By Jim Wong, CPA | June 9, 2016

-Never let success get to your head; never let failure get to your heart. –Anonymous

Whether on a personal or professional level, success can mean one thing to one person and something entirely different to another. Within the accounting, finance and IT landscapes, for instance, success might revolve around level of technical skills, degrees earned or leadership positions reached.

Determining what defines success can be relatively subjective, yet there are certain standards you can look at to assess how you stack up with other professionals deemed successful.

While distinctions, positions, and even compensation are positive aspects to professionals giving a sense of success, often times it’s more of the soft skills and characteristics of an individual that can give someone an even bigger leg up to being truly successful.

I recently came across an article on that discusses key behaviors of successful people. I’ve shared some of these behaviors along with some of my own thoughts I’ve learned from highly successful people I know in the 7 Behaviors of Successful People below.

1. Don’t wait on it, make it happen. 
Successful people know that waiting for things to happen around them is a waste of time and potential. Instead of hoping things will go your way, instead make sure things do go their way. They know that excuses don’t make things happen, actions do.

2. Enjoy the journey. 
This is an important piece of information to remember, but can be easily forgotten. While successful people have specific goals that they want to achieve, they also embrace the journey that gets them to those goals. Successful individuals know that the path to success can be bumpy, but it’s important to persist—you never know what you’ll learn on the journey.

3. Challenge the status quo. 
Successful people have a tendency to be highly innovative. Look at famous successful people and think about what made them famous. More often than not, their ability to think outside of the box was an important aspect of their paths to success. Never be afraid to challenge the status quo.

4. Never stop learning. 
Successful people know it’s important to be a sponge—to continue learning and improving. Keep an open mind and allow yourself to accept new skills, habits and lessons.

5. The sky’s the limit. 
Successful people tend to emphasize the possibilities rather than the roadblocks. As I mentioned, the journey to success can be difficult, but successful people will go with the flow instead of focusing on the negatives. If a challenge arises, figure out a way to rise above.

6. Build a strong network. 
The article states, “If there’s something you want to achieve or someone you want to become, you should find complementary qualities in friends, coworkers and family.” This statement couldn’t be truer. There’s a reason that successful people spend time together—it’s to cultivate and learn from each other.

7. Don’t give up. 
Failure happens, but successful people know how to bounce back from failure. Instead of dwelling on it and letting it slow you down, keep pursuing. This is one of the most important lessons that successful people learn. It’s not an easy lesson to accept, but it’s essential.

These are only a few of the traits that successful people exhibit. What are some other behaviors of successful individuals? Comment below with your ideas!

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