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May 08, 2018

So you want to be successful.

Do you know what it takes to be successful?

Do you know what successful people have done to get where they are?

Studying the habits and behaviors of successful people is one of the best ways to learn. Understanding the background and history behind some of the worlds most successful businesswomen and men is a tactic every ambitious entrepreneur should implement.

Studying the greats is the first step to becoming great. Identifying people who have done what you want to achieve in your life and understanding the steps they took to get there can be a game changer. It can unlock insights, reveal opportunities and help you grow faster than you could imagine.

The more you earn, the more you learn. -Warren Buffett 

Many view successful people as gifted, lucky and fortunate. While these things might very well be true, it is hard work, passion, courage, and curiosity that ultimately bring people the most success.

If you’re looking for a magic bullet to instant fame and fortune, you’re looking in the wrong place. Such a bullet does not exist. The habits, mindsets, and behaviors of successful people are not created overnight. They are traits and characteristics that are nurtured, respected and groomed over time.

No matter what your definition of success may be, there are many common behaviors that the world’s most successful people share. Few of these behaviors are average and all of them are brave.

These individuals, these hustlers, are courageous, fearless and determined. They live and breathe their passion and make decisions every day that brings them one step closer to their truest potential.

I hope this list of underappreciated behaviors will inspire you to adopt some of these behaviors and begin living your fullest life. Perhaps you already exhibit many on the list. If so, add a few more and see what other successes are waiting for you around the corner.

1. They take Risks

Best Time To Plant A Tree Is 20 Years Ago - Chinese Proverb

While most people sit and hope for success to find them, the most successful people intentionally and methodically create their own. Successful people are not controlled by their desire to win, rather they are inspired and motivated to reach their highest potential.

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” — Steve Jobs

For me, I often remind myself of the story of Elon Musk and the risks he took after cashing out from a major win with the PayPal deal. Elon took all of his earnings from that acquisition and invested his cash into Tesla, SolarCity, and SpaceX. Three companies that at one point and time seemed ridiculous but today are billion dollar entities changing the world one day at a time.

2. They ask (the right) questions

“The key to unlock the doors to success is great questions. The better questions you ask, the better doors of opportunity you unlock.” — John Maxwell

Highly successful people ask questions.

But, it’s not the volume of questions they ask that give them their edge, it’s the quality. They know who to seek guidance from and aren’t afraid to seek it. They’re constantly learning because they understand that knowledge is the path to success. They aren’t intimidated by smart people; they surround themselves with those who know more and have experienced more and they are better business people for it.

3. They take responsibility and give credit

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” — Henry Ford

Highly successful people celebrate their failures because they know the real power in failure is the lessons that are exposed to it. To be successful you must be resilient, unbreakable and passionate about your goals. You must be willing to take responsibility when things go bad and give credit when things are going well. This simple mindset will inspire those around you and earn you the respect of partners, colleagues, and peers.

4. They hustle

Girl Working - Hustle - MEDIUM

“Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.” — Mark Zuckerberg

They are busy, productive and proactive individuals who constantly shape their own success by working hard for it and settling for nothing less. Rather than contemplating, wishing and dreaming, they are doing. They go after want they want and work their way towards it. They aren’t afraid to sweat, fail or fall down along the way.

5. They build relationships

Group Working - Hustle - MEDIUM

“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” — Theodore Roosevelt

Successful people understand the value in relationships.

Whether it’s professional or personal, the most successful people understand that business runs on relationships. If you’re not connected to someone, how are they going to trust you, how are they going to buy from you? If you’re not on the radar of someone, how are they going to share your story and engage with you?

Your network will determine your net worth.

They work well with others and know when to delegate and when to lead. They leave their personal drama at the door and don’t take anything too personally. They show respect and therefore gain the respect of others. They are open to feedback – and seek it on a regular basis. Most importantly, they collaborate!

6. They speak up and lean in

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” — Leonardo da Vinci

If you want to be successful, you need to find your voice.

Successful people are masters at knowing when to speak up and say nothing. They aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo or take meetings with influential industry pros. They don’t shy away from effective confrontation and ask for what they need from others.

7. Embrace change

dont wish

“A company shouldn’t get addicted to being shiny, because shiny doesn’t last.” — Jeff Bezos

Everyone knows that the only thing you can count on in life is change. The business landscape is constantly changing, whether influenced by evolving technology or driven by the constantly changing behaviors of consumers. The most successful people are able to ride the waves of change and tackle challenges with positivity and a strategic mind. They embrace change because change comes with new opportunities to seize and new challenges to overcome.

8. They get things done

“Done is better than perfect.” — Sheryl Sandberg

Just Ship It.

It’s not that these folks don’t care about quality, it’s that they understand that getting things done is better than waiting for perfection. If you’re waiting for something to be perfect, you’ll be waiting forever.

The most successful people don’t wait to ship something. They’ve adopted the concept of pushing things through and being focused on execution. They thrive in busy, chaotic situations and dig in until the work is done. They know that when one project finishes, more time is available to take on more work.

9. They work with other successful people

“It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.” — Warren Buffett

The most successful people benefit from working with mentors and other successful people.

They seek the wisdom of those whose life experiences and knowledge can add value to their career and help launch their ventures. The benefit of working with those who’ve experienced their own success extends beyond new knowledge to include potential investments and access to resources and influential networks that can catapult your own career.

10. They never stop learning

“Just because you are CEO, don’t think you have landed. You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organization. I’ve never forgotten that.” — Indra Nooyi

Highly successful people are obsessed with learning. They constantly seek opportunities to learn new skills, knowledge, and applications that further their own success. Whether internships, formal education, conferences or through meeting new people, successful people naturally absorb new information and knowledge so that they can continue to grow and evolve.

Now I turn to you.

What are the behaviors you most admire in success people? What didn’t make it on to my list that you think should be here? Leave your thoughts in the comments – I’d love to read them.

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