Original question from Quora:

What are a few things that very successful people never do?

My Answer:

I have seen one thing that very successful people do and one thing very successful people don’t do that seems to set them apart from those around them.

I would estimate no more than one in ten people ever do this. And those people end up on stage as Olympians, heads of business, and generally at the top of any field they wish to pursue.

A friend of mine is someone who has this trait. I met him a few years ago and for a time I worked for him at his business.

I would not call my friend the greatest businessman of all time and I would tell that to his face and I think he’d agree. Despite his lack of experience in some areas of business, my friend is quite successful and as far as I can tell he will continue to be for as long as he lives.

My friend gets it.

Here’s a story that will make sense of it for you.

I often have business ideas of every sort. Most of them are not brilliant, but a few might be. Every once in a while when I explain my latest hair brained idea, my friend gets excited.

He gets so excited that he starts telling me how this is similar to some other thing and how we should get started right away. I usually chuckle and move on with life.

I’ve had so many good ideas, I don’t pursue very many of them anymore. However…

The next day usually, my friend will bring me a prototype of what I was talking about. It could be a web page or some software prototype or something. But, it’s usually something.

Then we get to talking about how to make it real and what else needs to be done. Both of our wives get somewhat annoyed by our activity and enthusiasm. Yet, it is something I believe they understand.

Anyway, my friend and I will both keep working and keep working on an idea until it’s real and until it’s proven to not work. This means we will work and work every day on something until it makes no more sense to work any further.

Then we keep working for another six months to a year…

Eventually we stop, but not entirely. My friend always has three or five different things he is working on and he never ever gives up.

Also, he always manages to pick up more things to do.

My friend is sort of like Thomas Edison trying to make a lightbulb. He’ll keep trying 10,000 times until he figures it out. And one way or another he’s always trying something or doing something.

He never stands still.

That is why I think he will always be such a success. The one thing he always does is take action. The one thing he never does is quit.

From my vantage point, successful people are like that. The fight is never over, even if the bell rings. They keep throwing haymakers.

The fight never stops, only the opponents change.

-Brian

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