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7 Qualities Of The Highly Successful

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What separates the highly successful from those who are “just getting by“?

This is a question that a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs have when they are just starting out. You have read all the books and learned all the skills but your mindset and “know how” may not be quite there yet.

Here is a list of the 7 qualities that the highly successful live by.

 

1. They Are Actors On The Pitch Of Life, Not Spectators

The vast majority of people live in Dreamland where they wish, hope and pray that things will turn around in their favor, the highly successful are those who get up and take action! They never wait for a more favorable condition or time. They simply set out to get things done.

Nolan Bushnell (American engineer and entrepreneur) once said:

“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

J.K. Rowling worked on her first ever Harry Potter novel when she was a single mother who just lived off welfare. Yet, she didn’t let that deter her. J.K. finished the book and asked publishers all over town to help get the book published. As you would expect, they rejected her and even criticized her harshly because she wasn’t a well-known author yet.

It appeared like nothing was working out for her but she kept at it. She chose to continue and to push through.

In 2014, she became the first ever billionaire author!

 

2. They Love What They Do

A very remarkable story that reveals this is that of Steve Jobs (American entrepreneur, marketer and inventor as well as the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple Inc).

In 1976, when he was 21 years old, he and his friend (Steve Wozniak) started Apple Computers from the Jobs’ family garage. Apple went public on Dec 12, 1980 with a value of 1.2 billion dollars on its first day! In the next few years, Apple suffered significant design flaws that resulted in IBM suddenly surpassing Apple in sales. By 1985, Apple forced Jobs to resign from the company he co-founded!

He picked himself up quickly and started a new hardware and software enterprise he called “Next” To cut the long story short, in 1996, Apple purchased “Next” for $429 Million and eventually hired Jobs as the CEO.

Today, Steve Jobs’ is quoted to have said:

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.”

Yes indeed, you have to discover what you love to do, and be the best at it.

 

3. They Don’t Stop Until They Get There

I remember hearing the story of Colonel Sanders (founder of KFC) sometime ago. He drove all over America and offered his fried chicken recipe for a certain percentage of the sales. He knocked on several doors, slept in his car and carried on walking around in his white suit even though he already got 1,009 refusals! On the 1,010th time, he finally got a “yes”.

Thomas Edison on the other hand, had his teacher say to him that he was “too stupid to learn anything”, and was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive”.

As an inventor, he made 1000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb.

When a reporter asked “How did it feel to fail 1000 times?” Edison replied:

“I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.”

Joe Girard said:

“The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…. One step at a time.”

Simply put, highly successful people have a different understanding of the word “FAIL”.

To them, to fail just means “First Attempt In Learning”. So every time they seemingly fail, they consider that to be that they have only found one more way that it didn’t work and then they move on.

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas”.

He went bankrupt several times before he finally built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim on grounds that it would only attract riffraff.

Today, the Walt Disney Company has annual revenues of approximately $35 billion!

 

Success in Inspirational Silence Picture Quote
 

4. They Focus On Serving Others Rather Than Being Served

Highly successful people know that true success is about serving others with great value rather than living a self-centered life. They know that being selfish, stingy and money driven can help make you money at first but it’s not really a good plan for long-term success. They focus on serving other people and helping them even if it means giving up some of their own resources!

In most cases, successful people define their success on the basis of their positive contributions to others rather than how much money they make. Incidentally, it is practically impossible to really make a remarkable
contribution in the lives of others without making money as well. So the undiscerning are quick to assume that the successful became successful by making more money.

However, it is important to note that it is not that the successful have no care for money. It’s just that money isn’t their focus and priority in life.

 

5. They Have Clear Cut Visions

A very common factor among the successful is that they all have clarity and certainty about what they want and don’t want out of life. They set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound) goals in line with their vision. They have identified their core values (what is important to them) and go all out to live in line with them. They know exactly what they want to achieve and then they chart their course towards it.

Aside from having crystal clear short and long-term goals, the successful also determine exactly what they MUST accomplish each day to bring them closer to their already defined goals. They take full advantage of the “Golden Hour” principle which takes the first hour after you wake up in the morning into consideration. It is assumed that what you do mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually during this first hour, sets the tone for the entire day.

 

6. They Keep Improving Themselves And What They Do

Not a single one of the success stories you would hear of out there started out successful. In fact, for many of them, they were laughed at or even scorned as they began to dream, plan and take the necessary action towards the accomplishment of their set goals. Through thick and thin, they just kept on improving themselves over and over again. It was this self-improvement over time that impacted on the quality of what they did and made them the success that they eventually became.

