While everyone’s recipe for success looks different, the core ingredients remain the same. Wondering what do successful people have in common?
They find their niche
Whether it’s music, business, art, or healthcare; the most successful people (and organizations) know they can’t be all things to all people, nor do they try to be. There are many ways to find a niche. It may be through addressing a problem and monetizing that fix, by translating a particular skill set to a service, or by anticipating a market trend and getting ahead of that demand. If you are unsure where to start, check out forums to see what problems come up frequently with no resolution, try an aptitude test to determine your strengths, or play with Google Trends to get a better sense of market appetite.
They have a clear strategy
Success does not happen overnight, but it also won’t happen by accident. Be clear about what your goal is from the onset (e.g. to generate revenue vs. to achieve a certain level of readership vs. to maintain a personal project/hobby) and then identify the appropriate mechanisms to meet your ends. It’s also critical to establish key performance indicators to keep yourself honest about your progress.
They understand their own shelf-life
The most successful individuals are hyperaware of their own expiry dates. They recognize that the public has a limited attention span for any given product/personality, and this enables them to capitalize accordingly. Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger discusses this at length in his recently-released memoir. If corporate America isn’t your thing, check out Taylor Swift’s documentary Miss Americana for her take on success having a shelf-life. The bottom line is that no matter who you are or what you do, you have to innovate to stay viable.
BUT they think long term
It takes a certain level of discipline to acknowledge an impending deadline while also planning for the future, but that is exactly the recipe for success. For example, a CEO may actively market a fad product while simultaneously preparing to replace it. An actress may anticipate that there are fewer roles for aging women in Hollywood and launch a style brand while continuing to fight for roles on screen. A doctor may operate based on his training while continuing to seek improved methods of care.
In short, success looks different to everyone. However by finding a niche, clarifying your goals, and acknowledging the maximum lifespan of your venture while also planning for the future, anyone can make serious progress towards their dreams.
They Do Everything Like They Would Anything
Lastly–and arguably most importantly–successful people know that no one can turn habits on and off. In other words, the way you approach a simple task or small challenge is the same way you will treat a larger, more important one when it comes along. This does not mean that successful people go overboard on every to-do. On the contrary, they are ruthless prioritizers. It means that if they select to do something, they bring 100% of themselves to the table.