7 Things Successful People Do Differently

Things that successful people do differently


Over the past year or so, I have been focusing on being more successful in life and with money.  As a result, I did what most people do, I studied other successful people.  In every interview or book with someone who is successful, they always give their main tip or tips for success.

A lot of these tips were not really relevant for the average person just trying to do better.   And frankly, some of it was a lot of bullshit.  Meditation, mindfulness, drink lemon water.  Huh?  So, what I’ve done is grab some of the most useful ones that I think are easily applicable and practical to most people’s lives.  I know that if we can implement these into our lives this year, we can finally begin to see the progress we desire.


Wake Up Early

This tip, found here, is a pretty common one and obviously one that is hard to implement.  We all lead busy lives and suffer from a continual lack of sleep so the thought of getting less sounds crazy.  However, I know that the benefits of this can change your life if you take advantage of it.

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The question is, what do you do when you wake up early?  These super entrepreneurs / business leaders talk about getting up early to think or answer emails or meditate, but that can be difficult when you’re sleepy AF.  What I have had the most success with is exercise.

I may only get up an extra 30 minutes early, but that gives me enough time to run a couple miles or do half of an old P90X video.  When you chose an activity that requires you to move around, you wake up much faster.  And the benefit is huge when you aren’t exercising now because you will have more energy and be able to think more clearly.


Don’t Make Excuses

When everything that happens to you is not your fault, there is nothing that you can do to fix it.  It places you in a situation where you are hoping the world always works in your favor.  What you need to do is reduce the odds that bad shit will happen to you.   That requires action.

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If you’re worried about not having money, you need to be actively improving your financial situation.  Don’t wait until you miss a bill and then try and blame somebody else.  YOU need to fix it before it comes to that.  You worried about something not going well at work?  Get out in front of it and find a way to prevent that from happening

Any time you are not thinking ahead and planning for the worst, you are just waiting for something to go wrong.  You can have the best excuses in the world, but it doesn’t change the fact that you failed.


Learn from Their Mistakes

Even after you have done all the planning and preparation you can, inevitably, you will make a mistake.  It’s ok.  We’re all human and it happens.  Do not have a pity party.  What makes successful people different is that they learn from these mistakes.

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Every success story usually includes a part where a mistake was made.  The people who succeed do not let a mistake make them quit or defeat them.  They look at the mistake and really try to understand what happened.  The more they study the error, the easier it will be for them to avoid repeating it in the future.

Once you understand what went wrong, never forget that feeling of failing.  What will push you to be better is the desire to never feel that again.


Work with Their Deficiencies

Everybody has flaws.  Nobody knows that more than successful people.  In fact, they are more in tune with their flaws than most people.  This is precisely what helps them be successful.

The thing that they have figured out is how to work WITH their deficiencies.  The average person spends their life trying to rid themselves of any flaws that they have.  They blame their lack of success on those handful of flaws.  The thing is, when you’re really bad at something, it is nearly impossible to learn how to be great at it.  The best you can hope for is good, and that take a lot of effort.

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What successful people have figured out is that they need to have a system to make that flaw inconsequential.  If you’re forgetful, don’t try a bunch of things to improve your memory, just write everything down.  Bad at math?  Carry a calculator around and don’t be afraid to use it.  In any career, it is more important to nurture and improve your strengths if you want to be successful.


Focus on One Task

According to this article, we have been doing our To-Do lists all wrong.  If you’re like me you create a list of 5-10 things that you need to get done.  When you get 80% or more done, you feel like you have accomplished a lot.  However, that usually includes things like checking email, sending emails, scheduling meetings, etc.  While we need to do these things, they are relatively menial tasks.

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What we need to do is sort our To-Do list in order of highest impact.  If you spend all day working on your first item, that’s ok, because it matters the most. Gary Keller’s book, The One Thing, talks about completing the one item on your list that makes all the others unnecessary.  You may not have items that are as impactful, but those are the things you should be striving for.


Continuous Improvement

You’ll hear this time and time again, and in this article, to never stop learning.  Once you complete your formal education, that is when the real work begins.  Most college degrees are there to supply you with some general knowledge and to demonstrate your ability to learn.  Nothing more.

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When you get a job, they will teach you all the things you need to learn to perform that job.  However, if you intend on excelling at that career, the additional education is up to you.  And do not think that graduate school is the answer.  What is more important is the ability to perform the task well.  If that means graduate school, then ok, but I have learned that real world experience is more valuable.

Successful people are always learning, either from mentors, from reading or through trial and error.  The bottom line is that you need to always be learning more.


Take Action

This is by far the most important tip that separates successful people from everybody else.  They are action oriented according to Success.com.  The list of tips that you have gone through are helpful and may mean the difference between success and failure.  However, if you just read them and don’t apply them, failure is imminent.

A lot of us, me included, get stuck in analysis paralysis.  We will think about something, plan it out, research it, but never actually DO anything.  Those who are successful usually start by doing.  They learn things along the way and learning by doing is the best way.

Whatever you need to do in your life to get ahead, start now.  You don’t need to create some elaborate plan of action.  We tend to have this fear of doing the wrong thing and if we plan long enough we can avoid that.  The truth is, you can never prepare for every possible situation.  And it’s better to fail in the execution then to fail to do anything at all.  Sure, that was cheesy, but it’s still true.



The exact formula for success is one that is hard to figure out and its different for everybody.  However, I do believe that there are tips that are universal and can be implemented into your life.  If you start to work these into your life, you will be on your way to achieving the success you desire.


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