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STARTUP

8 Things Successful People Do Every Day That Most People Ignore

Success is powered by the habits that most people don’t even notice.

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BY Andrew Thomas - 30 May 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

During the four year process of starting and scaling SkyBell, I have had the pleasure of meeting some remarkably successful people. Whether it's a potential investor or the CEO of a company with whom we could become partners, I'm lucky to have had a front row seat to a diverse set of individuals who have all created success in their life.

When you spend time with great leaders, you start to recognize the behaviors and habits successful people all share. What's interesting is that some of these are very obvious, while other leadership traits are actually quote subtle. In fact, the best leaders make leadership look it so easy that you don't even notice what they do.

Here's a list of eight unspoken habits of highly effective leaders that you can adopt yourself to create the success you want in your own life.

1. They strive to better themselves

You'll never find true leaders growing complacent. They're voracious learners, constantly expanding their skills and knowledge by reading, networking or trying things.

Don't underestimate the power of reading. Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet and other extraordinary leaders make daily reading a big priority. Here's a list of top books you should read for business and personal success.

2. They surround themselves with achievers

Leaders associate with achievers who inspire them to live a fulfilled life. Remember what entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said: "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."

It makes sense when pursuing greatness to surround yourself with people of similar character and ambition. And of course, avoid surrounding yourself with negative people.

3. They accept that improvement is a process

Exceptional leaders are patient. They don't expect to achieve significant results all at once. Rather, they know that incremental steps taken each day will lead to growth over time. The best leaders don't overestimate what they can do in the short term or underestimate what they can produce over time.

4. They're open to feedback

Successful people solicit input and advice along the way as part of the self-improvement process. They take responsibility for their performance and have the self-awareness to incorporate feedback.

This can be feedback from people, customers and investors. Importantly, leaders also learn from their mistakes and realize there are gifts in failure.

5. They resist dogma

Strong leaders have the self-confidence to challenge their assumptions and biases - and those around them. They think for themselves and typically resist following others (which is not the same as not listening to others). Strong leaders know that biases and definitions today become land mines in the future.

6. They face their fears head-on

Leaders acknowledge that their ambitions usually involve some level of fear or self-doubt. Bottom line: they won't always feel good, but they move forward anyway. Driving forward in the face of fear and uncertainty is often what separates the best from the rest.

7. They believe in their vision

A startup is a group of people who believe in a future that doesn't yet exist. Great leaders reach a high level of clarity around their vision and cultivate a strong enough belief to motivate others to join the mission.

8. They think long-term

The most successful entrepreneurs know better than to live and die by every day. They plan long-term, constantly visualizing future versions of themselves and their business. They know that small steps will add up to bigger things. They know how to balance present-day urgencies while protecting the future.

Final Word

By identifying the habits and qualities that make great leaders, you are able to adopt them into your daily activity. Use the list above to focus on one of these at a time. When you're around successful people, see if you can notice each principle in action.

This combination of awareness and focus will help you create habits that stick. This same approach has been very effective for me, and I'm certain it will be for you as well.

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