What do successful people have in common?

December 31, 2022
Posted in Questions
December 31, 2022 Terkel

What do successful people have in common?

From resilience to a personal mission, here are the 18 answers to the question, “What is one thing successful people have in common?”

  • Resilience
  • Delegate Tasks
  • Optimism
  • Focus On What You Can Control
  • Tenacity
  • They’re Willing to Ask for Help
  • They Ask the Important Questions
  • Acceptance and Moving Past Failure
  • Vision
  • A Strong Network
  • Adaptability
  • They’re Constantly Thinking of Ways to Add Value
  • Humility
  • Paranoid Optimism
  • They Don’t Live in the Past
  • Never Give Up
  • Passion
  • A Personal Mission


All successful professionals share the essential quality of resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back and persevere despite adversity or failure. The past few years alone have shown the essential need for resilience in the business world, as leaders have faced near-endless and unimaginable challenges in the face of the pandemic. No human beings are prepared for every single obstacle, however, the ones who endure are those who can stick through long enough to learn and find ways to cope and thrive in adverse conditions.

Tasia Duske, CEO, Museum Hack

Delegate Tasks

It took me a while to understand this, but to become successful you need to delegate and not try to do everything yourself. From time to time I find myself doing a job that someone in the company should be doing instead of the CEO. I will ask myself should someone else be doing this than me. Most of the time there is someone more qualified and frees me up to manage the CEO tasks I should be completing.

It’s difficult from going from doing everything yourself to delegating tasks, but that’s what a successful CEO needs to do. You will find most successful people stopped doing the smaller tasks that others can do and focused on the larger ones that only they can get done.

Evan McCarthy, President CEO, SportingSmiles


Perhaps the most important trait that people successful in life have in common is a sense of optimism. Optimism helps keep these people motivated and focused no matter what challenges come their way – it drives them to continue striving for their long-term goals.

Optimism allows successful people to see solutions and opportunities through difficult times instead of getting bogged down with every bump in the road. It also enables them to recalibrate their plans quickly to reflect short-term changes.

Optimism gives them faith that they will accomplish success, regardless of how much effort or time it takes. Because of this belief, nothing can stand in the way of success for those who maintain an optimistic outlook on life.

Antreas Koutis, Administrative Manager, Financer

Focus On What You Can Control

Successful people are able to see the difference between what they can control and what they can’t. They understand that their level of success is largely determined by their own actions, but they also understand that things like the economy and other external factors are things over which they exercise no real control and very little influence. This allows them to stay focused on what they can improve and not get caught up in things that are beyond their control.

Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely


Successful people are almost always tenacious. They aren’t deterred by problems, obstacles, or people telling them “no”. Regardless of how many times they experience a setback, they stand up and continue pursuing their goal. In the end, this ability to keep pushing forward leads them to the success they’ve had their eye on.

Logan Mallory, Vice President of Marketing, Motivosity

They’re Willing to Ask for Help

They’re comfortable asking questions about things they don’t understand. If you want to succeed long-term, you need to be able to admit when you don’t know something. That’s the only way you’re able to grow. Successful people know that to thrive, you sometimes need help from others. They view learning as an asset, not a weakness.

Rachel Roff, Founder, CEO, Urban Skin Rx

Rachel Roff , Urban Skin Rx

They Ask the Important Questions

All successful people ask important questions to obtain key information towards success. They remain curious and actively seek new insight. Asking questions helps build their knowledge base and contributes to their personal and professional development. Successful people even ask questions that may not be related to their areas of expertise to learn from others and gain a better understanding of the world around them. Successful people maintain a curious disposition to help guide them throughout their careers and lives.

Cody Candee, CEO, Bounce

Acceptance and Moving Past Failure

While there isn’t a secret formula that guarantees overnight success, there are some qualities that can assist clear the path. After speaking with hundreds of highly successful people, ranging from top CEOs to professional sports, I found several commonalities among them.Here are five of the distinctive characteristics I’ve noticed in many of the successful people I’ve had the good fortune to meet and learn from, which is to accept failure. The most prosperous individuals, in my observation, accept hearing “no” and sometimes even turn it to their advantage. Every event is an opportunity for learning, providing you with feedback you can utilize to improve.

Peter Bryla, Community Manager, ResumeLab


People who are successful are those who are able to envision a path for their success. They make plans, and plot courses for how they choose to reach their goals. When things change or don’t go their way, it’s right back to the drawing board to figure out a new way to meet their goals. That can-do and never give up attitude is the driving factor behind their success.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy however, like everyone else a successful person will hit pitfalls along the way, some of them far worse than others. What makes the difference is choosing to push ahead even when your met with failure. It takes true perseverance to stand up after like knocks you down.

Successful people for better or for worse are the type of people who don’t quit easily. They envision their plans and put them into motion, even if it takes time before they reap any of the benefits.

