I recently came across this article from Forbes titled "12 Things All Successful People Do" which pulled me in right away. I got so inspired by the subject, that I started doing some more research and found a handful of online articles directed to these "secret" tips that successful people use daily to achieve their goals.
What differentiates a CEO from an employee (except for its very obvious ranking and salary) is actually based on something deeper than meets the eye. Something to do with the person’s programming. Something we can all become, if we just follow these simple steps to success…
So I've narrowed it down to what I believe are the 25 secret habits of very successful people.
1. They wake up earlier than everybody else.
I’ll never forget this one lesson I learned from a very successful CEO - every important decision you make in a day happens before noon. Early mornings are when you are the most productive, and when you should be up getting sh!t done.
2. They treat others as they want to be treated.
This is a very crucial lesson. Treat your doorman the same way you would treat the boss of a Fortune 500 company. You don’t know what a person did in the past, neither can you base it on their appearance. I learned this working at a luxury car dealership. The guy in jeans and worn out running shoes had 7 digits in his bank account while the guy in the tailored dry cleaned suit and Rolex had 4.
3. They don’t beat around the bush - they get straight to the point.
If you want something - ask for it. Don’t be shy or intimated by titles or positions. Be confident, stand tall and go for what you want.
4. They focus on others needs.
They are selfless (in a sense). Successful people have a huge market of connections that they use on the daily for different things. Keep your clients happy by making their needs, your needs.
5. They don’t get shut down by failure.
When one door closes, another one opens. Failure is the stepping stone to success. It's inevitable, it'll happen MANY times. Doesn't matter, as long as you learn from it and move on.
6. They’re able to differentiate between someone’s opinion and actual facts.
Don't take what somebody tells you as the only option, or the right answer. There's plenty of professionals who make mistakes, or who don't know enough but will talk as they do. Make sure you get 2-3 different opinions before jumping into something new. Let us remember that even science has its loopholes, so you can only imagine how many people do.
7. They are different from the norm.
They are lions. They lead the pack, they find new directions and never follow someone else’s path because it’s “easier”.
8. They have integrity.
Successful people are honest. They have strong morals and values, and will not bend their rules for anyone or to close a deal.
9. They exude positive energy.
Always. Think. Positively. Be a “yes” man. It's an unexplainable feeling, but you can tell if someone's energy is positive or negative right from the start. They talk differently, they smile more, they make you feel comfortable right away. Be someone like that. People want to be around these people because they make others feel good.
10. They always look their best.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want”. Something I've been practicing for years now. It doesn't matter where you are, as long as you know where you're going. So wear the suit, tuck in your shirt, pull out the blazer, and look like you just came off Wall Street, at all times.
11. Their body language shows they're interested.
93% of communication is done non-verbally. You can show you are interested or not with many other ways than just by speaking. Your tone, your posture, your demeanour are all ways to demonstrate whether or not you are interested in a particular conversation. Make sure to pay attention to these details.
12. Their vocal skills are impeccable.
They know how to project their voice during a presentation, and have a pleasant voice to listen to. A lot of speech therapy practice is required in order to attain this level of mastery.
13. They're considerate of other people's feelings.
A study proved that the major difference between a good doctor and a "mediocre" one has a lot to do with the empathy he/she shows towards the patient. Even if you take an extra five minutes of your day to ask someone how they are doing, or to remember that their aunt is in the hospital and ask how she is doing, puts you ahead of another person who didn't.
14. They're great listeners.
The quieter you become, the more you can hear. The wisdom rule of silence, ladies and gentlemen. Speak when spoken to, and don't say anything that you are not 100% sure about. It's better that you say less, but what comes out of your mouth impresses others, instead of being that person in the room who is loud but not accurate.
15. They reek of confidence.
Not ego, or conceit. Be sure of yourself. Someone who is confident is certain, he/she knows exactly what he/she wants and will go after it no matter the circumstances.
16. They make a killer first impression.
Many studies prove that the first 30 seconds of an interview will determine whether or not your employer will want to hire you or toss your CV in the trash once you walk out of his/her office. You cannot act shy, nervous, shaky because unfortunately those are signs of weakness. Don't be intimidated by the person standing across from you - he's just another individual who learned these steps once upon a time. Be like him at the finish line.
17. They are able to adapt to any situation.
Stay calm. Don't crack under pressure. Re-evalute, take notes and try again. As the saying goes "fall 7 times, stand up 8".
18. They're true to themselves.
To a certain extent. Don't act like someone you're not, but at the same time don't show too much at first. Be attentive to others, find out about THEM. Listen more, talk less.
19. They always find ways to relate to other people.
People are selfish, they like others who are like them. A rule I learned from Dale Carnegie's "How to make friends and influence others", and something I've used ever since. Whether it's a common religion, nationality, or neighbourhood, you'll automatically feel more comfortable and at ease with someone who you can relate to somehow. That's the reason why countries are so patriotic, they belong to something together. Always find ways to find a common ground with a business partner or client, it will go a long way.
20. They are always on top of their game.
Read, a lot. Constantly. Update your knowledge on everything and anything whenever you have free time. The only way to improve yourself is to keep studying. Take classes, certifications to move up in your significant field, learn from the ones that are ahead of you - that is the only way you'll get better.
21. They surround themselves with others like them.
Tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are. Keep your circle very small, and very strong.
22. They are action oriented.
Talk is cheap. Don't ever say anything you can't commit to. Be a man or woman of his/her words. If you are not sure you can do something, then don't make false promises.
23. They know a lot about everything, not just their respective fields.
This goes hand in hand with #20. Just because you're not an accountant doesn't mean you can't know about tax laws in Quebec. What makes these people professionals is how much knowledge they've acquired over the years. Stay informed and ask questions, so you can also keep a conversation with others even if they're not in your respective field.
24. They know the value of time and delegate accordingly.
Time is money. It is your most valuable asset. Do not waste it. I'll say it again - DO NOT WASTE IT. With people that don't bring you forward, with a job that's a dead end, with a boyfriend that does not make you happy. Don't settle. Set yourself short and long term goals with deadlines, and work your butt off to attain them.
25. They leverage off others skills.
Successful people aren't the best at everything, however they are the best at adding people to their organizations and leverage off those people skills.