Top 13 Things Successful People Do

Everyone wants to be successful, and one of the best ways to do so is by emulating other successful people. While successful people have their own unique approach, there are several common patterns you can follow. If you have ever watched interviews, lectures, or seminars of successful people, you will more often see that it is the little things they do every day, which point them in the right direction.

Here are the top 13 things that successful people do each day:

1. Focus on Productivity, Not on Being Busy

A man holding smartphone and looking at productivity wall decor

We live in a world where many of us get paid by the hour, but entrepreneurs never pay themselves like a boss would pay them. You should not reward yourself for spending time working, instead reward yourself for getting the work done.

If you want to be successful in a corporate career, then you should focus on productivity. Your productivity should far outshine the productivity of your co-workers. This way, you can make a significant impact on your company. Hence, you might be the one to get the next promotion.

2. Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

A white ceramic mug on the table with the text “begin” written on it

If you ask anyone what success is, they will most probably define it as achieving a goal. But you can never be successful if you are not able to achieve your goals. You might set goals that are too unrealistic or nebulous but don’t worry, they can be achieved as well. And, the best way to do so is by setting S.M.A.R.T goals. It is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely.

The acronym is self-explanatory. According to S.M.A.R.T, what you have to do is set goals that are concrete, narrowly defined, and can be measured as you progress. This way, you can achieve all your set goals within a finite amount of time.

3. They Read Consistently

A man reading a book

If someone thinks that he has enough knowledge and doesn’t need to learn more, then he doesn’t have a mindset of an entrepreneur or a successful person. There is endless knowledge out there, and in order to learn more and improve yourself, reading is essential. Successful people are always learning. They don’t make excuses, and instead prioritize personal learning.

Choose a great book, such as The Entrepreneur Mind or The Lean Startup, and set a goal to read it in a week.

4. They Keep Themselves Healthy and Work out in the Morning

two persons running

Morning is the best time to work out because it is the only quiet time in a day in which you can focus on some work with a clear mind before heading into work. Successful people don’t like to distract themselves while they are working out – they go to the gym or on a morning walk. Implement this morning routine in your lifestyle, and you will start seeing a positive change in yourself and your work.

5. They Persist Until They Achieve Their Goals

a person concentrating on his work

If you think there will be no obstacles on your way to success, then you want to think the opposite. There are a lot of hurdles and obstacles to success, but they are normal and should be expected. When bright people commit to success, they persist no matter what obstacles come in the way. They go around them, push them, or go over them, but persist no matter what happens.

You should mimic the same if you want to be as successful as them.

6. They Wake Up Early

photo of a person holding an alarm clock

As already mentioned above, waking up early in the morning and working out isn’t just good for your health but can also help improve your performance in the office. Here are a few examples of successful people and how early they wake up in the morning:

  • Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat and Chrysler, wakes up at 3:30am to deal with the European market.
  • Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, wakes up as early as 4:30am to read and send important emails.
  • Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, starts his day as early as5:30am for his daily workout routine.

Starting your day as early as possible will give you a head start to begin your day without making it hectic and loaded with work.

7. They Don’t Rely On To-Do Lists

a pen, calendar, and a to-do list on the table

If you use to-do lists, then get rid of them and schedule everything on your calendar like successful people. According to The Busy Person’s Guide to the Done List by Janet Choi and Walter Chen of iDoneThis, only 41% of items on a to-do list ever get done.

All those things that you are not able to do can lead to stress and insomnia because of the Zeigarnik effect. Which, in essence, means that all the uncompleted tasks will stay on your mind and haunt you until you finish them. Highly productive and bright people put every task on their calendar and then live by it.

8. Embrace Ambiguity

a man looking at a wall having various printed papers

Although embracing ambiguity is difficult, the top 1% of people who are very successful in life, love it. This is because it gives them a wonderful opportunity to be creative than others and stand out. Also, they don’t mind making hard decisions because they are far-sighted and know that doing so will lead to a higher impact. Plus, it is more rewarding.

9. They Believe in Themselves and Their Vision

“believe in yourself” written on sand

In order to achieve anything difficult, the first and the most important thing is believing in yourself and your vision. There is one thing common in all the successful people out there, and that is unshakable confidence in themselves and their vision. If you believe you can make the impossible possible, then you are in the right way. All you have to do is keep these three rules in mind:

  • Set goals
  • Believe in yourself and your vision
  • Work like mad to achieve it

10. They Have Successful Friends

three men sitting on a table and talking to each other

As they say, ‘A man is known by the company he keeps’ – if you are in a wrong company, you won’t be doing anything good to yourself. Bright people know the importance of having good and successful friends – this is why they keep company with mentors, entrepreneurs, and other people who can inspire and motivate them.

Expanding your circle of friends and business associates is great because if you ever find yourself facing harsh times, you can reach out to them for ideas. Just remember that every conversation is an opportunity, so don’t miss it.

11. They are Optimistic

“be optimistic” written on a wooden door

Successful people know when to be optimistic. Optimism is a great way to focus on the bright side and opportunities that one would miss if he focuses on the negative only. While you must always prepare for the future and obstacles, you must also believe that there is a way across the hurdles that come in your way. If you are a pessimist, you will turn back long before the journey is complete.

12. They Don’t Fear To Embrace Failure

a person smiling

Wheneversuccessful people make future business plans, they keep failure in perspective and are ready to embrace it without any fear. Success isn’t overnight work; it is built on a series of lessons learned and failures. Learn from your failures every day, face them, and overcome them by giving your best shot next time.

13. They Check E-Mails Only A Few Times a Day

a person holding an iPhone

Time is money, and successful people live by it. They don’t process their emails throughout the day. They don’t just respond to every ‘ding’ to see who has intruded into their inbox. What they do is, like everything else, schedule time to check their emails. For some, it is only once a day, while for others, it is morning, noon, and just before sleeping.

Bottom Line

These were some of the most common things that every successful people do. How many of them do you do? If not all, or most of them, it is time you should follow these things, implement them in your life, and upgrade your lifestyle so you can get the success you deserve. You might want to learn more about the most successful tech entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley.