The One Thing That Stands Between You and Success

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / March 21, 2014


Success is something which rarely comes easily. If you examine the lives of some of our most successful CEOS and leaders, you’ll notice a common pattern. All of them, at some point in their personal and professional lives, have had to make sacrifices.

This isn’t to say that the act of sacrifice is what differentiates unsuccessful and successful people. Some entrepreneurs may have sacrificed their home life in order to spend more time at the office, but for others achieving success is a natural process which does not detract from their existing lifestyle. So if sacrifice isn’t the answer – what is?

The Common Traits of Successful People

Successful people have many traits in common. These vary from a willingness to take risks, a bias towards action and an ability to ‘read’ people – all traits which are found in CEOs, to budgeting, being willing to work in boring industries or even having a frugal spouse – three common traits observed in self-made millionaires. However, these types of lists can be deceiving. It’s very easy to observe characteristics in a relatively small pool of individuals and make inferences based on these observations. Of all the self-made millionaires and CEOs who take risks and manage their budgets, there are probably hundreds of thousands of relatively unsuccessful people who do the same. If success is a spectrum, ranging from wildly successful at one end to not-at-all successful at the other, we could probably observe ‘successful traits’ appearing at almost every marker.

It should be becoming apparent that it’s incredibly difficult to point to any one trait or action which is guaranteed to result in an individual becoming successful. And yet, there is still one thing which is commonly found in all successful people that can make all the difference between that person achieving their goals or not.

The Drive for Success

The clue, as it happens, is in the title. All successful people have, at some point, been confronted by the temptation to give up on their ambitions. Giving up, in this case, is certainly the easiest thing to do. It means not striving, not putting in the extra hours, not bettering yourself and – ultimately – not caring if you achieve your dreams or not. For successful people, however, giving up is simply not an option. The modern perspective on genius is that motivation – not innate talent – is key. In other words, anyone can be a genius provided they’re willing to put the effort in. It’s this commitment to and focus on the ‘one thing’ which separates successful people from unsuccessful people, and which continues to drive the former until their ambitions are realized.

Committing to the One

Unfortunately, this kind of commitment doesn’t come easily. Fortunately, there are many resources for modern would-be entrepreneurs to take advantage of in order to achieve the kind of single-mindedness which is required to elevate yourself above the pack. Techniques range from practicing yoga to creating a weekly schedule or even undergoing leadership training. The trick is to start by implementing achievable goals. Not only will this help you to stay focused, but it will help to retrain the ways in which you prioritise tasks and maintain a healthy balance in your life. As we get tired or stressed, our concentration naturally tends to wane. Successful people take care of themselves, in order that they may more fully commit to the ‘one thing’ which drives them.

Training Yourself to Success

Education isn’t always a pre-requisite for success. Some of the most successful people in society have had a minimal education; Richard Branson, for example, didn’t even finish high school. What he did have, however, was training.

Training can be achieved in many ways. In Branson’s case his training was self-achieved: he learned about business by running a publication called ‘Student Magazine’, then applied this learning to his later ventures. In the modern world, this kind of ingenuity is essential. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go it alone, as Branson did. There are many resources available to assist people with training that can aid them in their professional lives.

Success is often hard won, which means committing yourself to extra learning and practice outside of your normal work schedule. The internet is a great place to start looking for training, as online courses offer prospective trainees the opportunity to undergo training remotely and during flexible hours. Sometimes, committing to ‘the one’ means being prepared to make long term plans. In the case of training, this means building a solid foundation upon which you can later stand.

Whitehall Training is a provider of specialist online courses for the clinical and pharmaceutical sectors. Their training is industry recognized and accredited by many leading academic institutions. Get in touch today to find more about their flexible training options for remote learners.

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About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.