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9 Skills Common in Successful People

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

To reach new levels of success, you need guts, determination and a mastery of a particular set of skills. These powerful skills, while each individually potent, form a powerhouse of ability when combined and set the stage for success, no matter who you are or where you come from.

Here are the nine skills you need to focus on.

A Student Mindset

This is a skill that all successful people have, no matter their field or their wealth status. Never, ever stop learning and being a student. There will always be something new to discover or a new path to take, new roads to travel and new tactics to try. Learn them, use them – and never settle for stagnation. If you focus on process improvement at your job, why not always focus on “process improvement” at a personal level to improve your own life and push your own endeavors forward.

Emotional Intelligence

The way I’m using emotional intelligence in this context is the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes so you can read their intentions. It's a split second mind shift that happens that is hard to describe but for those of you that do this naturally, you know what I’m talking about. Using a non business example, the car in front of you is moving slower than you. Most people’s reaction would be to honk and even get very angry. This happens because you are only thinking about your situation. What if there is a new baby in the car that first time parents are taking home and are being cautious? What if the driver is carrying a fragile object and wants to make sure it doesn’t break? In business, putting yourself in another person's shoes will help you read what they are really thinking and saying. Learning the fine art of reading people offers you advantages in all walks of life, from business to personal. We each have a private and a public face, yet those that can truly read people can often get beyond that public persona to see the real person beneath the mask – and it is that person who will buy your product, invest in your business or collaborate on a project.

Managing Your Time

Successful people are self-starters, which means in large part, making their own schedule. Fitting in everything you need to do, while not becoming overwhelmed takes skill and effort. From getting up in the morning to establishing important contacts, learning proper time management is key. Take inventory of how you spend your days for a week and decide on what you can cut out, what things you can spend less time on and still be as effective and which things you need to spend more time on.

Focus on Efficiency

Successful people breathe, eat, sleep efficiency. They are always thinking about maximum output in everything they do. Efficiency comes from good habits all around and figuring out how to leverage other people’s talents to augment areas you might not excel in or not like.

Getting the most out of yourself

This one plays into Time Management well, though it applies mainly to yourself. Learning to control your energy, and directing it where it needs to go, will keep you from getting burnt out. No one can burn the candle at both ends for long – you need to understand how to increase and sustain energy for most of the day in order to commit to the long road to success.

Influencing Without Authority

Your ability to influence a decision or outcome will lead to more sales. Don’t mistake this with manipulation. Manipulation is selfish and one way while influence means you are adding value to the other party as well. If all Business is selling, then all selling is the ability to influence an outcome.

Goal setting

Successful people know that goal setting doesn't just happen on New Years Eve. You have to keep your eye on the prize, which is your ultimate goal, but have weekly, monthly and year goals that act as smaller steps towards your ultimate goal.

Managing Money

Earning all the money in the world won’t do you any good if you do not know how to manage it. Buying stock, investing in advancements, buying office supplies, paying employees… all of this requires money and knowing how to manage that money properly.


If you hate networking then you are going to make achieving your goals a lot harder. Having other successful people or subject matter experts at your fingertips will open doors, help you learn faster and allow you to add value to others by connecting people that can help each other. Turn networking into a game within a game to help you overcome reservations. Just put yourself out there, be authentic, be vulnerable and networking will just become a normal part of your life.

Mastery of all these skills will take time and effort, but they will pay off in the end. Stay patient and keep your eye on the prize.

Comment below on things you do personally that has helped you.

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