Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

A Common Mistake in Evaluating Success

 

Most of the uber-successful entrepreneurs you will encounter will have some distinctively unique personality traits.   They usually stand out and have extremes in at least one way, but often multiple.  Here are some examples of traits that I’ve observed and discussed:

  • Crazy outgoing … bold, brash, life of the party, always making people laugh…
  • Super chill … never get’s stressed, anxious, or worried…
  • Amazing listener … always asking great questions, able to make the conversation more about you than them…
  • Freakishly creative … able to think of a new idea on the fly any minute of the day…
  • Constantly competitive … #winning is their mantra, everything is a competition…

I enjoy speaking with young and first time entrepreneurs about these rockstars. It’s fun to analyze them and try to figure out how they were able to make it to the top level; these types of character traits always come up in the conversation.   But here’s a common mistake in those conversations that shows naivety on the part of anyone looking to learn from rockstars. It’s this comment:

Well yeah, if I had a gazillion dollars in the bank, I would be [fill in the blank from above] also…

#Wrong!

An example of another "wrong answer" ....

An example of another “wrong answer” ….

#No!    If you think these traits are created because of success, think again. These people have the same traits before they made it big and before you knew about them. Very likely it is these traits that helped them get there.   So the next time you notice that a rockstar is always [calm and collected,] don’t make the mistake of assuming it’s because she has less stress because of her bank account. Assume that it was being calm and collected (or competitive, or a good listener, or creative, etc..) all the way, and that’s what enabled the energy to fill up the bank account.

Bottom line: be who you are, and go all out in doing so.

 

 

  • Brandon George says:

    Great post. The biggest trait that sets successful entrepreneurs apart is knowing the price it takes to become successful. That price is paid in effort, energy, enthusiasm—not in dollars and cents.

    Reminds me of a great quote from author, Earl Nightingale: “Success is not the result of making money. Making money is the result of success, and success is in direct proportion to our service. Most people have this law backwards. They believe you’re successful if you earn a lot of money. The truth is that you can only earn money AFTER you’re successful. We’ve got to be of service first before we can expect money.” Thanks for sharing, Johnson.

    November 7, 2013 at 9:50 am

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