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Why Truly Successful People Never Look For Overnight Success

Why Truly Successful People Never Look For Overnight Success

Years ago as I was really trying to become a great WordPress developer and thought leader. I worked hard and wrote about development a lot and tried to connect with others and share my knowledge. Then someone ‘new’ came along and seemingly overnight created a business that supported his family and a few employees. This all happened while I slaved away with a bunch of ideas that had a bit of traction but not enough money to really live on.

It felt like he had an overnight success, but what I didn’t know at the time was Pippin had at least 30 other projects under his belt. He had tried and not quite monetized a bunch of them. It was only after all that work that he finally hit on a winning formula. All that work I never saw. There is great danger in waiting and wishing for overnight success. Lets look at the stories of 12 successful people to see how desiring overnight success is really just setting yourself up for failure.

1. You missed the years of work

Gary Vanerchuk took his family wine business from $3 million to $60 million in 3 years and then used that success to build a great consulting company and write a few best selling books. Sure, his original success was in different areas than he’s currently focusing on but he still spent years working long days we didn’t see. Only after original success was he able to change fields and gain success.

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2. First run success is often a trick

Looking at Dave Ramsey now you may be surprised to find that he went bankrupt before he built the business he has now. He tricked himself in to thinking his debt-ridden, leveraged life was a success. To many on the outside a 20-something millionaire does seem like a success. Only with that bankruptcy experience was he able to build the business he has today helping millions get out of debt and stay there.

3. They felt trapped just like you and that inspired them

John Lee Dumas spent years feeling trapped in a commute running on the same hamster wheel that never allowed him a break. All he wanted was to do work that inspired him and others. It was this trapped feeling without a podcast to listen to that inspired John to start his daily show interviewing amazing business owners.

4. It’s not about the ‘right’ person just discovering you

Before Kimanzi Constable became the successful speaker, writer, and coach he is today, he ran a bread truck delivery business that was just barely scraping by. He didn’t like it and didn’t just wait for someone to notice him. He worked hard and pitched publications and conferences. His actions brought about the success we see today. He learned that “don’t wait for anyone” attitude when he started his bread business.

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5. Failing gets you a step closer to success

Thomas Edison never believed that an attempt at the light bulb was a failure, it was just a new way he learned not to make a light bulb. It was this view that each failure was just a step towards success that was getting him closer to his goal.

6. You’re experience bank account isn’t full yet

Mikael and Niklas, the founders of Angry Birds, have experience building games and not just the one they’re best know for. Before Angry Birds, they developed 52 other games that never quite hit the same level of appeal. They were only able to create Angry Birds because they had so much experience in the field to draw on as they built a hit.

7. Instant brilliance is not a trait they value

Sir James Dyson didn’t hit vacuum success 5,126 times before he finally found the iconic Dyson design we know today. During this process, he continued to remember that he didn’t value instant success. He knew that effortless success was a sham and that it was going to take significant hard work doing things the wrong way before he built what he wanted.

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8. Success isn’t their measure for happiness

Dan Miller, the host of a popular podcast on doing work you love and former car salesman, regularly says that he could be happy on one of many careers, including going back to selling cars. He didn’t say ‘if only X then I’d be happy’ he set about doing something that made him happy and turned it in to a highly profitable business. All of this occured as he recovered from huge debt from a failed fitness facility.

9. When others throw bricks you build a foundation

When Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, he took that situation and built NeXT and Pixar. NeXT was bought by Apple when Jobs came back and we all know Pixar films are hugely successful. He took that rough situation and used it to build a foundation that brought him even bigger success when he came back to Apple.

10. You haven’t grown enough to wield succes yet

While it’s an amazing story that Amanda Lockwood (now Hegarty) gained instant fame by appearing on Ellen, a quick search for her now really just shows a Twitter profile. This quick jump to fame didn’t give her any of the skills that failure would in handling a large media following. Without the knowledge to leverage it all that reach is wasted.

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11. You haven’t learned to avoid the pain

Despite already being a successful actress, Blake Lively’s latest fashion endeavor failed. In the midst of this “failure”, we get to watch someone gracefully close a company. She says that she didn’t want to build something that provided little value and is now more prepared to find that value in her next project.

12. Dreaming of it means you just don’t take action

The biggest problem with the myth of overnight success is that you think it actually exists. Sitting there waiting to be discovered by the “right person” takes you out of the driver’s seat in your life and business and you end up just waiting for something good to happen. Don’t just sit back and wait for that overnight success.

Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day. Jim Rohn

Get those disciplines in your life and practice them daily on your way to success. If you’re not sure where to start with your disciplines then check out these things that successful people do at the end of the day and pick a few up.

