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February 5, 2014

7 Things Successful People Say

Success is an attitude. It’s a mindset.

And it’s not a coincidence that all successful people share a few similar thinking patterns. It’s The Success Mindset. And it’s not luck. Or chance. It’s a deliberate effort.

I read the book, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and it’s all about cultivating the mindset of a successful person. And across the board–it doesn’t matter if you’re talking fitness, fat loss, career, relationships, whatever–the people whose attitude is that of growth, openness, resiliency and possibility will be successful.

Because mindset drives decisions. And decisions lead to outcomes.

If my mindset is that “struggles are just part of the process,” when I encounter them, I’m expecting it, I’m not surprised. And I’m able to work through them quicker. And I also don’t make them mean that I suck and I better just throw in the towel. I see them as just par for the course.

Ask any successful entrepreneur and they will tell you that success is attitude.

It’s not “do this” or “take this approach.” It’s simply a way of being in the world that makes decision-making effortless. And cultivating that way of being takes conscious effort at first, and then practice. Opportunities for practice arise all the time, and it’s our reaction to those challenges that predict outcomes–good and bad.

So, I did this blog in seminar format for last month’s Radiance Retreat, and so I thought I would share it here. Enjoy!

1) “I know what I do best, and then I kill at it.”

There’s power when you’re acting and speaking from a place of passion and 100% authenticity. When you’re in the “flow state,” and being yourself, unapologetically, life is effortless. When you’re doing “what you’re meant to do,” it’s automatic. So with that said, trying to be anything or do anything that does not feel completely right for you is a waste of time.

Successful people follow their bliss. They know that life is too short to do shit you hate, and they find a way to work their passion into their life daily.

They also know that no one can do what they do better than them. What do I mean by that? When you are acting from a place of unapologetic authenticity, you are irreplaceable, an original, and good luck to anyone who tries to be you. Own your stuff. Go all in. And when you do, success is inevitable.

2) “Take 100% responsibility. For everything.”

Recently wrote an entire article on this. But as a recap … when you take responsibility for not only your own actions, but every and all circumstances you find yourself in (regardless of whose “fault” it is), you will always have options, you will always have steps to take. It’s when we blame and deflect responsibility that we get into trouble. Because when we do that, we give away our power. We give away our ability to act to change our circumstances. And at that point, we have to wait for others to change or assume responsibility. And I don’t know about you, but waiting for someone else to man-up in order to be successful just doesn’t sit right for me.

So forget luck. Forget what other people are doing. Forget what you “are owed.” Forget expectations for others, and forget what you think should happen. Because bottom line, reality is reality. Own that, and you will always have the ability to take ownership to improve your circumstances. I’ll choose empowerment over helplessness every time. And successful people know that their fate lies in their own perception and ability to act regardless.

3) “I give everything away, and then I receive ten-fold.”

Be more generous than you ever thought possible.

I’ll never forget listening to Marie Forleo speaking at Ryan Lee’s online business event 2 years ago, when she said, “I want my free content to be better than most people’s paid content.” Wow. Yes. Add massive value. For free! Give it all away.

People ask me why I give away whole workout programs and meal plans on my site. It’s a) because I know that meal plans and workout programs alone are not what get results. What gets results is implementation. And b) because ultimately I want people to get better, whether they choose to work with me or not. I feel a deep passion and OBLIGATION to share, empathize and educate. Information is the first step.

And how does it hurt me to give it away? People get scared that if everything’s on their blog or in a free ebook, why would people buy something from them? I understand that concern. But the bottom line is that giving away MY BEST STUFF and as much of it as possible helps me earn the TRUST of my readers first. Because if I don’t earn their trust, they certainly care and definitely won’t buy. They won’t even know what I’m selling! :)

And deeper than that, the bottom line for me is that I feel a deep, DEEP obligation to serve. I want every single person who reads this blog or interacts with me online (or in person) to walk away feeling empowered and like they have the tools to get better. And because that’s a core value of mine, how could I deny people the OPPORTUNITY to improve? I can’t. I won’t. And so I put it all out there. I give because I know that it’s in the giving that I receive.

This is a mindset. There’s enough happiness, success and money to go around. And when I come from an “abundance” mindset, the universe gives back to me ten-fold. When I’m scared and secretive and act with a “lack” mindset, I get exactly that–lack.

4) “I revel in the struggle.”

