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14 Things Phenomenally Successful People Do Differently

14 Things Phenomenally Successful People Do Differently

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure”-Bill Cosby

What quality do you think differentiates the winners from the losers? Why are some people so successful in reaching their goals while others can’t achieve them? Because of their mindset, beliefs, and habits. Your brain is the first keystone to success. The second is your everyday actions, your daily habits. This list consists of 14 habits and beliefs that characterize phenomenally successful people—14 things that can transform your life as soon as you put them in your arsenal. If you want to become successful, you should get some paper and start taking notes.

1. They Know That Time Is Their Most Valuable Asset

They don’t let others make them invest time in activities they consider boring and counter-productive to their self-development. You shouldn’t do that either. When you think that something is a waste of your time, don’t do it. Your time is an asset that IS NOT INFINITE. Nobody on this planet has unlimited time, yet people tend to spend their time like garbage. The first thing you MUST DO if you want to change your life, become more successful, and achieve your goals is to change your perception of time. Realize that your time is not infinite and that you should spend it wisely, because it doesn’t come back.

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2. They Step Out Of Their Comfort Zone

The only path to personal growth is doing things that make you feel awkward. When all you do is walk inside your comfort zone, you can’t grow as a person. You stay static because your activities can’t change you. If what you do doesn’t challenge you, if it’s not uncomfortable and difficult, then you should raise your standards and increase the game difficulty. You can’t build muscle if all you do is lift feathers. You have to lift heavy rocks.

3. They Create & Pursue Specific Goals

Most people don’t have goals at all. They don’t know what they want to do in their lives. They are just walking around like zombies. Would you ever take your car and start driving endlessly without knowing where you are going? Well, of course not. So why are you doing the same with your life? This is not a game, you don’t have 8 lives, only one. Setting up goals and having a destination is essential if you crave success. But that’s only the first step. The second step is to take these goals and make them specific. A goal like “I want to lose weight” isn’t specific. A goal like “I want to lose 15 pounds in the next 3 months” is what you should have in your mind.

4. They Focus on Small Continuous Improvements

Most people try to achieve overnight success. They want results instantly! Those who succeed in life know that things take time. How much time will it need? It takes as long as it takes. There is no certain period of work that guarantees success. Instead of trying to get rich in one month, you should focus on making little daily improvements. These improvements add up as the time passes, and after months or years of daily commitment, the progress is HUGE. That’s what every successful person does. Unfortunately, people can’t see the daily effort, as they only see the final outcome. Don’t ignore the progress. It might take some time, but it will be worth it. Focus on getting better every single day instead of trying to achieve a huge leap forward in just a week or so.

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5. They Dress to Impress

When you dress like a winner, people tend to respect you more. In psychology, this is known as The Halo Effect. In particular, people tend to make a perception of your whole character based on a single quality that you have shown them. If you look great and you take care of your appearance, then people assume that you are someone who deserves their respect—someone who is also successful, reliable, and kind. When Aristotle Onassis went to America, before becoming a millionaire, he spent all his money to buy clothes that would highlight his style and class. If Onassis gave such importance to his physical appearance, I don’t see any reason that you shouldn’t do the same.

6. They Maintain a Positive Mindset

Your thoughts are the brush that paints your destiny. Successful people think positive and don’t look at their disadvantages. They fight with what they have and always seek improvement. But this improvement can’t come if your mind is continuously occupied by negative thoughts and stress. Positive thinking has been found to reduce stress and, according to Mayo Clinic, it also offers benefits like:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

7. They Embrace Failures

Phenomenally successful people carry the belief that failures are the stepping stones to success. Each failure yields rewards bigger than a win because it can offer you an invaluable life lesson. Start seeing your failures as an opportunity to become better instead of letting them bring you down and disappoint you.

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8. They Surround Themselves With Winners

Jim Rohn has said that “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” People with who you associate play a significant role in your life because they form your lifestyle and beliefs. If you are around people who are full of negativity, you won’t be able to maintain positive thoughts. On the other hand, if you are around people who write down their goals, focus on daily improvement, and dress to impress, you will be pushed to become the best version of yourself. Surround yourself only with like-minded people who have big dreams and are eager to take the necessary steps to achieve them. They will take you to the top with them.

9. They Don’t Seek The Perfect Moment, They Make a Random Moment Perfect

What are you waiting for? The right moment will never come. The circumstances will never be ideal, and if you wait for tomorrow to get started, it will never come. Tomorrow is just an excuse for inertia. There is no perfect moment. What matters is to get started as soon as possible and make the best out of what you have.

10. They Don’t Brag, They Listen

Successful people are ALWAYS eager to learn new things. They ask questions and they listen carefully to other people’s advice. They usually don’t talk too much because they are focused on listening and processing information. On the other hand, losers always speak about how much they know and how amazing their accomplishments are. They are so blinded by their need for acceptance that the only thing they care about is to brag about what they know. And in most cases, they just talk the talk. They don’t walk the walk.

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11. They Know That Education is a Constant Process.

Do you believe that you should stop learning when you finish school or college? If the answer is yes, then it’s crucial to change that belief before it’s too late. Education shouldn’t stop at school or college; you should learn new things every single day. It isn’t a coincidence that the most successful people are those who have read countless books and have spent a lifetime acquiring new skills.

12. They Help Other People

Success isn’t about caring for your selfish needs. It’s about caring for the needs of others. EVERY successful person accomplished his goals because what he did really helped others in some way. Mark Zuckerberg gave the world a tool that made it easy to connect with their friends. Larry Page and Sergey Brin gave world a system (Google) that made it easy to find unlimited information in milliseconds. Famous singers and actors help people by fulfilling their emotional needs. If you want to succeed in life, you shouldn’t focus on yourself, you should focus on how you can improve other people’s lives!

13. They Have The Courage to Say NO

This is actually a quality that really separates the winners from the losers.When you are not afraid to say no, you have already avoided the need to please everyone. Trying to please everybody is impossible and can only lead to disappointment. When you don’t want to do something, just say no without apologizing for your decision.

14. Successful People Take Ownership Of Their Actions

Most people make the mistake of pointing fingers to others for their faults. They never accept responsibility for their actions and always believe that someone else is responsible for their misery. Targeting others for your frustrations won’t help you achieve your goals, it can only hurt other people’s feelings or even create enemies. In fact, your actions or your inertia is what actually determines the quality of your life. Blaming others is just an excuse to avoid the hard work needed to change your life. Stop blaming others and take care of your future, because it depends only upon YOUR ACTIONS.

Featured photo credit: TechCrunch via flickr.com

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Damian "Pros" Prosalendis

Entrepreneur, Business Owner

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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