The 7 Habits I Learned From Interviewing Successful People
[Editor’s Note: Today’s guest post is from Michael who blogs at Your Money Geek. This is where he shares his experience, unique insights, and profiles inspirational success stories. When he is not writing about personal finance Michael can be found enjoying a sci-fi book.
When you think of success what comes to mind?
You probably think of a great business leader like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett or Elon Musk. Right?
Some of you may think of an A-list celebrity like Kim Kardashian or Taylor Swift. There is no doubt they are all successful people.
However, people define success in countless ways. From the amount of money in their bank account to the number of followers they have on Instagram, everyone strives to achieve their own version of success.
Whichever way someone chooses to define success, it takes hard work, consistency, and persistence.
My passion for helping my readers reach their financial goals led me to interview celebrities, influencers and business leaders. Sharing their stories brought to life the struggle and triumph that led them to their success.
I want my readers to feel as if they aren’t alone. I want them to hear from real people that they can relate to and learn from.
Through my interviews, I discovered many of the celebrities I spoke with had similar characteristics. I began to see patterns in their journey toward success.
Over time, it became clear to me that applying these patterns to your own life can help you achieve the life you have always dreamed of. If you have been waiting for that push, here it is…
7 Habits of Wildly Successful People
1) They’re Workaholics
How many hours do you work a day? For many people, they work 40-hour weeks and then spend the rest of their time enjoying leisure activities or watching their favorite Netflix shows.
This is quite the contrary for the celebrities I’ve interviewed.
All the entrepreneurs, celebrities, and influencers I interviewed credited working more than 40-hours a week to their success. They live a life of passion and purpose, not one of complacency.
Their drive to achieve their vision of success gives them energy and ignites their creativity in all aspects of their lives. This makes it easy for them to work 12-plus hour days. It amazed me that some of my communication with these celebrities would take place after midnight.
They truly never stop working on their passion and are unapologetic about their persistence.
In my recent interview with Dominic Pace, he mentioned the importance of seeking his own work.
Pace does not rely on anyone to find work for him, rather he pursues his own employment opportunities. He noted that being proactive in pursuing work doesn’t make you aggressive or needy, it makes you ambitious and hungry for success.
Your ambition and drive set you apart from the weak and the lazy. If you want something bad enough, you must put in more work than the average person is willing to. While others rest, you need to be working.
Even if you have a 9 to 5 job, you still have 79 hours a week to do as you please. That number includes 7 hours of sleep a night.
That’s 79 hours of non-sleeping hours when you could be turning your dreams into reality.
If you want to be successful, use your time wisely.
2) They Know Exactly What They Want
Goal setting is an important trait of those that have achieved success.
Knowing exactly what you want is the driving force behind your work ethic and passion. All the successful people I speak with are extremely specific about what they are pursuing.
Diane Franklin believes that success is not only defined by the habits we establish but also in figuring out exactly what we want. To succeed you must define your goal and make a list of what steps you must take to achieve your dream.
If you don’t know what you want, you aren’t alone. But you need to start figuring it out. If you are stuck in a rut, then at the very least you already know what you are currently doing isn’t working, and that’s a start. Try something new and see if that’s better.
If not, try again. This is your life we are talking about, so what could be more important!?
According to Diane, you must push aside your fear of failure and focus on the path to success. If you fail along the way, don’t be ashamed, use the experience as a learning experience and keep working on achieving your goals.
For example, if you’re playing darts but don’t hit a bullseye what’s the point of the game? The point is to get better so that you can eventually hit the target!
Having defined goals with a list of actions you must complete is the key to remaining productive.
Knowing what you’re working toward is key to accomplishing your goals and aspirations.
3) They Respect the Competition
In addition to their passion for work, it is fascinating the healthy respect celebrities have for their competition. Almost every celebrity I interviewed was aware that if they were not willing to put in the effort, someone else would.
The same can be said for successful businessmen and women. Entrepreneurs realize that there’s always someone out there trying to steal their market share.
