10 Secrets to Success

Key on a computer keyboard labelled “Success”

Continuing the recent run of lists of career tips, here’s 10 Secrets to Success

Key on a computer keyboard labelled “Success”

Continuing the recent run of lists of career tips — see What to Do if You’re Laid Off in the 2008 Recession and How to Work the Room — here’s 10 Secrets to Success.

It’s a list on that originally appeared in Investors Business Daily. This list is based on answers to questions they asked “industry leaders, investors and entrepreneurs to understand the traits they all had in common”.

Here’s a simplified version of the list — to see the whole thing, read the article:

  1. How you think is everything. “Think Success, not Failure. Beware of a negative environment. This trait has to be one of the most important in the entire list. Your belief that you can accomplish your goals has to be unwavering.”
  2. Decide upon your true dreams and goals. “Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them…Goals are those concrete, measurable stepping stones of achievement that track your progress towards your dreams.”
  3. Take action. “Goals are nothing without action.”
  4. Never stop learning. “Becoming a life long learner would benefit us all and is something we should instill in our kids. It’s funny that once you’re out of school you realize how enjoyable learning can be.”
  5. Be persistent and work hard. “Success is a marathon, not a sprint.”
  6. Learn to analyze details. Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes. I think you have to strike a balance between getting all the facts and making a decision with incomplete data – both are traits of successful people. Spend time gathering details, but don’t catch ‘analysis paralysis’.
  7. Focus your time and money. “Don’t let other people or things distract you.”
  8. Don’t be afraid to innovate. Be different. Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.” (It sounds like a variant of my own maxim, “Do the stupidest thing that could possibly work.”)
  9. Deal and communicate with people effectively. “No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others.””
  10. Be honest and dependable. “Take responsibility, otherwise numbers 1 – 9 won’t matter.”