“I’ve made it.”
Those are three magical words that nearly every entrepreneur dreams of uttering at some point in their career. Hopefully sooner rather than later. Different people might have different ideas about what “making it” actually looks like. Maybe you want to be a New York Times best selling author. Maybe you want your company to have a successful IPO. Maybe you have a particular annual income goal in mind.
Under all of these scenarios, you are picturing a particular end game. There is a finish line and everything you do is meant to get you that much closer to your goal. Or at least you hope that everything you’re doing is getting you closer to your goal. But this is a misguided perspective on what success really means.
You probably read this blog because you’re interested in making money online and, more likely than not, you want to be successful at it. The thing is that there is no such thing as a true finish line. It will always be a work in progress. There is always another milestone to strive for. You don’t just achieve success and then rest on your laurels. That’s not how it works.
Instead, the way that you should really be thinking about success is as a collection of positive habits. Success is a mindset. Success is a lifestyle.
And getting yourself to the point where you think a certain way and act a certain way is going to take some time. It’s going to take some practice before you really internalize the mindset of the successful entrepreneur. Success is defined by the mindset of abundance, not the mindset of scarcity. Someone else doesn’t have to lose in order for you to win.
I came across a fantastic infographic on Visual Capitalist that illustrates some of the habits of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. Some of these habits may surprise you.
For instance, Elon Musk may be a visionary, but he’s a stickler for the smallest of details. That’s why he schedules his entire day in 5-minute blocks. Perhaps in stark contrast to this, Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg strives to minimize his day-to-day choices so he can focus on more important decisions. That’s why he wears exactly the same outfit every day.
That should sound familiar, because the late Steve Jobs did exactly the same thing. They chose the habit of not choosing what to wear each day, a decision that the overwhelming majority of the general population do not allow themselves to make. They get caught up in the latest fashions and looking cool, rather than focusing on what will really move their career forward and on the ideas that really matter.
Another characteristic common among the world’s most successful is an unwavering and insatiable desire to learn. Warren Buffett is worth north of $73 billion and he spends 80% of his day reading. Bill Gates might not be as active on the technological front as he once was, but he still reads 50 books per year. If you want to create, you must first consume.
And I’m not talking about binge-watching a whole season of The Bachelorette. Successful people consume content not for the purpose of being entertained, but for the purpose of learning something useful. You don’t need to restrict yourself to non-fiction, but everything you consume should serve a purpose.
Famous Greek philosopher Aristotle once said that “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
If you want to be successful, recognize that success is not a one-time thing. It’s something that you have to develop and sustain over a much longer period of time so that it becomes second nature. That’s why developing habits through challenges, like the 90-day video challenge, are great for this purpose.
Are you successful? What are you doing to develop positive habits?