I’ve always wanted to be successful. I mean really successful. Being raised in one of the poorest neighborhoods in my hometown can do that to a kid. Being homeless on the street with my mom, aunt, cousin and sister can do that as well. The frustration I felt watching my single mom day in and day out work two and often three jobs was motivating for me. I didn’t completely know what I would do growing up, but I DID know whatever it was, I would want to make enough money to support my mom. I hated seeing her work so hard, but make so little. Years later, I still haven’t fully arrived at my goal for my mother, but I am definitely taking steps to get there.

During this journey, however, I have had many  “success” opportunities presented to me. Many of these come wrapped in “secrets” or “keys” that have led thousands to incredible wealth. For just X number of thousands of dollars, they can help you “unlock” their secrets to become as successful as they are. I can appreciate incredible wisdom and great mentoring. I have had the rare opportunity to be mentored and poured into by a few successful, highly productive, and amazingly driven people. I wouldn’t replace the lessons I have learned from them at all.  What I don’t appreciate are people who try to convince you their path to success should be the rule for success for everyone. “Just do my PROVEN three-step process and you will become successful!” many say. “Buy my product series and you too can be making thousands” others tell you.

After comparing many of these people with successful people that I actually DO admire (and even have had the opportunity to talk to a few), I realized a stark difference in what, for me, real success was. The people I truly admire exemplified certain success attributes and truly accelerated their influence, finances, and life using them. So I have extracted from my conversations and observations, 5 key values of what truly successful people do.

1.People over profits

The people I really find the most successful are those who put people before their profits. They are genuinely interested in watching others succeed regardless of what it takes. True success is about adding consistent value to as many people as possible with your unique skill set. Truly successful people aren’t trying to discover more ways to make money, but better ways to help people.

2. Excellence over easy

Time and time again, many really successful people personally NEVER set out to be successful. They enjoyed what they were doing and success naturally came. They didn’t look for a new money making project or wealth scheme, but simply did what they loved to the best of their skill and loved every part of it. The more they perfected their craft, the more opportunities  came that were aligned with their passion and not just their potential profits. When you love what you do, no one will ever have to tell you to do it well. You will be compelled to.

3. Systems over sweat

This is HUGE one. The more people I talk to who have accelerated their success, the more I realize they are thinking about systematically scaling their value. I remember speaking with a very successful real estate agent. Even though he became successful from selling property, he exponentially accelerated his income by training other individuals through video courses and curriculum he created. Creating systems greatly reduces your workload and allows you the freedom to expand and grow your life at an incredible pace. If you can’t discover how to scale your value to influence more people, you don’t truly understand how incredibly valuable you are. Your unique worth is much more bigger than you.  Your were born to multiply what is inside of you!

4. Giving over getting 

Success isn’t built on what you can gain, but what you can give first. Perhaps this is why “secrets to success” teachings really bug me. In reality, there aren’t any. There may be better ways of doing things or managing people. There may be better ways to use technology to make a process more efficient. All success, however, comes from using YOUR unique value to help as many people as possible solve a problem you are passionate about. We may learn from other people’s journey, but we will never be able to replicate their exact destination. Because of this, the more we focus on strategically and authentically giving to others bountifully, the more we will breed opportunities towards success. Instead of always trying to hide your potential value, why not give some of it to people openly first. Giving from your value will fulfill you much more than money ever could. 

5.  Failure over fear

Everyone I know who has become successful was willing to take a risk that made them uncomfortable. It is one of the scariest feelings in the world, but it is one worth taking. I am a living testament to this. Last year, I decided to become a full-time entrepreneur. Though it hasn’t been the easiest, or more most comforting places to be at times, it still has been rewarding. I am not sure where this road will take me ultimately, but I do know that I have had to be comfortable not knowing what is next. Every person that I consider successful took risks that could have failed. Some succeeded, and many others didn’t. Success isn’t gained by doing everything right the first time, but continuing to ‘do’ when it doesn’t happen perfectly. You will never be fully ready to do anything that will help you grow. If you were, it wouldn’t truly challenge you. Don’t ever be afraid to fail.

Success is not about how quickly you become wealthy or how much money you make, but about how much value you add to those you can influence with your life.  Even though my mother worked three jobs to  financially provide for my sister and I, she provided incredible value through her love, wisdom, support and motivation to us both in moving forward in our goals. Her incredible humility and work ethic has taught that instead of pursuing wealth and accolades, we should pursue people and helping them reach their purpose as much as possible. Unlike money, assets and real estate, people are the only investments that can truly carry your legacy well beyond your lifetime.

What does success look like for you?

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