7 ways highly successful people achieve more

image

Some people get more done than others — a lot more.

Sure, they work hard. And they work smart. (While “smarter, not harder” is fine, smarter and harder is way better.) But they also possess a few other qualities that make a major impact on their performance:

1. They do the work in spite of disapproval or ridicule.

Work too hard, strive too hard, appear to be too ambitious, try to stand out from the crowd… and the average person resents you. It’s a lot easier and much more comfortable to dial it back and fit in.

Pleasing the (average-performing) crowd is something highly productive people don’t worry about. (They may think about it, but then they keep pushing on.) They hear the criticism, they take the potshots, they endure the laughter or derision or even hostility… and they keep on measuring themselves and their efforts by their own standards.

And, in the process, they achieve what they want to achieve. (Which is really all that matters.)

2. They accept that fear is an expected element in the process.

One of my customers is an outstanding — and outstandingly successful — comic. Audiences love him. He’s crazy good.

Yet he still has panic attacks before he walks onstage. He knows he’ll melt down, sweat through his shirt, feel sick to his stomach. That’s just how he is.

So right before he goes onstage he takes a quick shower, drinks a bottle of water, jumps up and down, and does a little shadowboxing.

Sure, he’s still scared. He knows he’ll always be scared. But he accepts it as part of the process — and has developed a process to deal with it.

Anyone hoping to achieve great things gets nervous. Anyone trying to achieve great things gets scared.

Productive people aren’t braver than others; they just find the strength to keep moving forward. They realize dwelling on fear is paralyzing, but action naturally generates confidence and self-assurance.

3. They can do their best even on their worst day.

Norman Mailer said, “Being a real writer means being able to do the work on a bad day.”

Extremely successful people don’t make excuses. They forge ahead, because they know establishing great habits takes considerable time and effort. They know how easy it is to instantly create a bad habit by giving in… even “just this one time.” (Because once you give in, it’s rarely just one time.)

4. They see creativity as the result of effort, not inspiration.

Most people wait for an idea. Most people think creativity somehow happens. They expect a divine muse will someday show them a new way, a new approach, a new concept.

And they wait, and wait, and wait.

Occasionally, great ideas do just come to people. Mostly, though, creativity is the result of effort: toiling, striving, refining, testing, experimenting… The work itself results in inspiration.

Highly productive people don’t wait for ideas. They don’t wait for inspiration. They know that big ideas most often come from people who do not people who simply dream.

5. They view help as essential, not a weakness.

Pretend you travel to an unfamiliar country, you know only a few words of the language, and you’re lost and a little scared. Would you ask for help? Of course.

No one knows everything. No one is great at everything.

Productive people soldier on and hope effort will overcome a lack of knowledge or skill. And it does, but only to a point.

Highly productive people also ask for help. They know asking for help is a sign of strength — and the key to achieving more.

6. They start…

At times we all lack motivation and self-discipline. At times we’re easily distracted. At times we all fear failure — and success.

Procrastination is a part of what makes people human; it’s not possible to totally overcome any of those shortcomings. Wanting to put off a difficult task is normal. Avoiding a challenge is normal.

But think about a time you put off a task, finally got started, and then once into it, thought, “I don’t know why I kept putting this off — it’s going really well. And it didn’t turn out to be nearly as hard as I imagined.”

(That’s no surprise; it’s always easier than we think.)

Highly productive people try not to think about the pain they will feel in the beginning; they focus on how good they will feel once they’re engaged and involved.

So they get started…

7. …and they finish.

Unless there’s a really, really good reason not to finish — which, of course, there almost never is.

One Of The Only Ways To Get Really, Really Rich

image

Want to be remarkably successful? Want to get really rich? (While there are many ways to feel “rich,” in this case we’re talking about monetary wealth.) Then check out this little gem of an investment opportunity.

It’s a simple investment. You only have to invest almost all of your money. On the upside, after a year you might earn 3 percent more. The downside? Any day you could lose it all, for reasons usually outside your control and that you will almost never see coming.

