I’m fascinated by success.
As a Hollywood talent manager for more than three decades, I’ve spent years studying the differences between people who succeed and those who never quite accomplish their goals.
I’ve learned there’s no one-size-fits-all prescription for success, but there are qualities most successful people share — regardless of whether they’re actors, executives, or what industry they work in.
While DNA and luck certainly play a role, the truth is most of the qualities successful people share can be developed by anybody through hard work, dedication, and a willingness to pursue them.
Here are five qualities shared by just about anybody who succeeds…
1. Successful People Help Others Succeed
Let’s start with the most counterintuitive concept of the bunch.
To become successful, you must help others become successful.
Every person who has achieved their goals has created a ripple that’s helped countless others achieve theirs.
This is because when you create value for other people, companies, and causes, you wind up creating value for yourself as well.
Successful people embrace this concept. They recognize what they give to others is every bit as important — maybe more — than what they go after for themselves.
A successful actor makes the actors they share a scene with better.
A successful leader empowers their followers to better their lives.
A successful person creates an impact that goes beyond the scope of their own life.
2. Successful People Have A Unique Charisma
Success is an aura.
There’s something certain people give off when you’re around them that exudes success.
That something is their unique charisma.
It’s a comfort with themselves and in their own skin. A willingness to display and share their true selves with the world and to expose their vulnerability.
You can feel their unique strengths and weaknesses when you’re around them. They don’t hide and don’t pretend.
This authenticity breeds trust, and trust makes people want to get closer to them, work with them, and in many cases help them accomplish their goals.
We’re all unique in some way, but successful people are more willing to reveal their uniqueness than others.
3. Successful People Are Strategic About Everything
Success is never an accident.
The saying is true: Most overnight success stories were years in the making.
The people I’ve encountered who accomplish their goals approach everything they do in a strategic way.
Yes, luck is involved. But luck is not a strategy — it’s something that happens when you pursue a strategy.
There are actors who go on auditions and hope for the best. Then, there are actors who keep detailed spreadsheets of every audition they’ve ever gone on, every casting director they’ve seen, every person they’ve met, and every bit of feedback they’ve received.
Which do you think is more likely to succeed?
I’ll bet on the one with the strategic approach every day of the week.
4. Successful People Have The Ability To Manage Information
“Knowledge is power” is a cliche because it’s true.
It’s impossible to overstate how valuable information is and that’s never been more true than in our current world where an insane amount of information is created every minute and available at our fingertips.
The ability to access and manage information is a powerful skill and one successful people master.
The more you learn how to get answers to questions, the more you research the people and companies you seek to do business with, and the better your understand where your industry has been and is headed, the more likely you are to succeed.
Successful people aren’t always the smartest ones in the room, but they’re usually the ones with the most relevant information.
5. Successful People Have The Ability To Manage Themselves
This final quality brings things full circle from where we started.
As I mentioned in the beginning, successful people are committed to helping others succeed…but they’re also committed to themselves.
They understand nobody can care more about them and their career than they do and act accordingly.
As a talent manager, I put in countless hours of blood, sweat and tears to help my clients achieve their dreams.
But it won’t work if I want it more than they do.
Successful people understand this and are committed to getting the most out of themselves and their team.
Successful actors realize they’re a wheel and the other people in their career — representatives, filmmakers, studio executives, publicists, etc. — are all spokes.
The spokes can be incredibly helpful, but in order for the spokes to move, the wheel has to turn them.
Successful people initiate their own forward motion and drive their careers forward. They don’t rely on others to push them, they are their own ignition.
Without an ability to do that, all the other qualities in the world won’t matter.
Now that you know what it takes to succeed, the next step is to create a plan for yourself.