12 Signs You’re On The Right Path Towards Becoming Successful

A woman sitting at a laptop with an “Ideas” slide on its screen in a conference room
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1. You take notes.

Einstein, Jefferson, Patton, Lucas, Branson, Darwin, Hemingway, Rockefeller, Franklin, Newton. What do all of these people have in common besides being recognizable by only their last name?

They all carried around little notebooks and wrote down everything they thought.

The best way for dots to connect is to have a lot of dots to play with.

2. You listen more than you speak.

“I do not learn anything when I am speaking, I learn a lot when I am listening.”Every successful person can identify with this quote by ex-CEO of Deloitte, Jim Quigley.

Both relationships and breakthroughs are built by people who understand people’s needs, and this is best accomplished by prioritizing your two ears over your one mouth.

3. You sit down to learn how to avoid problems instead of running around trying to solve them.

Author, Ryan Holiday, perfectly summed up the importance of reading when saying, “Someone, somewhere, at some point in time, experienced the exact same problem you are facing now and they took the time to write about it. What took them years to figure out on their own, we get to learn in a matter of hours.”

Problems are a lot less scary if they are identified before they happen and this is best accomplished by proactively learning.

4. You are always introducing people.

A key factor that sets the successful apart is that when meeting new people they not only think to themselves, “How can I add value to this person?” they also ask themselves, “Who do I know in my circle who can add even more value” and then act accordingly.

The answer to most people’s challenges is simply a handshake away.

5. You seek out negative feedback and have hard conversations.

Human guinea pig, serial entrepreneur and author, Tim Ferriss, someone who spends his days studying successful people and their habits said that, “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

We all need cheerleaders to lift us up, but we also need people who will keep us on the ground in order to keep our ego in check.

6. You are learning from your mistakes and the letting go of the worry.

It always looks like successful people have all the time in the world. This is not because they are always getting things right. Quite the contrary. Successful people tinker and make the most mistakes.

The difference is that when things do go south, they bury the worry and move forward recognizing that how they decide to respond to failure is their choice and theirs alone.

7. You have a mentor but are also a mentor.

Legendary MMA fighter and now trainer, Frank Shamrock, instills the following equation into the minds of the fighters he works with, “+, =, -.” The idea is that everyone needs to work with someone better than them, equal to them and someone who they can teach.

Successful people recognize the importance of surrounding themselves with mentors, but also embrace and get real pleasure from being one.

8. You are saying “no” more than you’re saying “yes.”

When working at Facebook, marketing expert, and CEO of Appsumo, Noah Kagan recalls that when faced with a decision, Mark Zuckerberg would always ask, “ Does this serve our end goal?”- And if the answer was “no,” no matter how alluring, they did not do it.

Successful people may create their success by saying “yes” to learning new skills, meeting new people and having as many experiences as they can, but once they discover their purpose, they fight like hell to protect it by saying “no” to anything that distracts them from fulfilling it.

9. You are seeking out varying points of view.

Too often, we listen only to what we want to hear and read only to reinforce our own deep-seated beliefs. However, in order to grow, we must seek out other people who see things differently than we do.

This allows us to learn about varying perspectives while also helping us to better identify something that we may have missed. The goal of successful people is to get things right — and they accomplish this by not caring where the correct answers came from.

10. You trust your intuition.

In his book Tribes, marketing expert, Seth Godin, wrote that, “Change isn’t made by asking permission. Change is made by asking forgiveness, later.”Every successful person can vividly recall the moments in their lives that changed their stars, and more often than not it involved making a hard left, when the herd was all going right, despite the pushback.

Successful people will be the first to stress the importance of seeking counsel from both sides of the aisle, but deep down, for successful people, “intuition” is everything and always gets the last word.

11. You are thoughtful.

There is real power in getting on a plane to see a client if only for an hour lunch instead of a virtual meeting. There is real power in sitting down and writing out hand-written thank you cards instead of sending out a newsletter. There is real power in walking across the street to shake the hands of the new business owner instead of sending an email.

In short, there is real power in doing something for someone that they recognize took time on your part. After all, nothing compounds faster than kindness.

12. After a victory you celebrate, but they you get back to work.

Ex-Navy Seal and author of “Extreme Ownership,” Jocko Willinks, preaches the fact that, “Discipline equals freedom.” Ask Jerry Seinfeld and he will agree. When asked how to write better jokes, he replied, “Write every day.”

This does not mean that successful people do not like to celebrate. They like to let loose like the best of them. The difference is that in the morning, successful people sit down to repeat the process, not the outcome. TC mark

I teach storytelling to Fortune 500s, MBA students, and first graders

Keep up with Michael on Instagram, Twitter and mikethompsonblog.com

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