For instance, did you ever read that Michael Jordan and Bob Cousy were each ousted from their high school basketball teams? How does it feel to know that Michael Jordan who later in his life was addressed as the “Best Player Ever” could not be included amongst the 10-best players in a tiny Laney High School in Wilmington? At the time he was simply not good enough or else, he would have been on the team.

Michael, later in his career, went on to say:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot … and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed.”

No matter what you have decided to do, be sure to see that you are consistently adding to your personal value as well as to the quality of what you do. Strive to see that you never do things of the same quality twice!

Steve Jobs once said:

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

Dare to be different.

 

7. They Understand The Importance Of Discipline

One other quality of highly successful people is that they understand the importance of discipline and self-control. They have come to know that it is not every route that will lead to their desired destination. Hence, they discipline themselves to follow only the route that leads their way. That is why they almost always come across others as mean people!

They constantly work at educating themselves, either formally (academically), informally (watching, listening, asking, and reading) or experientially (doing, trying)… or all three.

This also translates into their ability to maintain their focus on one thing rather than everything. Whereas the ordinary or general public would have long lost focus and concentration on what really matters.

Through discipline, highly successful people know how to pay attention on the one thing that really matters – their goals!

Charles Emmanuel is an Author, life coach, ministry consultant, motivator, leadership trainer. He is also the Co-founder of Above & Beyond... a capacity building and personal development outfit.  

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Toilet Seat Guru

    Oct 7, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Who knew the path of failure I have left in my past is the reason why success is near? Empowering article, so many life lessons in such a short article.

  2. Hadiza Kelvin

    May 22, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Comment:
    Am highly impressed with this points. Am also encourage to keep walking. I would never give up! Great dreams are often mock and belittled by people but faith and persistence brings fought a wonderful success.
    Thanks am enjoying every bit of write ups in this site.

  3. i had followed all these qualities and i am agree with u and greatly thankfull to you sirr ….
    keep it up updating more posts thankkks

  4. NiHaal Trumboo

    Jan 10, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Discipline was the thing missing in me still have a lot to add thnxx for this owsum post

    • Charles Emmanuel

      Jan 11, 2015 at 10:41 am

      Oh yes you are so correct. Its definitely a major quality.

      I will work on updating the list to ten shortly

      Thanks for reading …

  5. madhoor

    Jan 8, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    very motivating the tips r But i also think a positive attitude shud b there inspite of whatever the cicumstances are

    • Charles Emmanuel

      Jan 9, 2015 at 5:27 am

      @madhoor

      Thanks for reading. You are absolutely correct. This is definitely not an exhaustive list but in a sense, having a positive attitude in spite of whatever the circumstances are would be a part of the third quality – They don’t stop until they get there …

      Maybe, i would do a post elaborating that particular point sometime very soon.

      Thanks for reading.

  6. Charles Emmanuel

    Jan 8, 2015 at 1:30 am

    @ Rose

    I am glad you enjoyed the post. Indeed it is the exact timing for this.

    And yes you are right about people thinking that successful people were born differently and under different circumstances whereas the exact opposite is the case …

    Many of them had even worse conditions and circumstances than many failure do today. They only learnt to make the most of what they have.

    As a matter of fact, I will be writing a post on how to make the most of your circumstance shortly.

    Cheers …

  7. Steve Reed

    Jan 4, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Great List. I think that ‘loving what they do’ is probably the most important to my mind. Not every part of life, or running a business is exciting, but that passion and drive has to be there most of the time, or it;s just impossible to succeed.

    I see a lot of people looking to ‘just make money’. But this is who 99.9% of people fail. To work hard every day, with little to show for it at the start, is soul destroying if you just don’t enjoy it.

    I made excellent money building microfiche sites a few short years ago. It was hell to write about toilet seats and nail polish all the time. But, I did get a massive kick out of checking my income 37 times a day. This was exciting for me, and overcame the monotony of writing about things I wasn’t interested in.

    But for the long term? Not a chance. Finding passion, doing what I love every day, getting up feeling excited, those are the qualities one needs to succeed.

    All the other points are super relevant, and tie directly into doing something you love.

    Thanks for the great site, really inspiring.

    Steve

    • Charles Emmanuel

      Jan 8, 2015 at 1:25 am

      @ Steve;

      I am so honored you found this inspiring …

      Yes, you are correct about doing what you love. That is really the backbone of it all because that is what makes people stand in the midst of adversities and difficulties.

      As for being all about making money, i am sure that is largely a misconception but the younger generation. I am not sure any of the guys sited here really set out to make money. For most of them, it was all about adding giving value …

      I have a post on “One basic truth about money” It should be up shortly. I really talked about the basics of what money is and how it flows there.

