Friday, May 28, 2010

5 Non-Obvious Keys to Success

Usually successful people are praised for their talents, incredible persistence, unbending will-power, high self-confidence, brilliant intelligence and inexhaustible creativity. There is a possibility that just one person can possess all these wonderful and obvious qualities. But I sincerely do not think that ALL successful people are these “god-like” creatures who do not make mistakes or have bad days, like the rest of us mortals.

In fact, my experience shows otherwise. I have been fortunate to meet many highly successful people (some of them are my good friends) and I can tell you that at a first glance they seem no different from me or you. (and, yes, successful people have unproductive days and family arguments, just like everyone else).

But if you look closer you will notice that there are a few things that most successful people intuitively do right. You will never hear them talk about it, because I do not think the majority of them even realize that they are taking these actions.

It is actually funny, but most famous people achieve success first and then assume that they must have done it, because of their unstoppable determination and bright mind.

If you want to be successful, stop comparing your personal qualities with the list of “The top 20 traits of successful people”! You only set yourself up for disappointment and self-esteem problems.

Instead concentrate your efforts on doing just these 5 ridiculously easy things:

1. Do an extra 1%.

In business to gain total control of a company it is not enough to have more stakes than any other stake holder. You need 51%. In politics 1% preponderance determines the future of a whole country. Similar, when your odds for success or failure are equal, it is often 1% of your effort, your attitude, and your determination that makes a difference.

Do you remember a task that you did not have time for, but you managed to do anyway? Or when you were on the verge of giving up, but you persisted a little bit longer? Or the time when you wanted to roll your eyes and slam the door in your boss’s face but you clung to the last note of patience and, therefore, avoided an open argument? This one percent of extraordinary effort often manifests in ordinary situations.

If on a daily basis you manage to: do something a little better, resist the temptation to “throw in the towel” a little longer, try a little harder not to jump to conclusions about what other people are or are not– I promise you that you WILL become successful.

2. Overcome stagnation.

What sets successful people apart from not-so-successful people is the speed of implementation. I have noticed that successful people do not try to learn everything that they possibly can about a subject, before acting on their ideas. Nor do they waste their time trying to get something done perfectly.

When successful people learn a new theory or get an interesting idea, they test it immediately. If it fails, they move on quickly. But if it brings positive results they improve it as they go.

3. Let go of a big ego.

Your chances of success are inversely proportional to the size of your ego. The bigger your ego is, the harder it will be for you to become and stay successful. Why? Because a big ego dreads failures and cannot accept being wrong.

Most people with a big ego would rather be seen as stubborn, uncompromising or unpleasant than acknowledge the fact that they have made a mistake and risk losing prestige in the eyes of others. It is natural that if you do not accept your mistakes, you will never learn from them, and, therefore, always remain on the same level.

4. Help others succeed.

Why do you think successful people write self-help books, sharing with everyone, who is ready to listen, their knowledge and experience? Surely they do not do it to make an extra buck or become famous – they already have all that! Highly successful people know something most of us have not yet discovered – success breeds success. The more you help others to succeed, the more successful you will be. Think about it…

The best way to make friends and create strong relationships is to be sincerely interested in another person’s thoughts, ideas and opinions. The fastest way to grow your business is to sell products that help people resolve a certain problem that they are currently facing. The easiest way to really grasp information that you have read and memorized is to teach it to someone else. Do not hold back your best ideas, your knowledge, and your help. Give and it will be given to you!

5. Build on your strengths and forget your weaknesses.

Most people believe that in order to be successful, they have to concentrate their efforts on improving their shortcomings and developing skills that they lack. In reality this is the path of most resistance. It is much harder to become something you are not than to be a lot more of who you already are.

For example, when I first started my own website, I did everything: designed all the graphics, did the programming, wrote articles, replied to emails, studied marketing and installed new plug-ins to help my website run smoothly. I finally realized that what I like doing is writing and talking to people. I sucked at programming. My web design was very unimpressive. But worst of all, the quality of my articles gradually started to suffer, because I was constantly stressed out, distracted and tired. By trying to become “ok” at everything, I could not dedicate enough time to be great at the one thing that I do best. Learn from my mistake!

Successful people are successful, because they know how to get the maximum out of their strengths and how to find people who compensate for their weaknesses.

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