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8 Things the Successful Elite Do Quietly Humility is often rewarded with loyalty while boastfulness more often generates resentment.

By Sherrie Campbell Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Alistair Berg | Getty Images
We all have the potential to be as successful as we dream of being, so what separates those who actually live out their potential from those who don't? The successful elite make smart decisions and keep their success strategies quiet.
A common pitfall many of us make is exaggerating our achievements and boasting about our successes. In doing this, we lose perspective on how much we have actually achieved. Just repeating our success story persistently doesn't make it real or true. To get ahead, we must learn to use our mouths less, and our brain's more. The more modest we are in our approach, the better we position ourselves for success. Here are seven ways to quietly build an empire.

1. Build relationships.

At the basis of any successful business is a foundation of solid relationships. The successful elite quietly build relationships while pursuing their dreams. Potential connections do not want to feel as if they are being sold. We do not want to present like neon billboards advertising, far and wide, the intentions we have to network. This type of desperation repels people. For this reason, when building or establishing new connections, we must hold a genuine interest in others, their ideas and examine if these new connections are the right connections for us to pursue. When we build our networks quietly and mindfully we make the most intelligent and informed decisions in pursuing our dreams.

2. Explore the new.

Success doesn't have to have an end point. The successful elite are constantly starting new projects and researching new investments. We must never shrink ourselves to being a one-trick-pony. When we secure success in one area, there is no reason our creativity needs to stop there. We can have our hands in multiple pots at any given time. As we explore new ideas, we must be mindful not to take them public too soon. Ideas need time to develop and become real before we begin involving others, as we don't want to give competitors any information that could allow them to steal our idea and make it happen before we do.

3. Handle challenge.

Challenge is a reality of life. The successful elite handle challenge with maturity, responsibility and composure. To increase our own levels of success we must refrain from whining, complaining or getting angry when things aren't going our way. When we're under immense pressure, it is nearly impossible to think rationally or clearly, so part of being successful is allowing things to settle. As things fall more clearly into place, we are better able to make sound business decisions. If we panic under pressure, we risk developing a reputation of not being as capable as we really are. This is a reputation that will be hard to shake. If we're being challenged, we need to handle it, not b*tch about it.

4. Allow ideas to marinate.

Success is a process, not an event. The successful elite are patient, and understand for an idea to be really good, it needs the proper time to incubate to fully form. To be successful we must also master the virtue of patience. Ideas need time to refine themselves into whole, workable and worthy concepts before they can make any real sense. When excited about an idea, it can be tempting to launch it impulsively before it's fully ready. When our idea is fully developed, we can go public quietly, right under the nose of our competition; allowing our idea the best shot at success.

5. Social modesty.

Humility breeds trust. There is much to be said for the person who can be modest when interacting with others, especially in a culture that overvalues extroversion as a form of charm or confidence. When we behave in overly extroverted ways, we are likely doing to so to overcompensate for our nerves or insecurities. Flaunting accomplishments or new opportunities is more of a turn off then a turn on to others. Neither does anyone respect a name-dropper. We must understand that who we know has very little to do with who we are. Therefore, to increase our levels of success we need to possess the humility that will make us interesting to others. The successful see through egotistical positioning and intimidation, have no need to engage in embellishing because their success speaks for itself.

6. Manage with integrity.

Respectful treatment is a cornerstone of good management. To be successful, and to stay successful, it is essential we manage those we work with, or for, with a sense of privacy and personal respect. People do not appreciate being "called out' and humiliated in front of their peers or superiors. We must hold the highest respect and empathy for those around us, enough so, that we give people grace when confronting them. Strive to confront privately and in a non-accusatory fashion. Our goal in confronting should not be to accuse, but rather to gather information. We never want to make decisions that are based in assumptions, rather than in all the facts. Information is power. Embarrassing people doesn't help to preserve the sanctity or safety of the professional atmosphere. If we want respect, we must give respect. It is that simple.

7. Invest wisely.

Money is something that grows. The successful elite are consistently researching how to make the most of their time and money. They research and invest their money, as a way to produce passive income and to grow the money they already have. It is important we do the same. Whether we choose to invest in real estate or stocks, it is wise to invest. It no necessary do this loudly. Giving away all our personal details can come off as egotistical, especially if we're sharing this information with those who are not as finically secure. Money, like sex, is a private affair and something we can share if we are being asked for advice, or if we want to help another person we think could benefit from what we know. Investing should serve as an advertisement but rather as a subtle statement of our hard work and commiserate success.

8. Win

Truly successful people know that succeeding or winning is never a one-person-job. For this reason, they make sure their win, is everyone's win. We must be humble enough to acknowledge the effort, hard work, passion and dedication all of those who helped us get to where we currently are. This way, when we win, it isn't a selfish experience, it is a shared experience. Humility, acknowledgment and gratitude are ways we pay those, on top of their salary and bonuses, for the success we achieve. There is truly no greater payment than acknowledgment. Having the humility to win quietly, makes winning a deeper experience for us and for all of those who helped us to get to the top.
There is so much value in being quiet when it comes to all levels of pursuing our dreams. Boasting, bragging and pressuring do not serve us well, as these types of characteristics aren't appealing to others when deciding if they want to work with us. Maturity, humility and respect must be essential parts of our vision if we want to sustain the success we achieve over the long term. Achieve from a mindset of elegance, hard work, persistence, empathy and mindfulness and you set yourself up to achieve all that you dream.
Sherrie Campbell

Psychologist, Author, Speaker

Sherrie Campbell is a psychologist in Yorba Linda, Calif., with two decades of clinical training and experience in providing counseling and psychotherapy services. She is the author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person. Her new book, Success Equations: A Path to an Emotionally Wealthy Life, is available for pre-order.

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