If you were to dig deep and look into the personal traits of the most successful business executives, regardless of industry, age, or demographic, chances are you’d find some startling similarities. Everyone has a different drive and passion. It is why some executives sit at the top of video game companies while others focus on food distribution or running hotels. Passions and skills differ, but it doesn’t change the fact that specific traits are found in nearly every successful executive. If your goal is to become the head of a business and excel in your line of work, you need to uncover these habits and implement each one in your life. Here are the top (5) five habits that will dictate your success in business and life.


1) Wake Up Early

Sometimes there’s nothing better than rolling over in bed, knowing you don’t have to be anywhere. For many of us, slapping the sleep button a half-dozen times is a natural, every morning activity. However, do you think leading executives made it to where they are today by showing up to work at 10? In fact, most high-end executives accomplish more than most people wake up.

Successful executives understand the importance of getting an early start on the day. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, is awake by 4 a.m. and is already sending out work emails by 4:30. By the time 5 a.m. rolls around, he’s already at the gym. Other executives are similar. Howard Schultz wakes up, heads out to the gym and arrives at work no later than 6 a.m. Yes, other executives may not wake up this early, but there is a reason why each of these individuals runs major companies. It is because they demonstrate their drive towards perfection inside and outside the office. By the time the average employee wakes up, these CEOs have already worked out and performed several hours of work (Entrepreneur, 2016).

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2) In-Depth Planning

Everyone has goals and dreams. However, without planning, reaching these dreams is often next to impossible. After all, you are at Point A and need to get to Point Z. Without proper, in-depth planning, and you’ll never make it. All of the most successful people in the world plan out everything. You may have a goal of making it to the next point, but that is all in your head. You need a roadmap to follow.

A good amount goes into planning. First, it would help if you mapped out your plan of action. What is the next step you want to reach? How can you make it there? What do you need to do to obtain what you need to make it to the next step? On top of this, the most successful business professionals don’t just map out one plan. There are plans for nearly every possible situation. This is because nothing ever happens 100% according to plan. That is why successful individuals plan for both successes and, should it happen, failure.


3) Stop Wasting Your Time

More now than ever before, there is a time-wasting opportunity wherever you turn. The most successful professionals have found ways to cut out and avoid these time wasters. You can get back about everything in life; should you lose it? If you lose your money in an investment, you can make it back. If something is stolen from you and never returned, you can work hard and purchase it again. Just about everything in life can be obtained a second time, except for just that: time.

Time is your most valuable asset. Time is the one thing that, once gone, you will never get back. The hour you spent watching television last night, you’ll never get that hour back. It’s gone. As you look to make yourself a better professional, you need to identify ways you’re wasting time and avoid these issues.

Think of it as training for a sporting event. In order to train, you need to strip your body of layers of fat to expose the fit and trim muscle. To do this, you need to exercise and eat right. Eating right requires you to avoid empty calories and foods that are not packed with healthy vitamins, lean protein and carbs for energy to power you through your workout. The same is true with your professional life. If you want to make it and be successful, you need to cut out what wastes your time and fill these open slots with tasks dedicated to improving your professional potential.

So what are some examples of time wasters? Watching endless hours of television is one, yet far too obvious. Think about how much time you spend on social media. Combine Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and others, and how many hours are you flushing down the drain every day? Is there anything worthy of your time on these websites? In reality, you could have spent five minutes sending a message or updating your business account and moved on to another task. Whether it is constantly hitting the snooze button in the morning or checking your email every five minutes, you may be surprised at how much time you waste throughout the day. Avoid the time wasters, and you’ll see how much more you can finish throughout the day.


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4) Don’t Ever Quit

If becoming a widely successful individual in life were easy, everyone would be widely successful. However, the fact of the matter is that becoming successful takes hard work and determination. As you push forward in your career path, it doesn’t matter how much luck you might come across early on; eventually, you will hit a point in your professional career where you hit a brick wall and fall. You may fall hard. At this point, you can go the way most people go and quit on your dream, or you can buckle down and push forward. Perhaps you fail again, and again, and again. The difference between successful individuals and failures (or at least people who failed in their dreams) are those who quit and those who continued to get up.

Many of the most successful business individuals failed multiple times. Henry Ford went bankrupt before he started the Ford Motor Company and introduced the idea of an assembly line to car building, revolutionizing the manufacturing business. Walt Disney went bankrupt before going on to create one of the largest entertainment empires in the world. Abraham Lincoln filed for bankruptcy twice. Donald Trump has filed for bankruptcy four times. The list can go on and on. But, of course, you don’t need to agree with someone’s politics or line of work to see the point. Most people, at some point in their life, give up on their dream. They fall, whether for the first time or the hundredth time and decide to stay down. You need to be different. You need to keep on getting up.


5) Invest In Reading

In a survey conducted by Business Insider (2017) of 177 self-made millionaires, 88% of those surveyed said they spend at least 30 minutes a day reading. What they read, though, isn’t devoted to entertainment. Instead, it is pointed toward education. This doesn’t mean you need to go out and pick up the largest, thickest history book. No, you need something a bit more specific but along the lines of your passion (after all, you should still find it interesting; otherwise, there is no point in force-feeding yourself a book you won’t like).

In reality, opening up any book will do you good. The purpose of reading by the most successful business executives is to educate themselves on those who have come before them. In addition, most executives read biographies on other successful individuals and personal development. History, in all actuality, is another popular topic, although most of the historical books picked up are specified towards a singular topic (such as Henry Ford starting his company, the exploration of the new world or an event during wartime).

Reading allows for your imagination to take over. Instead of watching television, even educational programming, where you become absorbed in the presentation, a book forces your brain to think continually. It also can take the information learned from the biographies and self-help books and implement it into your own life, visualizing you utilizing the tactics shared within the text.

For some, success seems to fall into their lap. Whether they were born into it or just stumbled upon it by accident, these individuals happen to succeed at whatever they do. However, for the vast majority of people, success is not something that appears after tossing a lucky penny into a wishing well. Success is earned through hard work, determination and often a considerable amount of early failure. In life, nothing worth having should come easy. You’ll appreciate it much more and understand what you need to do to maintain and continue business success. By taking advantage of these five habits, you’ll set yourself on the right track for eventual success in any industry you choose.



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