It’s no secret that the demands of running a successful company require hard work, business acumen, and tenacity. But what about the intangible factors? Are there certain traits or habits that successful people possess? Experts say YES! Successful people, as a whole, seem to have that something that inspires them to take the first bold leap of faith or keep trekking on when the odds are no longer in their favor.
What are these traits and habits, you wonder? How can you mirror these qualities in your own life? Read on - we’ve put together a top 10 list of the traits and habits of successful people that you can adopt.
1. Create Your Own Luck
Successful people don’t wait for their future to unfold. Instead they’re proactive about creating their own bright future. Entrepreneurs know that creating your own luck is far better than waiting for someone to make something happen on your behalf. Look at the ventures of Apple, Facebook, or LuluLemon. Each of these multi-billion dollar, blue-chip companies exist because visionary CEOs built them from the ground up.
We often hear about waiting for opportunity to knock, but the reality is that the knock doesn’t always come. Instead, get out there and go find your opportunities! Taking some risks and pursuing your dreams is the only way to make them come true.
Pro Tip: Brainstorm ideas on how to drive your own luck and success, rather than waiting for it to find you.
2. Don't Be Afraid to Take Risks (or Fail!)
It may surprise you to learn that risk-taking is one of the most important habits of successful people. Doesn’t that put their dreams in jeopardy? Yes – it does. But there’s no reward without risk.
When you take a risk, you have to deviate from the well-worn familiar path - but sometimes that’s where the greatest journey begins. When you step out of your comfort zone, you’re forced to push your limits and find innovative ways to succeed.
Successful people are willing to take risks to get ahead. However, the trick is remembering that not every risk pans out. Failure is part of life. Just don’t let it discourage you. Instead, use it as a learning experience. Figure out what went wrong and avoid making that error again next time.
Pro Tip: Don’t fear failure. Know that it will happen but that you can use it as a learning experience to make your next attempt even better.
3. Practice Self-Care
Successful people take care of themselves! Managing stress and staying mentally sharp helps them bring their best each day. Whether this means meditation, a healthy breakfast, or gym time, successful people know that they have to make physical and mental well-being a priority to perform at their best, not just at work, but also in life.
When you’re running a business, working at a stressful job, or focusing on raising your family, it’s easy to let all of those things take precedence over your own physical and mental well-being. In the long run, though, you’ll be better at whatever task you set yourself if you’re healthy.
Pro Tip: Putting your health and well-being on the agenda helps you operate at the highest level – schedule some time to take care of yourself.
4. Pay Attention to Details
We tend to think of successful people as “idea people.” A kid in a garage has a brilliant insight and then – boom – Microsoft is born. That can be true, but the greatest idea in the world won’t lead to success unless you know how to make it a reality. That part of the process is all about the details.
This is one of the habits of successful people that you can practice every day. Whatever you’re doing, stop for a moment to think about it. Is that the best way to do it? Is there a way that’s easier or more efficient or produces a better outcome? Sometimes tweaking a tiny detail can lead to a big change for the better.
Pro Tip: Know that each and every aspect of your business, and by extension your product, is important to building a strong brand.
5. Love Lists
Successful people don’t let things fall through the cracks, even when they have a lot to keep track of. Remember – the devil is in the details. Many successful people swear by their daily to-do list. Creating and following a to-do list gives you a sense of focus about your day and a real sense of accomplishment when you complete a task and can cross it off the list. Maintaining a to-do list is easier than ever today, with apps like Todoist and Wunderlist that can link to your calendar and send you reminders to keep you on task.
Lists are also a great way to organize your ideas and come up with innovative solutions to the problems you face as a business owner. The good old-fashioned pro and con list can help you see through to the heart of a problem and choose the best solution. Visually organizing the data in the form of a list makes it easier for you to judge – and helps you make sure you’re not missing anything.
Pro Tip: Whether you use an app or a hand-written list, staying organized and focused is necessary for success.
6. Set Lofty Goals
Successful people know the value of goal-setting. Without a clear goal, life and business can feel directionless. In the case of running a business, successful people quantify and measure success. If they’re not meeting their goals, they don’t let these goals go, they brainstorm ways to change what isn’t working so they can meet them.
Not only do successful people create goals, they create a variety of goals. Some goals will be immediate – those go on your to-do list. Some will be short term – meet a certain sales target or get a certain project completed. Others will be more ambitious and long-term, like expanding to a new market. Put your goals down on paper and revisit them regularly to make sure you’re heading in the right direction.
Pro Tip: Setting measurable goals gives you something to strive for in your own business.
7. Visualize Success
Successful people aim to be the best they can be, and that includes visualizing success. Whether that’s through meditation or through other means, simple visualization is a powerful mechanism for becoming successful. Many high-achievers write down their goals and plans first thing in the morning to give their day a road-map. This simple action primes the mind for success and buffers them against challenges.
It sounds hoaky, but it’s true – studies show that visualization really works. You’re training your brain to operate in those modes - it’s all about getting in the right headspace.
Pro Tip: Visualize your success, write down your daily goals, and make them a reality.
8. Learn from Others
No one has all the answers. One of the habits of successful people is that they admit it – they’re always ready to learn and expand their own knowledge. That may involve seeking out mentors, continuing your education, or simply being open to what the people around you have to say. Learn how to ask productive and insightful questions to get the most out of the learning opportunities you encounter.
Successful people know how to pick up new skills and information on the fly – entrepreneurs constantly have to expand their knowledge base to stay relevant. Practice being curious and keeping an open mind.
Pro Tip: Sometimes it pays to consult with experts or to ask for feedback. And remember - you’re never done learning!
“Your network determines your net worth”: Successful people recognize the power of an expansive network. Networking is a vital skill to running a business. You never know when you’ll meet the person who’s your next customer, business partner, or collaborator.
Networking helps you build up that intangible goodwill in the community; it’s a lot easier to do business with people you’re friendly with than strangers. Networking will also help you keep abreast of industry developments and opportunities.
Pro Tip: Networking is vital to your growth as a business owner.
10. Embrace Technology
Successful people use technology to run their businesses as well as their personal lives. So much of new technology is designed to make our lives run faster and more efficiently. That saves time and effort, leaving you with more energy to devote to tasks that can’t be automated.
Staying abreast of new technology is also crucial for the success of your business. Your customers expect you to have a mobile-responsive website, a modern payment system, and maybe even an app.
Pro Tip: Use tech upgrades in your own business to save time, to calendar, and for accounting needs – and to keep your customers happy!
The habits of successful people aren’t mysterious – they just take practice. You can start slow, integrating one or two of these habits at a time. You may be surprised at how helpful they are and how quickly they start to work.
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