There is no one-size-fits-all solution for success. It comes in many forms and every route to achieving it is different.
What is interesting, though, is that many successful people have similar approaches to life. They know how to make the most of the talents they do have and how to work around those that they don’t.
Successful people start things
You’ve heard the saying: success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Like many sayings, there’s a lot of truth to it.
Plenty of people have good ideas and are skilled at what they do. What many people lack is motivation. This is perhaps the biggest misunderstanding people have about successful people. Yes, they are talented, but what really sets them apart is their drive, determination and ability to start things and then keep going.
Successful people understand that while we all feel the urge to procrastinate and avoid difficult things, the key is to push through and get it done.
They don’t worry too much about fitting in
Everyone wants to be part of the crowd to some extent. There is a societal pressure to blend in.
At school the smartest students are often the ones who take the most flak. There can often be a similar pressure in the workplace. Successful people push past this and don’t hold themselves back. They measure themselves by their own standards and set their own goals.
They understand that fear shouldn’t limit them
Everyone gets intimidated by challenges at work but that doesn’t mean they can’t be overcome.
Successful people aren’t necessarily any braver than other people, they just find a way of pushing on rather than allowing the fear to paralyse them.
It gets easier. The more you manage to overcome your fear, the more confident you become.
They ask for help
No one can get to the top on their own. We all need the help of those around us. Successful people aren’t afraid to ask for help and know or will seek out the right people to go to. Asking for help is a sign of confidence, not weakness and successful people don’t pretend to know everything.
Successful people are good communicators
Everyone’s working life is filled with variables. What to do, how to do it, when to do it, what to say, what not to say.
Successful people aren’t afraid to ask when they need more information and to communicate information to others to make sure things are done in the correct way.
They are good at listening when they need to be and good at explaining when necessary. This takes confidence and awareness.
They make decisions
Being successful isn’t just about having good ideas, it’s about knowing which ones to implement. Successful people are decisive when they need to be.
They understand that sometimes it may be better to make a poor decision than to make no decision at all.
All successful people have learned from their mistakes and used their experience of failure to do better.
They take responsibility
If they have made a bad decision, successful people aren’t shy about admitting to the fact. The best leaders will be able to say that they have made the wrong choice and that they want to alter their course.
When successful people own up to their mistakes it shows others that mistakes are not the worst thing that can happen but simply obstacles to overcome.
Successful people question the orthodox opinion. Whether they are junior or senior, they tend to question received wisdom and challenge common assumptions.
A good organisation will welcome thoughtful challenges to the way things are done as a way of encouraging innovation.
They finish things
Finishing things can be just as hard as starting them.
Successful people do their best even on a bad day. They know that getting something done is often more important than getting it done perfectly. There is usually any number of reasons why a project can’t be completed or why something more important should take priority but successful people follow through on their efforts and finish things regardless of the difficulties.