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What skills helped you find your biggest successes?


I’m in the middle of reading No Excuses: Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy, and this appears:

"The Golden Rule

This law says that if you want to achieve success in any area, you must determine how success is achieved in that area and then practice those skills and activities repeatedly until you achieve the same results.

Here’s the rule: “If you do what other successful people do, over and over again, nothing can stop you from eventually enjoying the same rewards that they do. But if you don’t do what successful people do, nothing can help you.”

Was wondering what skills helped others find their biggest successes during this journey…


I’ve been running a successful “startup” for 20 years now. (Obviously it stopped being a startup about 15 years ago :slight_smile:
I am STILL discovering weaknesses. The current one is trying to do too much.


What do you consider your most valuable strengths?

  • Open to suggestions/ constructive criticism. (I find that many folks running small businesses are more interested in ego/independence than success).
  • Honest in my assessment of how I’m doing. (Kinda links into the one above, I guess).
  • Always improving. (I find that if someone is honest in their own self assessment and always trying to improve, you can’t help but get better.
  • Problem solving
  • Problem definition (I’ve gotten much better at this. See the 5 Whys method for more on this.


Welp, this rule is made of cognitive biases and will break against countless exceptions.

Also many successful people went to elite schools and then networked their opportunities at top companies. I couldn’t repeat it even if I wanted to. :smiley:


Yep, the trick is knowing what of the MANY factors led to their success. Maybe they inherited money from their daddy and just invested it in an index fund and are now rich.

You actually learn more from failures because folks look more closely at WHY they failed. They chalk their success up to “well it was all ME”.


BTW, laziness is your friend here.

Don’t try to compete by seeing how MUCH you can do, see how LITTLE you can do. THAT is your advantage vs. a huge company.

I.e., MVP : what it he minimal viable product I can deliver. Corallary: Embrace your Constraints.


Not to sound envious, but I think in the modern culture we build too many idols in relation to how sophisticated things have become. There are no Leonardos or Jules Verne characters anymore because of the enormous amount of knowledge that nobody can fit in their heads.

When doing something as complicated as business bootstrapping – it’s all about processes, not personas. Plus dozens of “luck” factors – initial funding, previously acquired skills, encountered learning materials, choice of first employees, sudden insight, etc.

Focusing on celebrities instead of building a big picture is a very poor choice for a new entrepreneur.


But that would be considered something successful people do - network with the right people, get the right kind of education. As you say, “many” - definitely not “most”. There are est. 8 million millionaires in US. It is also est. around 80% of them are first-generation. Of course, that’s a nice stat to throw around and doesn’t necessarily mean much in our specific circumstances. At the same time, we each define what success means to us.

Attitudes such as “I couldn’t repeat it even if I wanted to” show a low opinion of your capabilities. As long as you keep those low opinions to yourself, we’re all good :slight_smile: Having said that, you definitely could achieve the same level of success regardless of your upbringing, current connections, current skills or current capital.


Appreciate the feedback guys. I guess I was just looking for some input on what characteristics other people value in themselves which they believe have helped them achieve their current level of success.

Being able to understand yourself and your weaknesses is, as touched on above, a great strength in itself.


I don’t keep a “low opinion”, quite the contrary – I constantly overestimate my capabilities and realize it already deep into whatever I started.

It’s just not my “vibe” to be present in these parts of society despite it where money usually is.

Yes, but the probability of success is changing considerably because of those factors:


“And over the years all these little differences stand to add up to build into something bigger”

Interesting story. But both of those characters were in complete control of the direction their lives went despite their upbringing and all those little differences. Perhaps many will fall in that direction and be swept away by circumstance.

“and maybe Paula starts to settle. To ‘know her place’”

That’s a great turning point. My definition of success could be completely different from yours. There might not even be any money involved in my eventual definition of it, and maybe that will be me settling and learning to know my place.

My personal definition of success is: living life on my terms. If that means living in a hut on the edge of an island in Asia, while spending my days fishing, gathering and building, that’s success.

It could also be earning enough money and having enough security to live a digital nomad lifestyle.

In business, success would be building a sustainable lifestyle business that I enjoy working on. That’s obviously going to be a serious challenge I could spend the next few decades solving, but it keeps me busy…

But even if none of this happens, there are still many pathways to success because there are so many states of life I would consider successful - so long as they satisfy that one condition of living it on my terms.

That’s the beauty of it.

The purpose of this post was because I was noticing certain skills, behaviours and attitudes in myself that helped me tremendously over the last few months in achieving some of my goals. I then started to cultivate them more consciously. In an effort to understand the mindset behind bootstrapping and running a successful (read: sustainable) software business, I figured it would be helpful to find out what skills you guys valued the most.


This is interesting because “living on your own terms” is what entrepreneurs constantly need to do just to keep going with all these overwhelming tasks and frequent skepticism. Therefore, just running a software company can be considered a success in itself. :smiley:

Just kidding, my definition of success is getting on semi-passive income where I can invest time and money in other projects without keeping profits in mind.

No idea about universal skills, probably some mix of being pushy but humble enough to accept your own fails and learn.


Exactly! Haha

Yep, I think I’ll add a few more conditions to my own definition of it :stuck_out_tongue: