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8 Basic Skills All Successful People Have

8 Basic Skills All Successful People Have

A successful person is someone who has achieved what they have set out to to do an often exceeds expectation entirely. Some examples of successful people are Warren Buffet & Bill Gates, both of which have amassed billions of dollars from their efforts in two different avenues of prosperity, but what are the core basic skills that all successful people have?

1. Motivational Skills

In the words of ET the Hip Hop Preacher, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” Now you may not think that a burning desire to achieve is a skill, but it in essence it is the skill that carries us through to the end, to our final glorious destination that we can then look back and revel in. Lighting your burning desire and keeping it lit is the skill.

2. Communication Skills

As you begin your success journey (once you’ve lit your burning desire dynamite wick), for the most part many people will realize quite soon that as fantastic that we all think we are, we need other people in some way shape or form. We need to take to other people, communicate with people; communicating with people can be in the form of writing copy for your ebook, enticing a client to buy your “platinum package,” thanking/acknowledging the lady who cleans your office or even the drunk stranger you might meet in a bar who gives you some overwhelming enlightenment about what you’re doing wrong in your career/business.

Personally I am a very independent, slightly introverted person, but despite this, I (and so should you) am well aware that two heads are better than one.

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3. Organisation Skills

The world is full of distractions, from TVs, to friends, to families, to adverts on the internet. If you go ahead with your dream or your plan, unless you have some guru-like focus, you will need to organise your life. Organizing your life is difficult if it’s a mess, at least for the first few days, but once you’ve got your house cleaned, start writing down all the things that you need to do each day and complete them all, as soon as you can and to the best of your ability.

Take a shot writing lists for a week, everyday write down a minimum of 5 important things that you know/want/need to do and put a time by all of them, once the clock strikes that time then force yourself to do it; you could do various things, whether its sell your old stuff on eBay, write a blog post, push out 10-20 pushups, it doesn’t matter, break your goal into smaller objectives, write them on paper and complete them step by step. You will see a seemingly magical improvement which in itself will motivate you to continue to organize, achieve and be successful.

4. Emotional Intelligence Skills

Think about someone successful, put yourself in their shoes, and think about a hard decision they will have made and ask yourself whether you would have cowered away due to fear. For example, take Usain Bolt, think about the decision to become and continue being a sprinter, with a potential lack of employment opportunities looming over him and more negatives, would you have cowered away for fear of being broke? Yes, of course, everyone fears the future, but again, fuel your burning desire to achieve, communicate and get help, organize your life and then conquer your fears and other success suppressant emotions.

Throughout life we are bombarded by ups and downs but if you want to be a successful person then you will have to learn to grow exponentially on the up’s and continue to fight through the down’s. Arguments, fights and negativity from other people only slows you down when you deem them to be stronger than you, at the end of the day, emotions are simply bio-chemical fluctuations in your body and you need to see them as such and understand that the “feel” of them will pass.

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Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” As you read through these basic skills you will begin to see what mindset successful people have, you should take this attitude on.

5. Confidence Skills

You don’t have to be confident to be successful, so before you think “okay, I’ve failed, I’m not social nor will I ever be confident,” just wait a moment. You just need to learn to be confident in yourself, and in the fact that you as a person can build something. Many people are blessed from a young age with being a raving extrovert, but the skill comes “secondarily” when you push yourself into new situations, scary or not and do your best to complete what it is you set out to while taking the failures on the chin.

Imagine you are standing on a burning building and you know that you able to jump the distance to the next, but it’s simply really high… Simply find certainty and know that you are able to jump that distance and would be able to do it 999999 times out of every 1000000 attempts on the ground, just take the jump and you’ll feel a damn sight better on the other side. This “complex” can be used in both social and business situations, never shy away from an opportunity and never hold yourself back because you “won’t fit in,” when you “don’t” fit in then sure, throw yourself whole heartedly into something new.

6. Self-efficacy Skills

Successful people complete what they start… That’s why they are successful. It doesn’t take a genius to work out the if you set out to make £1,000,000 and you only make £20,000 that you were unsuccessful, but if you leave what you started at £20,000, you then you are only ever going to be unsuccessful. While we can’t achieve everything that we set out to attempt, what splits the successful people from unsuccessful in the long run is the learning, improving, challenging and overcoming.

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Successful people also know when to stop, for example, a boy tries in vain to grow a wheat by planting a pebble on a sandy beach, of course he could take the principle of “successful people finish what they start,” but he’d be there for a few millenia until the universe shifts and transforms pebbles bits into Eukaryota cells that may, just may, sprout something plant like, but at which point… the boy will be dead. The easier thing would have been to take skill 2 (communication) into thought and sought advice from a farmer.

7. Time Management Skills

Successful people and people that are on track to becoming successful appreciate one thing as the scarcest resource, and that’s Time. Time is the only thing we can’t get more of once it’s spent, money comes and goes, but time once spent, never comes back.

Given the above analogy, successful people not only manage their time correctly, by cutting out things such as soap operas and drugs that take up a lot of time but also cut out people that waste their time. Many of us have people in our lives that we can’t say no too, but to free up more time you are going to have to learn to politely tell them to “f” themselves and get on with what you need to do. Once you have your new found time, make sure you don’t waste it watching TV, plan, be organised and communicate with other people to make things happen.

8. Luck Attraction Skills

Luck, yeah, it’s “random,” but successful people attract luck by working hard and sticking to what they do. When you compile all the above skills, you’ll find you attract more luck, like the successful people you aspire the join and supersede.

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But most of all, successful people know what they want.

Featured photo credit: Paxson Woelber via flickr.com

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Josh miller

Founder TrueMiller.com, Josh Miller Enterprises

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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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