Featured photo credit: Andresr via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on August 7, 2018

14 Powerful Leadership Traits That All Great Leaders Have

14 Powerful Leadership Traits That All Great Leaders Have

Being a leader of a company or organization is certainly a difficult and often frustrating position – but it can also be tremendously rewarding.

Whether you’re just starting out as a leader, or have been leading for a while, you’ll be sure to benefit from knowing the essential traits that all great leaders possess.

Effective and successful leaders transcend the title of ‘manager’ or ‘boss’. They’ve found a way to achieve the perfect combination of charisma, enthusiasm and self-assurance (with a healthy dose of luck and timing probably added to the mix).

It may seem like some people are gifted with leadership skills, but the truth is most leadership traits can be learned, adopted, and strengthened with time and practice.

As we delve into the list of effective leadership traits, you will learn the behaviors and attitudes of a good leader.

The 14 most important leadership traits

Please read through the list of leadership qualities carefully. Take note of which of the traits you excel at – and which ones you need to work at.

Traits for better self-development

1. Vision and mission

Having a clear picture of what needs to be achieved is a crucial quality of good leadership.

This vision is often communicated in a mission statement, such as this one from Starbucks:

    How to develop vision? Spend time pinpointing what you need to achieve, and then plan the steps to get there. Here’s a complete guide on creating your own vision.

    2. Self-motivated

    It’s no coincidence that successful leaders have an abundance of self-motivation.

    Without a decent level of self-motivation, you’ll struggle to become a strong and respected leader. However, if you don’t have a lot of self-motivation right now, don’t despair.

    One of the secrets is to have definite goals to keep you motivated at all times. Some people also choose to reward themselves every time they achieve a goal, and this is certainly a good way to keep yourself enthused and motivated. Learn how to set an ambitious yet achievable goal here.

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    3. Optimism and positivity

    Positive energy is contagious. Great leaders are overflowing with this type of energy.

    Not only does a positive mindset make leaders easy to work with, but it also gives them a constant source of inspiration and ideas.

    Tap into this energy by aligning yourself with positive people and positive goals. Find out more about the habits of positive people here.

    4. Emotional stability

    In leadership positions, frustration and stress are daily occurrences. This is why leaders need to have strong and stable emotions. They can’t allow themselves to be easily knocked off track.

    If you’re prone to losing your emotional stability when stressed or frustrated, try some of these techniques: breath deeply and slowly for 30 seconds, go for a walk, drink some water (instead of tea or coffee), turn your focus onto something you can resolve. Here’re some effective ways to control your emotions.

    5. Self-confidence

    Watch a presentation by any CEO and you’ll see that even if they’re not natural presenters – they make up for this by having powerful self-confidence.

    It’s not just CEOs who have self-confidence, any successful leader will have this trait in abundance. One reason for this, is that only a confident person can persuade others and gain their respect.

    Worried that you have low self-confidence? Try faking it. Psychologists often recommend that if you ‘act’ at being confident, you’ll start to look, sound and feel like you ARE confident. And in time… you will be.

    If you look for more ways to boost your self-confidence, this confidence coach has got you some nice advice:

    How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence

    6. Decisiveness

    Leaders are frequently called upon to make decisions (some leaders may have to make dozens of decisions every day). In fact, you could say that making decisions is one of the key things a leader must do.

    Spend some time observing highly-successful leaders and you’ll see that they are quick to make decisions. They also enjoy making decisions, rather than stressing out like many non-leaders do when they’re asked to decide on something.

    Put yourself in the leadership bracket by developing your decision-making skills. Start with small decisions – and then work your way up to bigger and more difficult decisions. Once other people notice your decision-making prowess, they’ll automatically see you as leadership material.

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    I know it’s really quite difficult to make the right decisions sometimes, but don’t worry, here’s a guide for you:

    How To Make Good Decisions All The Time

    7. Passion and enthusiasm

    Expressive. Active. Energetic. These are words best describe a passionate leader.

    Great leaders are lively, driven and are possessed with zeal and purpose. It’s this passion that helps them achieve big results. If you want to emulate their success, then you need to develop passion and enthusiasm for the work at hand, and the end goals.

    Take a look at this Passion Pyramid to find out how importance a leader’s passion is to the team:

      One way to do this is to find what motivates you, and keep your focus firmly on that. For example, i f you’re motivated by helping others, then make sure your role and company are both suited to realizing this. If you’re motivated by money, then put your focus on achieving bonuses and pay rises.

      Take a look at Leo Babauta’s guide on how to find your passion.

      8. Accountability and responsibility

      Exceptional leaders know that at all times they’ll need to take responsibility for tasks and their results. This includes things likes individual and team performance, as well as being accountable for when things go wrong.

