Common Traits of Success in Life & Business
Recently, an intriguing article caught my mind—all the more intriguing because of its author, 19 year-old Alex Banayan, an associate at San Francisco-based firm Alsop Louie Partners, named “The World’s Youngest Venture Capitalist” by Business Insider. Banayan is in the process of writing a book that will profile the world’s most successful people and analyze the skills that led to their extraordinary achievements.
In the article, Banayan explains his fascination with success:
“I have a crazy idea: success isn’t just about hard work. We hear about hard work all the time—it’s what Olympic champions talk about when they get to the top of the podium and it’s what the media credits as the sole force behind multimillion-dollar Internet entrepreneurs. But there has to be something else in the equation of obtaining unimaginable success. “
I applaud the insights Alex has gathered and offer 4 characteristics that I find truly remarkable people weave into everything they do:
1. They believe in their work. Because they want their time to count, their field of work is one where they find meaning and purpose. They believe in what they are doing more than anyone else and often accomplish things that others might consider impossible.
“If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities.” – Dale Carnegie
2. They commit to success. You have most certainly heard the saying that there is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it. Also that if you want something bad enough you can attain it. Radically successful people believe this and have no doubt that they will succeed.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
3. They hold fast to their values. By default, because they believe their work is meaningful, the work they do expresses the core of who they are. For that reason, it is not just about what they do or why they do it – it is also how they do it.
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and lose his own soul?” – The Bible
4. They set unrealistic expectations. Radically successful people have a sense of urgency and require nothing short of excellence in what they deliver. The people around them may think they are out of touch with reality, but the fact of the matter is that they are unwavering in their pursuit of a goal.
“High expectations are the key to everything.” – Sam Walton
When I perceive these traits among my small business or university clients, I know that they are on the track to success.