Habits of Successful People

10:30:00 PM


Happy Thursday Lovelies! I hope your week has been going well. I haven't posted as often as I wanted to this week. Mostly, because I've had my hands tied with other things, but also because I've been thinking about writing this post, and I wasn't sure when the best time to put it out was. As one of my weekly goals of trying to be less scared to put my work out there, here it goes.

I've studied this topic extensively since I was a little kid. No joke, when most kids wanted to be superheros or princesses or Tarzan, I wanted to be a CEO. I even had a little list (Yes, even back in grade school I made lists.) of all the things I wanted my company to be. Instead of a lemonade stand, I sold candy to my friends, I helped organize yard sales and despite not understanding the words written in Forbes, I studied the pages, I just knew I wanted to be that important. I wanted to be something, to do something significant in my life. I guess, in a way, we all have a bit of that in us. We all want a legacy, no matter the size. From what I've gathered over the years, every successful person I look up to, has done the following.

Making Connections

The first thing I was told upon my arrival to college, was to network as much as I studied. Honestly, it's some of the best advice I received about successful. Almost every opportunity that came my way, I received because a friend of a friend...knew someone. That being said, I didn't just land an opportunity because of connections, I also had to qualify for it in some way. Despite popular belief, things don't come to those who wait, they come to those who work harder than anyone else (and networking is hard work.)

Here's my biggest tips for networking: 

  • Have a great elevator pitch. Something like, "Hi my name is (so and so), I'm a _____(major) OR I have a background in (whatever your background is) and I'm currently a (however far you are in your degree or career). In my free time I'm doing (This side project), and I want to break into the ______ industry." Keep in mind a great pitch should only be about 30-60 seconds, and 60 seconds is pushing it. I try and keep mine at around 30-40 seconds. You don't want to overload them, but you want to start a conversation.
  • Ask about the other person. It's not all about you. Networking is about building a relationship, not me me me. Sometimes, it isn't how they can help you, it's about how you can help each other.
  • Email the person afterwords. Do this for everyone you network with! Even if you didn't have much in common, you never know who they know. And keep in touch afterwords. Usually, include a piece of the conversation that they can remember you by. Something like, "It was great talking to you about (their company/industry), I never knew that you had an office nearby. I would love to stop by sometime and get a tour of the place if I could." Or I've even used, "It was great talking to you about design, I never knew that different iconic brand names sometimes have to get changed oversees to fit the different market." And always thank the person for their time.
  • Smile! I'm pretty sure I've worked in a way to advise this in every blog post, but smile when you meet someone and smile throughout the conversation. You would be amazed at how many people don't smile.

Putting in the work


Successful people do the work that most of us don't want to. Gary Vee is often quoted saying, "I will outwork my competitor" and my all time favorite, "1 is better than zero." I've always thought there was some truth to that. You have to do work that no one else wants to do to make a brand. You need to sit through hours of making cold calls to get clients. You have to spend hours online creating content and commenting on content and connecting with people to build your name. To be successful, you have to put in long hours, and sometimes it's 19 hour days, most of which are in front of the computer on social media, returning emails or creating content. 

People think if they start their own business, they can work less. No joke, I know people who do that route and think they can have a flexible schedule and have more vacations and all that good stuff. They quickly learn, no they can't. You put in more work than you ever put in for your boss when you're creating your own brand/business.

Successful people work, even if no one sees the content. It's about putting something up everyday and reaching out to people who don't know you exist. And it's doing that everyday for x amount of months/years until someone notices you. It's not easy.

Being Hungry


Successful people are always hungry. They're always learning. They're always watching the market to see when they should make a move. Successful people are never pleased and always put in work to be the best they can be. They put in work most of us don't know exist until it becomes mainstream. To be successful, you gotta always look for your next opportunity. They're everywhere.

Not taking "no"

My High School marketing teacher always told me to never accept if someone rejects my work. (I just started photography at the time.) She used to tell me, "If a person doesn't like what you do, say thank you for your time, and in a month come back with better work and repeat the process until they say yes." The same goes for any field. Successful people don't take no.

