As I have interviewed and researched serial entrepreneurs like Andy Kurtzig*, founder of JustAnswers(r), I have learned that they really do all share a couple of key personality traits. They also, typically, have immediate family members who had these same skills. We will evade the nurture or nature debate at this time as it is not pertinent how they attain these skills so much as it is important to understand that they have these traits. Let's look at some of the quotes that are some of my favorite and then analyse them to produce the top three traits possessed by successful people. And the final question is, "Can you attain these traits, or more so, do you already possess them?"
Here's my favorite quotes about success and failure...
1) "The phoenix must burn to emerge." - Janet Fitch
2) "What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate." - Donald J. Trump
3) "It's a blip, not a catastrophe." - Donald J. Trump
4) "Failure isn't fatal, but failure to change might be" - John Wooden
5) "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy
6) "As long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big." - Donald J. Trump
7) "It's failure that gives you the proper perspective on success." - Ellen DeGeneres
8) "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill
Nobody in their right mind would take all these names from science, real estate, entertainment, wartime leader, and say they have anything in common. They would be incorrect. There are three common themes in all these statements which I agree completely with my conclusions after over a decade of interviewing and researching people with the three attributes of success.
What are these three attributes...
1) Drive. Even in the face of almost certain defeat the basketball player wants that last three points on the board. The wartime General will keep the city on early certain defeat. A TV entertainer like Ellen, etc. has the drive to get up in the morning and conduct some local show, or their first stand up in a low-brow bar and have the drive to push forward!
2) Optimism. As to the point of number "1" above. These leaders, or entertainers have to believe in their own minds that it will get better. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it isn't a train! It is also what I call the evolve part of the success formula. You are optimistic that you can fix, or evolve, your strategy and still be successful later.
3) Big Thinker. Again, without number "1" and number "2" this attribute can not exist. If you are going to build a ten unit apartment building, why not 500? If you can keep 50 people in the bar laughing, why not a million? If you can take one bridge, or city, why not all of them.
In short, my quote that I derive from all my research is "Fail, Evolve and move on!"
I read an article about failing recently by one of my LinkedIn(r) contacts who describes herself as "Deborah/Hodges" wrote an article titled, "When is it OK to fail?" In this article she describes what I call the evolve part of my quote above when she wrote this: "But was it a failure? On paper yes. For me personally however it was a huge success. I am still a little annoyed I didn't do more in terms of on the street canvassing... "
So, to succeed at any venture, on TV, as a leader or as a regular old person, you either have these traits from your childhood, or you spend the better part of a decade training yourself to possess these traits. I propose that every single person, no matter if they are mentally challenged, your local mechanic, Pizza shop owner, or ANYBODY on this planet, can succeed if they, "Fail, Evolve and move on", can succeed.