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Are You a Maker or a Taker?

These 12 characteristics determine whether you'll be a success or a failure.

There's been a lot of talk over the past few years about the difference between "makers" and "takers."  While I don't agree with the standard political definition of the two groups, I do think that there's some validity to the basic idea.

Here's how I see the difference:

1. Confidence. Makers know they'll succeed and don't care whether others believe in them or not.  Takers draw upon others for their motivation and constantly worry what others will think.

2. Commitment.  Makers find the resources within themselves to run the race and turn roadblocks into speed bumps.  Takers look to their institutions and their families to protect them from the risks of failure.

3. Sacrifice. Makers choose to do things that they'd rather avoid if they're necessary to achieve a goal. Takers have a multitude of excuses why they sat on their duffs when something needed doing.

4. Selectivity. Makers constantly assess what they see and experience, focusing on what's useful and filtering out what's useless. Takers immerse themselves in the mindless distraction of broadcast media.

5. Awareness.  Makers focus upon their own behavior and how it impacts the behavior of others. Takers waste endless hours speculating about what other people are doing and why they're doing it.

6. Courage. Makers have the courage to make changes in the world around them, even when everything seems okay.  Takers crave the security of knowing that things won't change and do everything they can to keep the status quo.

7. Mastery. Makers work on essential skills and techniques until they've completely mastered them. Takers try out new skills or techniques and give up when they don't immediately get the desired result.

8. Control.  Makers see themselves as captains of their own destiny rather than pawns of fate. Takers believe that their success is a matter of luck, fate or divine intervention, none of which is within their control.

9. Responsibility.  Makers see problems and think "Great!  How can I help change this for the better?"  Takers see problems and think "Damn! I wish somebody would come fix these problems."

10. Gratitude. Makers deeply appreciate the help they've gotten and never take it for granted.  Takers wonder why everyone else isn't doing a whole lot more to help them get what they want.

11. Generosity.  Makers step up and give of their own when they see others in need.  Takers complain when they think some people might be getting something that they don't really deserve.

12. Perspective. Makers realize that they're successful because they're "standing on the shoulders of giants." Takers think that they're successful because they've built everything themselves.

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Last updated: Jul 24, 2013

GEOFFREY JAMES

Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.




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