One of Jade’s mantras is, “Be a seeker, not a settler.” Can this way of thinking get us into trouble? Sure. But the alternative is staying small, scared and ultimately not making our dreams come true. Because inherent in taking action is the possibility for mistakes and missteps. Actually, they’re guaranteed.

So for me, I’d rather be able to anticipate them–even SEEK them out– than be blindsided when they happen and then make it mean that I suck and I better pack it in. No thanks! Instead, I look forward to my struggles. Why? Because every time I encounter a hardship, I’m given the opportunity to get better. I can get smarter, stronger, more resilient. And I will choose that every time–even though the pain and fear never gets less or easier. But those are the risks associated with striving for success. At some point, we all have to experience pain, heartache, loss, grief, etc. And I’d rather it be while I’m striving to create something amazing.

Successful people lean into the struggle. They cherish it because they know it ultimately makes them unstoppable.

5) “The more downtime I take, the more focused I am when I work.”

It’s no secret I love to relax. I wrote about it here, here and here. I lie on the couch and read 3-4 hours a day. I employ what I call “Rest-Based Living”–a take on Metabolic Effect’s Rest-based Training concept. In other words, the amount of downtime and recharge time we take is directly linked to the degree of FOCUS we’re able to employ when we sit down to work.

More rest = more focus.

We can choose to be ‘busy” for 10 hours a day OR we can choose to do focused work for 3 hours a day. The outcomes are the same, if we are cognizant of restorative time. Brendon Burchard calls this “block time,” where we schedule in 2-3 hours of time to really, really work on things that need our attention. Not email (close it down). Not Facebook and Twitter (sorry, that’s not really being productive). During scheduled block time, we can get so much done if we are deliberate that a couple hours is sufficient. I schedule in 1 or 2 block times daily, so probably 2-6 hours of actual “real” work, but I get so much more done than when I was “working,”–AKA being busy–for 10 hours a day.

If you’re interested in this concept, I’d recommend The Power of Full Engagement by Tony Schwartz. A total game-changer. I’ve never been more productive while “working” less time in my life.

6) “I practice a possibility mindset. When others ask, ‘Why me?’ I ask, ‘Why NOT me?'”

Successful people cultivate big thinking. Instead of defaulting to, “Why me?” they think, “Why NOT me?” They look for opportunities and possibilities instead of counting up the reasons why they can’t do it, or they’re not worthy to do it.

Cultivating a possibility mindset has everything to do with how open or narrow-minded you are. Narrow-minded thinking keeps us secure and certain, but it also takes away the opportunity for more. It’s easier to just maintain the status quo than it is to expand. So it takes a certain degree of risk and uncertainty to ask, Is there more? And if there is, can I do it?


I use the tool Practical Pessimism to push my ability to take action to create more. Naturally, we tend to be scared to take action. Our self-doubts hold us hostage. But Practical Pessimism or going to worst-case scenario in our minds allows us to see the potential worst outcome and then ask, “If that occurred, could I handle it?” And I think that you will always find that yes, you could. Would it be uncomfortable or painful? Yep. But the alternative is NOT trying, staying small and scared. And success is anything but small. This is a choice! A choice to trust YOURSELF to be able to handle whatever transpires. To be able to adjust on the fly and figure it out. Ask yourself, “Do I trust me?” Those with a possibility mindset do, even in the face of fear.

7) “Be a lifelong student.”

Never stop learning. Those who get to the the next level invest in their brain first and foremost.

This also cultivates high self-worth. You only have to be one step ahead of those you’re coaching, and spending time every day in education is a key way to maintain that slight edge.

Ongoing learning is a key value of mine, as you know. Reading, coaching, mentorship and online programs are simple ways to improve your value. In the past year, Jade and I together have spent over 30k on coaching and education and I’ve read 130+ books, many of them on business, psychology or mindset. Every answer you could ever need is a book, online course or person away! Use the resources around you to better yourself and to better your ability to help others. I believe that knowledge is power insofar as it allows us to take action and make a change for the better. Learning is forever, and those who are the most successful will always choose to invest in their brains first and foremost. The best thing about self-education is that is can never be taken away from you.

Cultivating success is a deliberate practice. And it’s not easy and it’s not pain-free. In fact, be prepared to endure more challenges and obstacles than you ever thought possible. But the reward is immense. The outcomes are worth it–knowledge, passion, success, happiness, perspective and security. All amazing things. And the good news is that it’s only a little introspection away :) Let me know what you think! Ox, Jill

Related: 7 Ways to Start Creating the Life You Want


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