Looking at what all the most successful people have in common, from artists to scientists to business leaders, there are definitely some patterns that appear. We have taken the time to look into them and dissect them and write some out for you so that you can see what you are doing right, or wrong.
1. Know Yourself.
In order to succeed, you must have insight. Successful businessmen and women need to know their strengths…and their weaknesses. If you know the type of person that you are and the type of personality you are then you know what tasks you will be capable of completing and what tasks you should delegate to others. You also know the type of people you will be able to work with and what people you will not get along with. You will know what you are good at and what you need to work on. You will also enjoy your job better if you know yourself and what you enjoy, and more importantly, what you do not enjoy doing.
2. Be Dedicated.
Business people are known to be busy, not just during the normal nine to five, but also past that into late hours of the night. The dedication they have to their careers is impressive. Stanford Professor, Jeffrey Pfeffer, found that high achievers tend to work 60-65 hours a week! This translates to at least six ten-hour days per week. The ability, energy, strength, and dedication needed in order to work such crazy hours characterizes powerful figures, and successful ones at that.
3. Know Your Limits.
When you are working on your own project, determined to succeed, you must learn to say no to other projects and offers. In order to succeed, you must realize your limitations and know that you just do not have time for some things. In order to succeed, you must focus, and focus means saying “no” to distractions. Saying “no” gives you the time to accomplish your own goals, and so successful people are known for rejecting many offers, and you too must realize your limitations and learn to say “No.”
Networking is the key to success. Nobody at the top gets there alone. You need to give in order to get and you need to meet people and be kind because they will remember you and you will gain from knowing them. Creating connections between others will bring connections back to you and so by becoming the center of a network, you benefit the most.
5. Have Grit.
“Tough times don’t last, tough people do”-Anonymous.
“Grit” is defined as “perseverance and passion for long term goals” and it was found to be more predictive of success than IQ – according to Via Dan Pink’s book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” While creativity and intelligence will help you get there, you need a lot of “grit”, a lot of perseverance to truly actuate your dreams and accomplish big things. This perseverance is actually one of the best predictors to success.
This also goes into recovering from failure. When successful people fail, they do not waste time lamenting, blaming, or quitting. They view it as a learning experience and see the future as a new opportunity to learn from their mistakes and keep trying or starting something new.
6. Make Your Own Luck.
The book, “Luck Factor”, by Richard Wiseman, looks into what “lucky people” do right. There are certain personality types that work in a certain way which maximizes their chances for good opportunities. They tend to be more outgoing, optimistic, open to new ideas, and they follow hunches. This relates back to networking (#5) because outgoing, optimistic people meet more people and create a positive impression on others. The fact that they are open to new possibilities makes people come to them with new possibilities when they come around, and because these people are memorable, their network members come to them with new ideas and opportunities. These people that are offered new opportunities are not just lucky – they create their own luck.
7. Find A Mentor.
Like every mythical hero, from Hercules and his little, half-goat mentor, to Luke Skywalker and Yoda, to the Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi, everyone needs someone to walk them through the process. You cannot learn everything just by reading books. You must also learn from the knowledge and mistakes of others. A mentor will push you to practice. It has been proven that 10,000 hours of practice can make you an expert in anything. But dedicating that much time into something on your own is extremely difficult which is why a coach, a teacher, or an experienced elder can help make this activity more fun and help add an additional dimension to the learning process.
8. Keep Making Mistakes (and learn to be okay with it).
It is important to fail. It is important to fail because it is an opportunity to experiment. It is an opportunity to see what works, to start from scratch, to go off into a new direction. Failure is an important learning experience and it opens the door to new mistakes and more learning experiences. Successful people frame failure differently, and their mindset is what makes the difference. Successful creators keep thinking and poking and pushing and probing from different directions, analyzing and combining, and seeing what works and what doesn’t until the project is the best that it can be –achieving success.
So if you want to be a successful business person, you have to find something that you can dedicate yourself to. You have to find something you care about enough that you are willing to give up more than 10 hours a day, six days a week to make it happen. You have to build networks and constantly keep in touch with a lot of people at once, and be willing to give. But you also have to be able to balance that with the ability to say no. You have to know yourself and what you are capable of and know your limits. You have to have the perseverance to push through and overcome obstacles but you also have to know that failure is a part of life, that making mistakes is alright, and learn to use these failures to improve the future. You should find yourself a mentor to learn from and lean on, to inspire you and to help you keep practicing. But most importantly, you need to stop waiting around for things to come to you. Make your own luck! Use your perseverance, your grit, your network, your mentor, and the lessons you have learned from your mistakes in order to create opportunity for yourself. This is what will set you apart from others, and this is what will make you successful.