The most successful businesspeople in the world all achieved their goals through different strategies and methods. But, no matter their industry or goals, they all generally have 9 characteristics in common. And these are traits that lead to exceptional productivity.
Remember this: NONE of us have extra time. All of us have 24 hours in a day.
As entrepreneurs, we need to make the most of our time and drown out the negative noise that threatens to take up our time.
So, let’s get straight into it with the first characteristics of enormously productive people…
#1 THEY REFUSE TO PURSUE PERFECTION
Productive, successful people aren’t working toward perfection; they believe that “good” is good enough.
For example, if you’re running a direct mail campaign, your main goal should be to get it up and running. You can’t obsess over it being perfect. Because, once you start running the campaign, the market will tell you if your methods are effective – and you’ll know by the results you get.
If you get caught up in seeking something that is unattainable, you’ll never move forward in your real estate investing business. Period.
So, don’t pursue perfection. Pursue “good,” and then optimize your strategies, systems, and processes as you go.
#2 THEY REFUSE TO BECOME DISTRACTED
The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) states that, for most events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the cause.
In other words, as an entrepreneur, about 80% of your business’ profit will be a direct result of 20% of your efforts.
As the brains of your business, you HAVE TO focus on the 20% and resist the urge to get distracted by the small things that make up the other 80%.
Don’t waste your time on non-revenue producing tasks in your business! These can be done by your team members or hired out.
As motivational speaker Brian Tracy says, “Resist the urge to clear up small things first.” Focus on the 20% of your tasks that create 80% of your business’ financial success.
#3 THEY REFUSE TO LET NEGATIVITY DRAG THEM DOWN
It’s as simple as this: if you allow negative people or negative events to bring down your mentality, you will never be successful.
This doesn’t mean that you need to cut people out of your life entirely (usually), but it does mean that you need to limit your exposure to toxic people, because their negative thoughts will do nothing for your productivity.
American author H. Jackson Brown Jr. said, “Protect your enthusiasm from the negativity of others.” I think this is great advice for anyone to consider.
#4 THEY REFUSE TO LET OTHERS MAKE DECISIONS FOR THEM
As an entrepreneur, you must be in control of your life and your business. Passively allowing others make decisions for you will only enable those people to dictate your life, success, and happiness.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can never rely on your team members. After all, you hired the best and the brightest for a reason – they typically excel in areas that aren’t your strengths (or that you don’t enjoy).
So, of course, allow your team members to make helpful suggestions and provide their input on a regular basis. But at the end of the day, you need to take ownership of your business and the decisions that directly impact it.
This also means that you must take 100% responsibility for the bad decisions that impact your business. As the owner/entrepreneur, the culpability is entirely yours.
#5 THEY REFUSE TO ALLOW PAST FAILURES TO STOP THEM
Fear should never be the deciding factor in your life. If you dwell on the possibility of failure, you will never allow yourself to become successful.
English author H.G. Wells said, “If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” Something to help you “stand up” is this: always look at your failures as lessons. Take that knowledge, learn from your mistakes, and move forward. Stand up! All you can do is your best.
#6 THEY REFUSE TO THINK SMALL
In other words, enormously productive people don’t give mental space to self-limiting beliefs. The toxic internal monologue of “I’m not good enough” doesn’t stand a chance with productive people.
If you allow yourself to think this way, these beliefs will become your truth. And that can have a hugely negative impact on your personal life and professional success.
Instead, think BIG. If you want to do 10 property deals this year, multiply that goal x10, and do 100 deals. If you want to have a $10 million portfolio, multiply that by 10, and build a $100 million portfolio.
If you create lofty goals, you’ll have BIG results. It may not happen now, but it will happen.
#7 THEY REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT WHAT THEY WANT IS IMPOSSIBLE
Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Think about that… only YOU can allow yourself to overcome the “impossible” and be successful. If you put your mind and will toward a goal, it really can’t be impossible.
And that’s why enormously productive people are successful… they believe their goals are entirely possible. And – most importantly – they stick with their goals and dreams, even through the challenges and the failures.
#8 THEY REFUSE TO BECOME OVERWHELMED
Successful entrepreneurs also don’t allow themselves to become overwhelmed. That’s not to say that they never experience stress, because – believe me – they do.
But, the difference between successful business owners and unsuccessful ones is that the successful ones focus only on the things that they can control. They’re also proactive about keeping themselves organized, because this helps eliminate future feelings of being overwhelmed.
Remember to focus on one problem at a time. Once you’ve solved this, move on to the next one. And, get comfortable with saying “no” to people. You can’t do it all; if you try, you’ll become overwhelmed very quickly.
#9 THEY REFUSE TO STOP LEARNING, DEVELOPING & GROWING
I really like Helen Keller’s insightful words for this one: “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”
You only have so much time in your life (that’s the reality), so you should strive to make the most of it. Continuously learning new things is a huge part of creating a productive and meaningful life for yourself.
Life is a test that teaches you new lessons every day. And extremely productive people understand this. Just because they’ve reached a certain goal doesn’t mean they stop learning.
So take time to invest in yourself – your learning, knowledge, and ongoing education. It can be as simple as attending seminars, enrolling in a coaching program, or even becoming a coach for students in your industry (trust me, I learn a LOT from the people I coach).
Learn, develop, grow, and DO!
These are the 9 characteristics that I consistently see in the high-performing students of my REI coaching program. They also describe successful entrepreneurs and business owners across all industries. If you want to be successful, you MUST be productive.
Now it might not be realistic to make all 9 of these changes immediately in your life and business. But take it one day at a time, focus on one step at a time, and stick with it. And you’ll notice the results almost immediately. So, go out there, pursue your goals, and – whatever happens – don’t give up.