18 Habits of Successful People

As an entrepreneur I always try to learn from successful people, their skills, competencies and habits. Read, test what applies and lands best to you and refine. Read below all kinds of habits from different angles. Which ones do you like the most and agree with?

Jeff Haden wrote on Inc.com his eight habits of successful people:

1. They don’t create back-up plans.

Back-up plans can help you sleep easier at night. Back-up plans can also create an easy out when times get tough.

2. They do the work…

You can be good with a little effort. You can be really good with a little more effort.

But you can’t be great–at anything–unless you put in an incredible amount of focused effort.

3.  …and they work a lot more.

Forget the Sheryl Sandberg “I leave every day at 5:30” stories. I’m sure she does. But she’s not you.

Every extremely successful entrepreneur I know (personally) works more hours than the average person–a lot more. They have long lists of things they want to get done. So they have to put in lots of time.

4. They avoid the crowds.

Conventional wisdom yields conventional results. Joining the crowd–no matter how trendy the crowd or “hot” the opportunity–is a recipe for mediocrity.

Remarkably successful people habitually do what other people won’t do. They go where others won’t go because there’s a lot less competition and a much greater chance for success.

5. They start at the end…

Average success is often based on setting average goals.

Decide what you really want: to be the best, the fastest, the cheapest, the biggest, whatever. Aim for the ultimate. Decide where you want to end up. That is your goal.

6. … and they don’t stop there.

Achieving a goal–no matter how huge–isn’t the finish line for highly successful people. Achieving one huge goal just creates a launching pad for achieving another huge goal.

Maybe you want to create a $100 million business; once you do you can leverage your contacts and influence to create a charitable foundation for a cause you believe in. Then your business and humanitarian success can create a platform for speaking, writing, and thought leadership. Then…

7. They sell.

I once asked a number of business owners and CEOs to name the one skill they felt contributed the most to their success. Each said the ability to sell.

Keep in mind selling isn’t manipulating, pressuring, or cajoling. Selling is explaining the logic and benefits of a decision or position. Selling is convincing other people to work with you. Selling is overcoming objections and roadblocks.

8. They are never too proud.

To admit they made a mistake. To say they are sorry. To have big dreams. To admit they owe their success to others. To poke fun at themselves. To ask for help.

To fail.

And to try again.

Read Jeff Haden’s article for the complete elaborations.

Drake Baer wrote on Fastcompany his compelling 5 habits of successful people:

9. Argue

To steel your team’s beliefs. “In business you can’t turn over the reins to someone who doesn’t know how to defend their own ideas and plans,” Nazar writes. Like an ancient Sophist, you should argue with your colleagues about what they are thinking and doing. Debate forces them to articulate their own motivations and assumptions and do the same for you.

10. Confront

You need to be ready to call someone out. If somebody is bullshitting you, tell them. They need to hear it. Being endlessly deferential is a shortcut: instead of doing the hard work of advocating truth, you take the “easy” route of suffocating in passivity. And remember: you can train yourself to communicate better.

11. Be ruthless

It’s healthy to have high standards. Nazar mentions George Carlin: he watched the comic master berate himself in rehearsal for missing the timing of his jokes by a few seconds. Mastery is uncompromising. As a magazine editor once told me, you have to be willing to be great, which requires ruthlessness.

12. Seek out rejection

Some people go their entire lives having never thrown or taken a punch (like me). It’s just a punch. Some people live their lives afraid of rejection. Getting told “no” isn’t the end of everything you hold dear. Neither is being left out. In fact, it’s healthy.

13. Isolate yourself

Yes, we know that you’re incredibly popular and hip and you never eat alone and you can work any room. That’s great. But if you ever want to grow internally rather than court external validation, you need to get away from all the people. Reflect. Care for your inner introvert.

Osman Hameed wrote on CodeOfLiving his five habits:

14. Focus

Successful people are always focused. They make a plan of action (a goal) and stay dedicated and focused towards it no matter what. They think about the big picture and don’t let little things stop them.

A normal person would plan something and waver after a couple of days, but a successful person would stick to it up to the very end.

15. Passion to Succeed 

Successful people are always eager and enthusiastic to reach their goals. They are motivated have a strong hunger for what they need and try their upmost to achieve it.

16. Time Management 

Successful people have outstanding time management habits. They don’t easily get distracted and try their upmost not to waste time. Successful people are very good at planning and staying organized.

17. Always Learning

Successful people understand that they don’t know everything and accept their weaknesses. This allows them to be constantly learning and gives them room for self-growth. Because of this successful people are very adaptable, giving them an even greater edge to succeed.

18. Proactive

Successful people are proactive and don’t wait for success. They are determinedly creating their own success, rather than others who often wait for success to come to them. This makes successful a step ahead of everybody increasing their chances of success.

The ones that I really like are selling, passion for the business and work a lot and I recognise this 100%. Without passion for your business you will not be able to succeed and work a lot. Blair Singer once said: “no sales, no income”, sales is key!

Which ones would you add?