9 Habits of Super Successful People and What You Can Learn From Them
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
It seems like some people are consistently and constantly finding success -- landing deals, getting connected with the right people and making a true difference in the world. But, these results aren't based on luck, being in the right place at the right time or coming from an affluent background. They come from perseverance, ambition and intense observation of self.
As someone who's been in competitive industries for decades, I've found that the habits we create will determine the consistency of our success. Today, I have built three six-figure businesses, including helping industry professionals get to peak performance by assessing their unique traits, motivators and communication tactics.
What I have discovered is that successful people -- including the ones I coach and those well-known -- have many of the same tendencies.
Here are nine habits to help you find success.
1. Create specific goals and eliminate the noise.
Successful people don't say things like, "I'm going to lose weight" or "I'm going to make more money next month."
Rather, their intentions are clear cut: "I'm going to work out three times a week and lose seven pounds in three weeks time" or "I'm going to speak with 10 new potential clients in the coming week with the intention of increasing revenue by $25,000 this month"
By being exact and specific about your goals, you are allowing anything not a priority to be moved into a mental parking lot. You can now have a plan and path to create it.
A great example of this comes from Warren Buffett. During a conversation with his personal pilot, Mike Flint, Buffett asked Flint what his goals were and to write them down. He had Flint remove all but the top five goals on his list.
2. Visualize what it is you want.
"Envision, create and believe in your own universe, and the universe will form around you," wrote Zappos founder Tony Hsieh in his book: Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose.
When you're focused on success, holding a vision of what that looks like in your mind and developing a tangible goal, you create a synchronicity of energy to create it. To get to a point of consistent visualization, spend a few minutes writing about the achievements you want to create each day. This allows you to focus more deeply on your goals. Then move them into the mind, almost like a movie. Seeing it will provide an expectation and continue to align you with your purpose.
3. Use the mindset of producing rather than working.
If you have your own business, likely you've uttered the phrase, "I'm going to work on my business."
This is actually catastrophic for success. Once we fall prey to the "work mentality," we can spend hours on one task that could be completed in 25 minutes. Don't do that. Work smarter, not harder by actually producing through a timely series of actions.
The fastest way to do this is through your own organization and calendar. If you allow a full day to write a proposal and outline a project, it will take a full day.
When you carve out a specific amount of time to accomplish something, you're in the mindset to get it done. These times constraints are providing you a gentle nudge to produce, rather than "work" on something for an unlimited time period.
And with that, comes space to do more creative processing.
For instance, twice a year Bill Gates heads to his hideaway for a "Think Week." This allows the rhythm of his genius to be in uninterrupted creativity and solution mode. Aside from an assistant delivering meals, he is completely alone with his books, thoughts and proposals, leaving room for no distractions.
4. Serve others.
People everywhere have one of two attitudes. One is that of a consumer and the other is that of a contributor. While consumers are in the mindset of taking, contributors are people who understand the universal law of "as you give so you receive."
By being a contributor, one's attitude is that there's always enough. These people look for places and people to serve. This creates reciprocity and in turn others will want to help and support them.
Oprah Winfrey is notorious for being of service to society and to contributing in many ways. "We were the No. 1 show for 25 years, and that's because I lived with the intention of serving the audience," she once famously said at the commencement address of Agnes Scott College.
For you to be a contributor, you must start with making a choice to contribute to your colleagues in your industry and of course your team. Touch base and inquire what you can support them with. Be more present in conversation and take action on what you say you will do.
5. Avoid seeking perfection, rather seek excellence.
Let's face it: Creating enormous success is about having a foundation of excellence. But, that is not perfection.
Those who wait until everything is perfect before they speak, write or finish a project, are simply in the loop of worrying what other people will think.
Successful entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk said it best when he tweeted, "It's all about adjusting along the way ... not making the perfect call."
If you don't know the backstory, Vaynerchuk rose from helping his father's New Jersey liquor store to selling wine online and taking initiative early on with YouTube. He watched videos go viral and realized it was going to be big, and he wanted to be a part of that experience. Without being polished or having a film crew follow him around, he just started. And he was consistent. Now Vaynerchuk has more than 1 million subscribers on YouTube and is a millionaire.
Don't wait for permission to be successful.
6. Constantly be uncomfortable.
Yes, that's right. Every day successful people stretch themselves into being uncomfortable -- everything from having an honest conversation with a team member to doing public speaking. They get out of their comfort zone because they know that's where the next level is.
Prior to being a business owner, I was a classical musician. During a conversation with world-renowned flutist Jean Pierre-Rampal, he said he could count on one hand the number of times he stepped on stage feeling comfortable during one year of performances.
Getting uncomfortable can be scary and definitely isn't natural. However, it's a muscle that can be built through repetition. Flash back to learning to do anything new, maybe even riding your bike. At first, it feels uncomfortable because it's not known -- your body doesn't handle the balance well. Yet once managed, a sense of accomplishment, even pride is present.
Tap into that accomplishment you've experienced before in order to encourage yourself through those uncomfortable and disconcerting moments.
7. Be radically honest with yourself.
"The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them," said Michelle Obama during the Democratic National Convention in 2008. Touche.
As entrepreneurs, we're creating based on visions and dreams. Our willingness to inquire as to where we stop, fall short or even create burnout, will expedite our success.
Being candid with ourselves is easier when we can look back and see what is and what isn't working.
One way is to use a daily planner for 30 days. At the end of every day, make a list of what was not completed and put a notation next to it. Did you get distracted? If so, with what? Or perhaps you simply ran out of time. Move your list over to the next day and start again. At the end of the month, you'll have a theme that will be an honest look at where you limit yourself.
8. Ask great questions.
As the famous French writer Voltaire once said, "Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers."
You need to always be curious. Asking excellent questions puts us into the mindset of inquiry or growth, as well as solution. Complaining about a problem never has provided its solution; asking a good question does. (For instance, rather than asking "how" ask "what needs to happen next to get my desired results?")
Questions also create intelligent and dynamic communication with clients, team members and other entrepreneurs. You're more likely to find your tribe when you are willing to ask questions and spark conversations.
Related: 11 Habits of Truly Happy People
9. Know thyself.
Your fastest path to success without energy drain is knowing your unique talents and skills and how to fuel them best.
People think that there is this magic formula for success -- waking up early in the morning, eating a certain diet, working 18-hour days. Don't follow the herd: Do what works for you.
Just look at Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit (and Serena Williams's husband). During an interview (pre-baby), he said he goes to bed around 2 a.m. and wakes up by 10 a.m. Not exactly following the "successful rule book," yet his company is valued at more than $1 billion.
When we're doing something that is natural to us, we don't lose energy. It might be natural for some to work straight through the day, yet others will do best when they work late and sleep in.
By following the habits of successful people can put you on the right track to find success of your own.