The Key Traits of the Highly Successful People

My favorite clients, especially for my high-end coaching sessions, are the highly successful ones, and it’s not linked solely to having a lot of money or fame. In fact, there are plenty of people out there who are not particularly rich, but who are successful through their accomplishments, interests, and dreams that they followed. Things they’ve done for others and legacies left behind.

Let me tell you my findings when it comes to this unique type of successful individuals. It’s not that typical list type of article, but more a story about these high-end clients mindset, power skills they’ve mastered, common traits – based on observation. I also want to erase that judgment which can keep people poor and unsuccessful that influential, powerful, rich people are “dirty.” That’s a harmful misconception. Those “dirty” ones are opportunists, and you can find good and bad people between the average men, that’s a game of numbers, nothing more. That’s why the definition of success is not tight only on money, power, influence, fame. Those are not character traits. Those are results.

The Money Factor

I wanted to cut out this factor from the beginning. Even though most of them have money, as a result of who they are and what they’ve become, that’s not the starting point. The central aspect of success is that people who are described as such achieved things in their field, are a great role model and impact people lives around them in a different amount of numbers. You can say they are on a mission, it’s written all over them. They never stop. They have a vision that must be achieved, and while pursuing that vision they grow tremendously, becoming top performers in what they are doing. This way they attract the wealth and the people around them. Not the other way around.

Successful People Have Character Traits

There are most definitely some character traits that differentiate a successful person from average, mediocre, or opportunistic. I’m talking about similarities you discover once you know them. Those are not something you’re just born with. These traits are developed and the achiever type does the extra mile to acquire them, one by one; because discipline and patience are part of their secret weaponry.

Let’s take an example. You put three people in a room. One of them is you. In this story, you are the average person, just for the story’s sake, no offense. The other two are multimillionaires. Or since, we already established you don’t need to be the richest to be highly successful, let’s say inventor, researcher, or a Nobel Prize Winner. One gain power and influence through money alone. He won his cash overnight, maybe won at the lottery, or inherited his folk’s fortune without contributing much to the table. I don’t want to add other illegal ways here, but you can – if you want. The other got his power and influence through his work, life mission, some fantastic skill. And he gained his money, a few or a lot, without any shortcuts, following all those trial and error roads, running over the other’s judgment every time they’ve made him crazy or unrealistic. His accomplishments are connected to a highway of dreams, failures, pain and fear, disputes, conflicts and so on.

You are sitting in the middle. The chances are that the first one will treat you like garbage, having a superiority in the gestures, attitude, and tone. He suddenly starts acting like he knows everything, has all the answers, making you feel worthless. He thinks that together with the money came his statute of superiority, the right to look down on others and consider them inferior. On the other hand, the other one will treat you like an equal. He will be kind, understanding, polite, showing a lot of compassion. He just makes you feel good.

Best Friend Figure

These type of people have a charming presence around them, they are most of the time modest, kind, humble, constant learners, up with the trends and think long-term. If you have the chance to stay around them in a more private setting, 1:1, you have the feeling that they are your best friend.

That’s because they can see the big picture. Also, what they leave behind is, and they are very conscious that everything they do can leave a significant mark on their life or others. Their work can influence around, not only today but tomorrow. So, they’ll won’t take advantage of their power, on the contrary. To gain that power and influence, and especially to keep that they need to learn every day something. Why not from you? That’s the way they see things. One of my favorite traits is that these people listen. My best conversations I’ve ever had were with these successful individuals.

Personal Development as Part of Each Day

No matter what you do or where you want to go, personal development will make the difference. In my field, for example, doesn’t matter what my mission is, personal growth is part of what I do like the alphabet is part of your vocabulary. Successful people see personal development as part of life, like waking up each morning or taking a breath. There is no growth without change, and no matter what their goal is, they need to become better to reach that goal. The personal development gives those resources to do whatever it takes on the way. You can take it as fuel or food, without it you’re staying in one place; or worst, you die.

They love books, and probably they all read, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. Just because it came in their way one day, or someone mentioned it, someone who they trust or look up to, and were curious to see the content. Simple as that. You don’t have to sell them why they need to read books or anything of that matter. They already “bought” that idea, a long time ago.

Yes, they are curious and constant scholars. As long as you’re alive, you have work to do. That’s their mindset. That doesn’t mean they are workaholics. Many of the top performers and achievers are, but that’s because they love what they do; therefore being a workaholic for such a person equals being on a mission, doing what it takes to reach the target. Once they check that target, they already see the next one.

