Eight Traits for Success

Eight Traits for Success

Ten years ago, Richard St. John was on a plane to California to attend a conference. Sitting next to him was a teenage girl from a low-income background who was determined to get somewhere in life. Throughout the flight, the teenager kept asking Richard questions. Finally she asked him, “Are you successful?”
“No,” Richard said. But then Richard told her about some of his life experiences. “I’ve been successful in marketing communications. I’m a runner. I’ve run over 50 marathons in 7 continents. My wife and I have climbed two of the highest mountains on all the continents. My wife and I have been married for over 35 years. … So I guess I have had some success.”

Then the teenager asked: “Are you a millionaire?”

Richard wasn’t sure how to respond, but he decided to give her a straight answer. “Yeah, I’m a millionaire, but I don’t know how it happened. I never went after the money, and it’s not that important to me.”

“Maybe it’s not important to you,” said the girl, “but it is to me. I don’t want to be poor all my life. I want to get somewhere. But it’s never gonna happen. I’m not very smart.”

“I wasn’t great in school either,” said Richard. “I wasn’t popular or handsome or voted most likely to succeed. But in the end, I did okay. If I can do it, you can do it.”

“Okay,” said the teenager, “so what really leads to success?”

Richard was stumped. “I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know how I did it.”

But Richard had an idea: The conference he was attending was packed with successful people. He decided to ask them: What helped you to succeed? What leads to success for everyone?

Thanks to the teenager’s questions, over the last ten years, Richard St. John has personally interviewed over 500 successful people and collected thousands more success stories. He wanted to find the common factors to success in all fields, so he connected with as many types of professionals as possible.

Richard St. John’s research led to discovering the eight traits successful people have in common:

1.Passion. Love what you do.
2.Work hard.
3.Focus on one thing, not everything.
4.Push. Keep pushing yourself.
5.Ideas. Come up with good ideas.
6.Improve. Keep improving yourself in what you do.
7.Serve others something of value.
8.Persist. There’s no overnight success.

“The eight traits are really at the heart of success, the foundation [of success],” says Richard St. John, “and then on top we build the specific skills that we need for our particular field or career.” (Examples of specific skills someone might add on are creative skills, management skills, computer skills, people skills, analytical skills, and technical skills.)

“No matter what field we’re in, these eight traits will be at the heart of our success.”

This article is based on Richard St. John’s presentation “8 traits of successful people.” Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOl0v54DaXo.