Become More Successful Through Modeling Successful People
When you want to become more successful, sometimes the best thing to do is find someone else who has accomplished what you want to accomplish and simply do what they did!
“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” -Jim Rohn
“Only ten percent of you will read the books that I recommend,” the octogenarian business philosopher rasped from the podium. Then with an extended pause he continued, “interestingly enough, only ten percent of you will make it.”
The speaker was Jim Rohn, and with his statement, it seemed as though we, the audience, were suddenly in a bizarre vortex where neither sound nor air existed. Perhaps, after what felt like an inordinate amount of time, a person coughed to break the heavy silence; I cannot remember.
What I do recall is thinking, like I am sure many of us were, was that I wanted to be in the ten percent. I made a commitment to do everything that Mr. Rohn suggested to become more successful.
One of these key suggestions to become more successful was to interview successful people and never to waste their time.
Mr. Rohn urged us to take advantage of any successful person in our lives and ask them questions. Ask them what books they read, how they overcame challenges, and how they scheduled their time. He also counseled that if we did not have any successful people in our lives that we begin to actively seek them out by attending events, listening to audios and reading books.
I made the decision to do just that. I knew back then that if I wanted to be more successful myself – to be a millionaire – I would have to learn from millionaires.
As someone who has trained budding entrepreneurs and salespeople all over the world, it is fascinating to me what people choose to do when in the presence of individuals who are achieving at a level they purportedly aspire to.
Recently I was doing a training for 650 entrepreneurs in Philadelphia, and a person came up to me and spent three minutes telling me all of the reasons why they had not produced in the last year. Although I felt compassion for this person, I also saw very clearly that the desire to live into excuses was much stronger than the desire for the knowledge to turn things around.
Instead of asking me a question like, “Susan, if you were in my shoes, what would you do to go to the next level?” this person spent valuable time in a deluge of misery, hoping to find a sympathetic ear to validate the victim mentality that was going on.
I love people; however, I do not love excuses and I have observed many people do the exact same thing with my fellow trainers and speakers…
These people wait in a long line for that moment to have a photo or get an autograph and then proceed to spend that precious minute or two listing off all of the reasons that they cannot succeed – why they have not been able to become more successful themselves.
The bottom line is…
Although we may be going through pain or challenges – and it may appear that the world is caving in – any person who has been successful has had to overcome challenge and transcended challenges.
If we ask the right questions, these people can effectively offer us the guidance to change our own circumstances.
Over the summer, I attended Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery Seminar in Las Vegas. I had the opportunity to ask a question of Zappos™ founder and author of Delivering Happiness, Tony Hseih. Mr. Hseih allegedly has a net worth of over $800 million. My question for him was simply a request to share his daily habits. In doing this I learned that Tony Hseih does a couple of things – one is that he has an ice cold shower for five minutes every morning to wake his body up, and the second is that he spends some quiet time learning something he doesn’t know. It could be quantum physics or how to repair a carburetor; regardless, he likes to fuel his mind with new knowledge.
One of the singular biggest contributors to overcoming challenges and becoming more successful is becoming fearless when asking questions of successful people.
My feeling is that any successful person has some knowledge that we do not possess, and once we learn something from them, it is now our responsibility to apply it. Over the years I have asked a multitude of questions of people who have significant net worth.
I am very curious about people, and with this in mind, here are some great questions – some entrepreneurial advice – to ask of the next successful person that crosses your path:
How do you start your day?
Achievers tend to have very ritualistic starts to their day. Whether it is rising early to do prayer or meditation, getting up at four in the morning to exercise, having an ice bath (Tony Robbins does this) or spending time reading and learning – find out how successful people start their day and emulate them.
What are the top three books you recommend?
Every successful person I have ever met is a voracious reader. Find out what the top three books are that this successful person has read and then go out and read them right away. I did this myself when Jim Rohn recommended Think and Grow Rich, The Richest Man in Babylon, and the New Testament.
Have you ever faced rejection? If so, how did you handle it and overcome this challenge?
Do not delude yourself into thinking that successful people have not faced rejection or had to overcome challenges of their own. My friend, Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, recounts the numerous rejections he and Jack Canfield faced by publishers. Chicken Soup books are second only to the Bible in global sales.
Every successful person has faced rejection and this is one of the most valuable pieces of information you can acquire. Find out how they dealt with it and use this to fuel you.
If you could go back in your career and do something differently – what would it be?
The past is our teacher. Successful people do not dwell in the past – they learn from it. Achievers are often willing to share something they would have done differently. You can use this to guide your own career and perhaps avoid a similar challenge.
What are the top things you focus on daily?
The interesting thing about achievers is that they focus on different areas than non-achievers. Although it may seem self-evident, successful people focus on the things that generate money and much can be learned by how they focus. Most achievers choose to apply themselves to only a select amount of tasks. They do not jump all over the place. Find out where they apply their daily focus and do the same. A simple change in focus will change your results.
Make a decision to take advantage of the successful people in your life so that you can use their wisdom and lessons to become more successful too!
Ask them questions, either those listed or some of your own. Acquiring knowledge from those who have paved the way in your field or chosen business path is one of the simplest and most impactful things you can do to advance yourself. If you are in a position where you do not have access to achievers, either figure out a way to get in front of some or start reading their biographies. Generally, the greatest entrepreneurs on the planet have all openly shared their wisdom by writing a book or having one written about them.
Lastly, the faster you acquire the knowledge of successful people and put it into action, the more rapidly your own results are going to happen. Go for it!
Susan Sly is an expert on work life balance, author of several best selling self help books, speaker and entrepreneur. She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime Television and the CBN. Susan is the mother of four children and resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.