8 of The Best-Kept Secrets of Successful People

Thomas Oppong

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All the successful people, past and present, made it that big only because they worked hard on managing their relationships, communicating their ideas to right audience, understanding the requirements and pain of their customers and doing what gets them closer to their dreams and visions everyday. These are some of the best-kept secrets of some of the most successful people we know today. You can easily apply some of these ideas in your life.

1. Self-investment yields the biggest returns

There is no shortage of financial advisers and no shortage of financial advice. Buy this, sell that, invest here, invest there, etc. Stock markets can do well, real estate can do well, hedge funds can do well...there are lots of investment opportunities out there. But none, I repeat, absolutely NONE comes close to the investment you can make in yourself. You don't get rich by hoping for the best and guessing what your return will be. You get rich by working hard at it.

2. Never feel awkward in any conversation. Ever.

If you can comfortably converse with anybody and relate to them, you can influence them. Successful people tend to think they are one of the smartest ones in the room, but most people think less of themselves. It's because they ask a lot of questions. Ask any successful person about about their expertise and how you can apply it to your life. They will like you. Now you have the opportunity to sell your service, product idea or whatever it is you do, without actually selling yourself.

3. Successful people often recognize you have to give to get.

They understand people, they listen in conversations, and if you converse with one, you both probably walk away feeling good about the conversation and that you got something out of it. Successful people can manipulate and influence others without their even knowing it.

4. Successful people are never bored.

If you find yourself bored and looking for something to do, then you are doing something wrong. Successful people are tireless, almost never satisfied with anything, and always trying to learn more. Warren Buffet says he spends most of his time reading. What does a billionaire need to read?

He can pay someone to read for him. He reads for a reason. And it's one reason he is so successful, because you know long before he was a billionaire he was doing the same thing. Successful business people don't get comfortable and are rarely satisfied. There is an innate desire to always grow and learn. Always read. Always learn. Never let a moment go to waste. Enjoy through recreation or use it to further yourself in some way.

5. Success doesn't change successful people.

Like I said about Warren Buffet, he still reads. A lot. It's part of what made him successful. But the most successful people in the world recognize that whatever it took to become successful is what it takes to REMAIN successful. A lot of successful people have lost that success.

You can find stories of former professional athletes, millionaires at one point, who go bankrupt. They worked hard to become successful, but it appears after earning their success, the hard work stopped, and with it their success. The secret to becoming successful is the same secret to remaining successful after you achieve initial success.

6. The very successful people habitually seize the right opportunity

You’ll gain expertise only when you step confidently into new territory. Act confident to become confident. Eventually, the more we practice at things, the better and more confident we become. We all have fear, and we all have causes we believe in. It’s our choice which one we allow to win in the end.

7. Successful people provide value for everyone on daily basis

Look for ways to provide value to everyone you can on a daily basis. These actions, if consistent become behaviours which are highly desirable and never go unnoticed forever. People who create value for others accumulate goodwill and respectability. That goodwill and respectability translates to introductions, which build your network over time. Your network, in turn, opens the door for introductions and opportunities for you to pursue.

8. Successful people embrace life-long learning

History’s greatest men were lifelong learners — many of them devoted quality time to self-education. Albert Einstein, Theodore Roosevelt, Richard Feynman, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton committed a lot time to personal learning either in addition to traditional education or as a substitute to formal schooling.

The most successful people in history were dedicated to self-learning. They recognise the need to grow and deepen their understanding of themselves and interesting subjects. We would be wise to follow in their footsteps.

Paul Tudor Jones, self-made billionaire entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist agrees. He once said, “Intellectual capital will always trump financial capital.”

More than ever, learning is for life if you want to stay relevant in the world of work. If you are aiming to become a lifelong learner, some of these habits can be useful for you.

Success is about the ability to see an opportunity and being prepared to act on that opportunity. Be aware of the situation around you, but be prepared for the unexpected. It seems impossible, but when you're in business, you have to perform the impossible. Find connections around you and act on the ones that are opportunities.

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I write on science-based answers to problems in life and career, mostly about business, productivity, and self-improvement. My goal is to help you master the best of what the experts, top performers, and behavioural scientists have already figured out.

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