Even if there were a proven formula for success, not everyone would attain it. The truth is there is no formula for success. The difference between success and failure is often measured in seconds, inches and ounces; how much more do you want success than your competitor? Are you willing to extend yourself and do what is perceived to be impossible or highly improbable to attain success?
People who attain unprecedented growth and long-term sustainable success in their respective endeavors do so by developing habits that encourage successful outcomes. By definition, a habit is a routine or regular activity; successful people live by these habits on a daily basis. Here are five habits of successful people.
Start the Day Early
Whether you are a morning person or not, when you start the day early you will end it productively. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was an early riser; starting her day at 5:00am every day. So was Disney CEO Robert Iger who was up and about at 4:30am. Getting a head’s start allows you to put your mind and body in the right perspective to handle the day’s responsibilities. Here are some activities early risers do before attending to their work schedule:
- Exercise. Physical activity in the morning is not only a great way to wake up but allows for greater circulation and blood flow which leads to better focus. Exercise also clears the mind and primes the body to manage stress efficiently by releasing endorphins; hormones that make you feel good.
- Eat a Healthy Breakfast. While studies have shown that “eating breakfast like a king” may no longer be healthy, having a good, nutritious meal after exercise provides the necessary fuel for a day that may prove to be unpredictable or chaotic.
- Visualization. Most people end up doing less because they procrastinate. Visualization works by getting you in touch with your purpose and vision and understand why you need to accomplish the tasks that have been set before you.
Effective Time Management
In business, time is a valuable commodity that cannot be quantified but if mismanaged will result in financial losses and opportunity costs. The most successful people understand that they only have limited hours in the day to attend to all the tasks demanded by their business. Instead of spreading themselves thin, they implement strategies that allow them to maximize time.
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- List three (3) priority items for the day. Successful people focus on quality of work and not quantity. They prioritize items on the agenda based on PROTI or Potential Return on Time Invested; these are the ones that will produce the greatest results for the company. Handling a multitude of tasks will unnecessarily repurpose valuable time to non-essential tasks or on those functions which are not even a core competence.
- Delegate work. If you read the stories on the most successful people in today’s business world, the common denominator is they trust their people enough to delegate important work to them. Mark Zuckerberg shares the same office space with his people and includes them in the decision making process at Facebook. Tony Hsieh has abolished management at Zappos and in its place has installed a “Holocracy” where his people are made accountable for their work. Sir Richard Branson routinely challenges his people at Virgin Atlantic to extend their contributions to the success of the company.
Best-selling author Tom Clancy once wrote, “Life is about learning; when you stop learning, you die.” Successful people strive to get better by learning new skills and competencies despite their great achievements in their respective endeavors. They understand that they don’t have the answers to everything so they research, consult with acknowledged experts and involve their own people in the business development process. Especially in this day and age of evolving technology and globalization, business conditions are in a perpetual state of motion. It’s not enough to be a successful leader in the organization; you have to be a visionary.
J.K. Rowling, the famous author of the widely successful “Harry Potter” series, is today worth an estimated $1.1 billion. But there was a time Rowling had to survive through very desperate times; moving from one café to another to finish her book and her series rejected by one publisher after another. She has never forgotten her journey to fame and fortune and continues to advocate young people to strive and fulfill their dreams.
Oprah Winfrey grew up in abject poverty in Mississippi in an abusive home but through hard work and determination, she has risen as one of the most influential personalities in mass media. Today, Winfrey is worth an estimated $2.9 billion and continues to support charities and organizations that provide education and housing to impoverished children and victims of domestic abuse around the world. Winfrey has never denounced her harsh upbringing and credits it for making her into the successful person that she is today.
Sir Richard Branson once said, “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say ‘Yes,’, then learn how to do it later!” Perhaps the greatest differentiator between those who find success from those who don’t is the ability to embrace failure. Successful people know failure is a constant companion in every decision they have to make. Even with the best people in tow and the most advanced technologies money can buy, the reality of failure will always be there. But instead of being discouraged by it, successful people use failure as a motivator to succeed. Failure keeps things in perspective and allows them to remain focused and committed to the tasks at hand.
Success can be fleeting and appears daunting at times. But anyone can attain it. While it definitely takes time and effort, attaining success may not entirely be difficult and challenging. All you need is consistency.
Author: Felix Tarcomnicu is an entrepreneur currently working with OutsourceWorkers.com. There, he helps small business owners find affordable virtual assistants.