Over the years I have worked with hundreds of successful people. There seems to copious similarities woven into the personalities and lifestyles of this arrayed demographic. Everyone knows that successful people get up early, work long hours, exercise, etc. etc. Self-care and a strong work ethic are amazing qualities that everyone should have, but I also know a lot of unsuccessful people that do those things so I wanted to go a little deeper. I want to take a peek into the personality of success. This is not a how-to list by any means. Only an observation of the traits I have recognized as being consistent when working with successful individuals.
1 – Successful people don’t do cheap.
At the beginning of a proposal I can tell where the project is headed. Their first questions are typically in regard to warranties, lead times, abilities of the installer and compatibility of the proposed materials to the planned substrate. The conversation never begins with cost. Because cost doesn’t matter? Nope, because they know in the long run it’s less expensive to do the job right the first time. Will they negotiate the total? Of course, but that’s business and their business people.
2 – Money is time.
Why is it less expensive to do the job right the first time? Because they won’t be spending time later turning an octagon back into a square because of all the cut corners. Successful people don’t trade time for money, they trade money for time. I’v learned to show up on time, prepared and confident because whatever time they are giving you is precious to them and they are much more inclined to work with people who strokes their schedules more than their egos.
3 – Vision.
Successful people already know what they want. They are rarely seeking inspiration or ideas on a project. Whatever they are looking for they have already visualized. I truly believe in the practice of visualization and have used it to accomplish many of my own goals. An individual that might be perceived as picky or unwilling to negotiate might be in a fact an individual who got where they want to be by realizing what they really want.
Ever heard someone say “I know a guy”? Successful people know a guy for anything and everything that earns them time or money. I owned a glass company for 7 years. In the process of installing windows or showers doors things happen. Wood cracks, tiles breaks, trucks break down, man power runs short, the IRS calls and your computer gets a virus… all in the same week… It’s good to know a master carpenter, mason, mechanic, contractors who can spare a few guys, a no B.S. bookkeeper and a Worlds of Warcraft playing virus ass kicking tech ninja. With an understanding of course, that you’re their guy when they need you.
5 – Admit they don’t know.
Successful people will be the first to say they do not know. That’s why they know a guy. Successful people exploit a niche in their field of expertise. Keyword, expertise. No one can know all and pretending to only means wasting time and resources on learning something that would be more profitable for them to sub out or delegate. At times the business environment will change and it is necessary for someone to adapt to it to remain competitive or even relevant and that’s where the next trait comes in to play.
6 – They ask why.
The phrase “I don’t know” is typically followed by a phone call or a question directed back at you. The answer given is typically responded to with, “Why?” “Why?” is actually- “Are there any other options or do we proceed with this as a definite.” When I was an estimator I would write down the top ten questions I thought they would ask and have answers prepared. I did not hide this list, in some cases I showed them this list, it answered all their questions and I became their guy. Why? Because nothing is more valuable to a successful person than time and the answer to “why” should not lead to more “why’s.”
7-The bigger picture.
An entrepreneur of a successful organization understands that he cannot be everything and do everything. Trust me I’ve tried and anyone who’s worked for me will tell you the tales of the micromanaging tyrant I was. A single person cannot be human resources, accounts receivable, accounts payable, delivery guy, foreman, IT, legal and maintain the integrity of their product or service.
8-They are self-made.
I don’t know the statistics… I’m only talking about people I have worked with personally but it seems to me that 99% of the 1% are self-made. How were they able to look at the 9-5 world initiate an about face and create a life of abundance and purpose? If I had to guess, I’d say abundance and purpose. It’s a mindset. As an entrepreneur I have experienced times of cash-flow as well as cash-go and looking back I get it now. My bottom line was in direct correlation to my mindset. When I saw the world as my oyster and there was more than enough to go around, there was…
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