To most people, athletes, racing drivers or football players come to one’s mind when thinking of winning. But not only are sport stars winners, business people are also required to have the mindset of a winner in order to succeed in their respective area.

While currently only 7% of the Forbes 400 inherited their fortune (a number that has been constantly declining over the past decades), the number of self-made billionaires is rising year after year; there really has never been a better time to become a winner. According to research from wealth managers, private bankers and entrepreneurs, the following characteristics and traits are qualities that all successful people in business have in common:

They make a firm decision to be a winner.

Wake up, breath it, feel it, say it. Everything successful people do reflects their final goal – to win. Winners make a firm decision to be successful. Whether that means increasing sales or negotiating the next big deal, successful people are giving their best at any time of the day. In order to be successful, winners associate themselves with successful people. Winners remember “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” (Jim Rohn).

They have a 100% focus.

In order to achieve such a winning mindset, focus is of utmost importance. When Warren Buffet first met Bill Gates, their host at dinner, Bill Gates’ mother, asked everyone around the table to name what they believed was the single most important factor for their success through life. Gates and Buffett gave the same one-word answer: “Focus.” (See more in The Snowball by Alice Schroeder).

Winners do the things others don’t want to do.

Earning the reputation of a winner doesn’t happen overnight. Financially successful people are always on the clock, not requiring much sleep yet still maintaining high energy. Winners are used to working between 60-80 hours a week, according to certified financial planner Doug Flynn of Flynn Zito Capital Management. Consistent hard work distinguishes between a winner and a loser.

They love it simple.

Winners invest in themselves. They get rid of distractions, so that they can focus on changing the world. Take Barack Obama as an example, who only wears blue or grey suits in order to pare down his decisions. Or have you ever wondered why Mark Zuckerberg wears the same outfit every day? At a Facebook “town hall”, he once said “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve the community”. Winners get rid of distractions.

They are extraordinarily confident.

Financially successful people are usually very confident, they truly believe that “they can do anything”, according to psychologist James Gottfurcht from Psychology of Money. They don’t rely on luck, and even when they fail, they don’t make bad luck an excuse. Winners believe that the harder you work, the luckier you get. While there is always going to be luck, winners live by the quote “You are in it to win it.”

They value time over money.

As Bill Gates has written, “No matter how much money you have, you can’t buy more time. There are only 24 hours in everyone’s day.” Successful people don’t let their calendars get filled up with useless meetings. Winners invest their time carefully, but are very generous to the people they trust.

They make sacrifices.

Winning is a way of life. In order to maintain the financial success, personal life can sometimes suffer. As the legendary, former General Electric Chief Executive, Jack Welch, said “There’s no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.” Billionaire Bill Woodman, Founder and CEO of GoPro, is another example. He once mentioned that he wrote off his personal life to make headway on GoPro. “I moved back in with my parents and went to work seven days a week, 20 hours a day.”

It’s your turn…

What do you think makes you a winner? What attributes does a winner have in your opinion? We are curious to hear your experiences in the comment section below.


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