Successful people respect the fact that to remain successful they must maintain the level of hustle that got them success in the first place. Many believe they must start over each day and work harder than the day before. The first sign of laziness or inconsistency can significantly harm everything they have worked for.
Competition keeps them sharp and on their game. It forces them outside their comfort zone as well as pushes them to grow in their craft and skill.
Many people view competition as a bad thing or something to try to avoid at all costs. However, competition is something celebrities celebrate and accept as a part of life. There’s always someone who will have more experience or a better skill set than you do, but it’s up to you to keep striving for more.
Once we accept the existence of competition, we can accelerate our own growth. To be honest, most people really aren’t paying attention to you anyway. They focus on their own work and what they need to do in order to achieve their ideal version of success.
By using your competition to your advantage, you will always be one step ahead.
4) Avoid Saying No
Time permitting, successful actors, writers and business leaders rarely say no to high-potential opportunities.
It is impressive how rarely celebrities turn down work. Rather than consider a role too small or large, they consider every opportunity to network. They’re not fixated on the result of one effort, rather they focus on how the effort could lead to more opportunities down the road.
Their opportunistic perspective leads them to realize bringing your “A” game to a low budget short, might lead to the director wanting to work with them again on a future big budget movie.
Every opportunity leads to another opportunity. You never know what’s right around the corner if you don’t put yourself out there as much as you can.
Think back to the times when you said “yes” to a new job or an adventure. How did it turn out? Were you pleasantly surprised or disappointed? Most likely, it opened a new door to something you never thought was possible.
By saying “yes” to big and small opportunities alike, you increase the possibilities that happen in your life.
5) Written Schedules
In nearly every interview I conducted, the interviewee kept a handwritten schedule. Either a dry erase board or a simple piece of paper. I was initially shocked that they didn’t use Google calendars.
In my recent interview with Perez Hilton, he discussed his need for scheduling. He doesn’t do spontaneous work. Scheduling his life helps him balance all his avenues of work and stay on top of all his business obligations.
It’s easy for life to get in the way of your to do list. However, when you schedule your day hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, you leave less room for error. The more structured you are with your daily schedule, the easier it’ll be for you to achieve your wildest dreams.
Time is priceless. The more you efficiently utilize your time to your advantage the more you will see results.
6) They Invest in Themselves
It’s amazing how much time and effort they invest in themselves. Everyone I interviewed could name at least one or two books that they recently read that they found helped their craft.
The vast majority still work with a coach or a mentor, and several had recently attended training or conferences.
Some people view coaches or mentors as something that only non-successful people need. It turns out that the opposite is true.
You are your most important asset. It’s your responsibility to continue to grow and get better every day.
Each day provides the opportunity to learn something new and to enhance your skills. It’s important to take advantage of these opportunities. After all, if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.
Did you know that you only retain 10% of knowledge by simply reading written material? However, you may retain 90% of the material you read and then implement right away.
This means that it is imperative you continue to learn and apply your knowledge. Even if you re-read your favorite books, you will learn something new every time.
7) They Hit the Gym
It’s not just for vanity, each person I spoke with also believes hitting the gym and being physically active helps with their mental state. Everyone we spoke with mentioned that consistently hitting the gym helped them remain balanced and improved their mood.
In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, exercise improves mood and boosts energy levels. If you’re going to work 12 plus hour days, you better have a way to keep your energy up.
In addition, exercise helps your cardiovascular system work better, giving you more energy to tackle any tasks at hand. Even the busiest celebrities make time to get their sweat on. They prioritize their health because they knew it could help them maintain their level of success.
Your Road to Success
Whether you want to become an accomplished writer, an entrepreneur, actor or a profitable side hustler, the path to success is similar.
The formula is simple, but few are up to the challenge. They are okay with a mediocre life.
I learned there really isn’t one secret to success. People who reach celebrity status or become business leaders are just like you and I. However, they are persistent, have discipline, and are consistent.
They know exactly what they want.
They take every opportunity and seize the day.
What are you doing to be successful each day?