      When negative things occur (and you can guarantee they will from time-to-time), a great leader will immediately step in and take responsibility. Initially, they’ll try to resolve the problem in as quick and smooth a way as possible. But if this is not feasible, they’ll be sure to say that the buck stops with them – and they take full responsibility for what has happened.

      To develop your leadership skills, you must never shy away from responsibility or accountability. If you prefer to sweep mistakes under the carpet, then you’re demonstrating non-leadership traits. Try owning up to issues and finding solutions to them. By doing this, you’ll immediately gain people’s respect.

      Find out some tips on how to be a more responsible person here.

      9. Focus

      Distractions are everywhere. And it takes major focus to stay committed to tasks and goals. The best leaders understand this, and therefore, they’re always looking at ways to boost their team’s focus.

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      One way leaders do this, is to keep their team intensely focused on the bigger picture. This might entail allocating specific time for tasks and eliminating any non-essential work.

      If you’re easily knocked off track, you’ll need to spend some time boosting your focus. Try planning your day, week, month and year to help ensure that you don’t fall behind with achieving your goals. Check out the 7 strategies of staying super focus recommended by a productivity coach.

      10. Ever-learning

      Leaders know that to be successful they need to continually update their skills and knowledge. They deliberately learn all they can about their profession and industry, so they’ll able to make confident and assured decisions.

      Why is ever learning so important? I’ll leave it to you to find out the reason here:

      If I Am Living a Good Life, Why Should I Bother Learning New Stuff?

      Imagine a CEO of a solar power company. His company may have amazing solar panels, but when it comes to discussing business with potential buyers, if the CEO or his sales team show a lack of understanding about the solar industry and future trends, etc., they’ll be unlikely to win any business.

      It’s exactly the same for you. If you’re a team leader at an electronics store, you should make sure you fully understand all the products that you offer. But go beyond just that, and read about upcoming products and trends that might change what customers are interesting in buying in the future.

      Traits for effective communication

      11. Empathy

      The best leaders understand the feeling of their team members, customers and associates. They know when to praise, and when to discuss problems (usually in private).

      Without empathy, leaders will be seen as cold, harsh and lacking understanding. They’re also likely to be regarded as untrustworthy.

      One way to ‘put yourself in someone else’s shoes’ is to have regular informal discussions with your colleagues. When you do this, you’ll quickly learn their fears and desires. And when you understand why they have these – you’ll be in a position to express empathy. You can also learn to be more sensitive to others’ needs by taking up these communication skills.

      12. Persuasive and influential

      Communications are at the heart of all transactions. Whether it’s pitching for a sale or resolving a customer complaint, how you communicate will determine the outcome.

      Charismatic leaders such as Richard Branson (Virgin) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) are confident and persuasive communicators. They know how to win over audiences and leave a lasting impressing in people’s minds.

      There’re some common barriers that you’ll have to overcome in order to communicate effectively:

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      How to learn effective communication? You could join the world-renowned U.S. nonprofit Toastmasters International. They’ve been training people in the art of public speaking since 1924, and members have included Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, and Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy.

      If you don’t have time to join a club, then practice your communications skills at home. You can do this in front of a mirror, or even better, video yourself presenting, and then ask some friends and family members for feedback. You’ll be amazed at what they pick up on.

      Traits for ensuring an engaging team

      13. Team building

      If you put a bunch of random people together, you may have a loose definition of a team. In reality, a real team has purpose, drive – and a leader lighting the way.

      If you’ve worked in different teams and with different managers, you’ll no doubt have come to this conclusion:

      Managers who treat their team members like children are unpopular with the team. Conversely, managers who treat their team members like adults, are respected and well-liked by the team.

      The days of disciplinarian managers are passed. Nowadays, successful team leaders know how to inspire and motivate their team, while keeping a harmonious atmosphere between all team members.

      14. Fostering creativity

      Solutions to problems are rarely black and white. Often it takes a leader who can ‘think outside the box’ to come up with answers. In other words, a leader must be creative, and also help to foster creativity and innovation throughout their team.

      Creativity is not only associated with pursuits such as arts, literature and music, running a team can be just as creative. There will be times every day when you need to come up with ideas and give guidelines for your team to come up with theirs to solve problems.

      Leadership is a journey of continuous learning

      Leadership is an amazing experience that will take you on roads you’ve never traveled before.

      Begin now to build your skills and experience, pick out the traits that you currently lack – and then work on developing those.

      It will take tons of practice and time before becoming an effective leader but eventually you will join the ranks of great leaders.

      Featured photo credit: unsplash via unsplash.com

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