suh k-ses  |  noun

the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, position or fame; the correct or desired result of an attempt; the accomplishment of one’s goals  Merriam-Webster


It ultimately means different things to each of us, however there are a few things all successful people have in common, traits that help them rise above the rest.

Here are ten things I’ve discovered over the years that successful people have and we can learn to emulate:

1. Commitment:  When successful people set a goal, nothing stops them from reaching it.  They throw 100% of their efforts into the mission and don’t stop until they’ve achieved it. (Sometimes this requires bringing in coaches, mentors and others who will hold them accountable for doing what they committed to, in order to achieve what they want.  Olympic and pro-athletes are great examples of this, and so are many CEO’s of the fortune 500.) 

2. Persistence:  Obstacles are going to arise, and successful people persist no matter what.  They have a Plan B, C, D or E if necessary.  They know how to navigate around, over or through obstacles they come across.  Successful people are doers. They take consistent action and make things happen, regardless of what they must overcome.

3. Responsible:  No excuses allowed.  A successful person is keenly aware of the fact that they are the keeper of their own destiny; they hold the key to their future and take ownership of their mistakes or failures.  In their eyes, no one else is in charge of their success, so no one else should be held responsible.

4. Motivated:  They want others to succeed, as much, if not more then they want it for themselves. They encourage, give compliments and focus on keeping bridges mended versus burning them. Success is contagious.  Reality shows us again and again, if you want to be successful spend your time with successful people, they’ll motivate you to be your best day after day.

5. Knowledgeable:  Professional and personal growth is absolutely crucial to success. Successful people include reading (or listening to) books as part of their daily habits. They follow other leaders, they attend workshops, conferences and even challenge themselves to study new or different philosophies. The learning never stops for those that create continual success.  Learning helps them stay on top of their game, encourages curiosity and leads to increased productivity. Knowledge is power; power of ones ability to create new levels of success.

I believe you must continually be growing yourself.  Without your continual growth, how in the world do you think your staff, clients or business will grow in the direction you want them to?

6. Communicators:  Connecting with like-minded people can do wonders for your business and personal life.  Successful people aren’t afraid to ask questions, or for help and often tap into their networks.  They are great at continually cultivating relationships.  Successful people understand that without relationships, business will not exist; and the better one communicates and builds relationships with their team, vendors, and clients, the stronger one’s business will be.

7. Care of Self:  Successful people know that scheduling time for prayer, meditation, relaxation, vacations and other activities that bring you happiness will refresh your mind and body on a regular basis is an absolute must.  Proper nutrition, daily exercise and consistent sleep each night is also crucial to being able to bring the best version of yourself to all you come in contact with on a daily basis.

Good nutrition + healthy body + a relaxed, sharp mind = optimum productivity. 

8. Confident:  Arguably one of the most important and difficult traits to master on a continual basis. Believing in one’s self and vision is a necessity, and no one does it better than a successful person.  Don’t confuse their confidence with arrogance.

9. Consistent Habits:  We all know the old adage, “The early bird catches the worm.”  This is absolutely true for the most successful leaders of our time.  They wake early and often spend at least 60 minutes practicing disciplined habits such as meditation, prayer, reading, exercise, writing in their gratitude journal and preparing for the successful day ahead.  Success does not come by chance; it comes through consistent dedication, commitment, and habits.  I love the line, “Overnight success is a lifetime in the making.” 

10. Leaders:  The know that being a leader starts with how we lead ourselves.  Are we walking our talk, or simply talking our talk.  On a daily basis are consciously and intentionally choosing to bring the best version of our self to our day – to the people and projects we come in contact with.  I believe before we can truly lead others, we must first be sure we are leading ourselves to be our best.  Being a leader is not just an outward spoken act, it is also a physical act.

The truth is every day each of us has an opportunity to lead others to do the right thing, be the best “them,” and we do this through our spoken word, our written word and some would say, most importantly, we do this through our daily actions. The saying “when you’re in the forest, you’re not able to see the trees,” is a great analogy for our lives as well. Continually leading yourself to be a leader will often include hiring a mentor to be that second set of eyes, to help us uncover our blind spots which in-turn can quickly strengthen our ability to lead.

To your continued and ever-growing success! ~ Dana