6 Steps Successful People Take

Success doesn't just happen to people. It takes action. Follow these six steps to put yourself on the right path.
Author, Profit First
December 14, 2011

Ever wonder what makes people successful? I’d be surprised if you answered no. I have yet to meet a person that doesn't wonder what it takes to be a big-time success.

What is so different for successful people? How did they get where they are? Why are you where you are in your life? It’s easier and more comfortable to believe that success just happens to some people. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Each notably successful person has taken six steps, whether they are financially successful or achieving at a high level in some other way. They didn’t just wake up one day and find that success had been delivered to their doorstep. Quite the opposite: Successful people have worked to get where they are.

An Olympic swimmer like Michael Phelps has practiced his technique religiously in order to win gold medals. That tiny business down the road with customers lining up around the block to patronize it (think the Soup Nazi) has taken the six steps.

Are you ready to try the six things that all successful people do?

1. Set goals

Successful people set goals that have a specific completion date. I will lose 10 pounds within 60 days. Not, I will lose weight sometime this year. Set concrete goals with a time frame for when you want to achieve those goals.

2. Get started

Successful people start immediately. They don’t drag their feet or put it off. They act on a goal right away, because they understand the power of momentum. They may not do the whole thing at once, but they do take a big step to get started. Maybe they fill out the calendar and reserve critical dates and times. Maybe they call others and get delivery commitments from them for those dates. No matter what it is, they take action right away.

3. Think positive

This is the half-empty, half-full syndrome. Successful people are optimists and believe the cup is always half full. They aren’t pie-in-the-sky types, but they see the positive side of an opportunity, and they believe in their ability to achieve their goals.

4. Take action

Those who are successful take action, even on partial information. Too many people wait around until they think they have all the answers. But if you do that, you may wait forever. It is called “analysis paralysis,” and a lot of people experience it. Successful people don’t proceed blindly, but they know that, once they have the critical details, they can make a decision and act accordingly.

5. Be determined

They say that in war, the plans go out the window as soon as the first bullet flies. There are so many variables that it is impossible to determine how things will proceed. The same holds true for most life decisions. You don’t know what will happen once you take the first step, so the only constants are the end vision and your determination to get there, even if the path doesn't unfold exactly as you envisioned.

6. Attract it

Many people use the law of attraction to become successful. This means having a clear vision of what you want. Your thoughts can draw success to you. I am not talking voodoo magic here. But I am suggesting that what we think about most, we notice most. When you buy that new blue car you’ve been coveting, you suddenly notice that everyone has the same car.

Buddha once said, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.”

Success doesn’t just happen to people. You have to do something to make it happen. Following these steps will put you on the path to success. Heck, you will probably be the next success story. You soup nazi, you.

Author, Profit First