Great question isn’t it?
Joy (my co-founder) and I have read numerous books on this topic, had conversations with many successful (and super-successful ) people, and coached business leaders and millionaire entrepreneurs from around the world.
We believe that there is no single formula to being successful. However, there are certain common attributes that all successful people have.
It’s NOT money, networks, an ivy league education or family support. All that helps, but you can still be successful even if you don’t have any of those advantages.
Steve Jobs never finished college. His parents weren’t rich and he didn’t have friends in high places.
Richard Branson was dyslexic. No ivy league there.
John D Rockefeller, richest man in history, had a father who returned home once a year and stole money from his own son. Clearly the odds were stacked against him!
So what strengths did these people have, that made them icons?
Here are four questions you need to ask, to check for the success streak…
Question 1: Do you have a dream?
Success begins with a desire, an idea, a thought. That desire slowly begins to consume you, evolving into a dream. It’s a bit like falling in love really!
Your dream might be about…
- Becoming a CEO who Fortune Magazine talks about,
- Finally quitting your boring job and running your own gig, while travelling across the world at the same time,
- Building a company that investors can’t wait to jump into,
- Becoming a bestselling author
- You name it!
Whatever you want to achieve, it all begins with that dream. When I say ‘want’, I don’t mean, ‘nice to have’, I mean ‘must have’!
To be successful, you have to ‘really want’ to be successful.
That consuming passion gives you the energy and the motivation to take action and persevere in the most difficult of circumstances.
Question 2: Do you have the correct Goals?
Sadly, for most people, dreams just remain dreams.
Every 3rd person I know tells me that they have a dream – ranging from opening a restaurant to building the next Facebook. However, rarely do I meet someone, who has very clear goals.
While a dream is an aspiration, a desire, a goal is a concrete description of specifically what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it. To be meaningful, goals have to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound)
Goals are also about strategy – about making choices about what you will pursue and what you won’t. After all, you have limited time and resources.
As David Allen said, “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything”.
Question 3: Are you productive enough?
While goals are about strategy, productivity is about execution.
What is productivity really?
In the simplest of terms, it’s about maximizing your output with the least input. More work in less time, with fewer resources. It’s about getting things done quickly and efficiently on a sustainable basis.
Because you need to keep doing it everyday. You push the limits of your body and mind, but you are also wise about those limitations. You understand the importance of balance – taking care of yourself and your relationships while working towards your dreams.
To be productive, you have to implement hacks for various areas of work and life – To-dos, planning, prioritizing, technology, managing emails, batching, delegating, eating and sleeping right, and more.
Which brings us to the other side of the productivity coin – habits.
Question 4: Do you have the right habits?
Michael Jordan never had to think about ‘how’ to slam dunk! He just did it.
That’s a habit. An action that you can perform without thinking, which is carried out at a deep subconscious level.
For you to successfully put any productivity tip into action, you must make it a habit. Habits allow you to perform complex actions with minimal effort.
- Waking up at 5 in the morning and going for a jog might sound impossible to some, but for others, it’s a daily habit!
- While inbox zero is a distant dream for some, others sail through it without effort.
It doesn’t mean that they have superhuman powers, they have simply had the patience to build habits.
Habits are the cement that holds your execution engine in place. It’s about doing things without the need to analyse, and with minimal effort.
Habits allow you to reserve your energy for more challenging tasks during the day. They also allow you to execute your goals with discipline – day after day.
This doesn’t mean, that every successful person has the same habits.
What it does mean is that, they have the right habits in place which allow them to work at super-productive levels.
What is success?
Success is synonymous with productivity, habits and goals.
That’s what we will explore through the new avatar of our blog: www.successiswhat.com
To join us on our journey, sign up for the e-book below and stay connected.
2 thoughts on “What do you need to become successful? The million dollar question”
Well put Peter! Really agree that a dream should be a must have and not just a nice to have, for it to come true!
That’s correct Debbie. Life has too many distractions and easier alternatives. If we don’t want it badly enough we will find it easier to just quit!