No matter what industry you're in, to be successful and a leader you need one thing: inner drive. It's the spark that keeps your passion alive, the reason you do what you do, and the motivation that keeps you going when you want to quit.
"There might be a ton of things that distinguish those who are successful and those who miss the boat, but the common denominator among them all is drive - a willingness to succeed and to fail," says Eric Lofholm, author of Bulls Eye: The Step-by-Step Process for Achieving Any Goal.
Drive isn't something you're born with; it takes a concerted, tactical and strategy-driven process that nearly anyone can learn and continue to develop, says Lofholm.
"In my opinion, successful people become successful by establishing the habit of tackling things unsuccessful people don't like or want to do," he says. "Successful people don't always like these things themselves; they just hunker down and do it."
Lofholm believes success doesn't have a lot to do with education, experience, dysfunctions, religion, childhood, social standing, career or economic status. "The key component is mindset, that is, what successful people believe and understand to be true," he says. "And in my experience, that mindset is usually as far away from the status quo as you can get."
Transitioning from novice to a superstar requires the application of key habits that fuel your drive. Lofholm shares four things exceptionally driven people do every day:
1. They are willing to fall on their faces. Success comes from risk, and that usually requires failures before you can get to where you want to be.
"Successful people taking risks every time they're faced with a tough decision," says Lofholm. "These folks go for it. They put themselves out there and never play it safe."
Overcoming the fear of failing puts you in a position to win. "As they say, behind every mistake is an opportunity to learn," he says.
2. They create daily goals and achieve them. Successful people are always focused on success, and this requires daily, achievable goals.
"A bunch of daily goals equals lifetime accomplishments," he says. "Successful people stay focused on what they want every day, and do the things they need to do each day to get to the finish line. Less successful people usually drift, remain unfocused and usually aren't controlling any outcome."
3. They work to succeed. While this sounds like a given, Lofholm says many people go to work for reasons other than to succeed.
"They work because they think that's what you're supposed to do," he says. "They put their hours in, with really no focus on what they're doing or why they're doing it."
Successful people, on the other hand, don't work to work; they work to succeed.
"They are passionate about creating, contributing and learning," says Lofholm. "This is what leads to goals being met, success being achieved, and ultimately, dreams becoming reality."
4. They don't play the victim. Successful people know that excuses, situations and circumstances don't really change outcomes.
"When things go awry, the successful person treats it as an opportunity, not an impossible situation," says Lofholm. "They take on the circumstances, and don't apologize or make excuses. Unsuccessful people, however, spend too much time blaming things."