Since starting my podcast a little over a year ago, I've had the pleasure of interviewing some pretty brilliant people about business, money and the idea of success. It's been quite an education for me as I interact with people who play this game called life on a whole different level.
We as a society are always wondering what separates successful people from the rest. A lot of times, it sounds like a bunch of excuses as to why so many people haven't gotten it together. Is it because successful people have different DNA? Is it because they were given money? Is it because they haven't suffered?
I'm here to tell you DNA isn't a factor in a lot of cases. Many of them also didn't start off which money and no one gets away with not suffering in life. It's really more about the way successful people think. And the good news is you can learn to think this way too.
1. They are resilient.
Successful people run into roadblocks and challenges like everyone else. The key difference is that they bounce back better and faster than most of the population.
You don't have to look far to find examples of successful people who are resilient in their pursuits.
The idea of persistence is all over Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich". If there was one thing all of the most successful entrepreneurs of the 20th century had in common is they just didn't give up. From Thomas Edison to Henry Ford, everyone mentioned in that book had grit.
Or we could look at Oprah who grew up in poverty and was thrown every obstacle imaginable as an African-American woman. Or, how about J.K. Rowling who was rejected 12 times by publishers and is now one of the richest women on the planet?
Like I said, everyone has obstacles, it's just that successful people face them whereas non-successful people stay down longer.
2. They take risks.
Non-successful people want to stay safe. They are totally okay within the limits of their comfort zone. They don't invest and they don't act out of fear of all sorts of things.
Successful people, on the other hand, take risks like it's their day job. Elon Musk went all in on Tesla and almost went broke. And Jeff Bezos just bought Whole Foods despite stark differences in company cultures that could cause problems.
Successful people understand that everything has inherent risk. Dumping money into a company is a risk. Taking action is a risk. Being innovative is a risk. But, then again, doing nothing and staying stagnant is also a risk because you're guaranteed not to have a reward.
3. They don't fall victim to negative group-think.
Do you really want to know what really separates successful people from everyone else? It's that they don't fall victim to group-think.
They don't expect anyone to save them. They take responsibility for their circumstances and their actions. And, they don't tend to listen to people who tell them they are going to fail for whatever reason.
Society as a whole is full of negative group-think. They think that the government or a corporation is going to save them. They tell people who are trying to make something of themselves, "Oh, don't do that. It's way too risky and you'll probably fail."
I know because I have to coach my business coaching clients through this all the time. They tell the people around them they want to make money and they are deemed as either crazy or a jerk. They are also told to get a "real" job. Meanwhile, no one who is sharing their opinion has gotten very far in life.
Quite frankly, negative group-think keeps people asleep at the wheel and successful people are the ones who eventually woke up.
This is a common theme I've seen with many of my podcast guests as well. Many of them have gone against the grain to create a new solution for a problem within an industry. Many have been called crazy. Many have come from awful situations that they chose to rise up out of it.
In fact, if there's just one lesson you get from this piece, let it be this: Group-think will keep you small and you're going to have to consciously to choose to rise above in order to become successful.