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10 Essential Keys to Success

10 Essential Keys to Success

I’ve traveled around the country, and regardless of your definition of success, or the level of success you’ve achieved, there are 10 distinct characteristics that differentiate successful people from the rest of the globe. I’ve had the opportunity to hang out with and learn from incredibly wealthy individuals with incomes ranging up to $100,000 a month. These individuals have lived ordinary lives but took the extra steps necessary to create extraordinary opportunities for themselves. Here I want to share with you the 10 keys to success that make these individuals stand apart.

1. They Are Fearless.

“To me, Fearless is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.” Taylor Swift

It’s not what you know that matters; it’s what you do with what you know that matters. Every action has a consequence, but to be successful it’s necessary to be patient and have faith. While you’re probably familiar with the quote, “The grass is always greener on the other side,” the truth is, “The grass is greener where you water it.” By tracking your behavior and actions you become aware of the results and consequences, making it easier to achieve your goals. We are lazy, so if something is inconvenient we have a tendency not to do it. Successful people understand that not doing it is not an option, so they step into challenging situations and get rejected thousands of times before getting any kind of recognition for their work or achievements. They understand that it isn’t how hard, fast, or much you can do, but how long you can endure.

2. They Are Passionate.

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch

Successful people are incredibly passionate about what they do. In fact, they don’t do anything they aren’t passionate about. You will never catch them muttering the phrase, “I never have time to do what I want,” because they know that they are already investing their time doing what they value most. Successful people are extremely focused on using and building their strengths—and outsourcing their weaknesses—to get the best results and feel fulfilled both personally and professionally. Passion is the driving force behind every action they take.

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3. They Invest In A Coach.

“People before profits. Relationships before results.” Melissa Krivachek

When it comes to investing in a coach, successful players don’t leave anything to chance. In fact, investing in a coach isn’t even an option, it’s a priority and a necessity because the biggest difference between where you are and where you want to be is knowing how to get there. An average financial advisor makes $60-80k per year, yet Dave Ramsey makes $50-60 million. The average personal trainer makes $45-50k per year, yet Jillian Michaels makes $14-17 million. No matter where you are in your business there is someone better than you and you should invest the time, effort, and energy in listening to what they have to say. Stop being a smart ass, cheap ass, wise ass, and broke ass! Start taking your knowledge, adding value, changing lives and living the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. It isn’t about what you know, it’s about who you know and what they know. So how do you know when it’s the right time to get a coach? If you are fulfilled personally, professionally, or financially then you probably don’t need one (which is 1% of people). If you want to transform your mindset, life, and finances, then there is no better time to invest in a coach than the present.

4. They Remove All Distractions, Mentally And Physically.

“If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful!” Charles Barkley (Phoenix Suns)

Distractions cost employers $650 billion a year. They crush potential, limit progress and cripple success. Ever wonder why you are derailed, diverted, unsatisfied, unfulfilled, under-producing, under-performing, over-stressing, over-scheduled, and overtired? The epic battle for all of us is the six inches between our ears. The #1 threat is distractions. Here are some staggering statistics. There are:

  • 145 million emails sent per day
  • 175 million Tweets sent per minute
  • 1,000 new posts on Facebook per second
  • 2.7 billion “Likes” on Facebook per day
  • 75 million new blog posts per day
  • 100 hours of video uploaded on YouTube every minute

So what do elite performers and successful individuals do that others don’t? They remove all roadblocks to success. Setting a timer and working in 90 minute increments on one thing—and one thing only—that’s what differentiates these high performing individuals.

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5. They Are A Master At One Thing Vs. Mediocre At Many

“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.” Leonardo da Vinci

Successful people master the vital few things: functions, priorities, metrics, improvements, and support. They don’t do everything, they do the one thing they’ve mastered. Let’s look at some examples: Joel Osteen runs a $700 million a year organization, yet only focuses on the 22 minute speech he gives each week at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas; Dr. Mehmet Oz has his own TV show, book, is one of the most recognized heart surgeons in New York City, and is highly involved in the community, yet he only focuses on performing the surgery, letting others plan, prepare, and execute everything else for him. Steve Jobs spent three hours of his own personal time every single day on the number one thing that would propel his organization forward. When they perform they only perform these vital few functions and they aren’t distracted by anything. They use this technique to elevate mental and physical capacities and increase skills, making them the absolute best at what they do.