They don't let someone say they're not good enough or their ideas won't ever happen. They still go out and do it because they know, if they push enough, it'll come true. Their goals will be a reality.

They don't have dreams, just long term goals.

Successful people are day dreamers. But, they don't have dreams. They have goals. Nasty Gal founder, Sophia Amoruso, once said, "Have ideas so good, that the ones you trash, others would dream of having at all."

Success, at least to me, is about using my creative talents to generate ideas and follow through on them. Many successful people think the same. Dreams are great, but they don't necessarily have action. Goals however, you gotta act on it for it to be a goal.

Knowing themselves


Successful people know themselves. They can be alone with their thoughts. Necessarily, they don't need other people around them 24/7, they may have that, but they don't need it.

They're vulnerable. Watch any Brene Brown talk, and you'll know what I'm talking about. Successful people are completely themselves. Quirks and all. 

I'm not saying successful people aren't insecure, they probably over think their ideas too, they probably are unsure about some things and maybe they care about their image. I can't say they do or they don't, I'm not in their circle of friends yet.

But, I can tell you, successful people don't let other peoples opinions get to them. Successful people define their own success and it's not on terms with society ori their peers. They're okay with standing out, being the odd one, and maybe sounding crazy for having their ideas. That's just fine in their book. As Steve Jobs put it, they're the crazy ones, and they'll change the world.

Don't be afraid of being the crazy one who isn't fond of rules, it means you're on your way to being your own success story.

Finally...

Almost every success story I know, minus anything Silicon Valley, is a 10+ year story. Success stories aren't overnight. Sometimes, successful people get lucky, But mostly, they're patient. They're doing what they do for themselves and their friends and family. Creating the things that they want to see in this world. Justin Simien, when talking about his film Dear White People, admits no one wanted to see that film. All of Hollywood was convinced "black films didn't sell", but he made it regardless. It took him 10 years, but he made an award winning film.

People don't know what they want. As a successful person, you gotta tell them what they want, create things they didn't know they wanted and you gotta rock knowing that no one wants what you're making. Still make it, the world needs you to make it.

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13 comments

  1. All of this is spot on.
    My biggest tip to anyone is believing you are already a success. It's easier to sell it if you believe it! I always walked in as if I already had got the job, won the case (law), etc.
    Worked every time!

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  2. networking is so important in my career, dunno where I would have been otherwise!

    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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  3. It's true, it's so much hard work when we have our own businesses, but people think self-employed people or shop owners do nothing :) So nice that you wanted to be a CEO as a child! I like your lists and advices! Networking is important, for sure. And yes, one of the principles of meditation is to have goals, not dreams. Goals are projects and come true. Dreams remain dreams!
    DenisesPlanet.com

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  4. These are all really great tips!! I'm going to book mark this and come back to it for a reference!! I really want to start looking for some internships and I think this will really help out. Thanks for sharing :D

    -Crystal
    http://crystallizeddaisies.blogspot.com

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  5. I've always found the prospect of having to sell myself really daunting but these are awesome tips! Thanks!
    http://www.zukiniz.com

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  6. I've always found the prospect of having to sell myself really daunting but these are awesome tips! Thanks!
    http://www.zukiniz.com

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  7. i really like your blog!:) i hope you're doing well!

    mfashionfreak♥blog

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  8. Such an inspiring blog post!!
    xx
    www.fuss.co.in

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  9. This is such a great post , success doesnt just happen ,you are right about 'patience '" being one of the attributes of successful people. Have a great weekend.

    www.stylenbeautylounge.com

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  10. I think everyone needs to read your post, because it's so helpful and full of good advices!
    Thank you so much for sharing this!!!
    Svetlana
    http://capemaychic.weebly.com

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  11. This is a great post, thanks for sharing
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

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  12. Love it! New post on my blog <3 Follow me if you like it. http://1100days.blogspot.pt/2015/07/paisley.html

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  13. All o this are so true! Thank you for sharing this, it's really inspiring my Monday!

    lifeisashoe

    ReplyDelete

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