while they are on their way to success are called successful failures (I love this name). They overcame everything that tried to block their way because they knew what, and where they wanted to be.
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. They 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, neighbors, 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 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 overnight 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, for example, Jimmy Carter carried his own briefcase and was told 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, humor, and patience. They rarely panic or make decisions on impulse. Unusually successful people breathe easily, ask the right questions, and make good decisions, even in a crisis.
8. They live in the present moment. They know that now is the time they can take control. Looking people in the eye, listening to what is being said, enjoying a meal or fine wine as well as playing with a child is a gift that they have. They never seem rushed, and they get a lot done. They take full advantage of each day. Successful people do not and will never waste time, they use their time wisely.
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 neighbor kid wearing them is interesting, your own teenager demanding them is an investment opportunity. Extremely successful people live in the present with one eye focused on the future.
10. Repeatedly they respond instantly. When an investment isn’t working out, they sell. When they see an opportunity, they go for it. If an important relationship is cooling down, they take time to renew it. They are the first and quickest to respond when technology or a new competitor or a change in the economic situation requires an adjustment.
The traits listed above work together in combination, giving repeatedly successful people a huge advantage. They can respond wisely to change because they are insatiable learners. They have good advisors, and a reserve of goodwill when things don't go the way they expected because their personal relationships are strong.