Would you make that investment? Of course not.

Yet millions of people do — every day they go to work for someone else.

Of course the analogy isn’t perfect. Until you’re laid off or fired you do earn a salary. But when you work for someone else, your upside is alwayscapped — sure, you might occasionally get a raise, but in most cases 3 to 4 percent is the best you can expect.

Yet your downside is always unlimited because getting fired or laid off can make your income disappear overnight — and with it the considerable investments you’ve made in time, effort, dedication, and sacrifice.

Extremely limited upside. Unlimited downside.

That’s a terrible investment.

Rich in Wealth

So if you hope to get really rich, working for someone else will never get you there.

A few conclusions are obvious:

Working for a salary won’t make you really rich.Investing only in stock of large companies won’t make you really rich.Owning a business or businesses could not only build a solid foundation of wealth but could someday…Generate a huge financial windfall — and make you really rich.

Check out the top 10 on the Forbes billionaires list. Gates. Buffett. Ellison. Koch. Walton. Adelson. All entrepreneurs. (I worked my way down into the 200s and still couldn’t find an employee, so I got bored and stopped looking.)

Clearly getting really rich in financial terms is the result of investing in yourself and others, of taking risks, of doing hundreds of small things right…and then doing one or two big things really right.

But what if you don’t get one or two big things really right? There’s another way to get really rich.

Rich in Life

I’ve spoken to hundreds of entrepreneurs, and each and every one does the same thing. When we talk about the financial side of being an entrepreneur — exit strategies, revenues, IPOs, cashing out — they’re interested but far from animated.

But when we talk about the life of an entrepreneur, about how it feels to be an entrepreneur, they all light up. They start to gush about the challenges, the responsibility, the sense of mission, the sense of purpose, the sense of fulfillment and excitement of working with and for a real team, the amazing feelings of empowerment and the control over their own destinies….

It happens every time.

The bootstrappers with infinite dreams and negligible revenues light up.

The successful entrepreneurs such as Joel Gascoigne, who helped expandBuffer from a personal project into a business with a talented team with real revenues, light up.

Every entrepreneur lights up when we talk about being an entrepreneur because they feelalive: free to chart their own courses, to make their own decisions, to make their own mistakes — to let the sky be the limit not just financially but also (and almost always more importantly) personally, too.

And in that way, regardless of financial return, they feel really rich. And they are really rich — regardless of income or wealth.

Really, Really Rich

That’s why the only way to become really rich financially and really rich personally — in other words really, really rich — is to start your own business. Even if it’s just on the side. Even if it’s just a slightly stepped-up hobby.

There’s no reason not to. You don’t have to quit your job right away; in fact, you probably shouldn’t. (One of the best ways to minimize your risk is to keep your full-time job while you build your foundation for success.) Plus the basics of starting a businessare easy; you can do it in one day.

Here’s the deal.

In return for less freedom, less control, and less fulfillment, every day you go to work for someone else your upside is always capped and your downside is always unlimited.

The downside for entrepreneurs is also unlimited — but in return, they enjoy the possibility of an unlimited financial upside and an unlimited personal upside.

Take a chance on yourself. Try to get really, really rich. Maybe you’ll only become really rich.

One out of two is still awesome — and you will have achieved it on your terms.

If your friends and family think you were crazy for starting a business, show them this article. If you’ve been thinking about starting a business and people say you’re being foolish, show them this article.

If the people around you don’t understand how personally fulfilling taking a chance on yourself can be,have them check this out.

And then get started on your entrepreneurial journey, even in the smallest and safest way. Every step you take will bring you closer to becoming at the very least really rich — and maybe, just maybe, really, really rich — and will let you join a group of people who live their lives their way, on their own terms.

Who are those people?

Entrepreneurs. Be one.

It’s the best investment you can make — because it means you’re investing in yourself.