Lots of authors have written about success – and successful people. They have interviewed them; they have shadowed them; they have observed how they behave. Of interest here, is that none of these hugely successful people define success in terms of financial wealth. The wealth, they all say, is just a byproduct of how they have lived and worked. This is the opposite of how most other people define success. And it is easy to mis-define it, because well-known successful people are also wealthy. Other than the wealth, however, are other common traits that successful people all have – and here are 7 of them.
How Successful People Actually Define Success
Before we talk about the 7 common traits, it might be valuable to understand how these giants define success. Interestingly, all of them say something like, “loving what your do,” or “dong what you love.” In fact, most of them also say that if you do not love what you are doing, ten you will always be just mediocre at that. With that in mind, as the overall definition, all of these 7 trait fall nicely into place.
They are Absolutely and Relentlessly Passionate about What They Do
When you have true passion for something, nothing will stop you. You simply will not give up. In fact, if you do give up, it means there was not true passion. Passion is not a temporary thing – it is a consuming drive that impacts all that you do. Consider the case of Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani girl who, at age 15 was leading a movement in her town to get all girls to school. Despite the cultural aversion to female education, she did not stop. And when the Taliban targeted her and she lay almost dead in a London hospital, she fought her way back and continues her fight, with much more recognition and much more international support than she ever had in her hometown. She has become a “force” on the international scene.
They Work Hard, but They have Fun Doing it
All successful people admit that what they do is fun for them. No matter what you may think about Donald Trump’s politics, he has always said that he gets his biggest kicks out of making deals. He has written a book about it; he has had some failures and a few bankruptcies, and he is pretty blustery. But when he is at his finest and when he is having the most fun, he is making deals. Warren Buffett loves the “hunt” He loves researching companies, digging deep into their workings, and then making investment decisions based upon that. He has loved that since he was a teenager, and that will not change.
They Focus on a Singular Thing at First.
No matter how many fingers successful people may have in many pies now, they are all begin with a single focus in mind. Many of the have stuck with that focus; many others have “diversified.” But that ability to focus, which actually comes from their passion, is what brought them to the “dance” of success. Consider the case of Richard Branson and his company the Virgin Group. As a high school dropout, Branson was not willing to accept the fate of most dropouts. No, he had a focus – a single focus – and that was music. He began selling records out of a church basement and grew his business by opening up an online store that was able to under-sell other retailers. Once that business was successful, he opened brick and mortar record stores. Each time he achieved success, he moved onto the next venture. Ultimately, he sold his music “industry” and focused on the next single purpose – making air travel easier and more affordable for people – and Virgin Airlines was born.
They Have Persistence Through Failure
This trait also stems from passion and a love of what one does. In a recent book on successful people, author Richard St. John said, “Failure can either be your school or your funeral” as he summed up what successful people have had to say about their failures. J.K. Rowling loves to make up stories and to write. Almost penniless, with two boys to raise, she persisted. She persisted through over 200 rejections of her first Harry Potter novel, and look where that persistence has gotten her now.
They Push Out of Their Comfort Zones
Three young men living in New York and barely making a living designing websites for small businesses and community organizations, got a contract to develop a website for a community organization that sponsored a flea market/craft fair venue. In the course of getting information about the organization, they heard lots of grumblings from craters about E-Bay – its high fees and its total lack of support. They knew nothing about crafts, of business ventures, but they pushed themselves out of their “zones” and started Etsy. The rest is an amazing story. Today, Etsy is a publicly-traded corporation with an estimated wort of $2 billion.
They Look for a Problem to be Solved by a Big Idea
Nick Woodman was frustrated that he could not film himself surfing because he had no way to securely fasten a camera to his body. He developed a belt, which he began to sew himself using a sewing machine borrowed from his mother. The belt was hugely successful and he then went further developing an entire line of GoPro cameras.
They Continue a Learning Quest
Successful people never stop being curious and never stop learning new things. If you were to ask Oprah Winfrey to enumerate the things she has done to be successful, one of the first things she will say is that she has never stopped learning. She has an insatiable thirst for knowledge and understanding, and, for years, that was reflected in her daily shows.
Many will say that there are other important traits to consider when looking at the lives and ventures of successful people. These 7, however, are a pretty good start.
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How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.