While it’s easy to dream of success, finding the right combination of determination, hard work and perseverance to reach the top can feel a little overwhelming. One of the best places to start when looking for the right recipe to make your dreams a reality is to consider what separates the truly successful from everyone else.
While many of the well-known factors like grit, intelligence, passion and work ethic get a lot of attention, other less recognized habits allow certain people to separate themselves from the pack and become truly exceptional at what they do.
So whether your looking to become better at small business marketing, running your own small business or just in general here are a few common traits of the truly successful.
Eliminate Decision Fatigue
Your willpower isn’t an infinite resource. Unlike an all-you-can-eat buffet, your willpower will eventually run out if you keep piling more onto your plate.
When you wake up each morning, you start the day with a finite supply. Unfortunately, many of us wake up and immediately start making small decision that will affect the outcome of our day. Each decision you make taxes a small amount of your overall willpower, leaving you with a smaller supply to draw on for the rest of the day.
Truly successful individuals recognize that wasting their willpower on unimportant decisions will mean having less of a reserve to utilize when it comes to making great decisions on things that are really important to their businesses and lives.
You can see this theory in action by looking at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who always wears the same combination of black hoodie and gray t-shirt to the office and why many high powered executives always eat the same breakfast every day.
Willingness to Say No
In business, you’re always taught to seize every opportunity. Winners say yes to whatever comes their way and can successfully manage their own priorities while still possessing the qualities of a real team player. Unfortunately, the reality is that this type of attitude actually drains you of productivity and usually holds you back from becoming truly successful.
As Warren Buffet once famously said, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
By having the conviction to say no to low-priority requests or obligations, you create the time and energy to chase after what you really need to focus on to become more successful.
Embrace the Boredom of Repetition
Truly successful individuals often have the resources to do, go, experience or learn whatever they want.
In spite of this enviable freedom, many choose to embrace boredom. That’s because when it comes to personal and professional development, truly successful individuals recognize that growth is the result of incremental improvements over an extended period of time.
Tom Brady, Mike Trout and LeBron James didn’t become the best players in their individual sports overnight. It took years of practicing the basic fundamentals for them to enjoy the small incremental successes that would eventually catapult them to the top of their professions.
Mastering any skill takes time and generally requires significant devotion. Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 Hours Rule” states that it takes time and dedication to master any skill, and truly successful individuals recognize the commitment needed to embrace the boredom that comes from repetition in order to master their crafts.
Focus on What You’re Best At
One of the biggest areas of focus when it comes to self-improvement is strengthening your weaknesses.
Truly successful individuals recognize this concept as a fool’s errand and instead focus their energies into areas where they naturally excel.
Your time is the most limited resource you have. And unlike what we tell our kids, not everyone can be good at everything. We all have our natural strengths and weaknesses. Rather than using your valuable time to improve on a weakness, it makes more sense to channel your efforts into those endeavors mostly likely to produce the greatest results.
Get Started Early
As Ben Franklin once said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
Truly successful individuals are typically the first up in the morning, the first to the office and the first to get things done. While most of us have urge to hit the snooze button in morning, becoming more successful means waking up before your alarm and getting an early start to your day.