What Remarkably Successful People Do

steve-jobsThe most successful people work differently.  Observe what they do and why it works.  I have been fortunate to work with some remarkably successful people in Theatre, Film, Television and the corporate world.  I always think of these people and how they shared a set of specific perspectives and beliefs.  They also share a number of habits.  For instance:-

  1.  They don’t have Plan B

Plan B will help you sleep at night.  Plan B can also create an easy get-out clause when the going gets tough.  You will work a lot harder and lot longer if your primary plan – Plan A – simply has to work because there is no other option – No Plan B.  Total commitment – Without a safety net – Will spur you to work harder than you ever imagined possible.

Should the worst happen (and the worst is never as bad as you think,) trust and believe in yourself.  Trust you will be able to bounce back.  As long as you keep working hard, remain focussed, and keep learning great lessons from your mistakes, you will do just fine.


  1. Helen-MirrenThey do the work….

Dame Helen Mirren in Her Oscar Acceptance Speech said you have to do the work.  Damn Right!  You can be good with a little effort.  You can be really good with a little more effort.  But to be truly great at anything, you have to put in an incredible amount of focussed effort.   Scratch the surface of any person with rare skills and you will find a person who has put in thousands of hours of efforts into developing those skills.  There are no shortcuts.  No overnight successes.  Everyone knows this but no one follows this principle… Except remarkably successful people.  Just do the work and avoid wasting time.


  1. …And they work a lot more

bill-gates-by-Pastis[78870]Every extremely successful person I know (professionally and personally,) works more hours than the average person – a lot more.  They have long lists of things they want to get done.  So they have to put in lots of time.  Better yet, they want to put in lots of time.  If you don’t embrace a workload, career and commitment others would consider crazy, then your goal doesn’t mean that much to you or it is not particularly difficult to achieve.  If you want to be remarkably successful, then do the difficult.


  1. They avoid the crowds and the bandwagon

julius-erving_tesone-e1355811749207Conventional wisdom yields conventional results.  Joining the crowd no matter how trendy that crowd is or how ‘hot’ the opportunity, is a recipe for mediocrity.  Remarkably successful people habitually do what other people will not do.  They go where others will not go because there is a lot less competition and a much greater chance of success.


  1. They start at the end…

steve_jobs__second_portrait__by_1zanag1-d585mfyAverage success is often based on setting average goals.  Decide what you really want.  Do you want to be the best?  The biggest?   The fastest?  Whatever your goal, aim for the ultimate.  Decide where you want to be. That is your ultimate goal.  Then work backwards and lay out every step along the way.  Never start small where goals are concerned.  You will make better decisions and find it much easier to work a lot harder, when your Ultimate Goal is Ultimate Success.


  1. …and they don’t stop there.

Achieving a goal, no matter huge, is not the end of the line for highly successful people.  Achieving one huge goal just created a launch pad for achieving another huge goal.  Maybe one wants to create a £100 million business.  Once you do, you can leverage your contacts and influence to create a charitable foundation for a cause you believe in.  Then your business and humanitarian success can create a platform for speaking, writing and thought leadership.

The process of becoming remarkably successful in one area, will give you the skills and network to be remarkably successfully in another field which in turn, will give you the skills and network to be remarkably successful in many other fields.

Remarkably successful people do not try to win just one race.  They expect and plan to win a number of subsequent races.


  1. They sell

Sir_Alan_Sugar_at_the_BAFTA's_cropWhen asked to name  the one skill they felt contributed most  of their success, a number of CEOs and business owners, each pointed to the ability to sell.  Keep in mind selling is not manipulating, pressuring or cajoling.  Selling is explaining the logic and benefits of a decision or position.  Selling is convincing other people to work with you.  Selling is overcoming objections and roadblocks.

Selling is the foundation of business and personal success.  Selling is knowing how to negotiate, to deal with ‘No’ to maintain confidence and self-esteem in the face of rejection.  Selling is also knowing how to communicate effectively with a wide range of people, in order to build long-term relationships.

When you truly believe in your idea, your company, yourself, then you don’t need to have a huge ego or a huge personality.  You don’t need to ‘Sell’.  You just need to communicate.


  1. They are never too proud…

…To admit they made a mistake or to say they are sorry.  Nor to have big dreams.  They are never too proud to admit they owe their success to others, to poke fun at themselves or to ask for help.  Nor are they too proud to admit failure.  Or to try again.

Helen Mirren






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