Everyone wants to be successful. Nobody writes an essay in third grade about becoming a lousy business owner or mediocre teacher. But what separates an average person from the best in their field? Successful people demonstrate similar traits and behaviors. Identifying them is easy. Putting them into practice is the challenge. Here are 10 characteristics to start practicing now:
1. No one likes to be around pessimists—except other pessimists. Successful people keep a positive outlook. They expect good outcomes. They see the possibilities in a situation instead of the problems. They are convinced they deserve to be on the playing field and can come out as the winner.
2. Successful people are imaginative. They tinker with projects and ideas. They constantly ask questions. They dream, imagine and have a habit of saying, “What if . . . ?” They are open-minded and eager to discover what’s just over the horizon. This curiosity keeps them from becoming stagnant and complacent, two enemies of success.
3. Achieving success is tough; if it weren’t, everybody would do it! High achievers get back up when they get knocked down. They shake off the dust and try again. Like Disney, Edison and other historymakers, successful people will not be denied.
4. Hard-working. Successful leaders keep at it when others go home. They go the extra mile, make that extra call, and tackle that extra step. At the same time, they know how to have fun in the process. They still spend time with family and take care of their emotional, spiritual and physical health.
5. Emotionally mature. Few volatile leaders become successful. Those who lead well can stay calm under stress. They understand the value of responding rather than reacting. They recognize when their emotions are getting out of control and practice good strategies for handling them.
6. People are drawn to highly successful leaders. They are charismatic, warm, respectful, open, and engaging. They have a knack for making others feel valued and heard. This may be difficult for strong leaders who are focused on getting the job done, but developing this skill is critical to success.
7. Someone once said, “Your network is your net worth.” Successful people learn to develop business relationships with others. You don’t have to be the loudest person in the room, but you can introduce yourself and exchange information. You never know when that little interaction could pay off big-time!
8. Successful people own their mistakes. They don’t shift blame, and they don’t find excuses. They find solutions. They admit what they did wrong, do what they can to correct it, and learn from it. They know they’ll make mistakes, but failure doesn’t have the last word.
9. It’s easy to get sidetracked by the trivial. If you’re not careful, you’ll spend valuable time on distractions that don’t help you reach your goals. Successful people concentrate on those tasks that line up with their mission and vision.
10. Successful leaders are willing to try different tactics. They chart new courses and are willing to change the game plan. They don’t cling to processes or people who aren’t working anymore. They’re okay with letting go.
If you don’t see all of these traits in yourself, don’t worry! Successful people recognize that they don’t know everything, but they are willing to keep growing and developing their skills. Becoming successful is within your grasp, if you’re willing to put in the hard work to get there. Don’t quit!