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Monday, February 3, 2014

What Drives Success?

Good New York Times article about what drives successful people.

It breaks it down to 3 traits -

  • feeling of superiority
  • insecurity
  • Impulse control

It's an interesting article I agree with, though I always called 'insecurity' 'fear', like fear was driving me onward - fear of failure, fear of starting over, fear of humiliation, fear of losing.  I've said many times on this blog that after each house I've sold I get the feeling that this could be the last one - I'm over that now, but it was a belated 'overness' and by the time I was over it I had literally sold 50 homes, meaning it was probably less fear and more insecurity.  Of all the 3 traits, I think insecurity/fear is what inspires the energy to scale the wall of business starting more than the others.

Impulse control is a bit more complicated.  I think many good entrepreneurs actually lack impulse control in many aspects but I guess in the most important moments - that being the moment to strike, to spend, to retreat, to run, to save, to attack - those impulses need to be managed and patient.

Feeling of superiority - well, yes, I guess I go in for that, though mostly it's just a feeling of confidence in your gut, instinct and ability to persevere.  And of all traits, this one benefits and grows from each task accomplished, so it's the one that can most easily grow subtly out of control and lead to a lack of both insecurity and impulse control, leading to a person who's losing the traits that drove the success in first place.  You see that a lot in 2nd try tech startups, where the entrepreneur who succeeded just doesn't the drive anymore that enabled the first venture to thrive.

It's hard to want to repeat the scratching and clawing that enabled the first venture to survive and perhaps thrive.  In fact, it's something most folks would like to avoid repeating.

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