Five Tips for Being Successful

Make no mistake, successful people often share the same traits and practices. Younger Partners Property Services President Greg Grainger says he’s learned five mistakes that successful people avoid doing from bestselling author and KPI and Big Data guru (clearly a great title to have) Bernard Marr. Here they are under Greg’s smiling mug:greg_Normal

Mistake 1. Avoid responsibility – “The price of greatness is responsibility.” –Winston Churchill

One of the first things you will notice that successful people don’t have is a blaming or victim mentality. When things go wrong, what is your first response? Successful people won’t say, “I couldn’t succeed because of X, Y, and Z” or “It’s actually this person’s fault.” They’re much more likely to own a mistake rather than blame others for their failure or misfortune. I believe the key here is that by owning a mistake, we are more likely to learn from it and much less likely to repeat it.

Mistake 2. Procrastinate – “Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.” ~Napoleon Hill

Successful people tend to take action, regardless of whether it is the “perfect” time or not. When Gutenberg invented the printing press, the literacy rate was almost nonexistent—not exactly perfect market conditions for mass producing books. And no one knew they needed a “smart” phone until Apple invented one. Don’t wait for the perfect time to do something. Work hard and don’t give up—regardless of what might be going on around you. Success is very often the accumulation of many small achievements over a long period of time.

Mistake 3. Follow the trends – “Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion”. –Jack Kerouac

Every day we produce 2.5 quintillion (1018) bytes of data. In that flood of information, it’s tempting to think that we have to jump at every new development, try every new thing. (We sometimes call it “shiny object syndrome.”) But jumping at every new thing will leave no time to develop the deep understanding that pursuing lifelong learning might. Focus your energies on understanding the root of what you hope to succeed at and ignore the rest. For example, if you hope to succeed in sales or marketing you might choose to study human psychology rather than the latest social media marketing schemes.

Mistake 4. Try to go it alone – “Life is not a solo act. It’s a huge collaboration, and we all need to assemble around us the people who care about us and support us.” –Tim Gunn

One of the most vital things successful people do is to surround themselves with other successful people. No man is an island, and having a network, a mastermind group, surround oneself with clever people can make all the difference between success and failure. This is true whether you hope to succeed at a personal goal like weight loss (studies show people lose more weight in a group than alone) or a business goal.

Mistake 5. Lack of belief

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” –Norman Vincent Peale

This isn’t about positive affirmations or visualizing success, but rather, as Peale says, “a humble but reasonable confidence” that you can achieve what you set out to achieve. Think about it the other way round if you are skeptical; if you don’t believe that you can succeed, why would you even try? You must cultivate a strong belief in yourself even in the face of setbacks or adversities if you hope to ultimately be successful.

Avoiding these mistakes will help you succeed at work or a single goal or task, but to be truly successful, we also need to be happy.