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Last Updated on September 11, 2018

10 Things Successful People Do Differently to Achieve Greatness

10 Things Successful People Do Differently to Achieve Greatness

Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs… These names all come to mind when we think of successful people.

And even though all three are great examples of success, there are lots of other people who are successful in their own way that we may not be as familiar with their names.

But their habits? Well, that’s a different story.

You see, successful people all do similar things. As Brian Tracy says,

“Success leaves tracks.”

It’s these “tracks,” the behaviors and habits, that set them apart from the ordinary folks who just work their 9-to-5 jobs, clocking in and out every day, never looking to get ahead.

If you want to be one of the greats, if you want to be a big success in life and leave ordinary behind, learn from these 10 things successful people do and get ready for the big results that are sure to follow if you do them consistently.

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1. Successful people commit to their goals.

When successful people set a goal, nothing gets in their way of achieving it. They commit 100 percent to the outcome, knowing that one difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that the successful ones commit to a goal and don’t stop until they achieve it.

2.Successful people persist until they achieve them.

Obstacles to success are normal and should be expected. They can’t always be planned for. However, you can decide when you commit to success that you’re going to persist no matter what obstacles arise.

Go around them, go over them, or push through them, but persist no matter what happens. That’s what successful people do, and so should you if you want to mimic their success.

3. Successful people take responsibility.

Successful people know that they are the masters of their own destiny. You don’t hear them complain about the things that stopped them from success. You won’t hear them make excuses.

Instead, they push forward knowing that they are the only thing that will make or break their success.

4. Successful people work hard.

Have you ever met someone who is super-successful and lazy? Neither have I.

The truth is that the road to success is paved with hard work. If you want to achieve great results, you’ll need to wake up early, stay up late and put in your time.

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Success doesn’t just come to those who want it. You’ve got to pay your dues.

5. Successful people find people who are doing what they want and emulate them.

A college professor once gave me some of the best advice I ever received. He said,

“If you want to be wealthy, hang out with wealthy people. If you want to be funny, hang out with funny people. And if you want to be poor, hang out with poor people.”

The truth is that people naturally mimic the behaviors of those around them. Mindset is contagious. So if you want to be a big success in life, spend time with others who are already successful.

Don’t know anyone successful? That’s ok. You can read books written by them or about them. Listen to their radio interviews or watch them on TV.

Attitude and success is contagious, so catch it by hanging around some of the greats.

6. Successful people believe in themselves and their vision.

The school of hard knocks ain’t easy, so if you want to achieve big results, you’ve got to believe in yourself.

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The world’s most successful people have unshakeable confidence in themselves and in their vision. Without it, they’d have to give up too easily after a few obstacles got in their way.

How’s your confidence? Do you believe you can achieve your dreams? I’ll tell you something in case nobody told you before:

You can do whatever you want in life, you’ve just to first believe it, and then work like mad to get it.

7. Successful people take care of themselves.

When was the last time you saw a successful person who was obese or extremely overweight? Sure, these people exist, but they’re the exception to the rule.

Most successful people know they need energy to get ahead, and the best way to have that is to eat right, exercise and get proper rest. Which brings us to our next point…

8. Successful people rest and recharge.

Hard work is a requirement for success, but you can only push yourself 24/7 for so long. Successful people work hard and then unplug so they can refresh their minds and bodies.

If you’ve been pushing it to the limit, think about unplugging for a long weekend or more. Once you get back to the grind, you’ll be more effective at getting the results you want.

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9. Successful people never stop learning.

Successful people believe that learning never ends. This doesn’t mean they’re going to school to get new degrees, although they may.

Even without formal education, they’re constantly reading and learning from others around them, perhaps from books, trade magazines or conferences, or from others who are ahead of where they want to be.

What have you learned recently that can get you closer to the success you want? If you haven’t picked up a book, trade magazine or listened to CDs or MP3s that can get you smarter in your field, it’s time to start.

10. Successful people make a lot of mistakes and learn from them.

Successful people aren’t afraid to take risks. Because of their unshakeable confidence, they treat any mistake as a learning opportunity.

Think about the last mistake you made. Didn’t make a sale? Reevaluate your sales call and make it better next time. Screwed up a presentation? Read a book on how to present successfully so you can crush your next one. Failed in your last relationship? Call your ex and ask what you can do better with your next partner.

So go take some risks, don’t be afraid of making mistakes, and if you stumble, learn from it so you can be better next time.

These are 10 things successful people do. How many of them are you doing today? If not all, or most of them, it’s time to upgrade your behaviors so you can get the success you deserve.

Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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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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