Max Schwartzapfel, CMO, Schwartzapfel Lawyers

A Strong Network

Successful people didn’t achieve success by themselves. Rather, it’s because they knew the right people to help them find or create opportunities, learn the right things, and give credibility to whatever they’re doing. The power of networking can never be overstated — you succeed when other people care about what you’re doing.

Alli Hill, Founder and Director, Fleurish Freelance


There are many different factors that can contribute to success and different people define success in different ways. However, one common characteristic that I’ve noticed many successful people share is adaptability. Successful people are often able to adapt to new situations and challenges, and bounce back from setbacks. They are able to learn from their mistakes and use that learning to move forward.Of course, everyone is different and there is no generic formula for success, nor is there a shared definition of what success is. What works for one person may not work for another and they key is to find your own path to success by playing into your strengths and working on improving your weaknesses.

Matz Edstrom, Co-Founder, Dutify

They’re Constantly Thinking of Ways to Add Value

Be it at the workplace, at a networking event, or even within their own community — successful people are constantly thinking about what they can bring to the table. A lot of this stems from their commitment to wanting to improve things and make the lives of those around them easier.

More importantly, they know that success isn’t a byproduct of focusing on yourself — it’s an exchange between you and everything around you. And by adding to the lives of others either through some kind of service, product, advice, or information, everyone comes out of the exchange a lot more content.

Guy Sharp, Relocation Advisor, Andorra Guides

Guy Sharp , Andorra Guides


While success is largely subjective, if there’s one thing I’ve noticed among people who are succeeding in their careers as well as leading a well-balanced life, it’s humility. Truly successful people have gotten to where they are because they don’t hold back from saying they don’t know something, they don’t hesitate to be beginners at a skill or even accept when they’re in the wrong. This valuable characteristic can take someone further than the rest while still ensuring they’re not spread too thin because humility always attracts support and others who will help you along your path.

Asma Hafejee, Senior Marketing Executive, CMR Surgical

Paranoid Optimism

Successful people have the ability to remain optimistic in the face of adversity and challenge. By having an attitude of “paranoid optimism,” they can maintain a sense of hope and determination even in the face of failure or setbacks.

Paranoid optimism is often used as a strategy to help one remain positive and motivated, even when things are not going as expected. It requires maintaining a healthy balance between being overly optimistic and taking the necessary steps to keep yourself safe and secure.

Burak Özdemir, Founder, Online Alarm Kur

They Don’t Live in the Past

Successful people don’t live in the past. For them, the past can serve as a great source of lessons learned. Still, though it is essential to gain experience from what we have gone through, life is here and now. Quoting Roy T. Bennett, “The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.” We can learn from the past, but not live in it. Successful people know that moving on and experiencing life fully, moment by moment, is impossible when we are focused on previous events. They just don’t waste their time on yesterday’s regrets. It is the present that shapes your future. As you can see, the key to success may be to use every precious minute we’re given.

Agata Szczepanek, Community Manager, LiveCareer

Never Give Up

The one most crucial attribute and ONLY thing that ALL successful individuals have in common when it comes to the areas that matter to them, such as their business, their swimming, their music, and their purpose they never give up.It’s difficult to lose when you can fail 100 times and keep trying again and again until you get it right. Most individuals give up too soon due to cash-flow issues, a lack of willingness to make sacrifices, or listening to negative influences around them who tell them they can’t attain their goals.There are hundreds of reasons why individuals quit, but only one reason they continue: hunger.One thing we do know is that there is no single, obvious route to success for everyone. The most successful persons in any activity will tell you several instances of failure throughout their lives.

DavidReid, Sales Director, VEM-Tooling Co. Ltd.


Anyone who has found some sort of success in life, personal or professional, has been passionate about that area of their life. Passion fuels ambition, which leads you to want to succeed and allows you to do things wholeheartedly. You MUST be passionate about the things you do if you want to have a chance at being successful.When it comes to serious things like business, you must be passionate about what you are doing. If it’s a side hustle or even just a hobby, then you also must be extremely passionate.

Compile 3 to 5 successful people that you look up to. Take a look at their lives, read quotes from them, and even chat with them if you have the chance. Try to understand the passion they have for what they do and the work they have put in. I guarantee they have shown a tremendous amount of passion to find the success they have attained.

Shaun Connell, CEO, Credit Building Tips

A Personal Mission

They all have a personal mission that is greater than themselves. For me, it’s creating a strong understanding of the future so that we can develop meaningful products and services that make life better for as many people as possible.

As a business leader, I’m constantly looking for ways to create value for our customers and stakeholders in every area of our operations. That’s why having a clear mission is so essential – it provides a strong foundation that drives the decisions I make and helps guide the direction of our business. It’s what keeps me motivated, focused, and inspired. Ultimately, it’s why we have been able to achieve so much success.

Ryan Delk, CEO, Primer

Submit Your Answer

Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, What do successful people have in common?

Submit your answer here.

Related Questions