• How to Start Developing the Habits of Successful People While in College

    September 09, 2013 by

    Successful College StudentIt is never too soon to start striving for greatness. Just because you are young and still in college does not mean that you cannot be a leader and inspire others. Study the habits of successful people. Read about successful people and really examine what it is that they do or did to make them successful. What traits do they have and what advice do they give? Here are some ways to develop the habits of successful people:

    Keep in Touch: It’s hard to believe that something as simple as keeping in touch can lead to success. However, just ask media mogul and movie executive Barry Diller  about that. When he started his career in the 1960’s at Paramount, it was not the well-known and successful picture studio it became under his guidance as the CEO.  He would call 10 people every morning just to say hello. He would ask them what they are working on and could he help with anything. The result ended up with a strong network of friends that he could call on to call in those favors. So if you call (or even email or text) a few people a day, or even each week it will allow you to keep in touch with your high school friends while in college. This is actually a much easier thing to do in today’s world with the technology of social media and mobile phones with no long distance calling fees. However just being “Facebook friends” with someone doesn’t always mean you are keeping in touch. Reach out and make contact. Call to see how they are doing in college or whatever they are doing and just stay top of mind. That way, when you need a favor from them, it will not be like “hey, I haven’t talked to you since high school, but can you help me with this?”

    Think Out of the Box (Literally): Zappos CFO Alfred Lin made a big impression on Tony Hsieh when they were in college together, so much so that Hsieh tapped Lin to be his CFO when he was building his super successful e-commerce billion dollar empire. What did Lin do? He sold pizza by the slice in his dorm room and made money. It seems simple, but it truly was thinking out of the box. Try to match this innovative thinking and always think about meeting the needs of others.

    Surround Yourself with Success: Above is an ultimate example of seeking out successful and like-minded individuals and surrounding yourself with them. That means weeding out bad elements, just as much as seeking out smart people. “Make sure that your friends and associates are building you up, not tearing you down.” This advice comes from Tim Ferriss, author of the Four Hour Work Week.

    Study Trends: When you study trends, it gives you the ability to predict them. Search for what works for one industry and brainstorm how it can apply to another. Drive thrus were first prevalent at banks and a hamburger restaurant owner decided to try to apply that idea to his restaurant to improve service and lower expenses while increasing sales through convenience. In addition to watching business trends, you should also monitor the daily trending topics in social media. Taking a few minutes at least once a day to see what is happening in the world will not only educate you on current events, but you will be able to pinpoint what you need for success.

    Do Not Settle: Do not always stay in the comfort zone. Learn that there is good stress and that pressure to succeed will add to your drive.

    Don’t Procrastinate: It is a simple rule, but very difficult to abide by. Setting goals helps with this. Do not live in the tomorrow, tackle obstacles early in the day and adopt the attitude of “just do it”.

    Apply the 80/20 Rule: If you are not familiar with the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, it applies to your success in a few different ways. The Pareto Principle originated with the observation that 80% of Italy’s wealth was owned by 20% of the population. However, this observation can be applied to many other things in life and in business. It is something that successful people and successful business people refer to often to propel success. Some other observations of the 80/20 Rule:

        20% of the input creates 80% of the result
        20% of the workers produce 80% of the result
        20% of the customers create 80% of the revenue
        20% of the bugs cause 80% of the crashes
        20% of the features cause 80% of the usage

    There are numerous ways to apply this to your success, but it basically continually falls back on looking to the top 20%. There can be 20% of influences that create 80% of your problems, or the opposite can be the case, but it is up to you to observe and take action on the Pareto Principle elements in your life. Here is another very appropriate quote from Tim Ferriss, “Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness? Which 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcomes and happiness?” This will help you decipher weaknesses and strengths and play to those strengths. One very important lesson is that it is actually OK to “quit” something if it is preventing you from succeeding overall.

    Set Goals: Setting goals is a very important step. Write them down to make yourself more accountable to them, and review your goals and progress at periodic intervals.

    Bio: Josh Ferrell is blogger for DiplomaDisplay.com. He enjoys writing about college and career topics.

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email

    Comments

    comments

    Powered by Facebook Comments