What Really Drives Successful People?

Group of friends walking on beach at sunset

What makes successful people "tick"? Some readers may remember the boom and bust of the mania at around 1999. Here's something you may not know.

A few thoughtful Internet entrepreneurs — including our "3-percenters" referred to in another article on this website — ignored the " doomsday" effect and simply continued growing their profitable Internet businesses — probably with more than few a wry smiles — amid the chaos happening all around them. Here's how.


  • Closely watched their web business running costs, while still making sure that they invest in the most appropriate value-based options. That meant spending to invest in carefully selected areas that took them closer to their goal using the wise rule of thumb: value first, cost second.
  • Planned ahead — in detail. Our 3-percenters knew where they were going to be several steps in advance of the current position.
  • Took focused action — repeatedly.
  • Tested their initial assumptions AND measured the results, then modified their plans if necessary to make best use of the new information and feedback received to ensure that the big goal remained in sight.
  • Made sensible judgments. If changes were needed, they made them, one by one, then measured results, of each change. Details matter.
  • Put off their own rewards and benefits until sufficient income was generated.

What's more, by definition many are still doing just as well in their Internet businesses today!

Others are in semi-retirement, just working when they want, or between golf sessions, or traveling the world — while still managing their web businesses — and generally just hanging out doing what they like to do.

Why Successful People Create Outstanding Results

How have our 3-percenters achieved their goals? Why do they succeed when most others fail? Here are two more clues. Perhaps not surprisingly these people:

  • Think and act in ways that are fundamentally different to most other folks.
  • View each problem or hurdle first and foremost as a puzzle to solve.
  • Create a true Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that their customers and clients want. Not one founded on "wishy-washy" hype, rather our 3-percenters devised highly attractive potent, persuasive and convincing drivers!

None of these points mean that our "3-percenters" had lots of money and resources when first starting out, or are cleverer than most people, or had more lucky breaks than the rest of us — in fact, often, the opposite is true!

Time and time again, we learn that often at various stages of their journey, these people had their backs to the wall, sometimes heavily in debt, with seemingly know way out! Some even made millions, lost everything, then started again perhaps in another area to recover their preferred wealthy lifestyle once again. How is that done we might ask. Consider:

  • If our only life-giving option is to "make it work", we can become amazingly creative and develop resources we never knew we had — fast!

To succeed at anything, I believe we must possess or develop 6 key action-oriented traits:

  • Unwavering focus on the goal.
  • Develop extreme enthusiasm for what we're working to create.
  • Commit to working toward our goals. Every big goal is actually made up of multiple smaller goals. Each lesser goal is as important as all the others, for only when achieved together is the big goal reached. Usually some hard work is called for.
  • If the big goal is your dream, work doesn't quite seem like real work when you're enjoying the journey — and that's another secret: committing is easy when you're relishing the moments.
  • Be flexible and adaptable, open and willing to learn new things, new ways. If necessary, be ready to let go of old ways and habits that no longer serve you.
  • Be patient and persistent: anything worth having takes time to evolve through the cycles and seasons of business, To return a superb yield, a farmer learns how to plant, sow and tend a crop in order to harvest wonderful results later. Your dreams and goals are no different.
  • Decide that success is your goal. So that whatever obstacles and problems you may meet along the way, somehow, you will succeed. This is quiet, powerful determination at work. Tell yourself daily, you will succeed. You may hit roadblocks, you may change direction, you may even go back two or three steps to re-emerge and approach the problem from another angle. But you will succeed. Decide on success.

Too Much, Too Fast, Too Soon, Never Stop, Means Burnout Is Coming

Key tip: watch out for a common trap. Sometimes, developing a highly driven mindset can take over your life. Knowing about this potential problem before you may experience its effects is half the battle.

The remedy is simple:

  • Commit to keep the various aspect of your life in balance.
  • Just like a finely tuned engine works best when balanced and has times of rest, appreciate that for you too, sufficient relaxation time is as important as the time you invest in your work activities.
  • Think of rest as just a "slow", yet nevertheless essential part of what you do.
  • The time you invest in resting, or creating contrast to your main work, can actually help build or form creative connections that you may use later, and which might not otherwise occur when you are "too close" to what you're working on. 

Some Traits That You Don't Need in Order to Succeed at Whatever You Decide

Michael Masterson from provides excellent advice about what successful people don't necessarily need. Consider, you don't have to be::

  • Clever or smart, in the sense that most of us understand those words to mean, or ...
  • Correct — every time, or ...
  • Receptive to others, or ...
  • Popular, or ...
  • Physically attractive, thin, beautiful or nice to look at, or ...
  • Even-tempered.

Nevertheless, as Michael also suggests, having or developing the desire to be kind, compassionate and the drive to the best you can be, can help you become a more balanced, happier person.

What's more, most of us have negative personality traits, yet, some of those shortcomings can have clear benefits too, when dealing with different challenges. can help, if you too would like to:

  • Live the kind of lifestyle you want, where you want.
  • Create a more relaxed and satisfying career in web publishing, writing and digital publishing — even if you think you can't write!
  • Work your own hours — from home, just like I do if you wish: no more 9-to-5 grind, unless you like that kind of buzz.
  • Earn a sustainable living using an online methodology.
  • Have more fun! Life is meant to be relished. Yes, you can laugh and work at the same time. Though to overcome some hurdles, you'll be intense, focused, quiet, determined, and that's perfectly fine. 
  • See more of your loved ones — you never know what tomorrow holds. The only real guaranteed time we have is now.
  • Get away from the corporate treadmill.
  • Say good bye to the daily commute, the traffic jams, the crime, the smog, and so on.
  • Get a life based on quality, on the smarter choices you make. 
  • Have less stress and so help build better health.
  • Learn valuable new skills using low cost investments in web-based training.
  • Work on your own or in networks of experienced, quality-driven groups.
  • And more, much more ...

Key tip: everything discussed above can be learned by anyone step by step.

Chance favours especially those who wise up.

Choose to be the driver of your world, or the world will drive you. Or, put another way, if you don't dictate to yourself how you want to live your life, the world is set up so that someone else will do that for you.

So why not start today — or better still, right now. Commit, and follow through one step at a time, to give yourself the gift being a freedom loving, more successful person, by whatever definition you choose that to mean.

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