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14 Small Differences Between Ordinary People And Successful People

14 Small Differences Between Ordinary People And Successful People

Successful people are the icing on the cake of any hot discussion. Success is inspiring and interesting to talk about.

The truth is, any successful individual is flesh and blood just like you. They are not born miracles, but it’s the small differences that help them stick out from the rest.

So, what are the key aspects that differentiate them from the crowd?

1. Ordinary people talk about other people, successful people talk about ideas.

Gossiping and bagging others are popular among ordinary folks. They just can’t help but talk about people, often with a vein of jealousy. What successful people do is discuss various ideas that could improve their lives.

Plans, goals, aspirations and innovations — these are all the aspects of discussions between successful individuals.

2. Ordinary people set goals, successful people set detailed plans of actions.

Your “Average Joe” will want to lose weight and give up smoking as a new year’s resolution. Though most likely, he won’t achieve either of these.

Successful people set their goals as well. More importantly, however, they create a detailed set of actions they need to perform in order to achieve their end goal.

Whereas ordinary people just set the goal, successful people determine the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activities and habits which will lead to achieving their vision.

3. Ordinary people complain about life, successful people adapt to what life throws at them.

How many times did you hear somebody groaning about their problems instead of finally taking responsibility and dealing with their lives? Sometimes, fate can be unfair and brutal.

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You see people living better than you, with more chances and doors just waiting to be opened. How you act regarding this fact determines whether you’re just another person in the street or a successful individual.

The fact is, everybody experiences difficulties. Both, people at the bottom as well as the ones at the top, struggle with something. You can’t control the obstacles life throws at you, but you can control the way you react to them.

Whereas ordinary folks simply wish life was easier, successful individuals accept the way it is and find an alternative path.

4. Ordinary people stick to social norms, successful people create their own norms.

Social norms were made to control the masses, not to help them. Normal people will be afraid to diverge from popular patterns. Often times, the only thing that stops them is the need for the approval of others. A successful person doesn’t seek that.

The fact is, if there would be a recipe for success, everyone could easily replicate it. In reality, however, creating and testing your own rules is required to walk an extraordinary path. It’s a path full of ups and downs, but more often than not, it’s the undiscovered route which leads to the superior results.

5. Ordinary people dream of a better future, successful people create a better future.

We all want to live a better life: more happiness, more freedom, better health and more financial independence count to the most desired goals. To some degree, everyone tries to work on achieving them.

However, the average person will focus on dreaming ,while the successful one spares no effort to create that dreamy future. One step at a time: that person knows that acting, and not just dreaming, is what makes he fantasy a reality.

6. Ordinary people let their thoughts influence them, successful people influence their thoughts.

Everyone has doubts and negative thoughts once in a while. It’s just the human nature and the way our brains function. Many people accept these thoughts as ultimate truths and let them dictate their lives.

On the contrary, outstanding people are conscious of the impact their thoughts have, so they influence their thinking to make it work for, and not against them. You can just accept the presence of negative thoughts as a normal appearance, ignore it, and instead think about the more positive aspects.

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7. Ordinary people prefer instant gratification, successful people choose long-term rewards.

Do you know anyone who hates to be rewarded? Neither do we. But there’s a difference in how people respond to gratification.

In the era in which we are taught to praise comfort over anything else, it’s easy to settle for instant pleasure. However, successful people recognize that oftentimes, you need to wait to experience the true pleasure.

While the typical person can even get addicted to the short-term reward (overeating, smoking, procrastinating), the successful individual will use the long-term reward as a driving force to achieve any goal.

8. Ordinary people praise overabundance, successful people praise limitation.

A typical person loves to accumulate possessions. The more they have, the happier they believe they will be. Eventually, though, their stuff owns them and not the other way around.

A fancy car they have to pay off, tons of possessions they need to clean, store and rearrange. Inability to set limitations leads to plethora, which distracts you from your goals.

One of the features of truly successful people is that they can limit a lot of things in order to focus on ones that are actually important. Limit unnecessary spending, limit wasting unnecessary time, and limit negative people and thoughts. By limiting, they create an environment in which they thrive.

9. Ordinary people see a half-empty glass, successful people see a half-full glass.

Your attitude undoubtedly influences your behavior. Seeing only the negative side of each thing is definitely a bad habit, but then again, it’s most people’s approach to life.

Plenty of them complain that they lack the determining factor which would make their lives better. Simply put, they believe the glass is half-empty.

When it comes to successful people, they always squeeze as much as possible from what they already have. In other words, they’ll work to find a joy in the half-full glass.

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10. Ordinary people judge others, successful people only judge themselves.

Judging people is one of the most horrible habits people can have, yet many do that on a regular basis. As you can already guess, these are the average people. They waste their time judging others, instead of spending it by contributing value to the world.

It is true that successful humans judge as well, yes, they really do! However, they judge themselves — their behavior, their actions, and their attitude. They use judging as a tool to draw conclusions about themselves.

11. Ordinary people watch TV every day, successful people read every day.

The thing that both ordinary and successful people have in common is that they enjoy having some free time. The difference, however, is in the way they spend it.

According to a research, a typical person will spend nine years of their life watching television. The fact is, TV hardly adds any value to your life — hot news, controversial reality shows, and fictional stories.

Generalizing, these are the three kingpins of television. Not to mention the countless ads trying to sell you stuff you don’t need.

Books are on the other side of the spectrum. Reading adds immense value to your life — it widens your horizons and teaches you a lot. Whatever your problem is, there’s already at least one book discussing it. Since successful people constantly seek to improve, they prefer getting lost in reading in lieu of mindlessly staring at a screen.

12. Ordinary people buy things, successful people buy value.

Another similarity between the two discussed groups is obviously spending money — they both do. Special offers, extra discounts, and bonuses are all designed to trick the typical person into buying things they don’t actually need.

Most of these things will add some value to their lives for a few moments, but that soon fades away, lost in the pile of other possessions. And in turn, so does the money.

Successful folks would rather exchange their money for value. This doesn’t necessary have to be a physical thing. Commonly, it’s value in the form of experiences, new opportunities, long-term ROI, or adventures.

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13. Ordinary people want to be better than others, successful people want to be a better self.

Oftentimes, people get lost in comparing themselves to others. As a result, they lose self-esteem and confidence. They base their wishes on other people’s achievements.

On the contrary, successful individuals pursue being a better person than they were yesterday. What’s more, they wish the same to others.

14. Ordinary people can’t say no, successful people often say no.

“No” is among the most powerful words you can use to accelerate your success. Nonetheless, lots of people underestimate the risk of not using it enough. They say “yes” to whatever situation is thrown at them. Consequently, they end up saying “no” to the things that matter the most.

From a short-term perspective, saying “no” can be scary. But then again, considering the long-term view, it’s better to say “no” now, rather than regret the subsequent consequences of saying “yes”.

You have to say “no” to bad eating habits, smoking, and sedentary lifestyle so you can say “yes” to being more healthy.

The successful individual takes the advantage of saying “no” on a daily basis, while the ordinary one underestimates the power of this seemingly simple two letter word.

Featured photo credit: Steve Wilson via flickr.com

More by this author

Oskar Nowik

Oskar is a blogger and the author of "Brightening: The Positive Attitude That Will Change Your Life"

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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