Have you ever wondered what drives self-made, ultra-successful people to such incredible heights?
Ultra-successful people view life differently from other people, and it’s reflected in how they live, work, save, invest, and give.
Here are 10 ways ultra-successful people view life and behave differently, many of which you can successfully incorporate in your life.
Ultra-successful people look at problems and think about big solutions. They don’t look for incremental ways to solve minor problems, or shy away from big challenges because they look too difficult, or require too much risk.
Venture capitalist Tim Draper hit this point on the head at a recent lunch, where he explained to young entrepreneurs that he invests only in people solving huge problems, because only big solutions lead to real change and opportunities.
My friend Katherine O’Neill, who runs Jumpstart New Jersey Angels, often says of founders pitching us: “Do they want to be king or do they want to be successful?” A desire to be surrounded by great talent, rather than being king of a sycophantic sandbox, often separates those who truly are successful from those who merely wish to be.
Calculated risk is different from gambling. It’s widely reported that ultra-successful people “take risks,” which is true, but there is a deeper truth: These people are clear-eyed about assessing the challenges, risks, and benefits, and are willing to take the risk if it is worth it.
Steve Jobs is a perfect example. In the late 1990s, it was a huge risk to return to Apple and risk his reputation—again—on the company that had unceremoniously thrown him out and was on the edge of collapse. But Jobs assessed the risks, decided he could turn it around, and dove in headfirst.
Being ultra-successful requires being good at follow through. You can’t just have great ideas, or be a great talker. Most ultra-successful people are capable not only of having good ideas and identifying opportunities, but galvanizing others behind them.
Great minds like to read what other great minds think, and do, and learn from them. The first lesson that one ultra-successful person taught me years ago was: “Sure, I know what I don’t know, but I want to learn as much of it as possible—and there are others who can teach it to me.” Ultra-successful people are life-long learners and respect the knowledge others have in their domains and what they can learn. The mantra among most I know is: “If you know everything, you learn nothing.”
There is an old adage that wealthy people didn’t make it by spending it. This is certainly true. Although many ultra-successful people are incredibly philanthropic and generous of time and money, in business they tend to be shrewd negotiators with great attention to detail. Indeed, as they grow more successful, this tendency appears to increase, rather than lessen, despite their reduced need to sweat the details.
Most ultra-successful people have clear, repeatable routines they will vary when necessary but stick to whenever possible. Continually changing routines upsets the body and creates stress, which can in turn reduce rest and complicate decision making. Using routines to increase your comfort level can help increase your success.
Ultra-successful people, particularly the most successful entrepreneurs, typically develop a relatively small set of highly valued relationships with people they work with again and again. Once mutual trust is built, it becomes much easier to have repeat success together.
Indeed, many of the most successful startup teams have worked together on multiple projects, and went to the same group of investors for each one!
Ultra-successful people want to be around other people who they feel are similar. Those clusters of individuals then tend to build more meaningful relationships and work together with more frequency and success.
Just yesterday, I brought a project to an ultra-successful investor who told me, “This seems very compelling, but I’m not going to do it because I can’t bring myself to care.” Mercenary reasons rarely ever work. Ultra-successful people know they need to care and have passion to be engaged enough for something to be successful.