Ten Things Highly Successful People Do You Might Not Be Doing

By Susan Ford Collins.

Too often the words associated with the holidays are “Epic Fail.”  The holidays are often stress-filled and dismal instead of a reason to gather, relax and give thanks with family and friends.  Why not use some habits of highly successful people to make your next month a successful one — courtesy of success coach, Susan Ford Collins, the author of The Technology of Success book series which includes the new book, The Joy of Success: 10 Essential Skills for Getting the Success You Want.


Press Conference: William H. Gates IIIBill Gates. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

America’s premier success coach, based in Miami, Susan Ford Collins, muses below about how your audience can take a page from her book and make holidays habits based on what she has learned from decades of studying highly successful people (HSPs).  

1. Highly Successful People (HSP) make time each day to acknowledge themselves for the successes they’re having. But the successes they file aren’t the usual ones. For them, success goes beyond finishing “business to dos.” It includes things that keep their lives in balance… eating a good breakfast, exercising, spending time with family and friends, buying gas, dropping off dry cleaning and remembering to pick it up. Most people don’t acknowledge themselves for completing things like these, but what happens to your productivity when you leave them undone? For HSPs, success also means saying NO to actions that violate their values and dreams. Deletion Successes can be the most important ones of all! And how about acknowledging yourself for your creative ideas… even if no one agrees they’re possible yet! Here’s the bottom line: When your Success File is full, you feel Success-Full. When it is low, you feel dependent and needy… at the mercy of others’ opinions and in need of their agreement. HSPs put off low priority items, but making time to Success File each day is a number one item. They are Self-Confident instead of Other-Confident!

Madonna_wembley_1Madonna. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

2. People who “succeed big” know the last few minutes of their day are essential. Your brain is in the Alpha State so it’s the perfect time to think about what you want tomorrow and long term.   And the worst time to beat yourself up over failures and oversights! Remember: What you think is what you get, like it or not… so as you fall asleep focus on what you do want instead of what you don’t want. That tiny change in focus will enhance your ability to move your life, family and career ahead!

3. Constantly priding yourself on doing more-better-faster lands you in The Success Trap… constantly working longer and harder to raise the quantity-quality bar higher and higher. It can also land you in the hospital. For staying power, you need to acknowledge yourself for slowing down to learn new skills and technologies, and for allowing your mind to wander into future possibilities and solutions. In today’s business environment, creativity and innovation are becoming more important than productivity.

Barack_Obama_at_White_House_gun_violence_meetingPresident Barack Obama. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

4. When you push so long and hard that you can’t slow down to rest, you’ve gone over the edge. HSPs use this over-the-edge feeling to signal that they’re overusing the 2nd Gear of Success. Yes, success has three gear-like phases and unless you know when to shift up and down, unless you can use all three gears as circumstances require, you’ll burn out your transmission… and that means your body. And the time lost will set your business way back. Read The Joy of Success for specifics on the Three Gears of Success and Leadership.

5. Highly successful business people share their dreams with Codreamers, people who hold the details of their dream with them, people who contribute additional information and perspectives. People they can call when they come out of a meeting so devastated that their dream seems to have literally been erased from their minds. One phone call to a Codreamer can get you back on track. Who are your Codreamers? And who are your Codreaders? Make sure you know the difference!

6. Going so fast that you can’t gear down to spell out the details of a task you’re delegating may seem expedient at the time. But in the long run it could ruin your business. To get the support you need from coworkers, customers and vendors, you need to share precisely what you have in mind. When you provide a sketch, others will automatically fill in the details they have in mind instead. Who is responsible for the errors that result? You are of course. Beware of Sensory Fill-in!

7. Would you rather ask an expert or figure it out yourself? Well, that all depends. If you’re climbing up the learning curve, asking experts and following their directions is what works best… with one exception. When you know next to nothing about something, using a salesperson as your expert may set you up to buy what’s best for him or her, but not for you. Consult an independent expert before you make a major purchase. On the other hand, depending on old familiar experts when you’re creating something new, may take you back to how it’s already been done. Listen to their input but know you are the ultimate expert when it comes to your dream!

8. When we were kids, we were rewarded for doing things by the book. But as the head of your own business or life, that simply won’t work. These days, having-to-know-how-upfront will hold you back. When you have a thoroughly detailed outcome in mind, the appropriate method will find you. Powerful life changes, inventions and new businesses frequently start out as hunches or middle of the night Ahas! Most leaders I interview tell me they rarely know how, but they always know what.

9. For years I interviewed inventors and creators and I heard the same comments over and over. I woke up in the night with a clear image in my head or a voice telling me what to do. Or I was taking a shower when my idea hit me. Jeff Bezos, creator of Amazon.com, was so sure about his hunch that he packed up everything he owned and moved across the country in pursuit of his dream. And we all know he found it! The ability to venture into the unknown is essential today. The marketplace is changing so rapidly that top CEOs say they don’t have a ten-year plan or a five-minute plan either. Flexibility is key. Can you think on your feet? Can you seize an opportunity that others fail to notice? Can you abandon your ten-year-ago or five-minute-ago action plan and take the next step to your dream when it presents itself?

10. When you’re stuck, instead of sitting and staring at your computer, get up and do something else. Go for a walk or switch to a project that requires another mindset altogether. HSPs constantly tell me their most creative solutions come when they walk away from their desk and WHAM the solution comes out of the blue… out of the right brain. They say they strategically use the Alpha State to “program in” their problem at night, and they trust their mind to deliver a solution when they first wake up. And it does!

Susan Ford Collins is a sought-after speaker, trainer, and the founder of The Technology of Success. She began her career as a young researcher at the National Institutes of Health with a radical idea: to focus her research on healthy, highly successful people (HSPs) rather than dysfunctional ones. With more than two decades studying HSPs and two additional decades working with them, she now shares what she has learned about leadership and management. Susan and her husband live happily in their tropical Miami home, surrounded by lush gardens, koi ponds and an indoor/outdoor aviary filled with exotic finches.

The Technology of Success book series includes:

The Joy of Success: 10 Essential Skills for Getting the Success You Want, [New edition, Greenleaf Book Group Press, October 20, 2015]

Success Has Gears: Using the Right Gear at the Right Time in Business & Life, [2014]

Our Children Are Watching: 10 Skills for Leading the Next Generation to Success, [2014]

Find Susan on FacebookLinkedInTwitterwww.technologyofsuccess.com

Tags: ,

The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org). There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.