6. They Have An Undeniable Drive To Succeed.

“The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.” Norman Vincent Peale

Staying up late, waking up early, getting no sleep at all is what successful people learn to do from the very beginning. Building a business is just like harvesting a crop: you have to prepare to plant, water, wait, commit and harvest. The same goes for reaching any kind of success: you have to prepare, build relationships, drip market, consistently take action, commit to getting a result, and reap the rewards. While many people think it’s easy, it really is anything but. Successful crops, just like successful businesses, take time to build, hours of planning, years of experimenting and changing directions, and an unwavering commitment from the farmer or entrepreneur to make a difference regardless of the circumstances. Old equipment, new equipment, dry ground, wet ground, corn, beans, it doesn’t make a difference. The farmer’s drive to succeed is relentless and so is the successful entrepreneur’s.

7. They Define Success In Their Own Terms.

“Most new jobs won’t come from our biggest employers. They will come from our smallest. We’ve got to do everything we can to make entrepreneurial dreams a reality.” Ross Perot

The definition of success varies across the country. The value of family, friends, and faith supersede the need to make millions of dollars, although making millions is often the result. Successful people know that success is an action not a definition.

8. They Are Incredibly Creative.

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Vincent Van Gogh

Many businesses bootstrap it while picking up the momentum needed to succeed. The ability to be creative without an investment is what many communities teach growing up. It doesn’t always take money to make money. In fact, the support of the community is often the driving force behind the success of both a person and a business. There is no doubt that entrepreneurs are not afraid to get down and dirty, and lend a helping hand in times of need. While many start-ups have little to no funding to begin with, they focus on the tools, resources, and knowledge they do have and become as resourceful as possible to achieve their end goal.
What are the qualifications of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates, Ty Warner, Ted Turner and 29 other billionaires? They are all college drop outs! They didn’t have the luxury of buying opportunities, support, or even the basic things they needed to start their new venture. Successful people understand applied knowledge is more important than the consumption of knowledge, so they use what they have to create what they desire.

9. They Refuse To Give Up Even When The Going Gets Tough.

“Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.” Calvin Coolidge

Times are tough across the country but that doesn’t deter business owners, entrepreneurs or already successful companies from giving up the hope of wanting something more. In fact, it drives them to keep going. Many successful business owners aren’t rich, they are abundant. And while they don’t have a formal education, they embrace lifelong education. The same applies for entrepreneurs. This willingness to face adversity and come up with creative solutions to get through tough times with the support of the community separates those who become successful from those who don’t. Many of the successful individuals I’ve been fortunate enough to be around give 10-20%, or more, of their yearly income to charities within their own community, while investing additionally in their own personal growth.

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10. They Understand Minor Semantics Mean Major Differences.

“He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.” William James.

Do you know the This Guy Got Lucky Syndrome? (This is a real example, using real numbers) People ask successful people how they got so lucky. It wasn’t luck! The root of all your results is the small things: success is not a result of heroic feats, grand acts of bravery, and quantum leaps. It is the result of making small, good decisions over time. Here are small changes you can make that can completely transform your life, even if you’re making $40k a year:

Daily:

  • Read 10 pages of a good book (15 minutes)
  • Listen to 30 minutes of an instructional CD
  • Eat 125 calories less each day then you normally eat
  • Drink two bottles of water a day
  • Walk 2,000 steps a day, roughly one mile
  • Make a few more prospecting calls instead of calling it a day
  • Make date night with your significant other a priority

27 months later you’ve:

  • Read 47 books
  • Listened to 465 hours of audio on success and improvement
  • Saved 117,500 calories = lost 33.5 lbs.
  • Drank 3,720 gallons of water
  • Walked 900 miles = an additional 30 lbs. lost (that’s 63.5 lbs in total!)
  • Had 124 dates with your partner = XOXOXO!!!
  • Made 1,860 extra calls at a 3% closing rate (which is a terrible rate that would increase with the books and audios) = $279,000 increase in yearly revenue. That’s five times more than your friends because they are treading water, falling behind, becoming disenchanted, bored, apathetic, passionless and disengaged.

I want to leave you with this thought the next time you think success isn’t within reach: consider implementing these small steps, they will leave you living the life of your dreams.

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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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