You won’t hear such a person on Friday, telling you “’I can’t now. We talk on Monday” if it’s about something important, and please remember the word “important.” They don’t care about what day it is or other norms. They are those who question the norms. They create the rules. That’s why they won’t feel the constant pressure of society about doing something in a predetermined way. They don’t care. NOT ANYMORE.

Of course, they have vacations, and free times, but on their terms. That can be Monday off, or 3-5 holidays per year, one-four weeks each. I hardly found such a person who can stay on a vacation more than one month at once; usually, nine days at once are more than enough.

They CARE, but they don’t care about…

You’ve probably heard the saying that successful people have thick skin. Damn right, they have! I mentioned earlier about setting the norms, not conforming to the norms. They developed a thick skin of not carrying about SOME things. It’s a big difference between having a thick skin and not carrying. What to care about is the question? Or WHO?

Simply put, they care about you, people in general, loved ones, society… But they don’t care about what others say. Let’s see. All that noise that surrounds us whenever we want to accomplish something we believe in. All those critiques from the people around, including family and friends, media, and so many strangers that affect most of the people won’t change the successful type. But trust me, it was not that easy to achieve this ability of not carrying about the BS and limiting attempts. It took time and a lot of pain.

Cause and Effect

Why are all these true and also no-brainers? That’s because you cannot be humble if you were not ridiculed before, a lot. You could not be empathetic if you didn’t suffer pain and loss. You could not be brave or have the courage to follow your dreams if you didn’t conquer your fears every time you needed to exit your comfort zone. Only those who went through different life experiences and failures can relate to someone who is at the beginning of the road or under them.

They know they’re facing some hardships and in order to succeed, they will need many things to overcome. So these high-class individuals, who’ve been there done that, feel for them. The last thing they want is to pour gasoline on the wound. But many times the visible eye sees only the achievements, not the pain behind them. So they associate success with luck, or dirty, shady roads and that’s why they’ll never become one. It’s not by chance why only a small ratio of the population is on top of things.

Sharing Their Knowledge

You probably know this that intelligent people learn from their experience, but only the wise is capable of learning from others. That’s true because usually, people need to feel the pain on their own to learn the lesson behind an event, action, happening. You need to be capable of relating entirely to a story of someone else to discover its essence. In case you’re not the wise type.

Successful people know this, and they honestly want to help. Those who overcome struggles and did what it takes to reach their goals are very sharing. If you listen! They are not shy to keep things from themselves to not steal their ideas, or by being afraid that you become better than them. These are the thoughts of small people.

Of course, they won’t tell you their invention before submitting it for a patent, but they will share their experiences, good and bad alike. They want you to succeed to be like them because they like themselves. Of course, they know they can do better and improve every day, but growing likeminded people would make a better place for all of us, so they have nothing to be afraid of by people becoming one of them. That’s why you’ll see them doing a lot of charities, interviews, and events where they are talking about their journey to success.

Final Thoughts

Most of my headaches, pain, critique, betrayal, injustice, and ingratitude came from those I’ve tried to save, or push them higher than they were ready. The majority will never be prepared, remember the small ratio from above. I wasted so much time on them.

The majority is not willing to put in the effort but demands the magic pill. Those who didn’t want change, only in words. Or maybe you should do the job instead of them. Oh, I worked with so many. Shame on me. My own “Idiocracy”, or say it naivety if you want, was my stubbornness to bring these people from A to the end of the alphabet without their involvement, or even will. That caused me most of my problems. Fortunately, that’s not the case anymore. I don’t work with such people anymore. Now I have my terms. It’s heaven.

I highly recommend you not to try saving people who don’t want to be saved or who won’t put their money where their mouth is. Leave them alone. Don’t sacrifice your own mission for others. You won’t help anyone doing that, on the contrary. Just do it, and you can thank me later, if you want. It’s a life-changing thing.

On the other hand, working with the highly successful ones is truly a pleasure. High-end clients are the best listeners, learners, executioners with the quickest and best results. You don’t need to explain to them every little thing and motivate them for the smallest step to take forward. That’s exhausting.

You don’t need to start basics from scratch and explain why they should do consistently more to become more. Because they know all that, they know what they’re up to and willing to do what it takes to get where they said they want. We don’t spend time, make them want what they think they want, pushing them to do things like they do it for you; making you feel like you’re the bad guy. No, we work on the real deals and execute each step as athletes at the Olympics.

Success is not rocket science, but requires a game plan, discipline, constant action, personal development, resistance to criticism, strength to face failure, patience.

Are you one of them? You have my admiration. Do you want to be one? Go get’em, tiger!

Cristina Imre

Cristina Imre is a High-End Coach and Keynote Speaker, helping top performers worldwide to solve their problems and achieve their goals with her unique methods. She’s also a trainer, serial entrepreneur and author.