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7 Famous Eccentrics Who Can Teach You A Lot About Success

7 Famous Eccentrics Who Can Teach You A Lot About Success

Whatever career you are pursuing, you have an ambition to succeed. That success is measured by your aspirations, and not everyone has the same idea of success. We have been learning about it our whole lives, but let’s see what eccentrics can teach us about success. Maybe you’ll find something that you haven’t heard or thought about before.

1. Quentin Tarantino on never giving up and staying true to yourself

“There are two ways: my way and the highway.”

Quentin Tarantino is one of the best and most famous directors in the world. His success didn’t happen overnight and without effort. We can learn a lot from Quentin Tarantino, but the most important lesson he has taught us is to always be original and not to stop after the first bad review.

Because of his eccentric nature, and an incredibly unique point of view on how films should be made, he has faced many bad reviews from critics in the past. Even his film True Romance was rejected many times by the studios. No matter what some people from the movie industry said, he stayed true to himself and his work; he never changed to fit a mold and he never gave up on his work.

Just like Quentin Tarantino, you should always stand up for yourself, stay true to yourself, and proudly fight for your work. On your path to success, you will face many rejections and not everyone will say nice things about you. The most important thing is not to get discouraged and never give up if you want to succeed.

2. Hetty Green (aka “The Witch of Wall Street”) on thinking smart and being determined

“There is no great secret in fortune making. All you do is buy cheap and sell dear, act with thrift and shrewdness and be persistent.”

Hetty Green was the richest woman in the world 100 years ago. She inherited a lot of money from her father, but she reached true success on her own. She was the textbook definition of a miser and she didn’t really enjoy her fortune. But, what she enjoyed even less was the idea that someone else would get their hands on her wealth, so she made a will to ensure that her relatives didn’t inherit a cent of her vast fortune.

There are many funny stories about her and her temper, but she made it possible for women to get into the business world. She was fierce and many men were were afraid of her — they just couldn’t keep up with her smart moves and strategies. She taught us is that there is no secret in fortune making when it comes to Wall Street, you just need to buy cheap and wait for the hype to build, then sell for a lot of money.

What we can learn about success from “The Witch of Wall Street” is that, no matter how hard it is out there, a smart strategy combined with determination can take you to the top.

3. Hunter S. Thompson on luck in life

“Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.”

Hunter S. Thompson was an eccentric journalist who never regretted his way of life and, as he said, had a different perspective on life. One of his most famous works, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, was based on actual personal experiences and is a perfect testament to the man’s exquisite eccentricity.

As Hunter knew very well, luck constantly swings back and forth, and most of us cannot control it. However, what we should learn is to take the best of what luck brings us, and try to find a solution when it betrays us. Many people are just surviving in the business world, and many of them, unfortunately, give in to disaster.

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Success doesn’t depend solely on luck, although luck can significantly contribute to it. We have to learn to get the best out of the good times, when luck is on our side, and prepare for the hard times equipped with knowledge and solutions.

4. Björk on believing in happiness

“You can’t say no to hope. Can’t say no to happiness!”

She is an eccentric singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who released her first album with when she was 27 years old. Björk had released an album previously, in which she sang covers of popular songs, but when offered another record deal, she refused. Instead, she bought a piano with the money she’d earned and started composing her own tunes.

Through her music and life choices, she always believed in nature, goodness, hope, and happiness. When she went to music school and released an album, she didn’t give up on making it on her own by infusing it with her unique and eccentric style. Björk managed to do everything she wanted, because she never stopped believing in happiness and hope.

Those are the two things you need to have all the time. Otherwise, you will give in to disaster and not be able to keep the balance. If you don’t believe strongly that you will succeed, why start your career at all? Becoming successful in any field is tough, and you will fail many times before you find your way to the top. What will keep you motivated and determined is your hope.

Believe, hope, work on your success, and always choose happiness.

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5. Nikola Tesla on failure

“Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more”

The textbook example of an eccentric genius inventor, Tesla paved the road for many of the technologies we take for granted in this modern age. He knew a thing or two about solid work ethic. As Nikola Tesla said, our virtues and failings are inseparable, and there’s no successful person in the world who hasn’t failed. You cannot simply got through life without making a wrong move, because it’s the only way to learn.

In short, there’s no success without failure.

6. Lord Byron on being a leader

“When we think we lead, we are most led.”

When you get to become a leader of a team, you will probably have a lot on your mind. By reading about being a great leader, you can get a basic grasp of the core principles, but you won’t truly become a great leader until you’ve been in the trenches with your team and made tough judgement calls.

A good leader isn’t focused on leading, but on being led by their team members. This doesn’t mean being manipulated by them, but having open conversations and meetings with them and, together, coming up with solutions. Your employees will lead you through their advice and comments on how to make them the best they can be.

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A great leader is constantly learning, while being led by their employees.

7. Woody Allen on the key to success

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

According to Woody Allen, the key to success is showing up — this is a rule everyone should follow. There is no way to catch a good opportunity if you don’t show up. Even if you think some interview or meeting is meaningless, show up and find out for sure. It may be a waste of time, but it may also bring you success. Never assume you won’t get some opportunity. You never know who you might meet and who can help you out.

This formula applies to other spheres of your life, like achieving your fitness goals and learning new skills. The way to guarantee steady results is to show up for work, show up for the classes, and drag your butt to the gym. You have to stay consistent with your efforts and put in the work. The rest will come naturally.

These famous eccentrics never gave up on their unique points of view, and they all succeeded in their fields. Some of their traits and strategies might have been wrong, but in the end, we will always know them as great minds. Always stay true to yourself, fail, believe, and only then will your success become an inevitability.

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Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

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Last Updated on April 17, 2019

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

1. Communication Skills

Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

2. Flexibility

Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

3. Being a Team Player

Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

4. Positive Mental Attitude

There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

5. A Strong Work Ethic

People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

  • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
  • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
  • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
  • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

6. Public Speaking

Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

7. Integrity

From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

  • Always doing what you say you will do
  • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

…even when no one is around to check up on you.

There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

8. Managing Your Time

Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

9. Assertiveness

In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

  • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
  • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
  • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
  • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

How do you use this information for yourself?

It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

10. Creative Thinking

LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Final Thoughts

The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

Reference

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