Successful people can seem like they have some kind of magic powers beyond our understanding. For us mere mortals, it often feels like money, fame, fortune and contentment just rain down on these folks from the heavens. GASP!
Truth is, successful people have three simple habits for excellence (habits WE can learn).
Granted, they actually have more than three habits, but today we’re focusing on the BIG ONES. It’s Saturday. Let’s have fun and give our brains a break.
These are habits we can use in every area of life. What are three simple habits our mentors or heroes have that we don’t? What do successful people DO differently? What is their “magic”? For any success? Business, life, marriage, parenting or even a life of joy and contentment, what are the basics?
Understand though, simple is not synonymous with easy. Simple is simple, but rarely easy.
I’ve worn a lot of hats over the years from retail to software to sales and now blogger, editor, entrepreneur. I’ve read countless books on success and then applied what I learned. I stepped out, fell on my face, tripped, failed, learned, whined, grew, read more books, tried again, won THEN CRASHED.
I put out the flames and started over and I work hard to use these tough lessons to get better day by day. I’m always searching for ways to grow, to fire out weaknesses and improve.
I’m currently part of an on-line entrepreneur mentorship program. At first, I was super excited. Now?
I see it quickly devolving into what makes so many writing groups, on-line support groups, businesses, families and marriages unravel and all for the same exact reason.
On and on about their business, what they can sell, can they put up a price list? Ugh. Only talking to me so they can sell me something (manipulation). They don’t give a rip about me at all, only my debit card.
Reminds me of the old Toby Keith song…I WANNA TALK ABOUT ME!
The group’s mission statement involved entrepreneurs networking, learning, growing and locating mentors. Yet it’s becoming a “What Can I SELL YOU?” thread with a quickness. I’ve seen this happen with almost every single writing support group. These groups begin with service and end in spam.
Buy my book! Have you bought my book? Can you review my book?
Too many people want a shortcut, to take without serving, listening, hearing, and engaging and realizing someone else in the world exists other than THEM.
That’s sadly why the success they long for never arrives because manipulation is a lousy foundation for…pretty much everything. Ergo why Cait and I are going to continue our posts on grifts and how writers being manipulated and used.
For now, though I’m going to focus on YOU 😀 .
#1—Successful People Serve
I’d like to say I was born a completely selfless person devoid of any personal agendas, but yeah. I try to keep my lying to my fiction. I even wrote a post Pride, Perfectionism and Anger—Confessions of a Recovering Jerk because I want all of you to know you are not alone.
I might be an “expert” but I’ve worked very hard to make it clear that I struggle. Every day I work to check my agenda. Am I talking to someone, being kind, offering help to serve first? Or, do I want something later?
There’s a difference between motivation and manipulation. Motivation is for the benefice of others. Manipulation always looks like “helping others” but it’s all about ME, I, MINE. People are a means to an end.
Which consumers pick up on and then will avoid the manipulator like Ebola, btw…
Over time (and a lot of failures) I learned to value others not because I wanted something from them, but because valuing others is part of possessing good character.
All authentic success has a foundation of integrity and service above self. Great businesses focus on serving not selling.
My motive for blogging for FREE is to serve. If class sales follow? Great, I really dig electricity and eating. Whoo-hoo! But even then my business mission statement is: Superior and affordable training to shape emerging writers into successful, professional commercial authors.
See? Service 😀 .
#2—Successful People Remember
They remember a lot about other people. It’s because they make a point to do this. They recall faces, names, hobbies, victories, struggles, and the stories of others.
The best advice I can give might initially seem silly, but the best way to show people you value them is to ask for and then remember their name. All people, not just people who can do something for us.
I hear this all the time, I am SO bad at remembering names. This is an excuse, one I used for a long time, myself. Thus, I’m totally NOT judging.
Hard truth is we can remember names when we think the name/person is important.
If I was at a conference and there was a mega agent I wanted to get eyes on MY BOOK. Oh heck to the yeah I’d remember THAT NAME. Some millionaire wanting to give out seed money for struggling authors? Yup. Would remember that one, too.
Thus my excuse of “being bad at names” crumbles under the litmus of motive and agenda. The challenge then is to work on authentic connection with all who cross our path, not just people who can get us an angle.
Remembering names and people is a habit of excellence and builds integrity.
The best way to remember names is to first get the name. I look at name tags in grocery stores (ask if no tag available), then call the person BY their name. I talk to the person slicing my deli meat, ask questions and then listen. Then answer the person BY NAME.
Using a name makes it more likely we will remember it.
Remembering names places me in a mindset of valuing others, slowing down and thinking of other people first with no agenda other than kindness. This habit will pay off major dividends not only in our spirit, but the hearts of others.
When it comes to business, our odds of success improve because people are tired of being sold to non-stop. They’re weary of folks who only talk to them or know they exist when they want something.
#3—Successful People LISTEN
Successful people listen first, act later. Effective entrepreneurs listen to what consumers are in need of, what problem needs solving, and then act. Their business, service, product is FOR others, not solely “to make money.” People don’t like feeling like walking piggy banks, FYI.
Great authors listen to the world around them and pay attention. These writers seek out stories audiences crave even when the readers might not yet know that was JUST the story they wanted.
Yes, the writers want to sell books #DUH. But SALES come organically as a result of connection gained from listening (and serving) first.
If we don’t listen with the goal to truly hear? We frustrate ourselves and others because we’re blathering opinions, suggestions, thoughts, services that might not even be salient let alone desired. In fact, might even peeve others off.
Yet, if we’d stop and listen, we’d be in a far better position to connect authentically and be successful (with books, sales, kids, marriage, life). We’d be working smarter, not harder because we’d know the actual need instead of guessing then blasting others with a scattergun.
In the end, simple changes in daily habits add up over time. It seems kindness, authenticity, excellence are great buzz words for sermons or self-help. Yet, these habits of excellence appeal to all humans (even ones buying stuff).
I know we all want the express elevator to the top, but it doesn’t exist. Anyone who says differently is selling us something completely useless (grift).
LET’S HAVE FUN! I WANNA TALK ABOUT YOU, JUST YOU! ALL YOU, YOU, YOU! I WANT TO KNOW YOU!
Tell me something about YOU!
Doesn’t even have to do with this post. Have fun! What are your hobbies? Loves? Passions? Fears? Struggles? Favorite movies? Foods? Favorite songs? Greatest accomplishment? What are you most proud of? What do you love about writing?
Funniest thing ever happened to you? Worst date EVER? Best date ever? Tell us about your pets, your kids, your garden or quilting project. Pictures and links welcome! Show off! I am giving you the stage *bows dramatically*
I want to know about your dreams, your hopes, about the bodies in your basement! …okay maybe not that. #Accomplice
I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU! And I am NOT above BRIBERY! I will pick someone for a FREE class recording from comments today AND enter you in usual contest.
What do you WIN? For the month of OCTOBER, for everyone who leaves a comment, I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).