After a trip to asia 3 years ago, I realized that I need to spend more time on personal development if I want to become more successful.

Becoming more successful does not only mean to make more money or climbing up the career ladder.

My goal was and still is to become better version of myself and create sustainable positive habits.

Getting better in areas that are not only related to my profession, but add value to my life in general.

I started to study the mindset of the most successful people in history and wanted to know what they had in common.

In this article, I want to share with you patterns that I discovered.

1. They Don’t Focus On The Competition

Many of us focus too much on our environment. Thinking about what other people think of us. Thinking about our competition. Thinking about how much money others are making.

By focusing on the outside world, we tend to lose focus and create unnecessary anxieties. Often times these kind of thoughts are generated by our insecurity and the lack of confidence.

The most successful people don’t bother about what other people think. They realized that their biggest enemy is themselves. Therefore they are striving to become better every day and focus on the things that they can control.

Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s for instance, never worried about Burger King but aimed to become the biggest Burger Restaurant chain in the world. He had a goal much bigger than his competition.

If you always worry about your competitors, you will always be playing to catch up and never playing to win.

“The thing that has made this country great is our free enterprise system. If we have to resort to this by bringing in the government to beat our competition, then we deserve to go broke. If we can’t do it by offering a better fifteen-cent hamburger, by being better merchandisers, by providing faster service and a cleaner place, then I would rather go broke tomorrow and out of business and start all over again. ”

– Ray Kroc, Grinding it out

2. They Are Not Afraid Of Doing The Dirty Jobs

You often hear that you should find your passion to become successful. Search for your dream job and you never have to work a single day.

Very often these statements sound more glamorous than reality is. Sometimes you just have to get up and do the things you don’t like.

There will be days where you just don’t want to get up. What makes the difference is that successful people DO get up ALL THE TIME while others procrastinate.

Jeff Bezos flipped Burgers at McDonalds before building Amazon. Grant Cardone sold cars for years before he became a millionaire. Sara Blakey sold fax machines door to door before she founded her billion dollar company, Spanx.

It’s just part of the game.

3. They Have A Different Understanding Of Failure

We all learned at school that mistakes are bad. Every time we made a mistake, we got punished. We grow up with the mindset that we are not allowed to make mistakes. And even at work, everything needs to be perfect, otherwise we won’t get promoted.

Every entrepreneur I looked at, saw failure as a way of growth. And it makes sense. If you don’t fall, how are you supposed to learn to get up?

To embrace failure, you need to train your mind to rephrase it. Instead of seeing everything as a setback, try to look at it as an opportunity for growth.

With each failure, you are getting one step closer to your goal.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

– Thomas Edison

4. They Visualize Their Way To Success

If you ask people, where they see themselves in the future, most of them won’t have a clue. They can’t see further than the next promotion. Many will give vague answers like: “I would like to be in a leading position.” or “I would like to buy a house in a couple of years”.

No one has a definite plan of how to achieve their goals and just take things as they come.

One of the most powerful exercises is visualization and all wealthy people visualized their way to become successful. They have a clear picture of what they want to achieve and every action they take, is directed towards that goal. No exception.

Jim Carry, for instance, wrote a check for himself to make 10 million $ by 1995.

If you know where you want to go and have a strong desire, your dream will become the GPS to success.

5. They Surround Themselves With Positive People

Some of us may have stumbled across the saying before that we are the average of the five people we surround ourselves with. There is definitely some truth to it and we can observe that most successful entrepreneurs tend to spend a lot of time with likeminded people.

Successful people build mastermind groups to hold each other accountable and learn from each other.

You certainly should not get rid of all your friends now, but it is important that you spend more time with people who lift you up, not dragging you down.

6. They Take One Step At A Time

Every well known entrepreneur in history, whether it is Sam Walton, Ray Kroc, Howard Schultz or Richard Branson. They all started small. Many times even in a small garage.

A lot of people are just waiting for the right moment in order to get started. Waiting that the perfect idea is coming. Or waiting that the market conditions are right.

But there will be no perfect moment. Ever.

The most important thing is to make the first step. It doesn’t matter how small. And the rest can be figured out along the way.

“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”

– Richard Branson

7. They Have No Excuses

“I have no time”, “I am too old.” or “I am not smart enough.”, are the most common excuses of our time.

We all live on the same earth and live under the same conditions.

How come that some are more successful than others?

Great people spend a lot of time reading and developing themselves, while the average person spends a lot of time in front of the TV or wasting time on other nonsense.

If you want something really bad, you make it happen no matter what.

Ray Kroc, for instance, started McDonalds when he was 54 while some of us are already mentally retired with 30.

8. They Attract Positive Energy

You can ask any successful people what they do everyday and with 100% certainty, everyone will tell that they show gratitude.

By showing gratitude everyday, you will train your mind to be more positive because you cannot be angry and happy at the same time. Make sure your positive thoughts outweigh your negatives.

If you become more happy. You start to smile more. If you smile more, other people will return the same.

It creates a positive aura around you that influences your environment. You will start to feel more encouraged and walk through life with confidence.

“Positive mental attitude is the right mental attitude in all circumstances. Success attracts more success while failure attracts more failure.”

– Napoleon Hill

9. They Team Up

We always want to show what we are good at. Because this is what makes us feel good. Very rarely do we admit our weaknesses because it makes us vulnerable.

Therefore, we tend not to trust others and often times we rather do things ourselves.

But this doesn’t get us anywhere if we want to move fast and scale up. Admitting vulnerability is not necessarily showing weakness.

Great people know what they’re good at and collaborate with people who excel in other areas.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

– African Proverb

10. They Value Integrity & Honesty

There are two ways of becoming successful: The honest and the dishonest way. The dishonest way includes scamming people to get to their money or violating the law.

But there is also the old fashioned hard route with people working their asses off and putting every penny into their business because they believe it improves peoples lives.

The greatest companies today, were built by people who were true to themselves and always acted in the interest of their customers.

They didn’t need to use dirty tricks to get ahead, because they knew that this would not be a sustainable way of running a business in the long run.

“Integrity gives you real freedom because you have nothing to fear since you have nothing to hide.”

– Zig Ziglar

Follow The Footsteps Of Successful People

Almost all of the most successful people in history didn’t come out of a lucky sperm club. They all started small and worked their way up to the top. If you want to get more out of your life and become more successful, you need to work on yourself first. The best thing you can do is to learn from people who already succeeded.

I put together some resources that helps you to kickoff your journey to success.

1. 15 Successful People To Learn From

There are so many great people in history to learn from, but for the start, this is a list of people I personally admire most:

2. Books That Everyone Should Read In A Lifetime

Explore further