sevenI spent some time this week making some observations about the difference between successful and unsuccessful people. Here are seven of things on the list of notes I jotted down.

Feel like an outsider. I don’t believe that I know any successful people who didn’t grow up feeling like an outsider. They all felt as if they didn’t quite belong. They weren’t defined by any group or clique. Even though they had friends, they felt like they were outside looking in. Unsuccessful people seek acceptance.

Are fiercely determined. People who find their way to success are fiercely determined. Adversity only fuels the fire for people who find success. Obstacles are merely something to be overcome. Unsuccessful people give up too soon.

Always perform under pressure. Success comes with the pressure to perform. It requires that you bring your A-game all of the time. But this especially true when the stakes are high. Successful people don’t call in sick. They don’t drop out. They show up. Unsuccessful people bow out when the pressure gets to be too much.

Become highly competent. Successful people master their craft. You might know some successful people who aren’t as good at anything when compared to their people. This means they’re highly competent at leading. If someone is successful, they have talents and abilities, even if you don’t recognize them. The unsuccessful stop improving.

Are competitive. Successful people keep score. They measure themselves against the market, whatever that market is. They believe if someone else is doing better, they need to change and improve and produce even better results. Unsuccessful people don’t like to measure their performance against others.

Break the rules. Ask any successful person about being fired and they’ll rattle off two or three stories. Ask them about conforming in some system and you will hear them explain how they struggled. Successful people aren’t good at rules. So they play by a different set of rules: their own. Unsuccessful people follow the rules and wait for permission.

Fear losing everything. People who reach any significant level of success fear that they can lose everything. They are driven by this fear, and they work as if they are always behind where they should be. Unsuccessful people fear having something to lose.

Which of the seven items on this list resonate with you? Of the seven, which are you missing completely?

Do you give up on what you want too soon? Do resist putting yourself in situations where the stakes are high? Do you want only to measure yourself against you performance yesterday, ignoring what others prove to you is possible by their results?

What do you notice about successful people that is worth emulating?

Be the person you need to be to be successful this week, whatever success means to you. I’ll see you back here next week.

Anthony Iannarino

P.S. If you are a sales manager, sales leaders, or an emerging leader, don’t miss 6 Leadership Strategies for Driving Massive Revenue Growth on March 31, 2015 at 11:00 AM ET. I will once again be joined by my good friends and leading experts on sales and leadership, Mark Hunter, Mike Weinberg, Miles Austin, John Spence, and Jeb Blount.

It’s a solid hour of content sponsored by our friends at OmniJoin – Web Conferencing by Brother.


Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at and you can subscribe to his newsletter at