The financial newspaper Investors Business Daily (IBD) asked these same questions a few years ago and started a multi-year search for the answer. They studied industry leaders, investors and entrepreneurs to understand the traits they all had in common that contributed to their success. Reproduced here is their list of 10 Secrets to Success along with my commentary on each no-so-secret, ‘secret’
1. How You Think is Everything.
Always be positive. Think Success, not Failure. Beware of a negative environment.
This trait has to be one of the most important in the entire list. Your belief that you can accomplish your goals has to be unwavering. The moment you say to yourself “I can’t…”, then you won’t. I was always given the advice “never say I can’t” and I’d like to strike those words from the dictionary.
I’ve found that from time-to-time my attitude waivers. A mentor of mine once said “it’s ok to visit pity city, but you can’t stay and there comes a time when you need to leave”. Positive things happen to positive people.
2. Decide upon Your True Dreams and Goals: Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.
Write down my dreams and goals? Develop a plan to reach them? You mean like a project plan? Yes, that’s exactly what this means. You may have heard the old adage: A New Years resolution that isn’t written down is just a dream, and dreams are not goals.
Goals are those concrete, measurable stepping stones of achievement that track your progress towards your dreams. My goal is to start a second career as a freelance writer – what are your goals?
3. Take Action. Goals are nothing without action.
Be like Nike and “Just do it”. I took action by reaching out and started writing. Every day I try to take some action towards my goals. It may be small, but it’s still an action. Have you taken action towards your goals?
4. Never Stop Learning: Go back to school or read books. Get training & acquire skills.
Becoming a life long learner would benefit us all and is something we should instill in our kids. It’s funny that once you’re out of school you realize how enjoyable learning can be. What have you learned today?
5. Be Persistent and Work Hard: Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.
I think every story of success I read entails long hard hours of work. There is no getting around this and there is no free lunch. But, if you’re working towards something that you’re passionate about, something you love – then is it really work?
6. Learn to Analyze Details: Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes.
I think you have to strike a balance between getting all the facts and making a decision with incomplete data – both are traits of successful people. Spend time gathering details, but don’t catch ‘analysis paralysis’.
7. Focus Your Time And Money: Don’t let other people or things distract you.
Remain laser focused on your goals and surround yourself with positive people that believe in you. Don’t be distracted by the naysayer’s or tasks that are not helping you achieve your goals.
8. Don’t Be Afraid To Innovate: Be different. Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.
Follow through on that break-out idea you have. Ask yourself “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?”
9. Deal And Communicate With People Effectively: No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others.
Successful people develop and nurture a network and they only do that by treating people openly, fairly and many times firmly. There is nothing wrong about being firm – just don’t cross the a-hole line. How do you deal with people?
10. Be Honest And Dependable:
Take responsibility, otherwise numbers 1 – 9 won’t matter.
Edited - Article Written by Victor Stachura