  8. Rose Costas

    Dec 31, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Thanks Charles for an inspiring post. It couldn’t come at a better time. with the new year upon us it is the perfect time to look at ourselves and see what we can take away from these people who have impacted our lives greatly.
    People always assumed that because someone is successful they were born different, or are more intelligent etc but what most people do not understand is that they are ordinary people who do ordinary things. They set themselves apart by hard work, discipline, determination and that spirit of never quitting.

    Thanks

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Having a scarcity mindset means fearing you’ll lose your source of income, shying away from taking risks, and believing there’s a set amount of success in the world. Its counterpart, an abundance mindset, believes that there’s opportunity for growth, risks are worth taking, and when we win, we all win together. To succeed in business, you need to adopt an abundance mindset. But how do you change your perspective?

Here are 6 ways you can change your perspective immediately:

1. Decide You Want to Change

The first step in changing your scarcity mindset is to acknowledge who you are and decide that you want to change. I compare it to the time twenty years ago when I decided to quit smoking. 

Smoking is clearly stupid, but back then it was widely accepted. Still, that’s not an excuse. The first thing I did was admit that I was addicted. The second step was making the commitment to quit. I had to decide that I didn’t want anything to have control over me anymore.

Those who want to change their scarcity mindset have to do the same thing. You may have to break your goals down into doable chunks, but you also have to keep your oars in the water. You have to keep rowing, put your back into it, and look for better opportunities. 

One of the hardest challenges will be changing how you view the ideas of others. You can’t think of those ideas as a threat, or the people as a threat. Don’t worry so much about personal success as you do about the success of the group. Remember the adage: there are three ways to do things—my way, your way, and a better way.

This notion of abundance goes beyond wealth. That’s part of it, of course, but embracing the idea of abundance means you want to experience more. You want to help more people. You want to have a greater impact on your family and your community. You have to acknowledge that you’re tired of worrying about your car breaking down and reassure yourself that if it does break down, you’ll find a way to fix it or get a new one. If you decide to buy a new car, donate your old one to the humane society so they can help animals. That’s abundance.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn

2. Stay on Your Path

If you’re an entrepreneur starting a business, you probably already have an abundance mindset. That’s excellent. But you still need to keep working on your idea, regardless of the failures or setbacks you encounter. Just because you’re optimistic about your future doesn’t mean you don’t have to work hard and swim against the tide from time to time.

3. Talk about the Obstacles You’ll Face

Having an abundance mindset doesn’t mean you blithely glide over every hurdle. You won’t. Instead, you have to anticipate potential problems and start plotting how you’ll get past them. If you’re confident and optimistic, the answers come more quickly and in greater numbers, thus improving your chances of success. You can’t assume your business idea is going to be a mega-hit right from the start, and that you’ll make tons of money. That might happen, but chances are you’ll have to work long and hard hours first.

4. Develop Good Habits

It’s vital that you set strong goals and adopt the habits that will help you reach those goals. Networking is key to learning and to building contacts and community. It’s not just about the help you can receive, but the help you can give. Find ways to appreciate the uniqueness of others, whether you’re working with them or having a cocktail at the local pub.

“I have learned that champions aren’t just born; champions can be made when they embrace and commit to life-changing positive habits.” – Lewis Howes

5. Address One Problem at a Time

Starting a new business is often daunting. You may have a dream of what you want to accomplish, but the task in front of you seems overwhelming. Where do you start?

I like the approach Desmond Tutu once advocated. He said “There is only one way to eat an elephant, [and that’s] one bite at a time.” What this means is that the bigger the endeavor, the more crucial it is that you break up the challenge into smaller pieces. The problems seem less intimidating and more doable when you look at them in smaller, discrete portions.

It’s not unusual for people to freeze up or get discouraged when faced with a big, hairy task, so in addition to the wisdom of Desmond Tutu, it also helps to keep in mind this observation by Mark Twain: “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” It’s much easier to make progress in your big goal when you chip away at the challenges.

6. Don’t Kick the Can

It may be tempting to put off work on a particularly gnarly problem or to delay a decision on something until you have more information, but be forewarned: you can only kick the can down the road so many times before it becomes the size of a fifty-gallon drum. When that happens, procrastination is no longer an option.

Instead, just make a decision. Whether it’s the right decision or the wrong one, at least you did something. If it turns out to be the wrong decision, at least now you know what not to do, and you’re halfway there. You’ll learn and you’ll be able to adjust. You miss those opportunities when you put off making a move.

Once you have an abundance mindset, the possibilities open to you will seem endless. 

How have you developed an abundance mindset in life? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

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