4 Things Highly Successful People Do Differently

By Brian Wallace

March 7, 2017   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

highly successful people

If you are genuinely happy with your life and your career, it’s easy to consider yourself successful. Most of us can agree that Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey are also successful people, even though we don’t know them personally.

All we know is that their businesses are great and that they have made quite a lot of money running them. Apart from these factors, there are other things these people share.

In case you are wondering what they are, below is a list of the things highly successful people do differently.

Keep A Routine

Keeping a routine is crucial to success. Time spent wondering what to do next is time wasted.

Elon Musk, for example, schedules his day in five-minute increments.  Knowing what he should be focusing on keeps him from wasting time. He splits his days between Tesla and SpaceX- always.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, has a slightly different way of avoiding wasted time: he wears basically the same outfit every day. By spending less time thinking about insignificant things, Zuckerberg is able to spend more time on important ideas.

Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, used to break up his self-improvement plans into 13-week chunks, cycling through 4 different points of improvement every year. Throughout those cycles, he kept the same daily schedule. He asked himself every morning: “What good shall I do today?”

Continuously learning

reading habit

Reading is crucial to learning, yet most people would often complain that they have no time. In reality, books can give you access to the knowledge of other high achievers.

Oprah Winfrey began reading when she was 3 years old and, since then, has never stopped. She claimed that books were her pass to personal freedom and she encourages other people to think the same way. Her book club has already made over 70 book recommendations since 1996.

Warren Buffett began his investment career by reading 800-1000 pages a day. Today, he reads an average of 80% of his waking hours. Bill Gates reads 50 books a year and advocates strongly for others to do the same, noting, “Almost one book a week is very doable- try it!”

See Also: 7 Reasons To Start Reading Books? Here’s why!

Staying fit

daily exercise

Physical fitness helps you learn to push through barriers while enhancing your cognitive abilities. Richard Branson is a good example.

He wakes up at 5 a.m. to do various forms of physical activity. He claims that he gets 4 additional hours of productivity out of each day because of it.

Tyra Banks, meanwhile, recommends keeping workouts fun and inspiring while Mark Cuban suggests doing 6-7 hours of cardio per week.

Being persistent

Steve Jobs is known not only for his great success but also for getting fired from the company he helped built in 1985. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance,” said Jobs.

He was well known for his drive and for his way of looking at things differently- if he heard the word “no” too often, he knew that meant something has got to change.

See Also: The Top 3 Habits That Made Steve Jobs Successful

Part of perseverance and persistence is being flexible. If you are too rigid in your thinking, it will prevent you from being innovative. Peter Thiel believes in keeping things unplanned so you can have room to experiment.

Thomas Edison is well known for learning from his mistakes and turning those mistakes into teachable moments. “I have not failed 10,000 times, I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work,” said Edison.

Applying These Lessons In The Workplace

Looking for job candidates who have a good sense of work-life balance is the best way to nurture things like perseverance, physical fitness, and lifelong learning. Candidates who want to punch a time clock and go home after just to play video games should not be expected to work on their personal development in their spare time.

If you want to find innovative people, find out what their traits are. Looking at the habits of highly successful people can give you an idea of what a successful job candidate might look like.

Learn more about these traits from this infographic.

Source: Habits of Highly Successful Entrpreneurs

The Habits of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs [Infographic]


Brian Wallace

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, and hosts the Next Action Podcast. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019.

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