Top 15 Differences Between Successful & Unsuccessful People

Your mind-set will determine your habits and your habits will determine your success. Learn from the top 15 differences between successful and unsuccessful people.

The Top 15 Differences Between Successful And Unsuccessful People

By Hilda Lunderstedt, 15 Feb 2017


Change your mindset to change your success.


Your mind-set will determine your habits.  Your habits will determine your success.


Over the years, I have met many successful people and unfortunately, I have also met many unsuccessful people. I have read countless articles and watched behaviours for hours upon hours, to observe the differences between the two groups.  I have promised myself to do whatever it takes to stay in the successful group.


I have listened to how successful people talk and what they do.  By observing successful people, it became easy to understand why there are so many unsuccessful people in the world.  I have come to realisation that the major difference between the two types is just that – the difference in the way they think and do.  Many years ago, I made the decision to become successful and that meant I had to unlearn all the behaviours that kept me unsuccessful.  I could only do that by understanding what my unsuccessful habits were and then work hard to change them by acquiring new habits.  I am one of the few who put in the effort to do this.  If you take the difficult road of understanding success and wealth and work hard to achieve it, your life becomes easy.


The different habits and behaviours between successful and unsuccessful people are:


PlayToWin1. The understanding that playing to win and playing not to lose are two very different things.  Successful people do what it takes to win at the game of money and success, while unsuccessful people do everything not to lose anything.  They play it safe. If you play it safe, you never give it your all or reach for the stars.  Successful people shoot for the stars and in doing so, they might even reach the moon (or mars).  It is important to find spaces and people where it is safe to think success and think big.

2. Successful people are committed to their success.  Unsuccessful people wish and hope for the best.  Successful people know exactly what they want.  They spend the time to understand this and they do what it takes to get what they want.  Unsuccessful people do not really know what they want, do not really have a strategy and they hope for the best. Successful people are committed to their plan and do not get distracted by others, who want to pull them away from their vision.

3. Successful people have a successful vocabulary.  Successful people simply use different words from those that unsuccessful people use.  They understand that words have energy and are very careful about what energy they put out there. They understand the vocabulary of money, investments, etc.

4. Successful people see opportunities – Unsuccessful people see problems and reasons why things cannot happen.  Opportunities and problems are 2 sides of the same coin and one cannot be without the other.  Successful people have taught themselves to see the opportunity, even if it is hidden amongst problems.  After all, this is where making a difference lies.  They know it is going to be tough, but they give it their all.

Grow5. Successful people think of potential growth, when unsuccessful people think of loss.  Successful people always consider how they can grow as person, when looking at opportunities.  They spend money on their personal growth.  Unsuccessful people see personal development as money wasting, instead of viewing it as an investment.  It is therefore harder for them to see opportunities in business, because they are too focused on the risks and what they stand to lose.

6. Successful people think reward and unsuccessful people think risk.  Successful people understand the risk/reward ratio.  They are willing to take big risks as this is the only way to earn big rewards (and usually huge pay-outs).  Unsuccessful people are not willing to take risks.  They focus on the risks, as opposed to the reward, and more often than not, they end up losing out on an opportunity.  The fear of failure holds so many people back.

7. Successful people focus on what they want, where unsuccessful people focus on what they don’t want.  Most people will say “I don’t want to be unsuccessful”, but a successful person would say “I want to be successful”.  Although both sentences come down to the same thing, they are completely different.  Wanting something, and not wanting something, both require completely different mindsets and actions.

LoveSelling8. Successful people can sell their products, services and ideas, while unsuccessful people hate selling.  Every successful person understands that if they want to be successful, they have to learn how to sell.  What they sell is not important.  What matters is learning the ability to sell.  Whatever you do in life, you sell… Your ideas, your products, your services, even yourself.  Successful people spend time developing their selling skills and over time they become great at it.  Unsuccessful people state that they hate selling and never want to sell, which then creates a mental block, that holds them back from massive success.

9. Successful people see solutions, while unsuccessful people find problems.  Successful people simply are geared to see through a problem and find a solution.  Present an unsuccessful person with a problem and a few solutions, and they are most likely to find a problem in each solution.

10. Successful people tackle problems and sort them out, where unsuccessful people avoid problems.  So many people avoid problems, not realizing that within a problem and finding a solution, lies a golden opportunity.  Someone’s biggest problem, could turn into your biggest opportunity.  Unsuccessful people rarely ever see it this way.  The most successful people in the world, are successful because they solved others problems.

FaceFearsAndBelieve11. Successful people believe in their abilities and bet on themselves, while unsuccessful people doubt themselves and often want financial guarantees (such as working a job they hate, just because they know that they have the financial guarantee of a monthly income).  Successful people aren’t afraid to risk this financial guarantee and bet on themselves.  Successful people bet on themselves, by always giving more value, before expecting a return, while unsuccessful people doubt themselves and often want a return or guarantee before they will do something.

12. Successful people have multiple revenue streams and their money works for them, compared to unsuccessful people who work for money.  Successful people understand the different asset classes and how to use them to create revenue streams.  Successful people control the game of money, and money works for them, while unsuccessful people work for money.

13. Successful people do despite their fears, when unsuccessful people focus on their fears.  Successful people know that fear is a limitation set by our own minds, and they don’t let that stop them.  Unsuccessful people let their fears hold them back.  Everyone has fears and gets scared, but successful people react despite their fears of what ca go wrong.  They weigh up the pro’s and cons and understand that it will be up to them to make it happen.  Unsuccessful people focus so much on their fears, that they start becoming too paralysed by fear to do anything.  Learning that the mind is a great slave, but a terrible master, is the secret of the successful few.

Listen14. Successful people listen, while unsuccessful people have opinions.  Opportunity lies in listening to other’s problems and in learning new ways of doing things.  The quietist ones in the room, the ones least opinionated are usually the successful ones.  Why? They know what it takes to make things happen and it’s simply not worthwhile wasting time changing the opinions of others.  Unsuccessful people, who more often than not, have not done anything noteworthy themselves, are too quick to voice their opinions on how something works and how it should or should not work.  You can’t listen to someone talk, while talking at the same time.  Successful people listen to understand, while unsuccessful people listen to respond.

15. Successful people have empathy, when unsuccessful people judge.  Successful people have empathy for others that try hard, but they don’t suffer fools lightly.  I have heard so many unsuccessful people judging others and often people they have never met in their lives.


These are the top 15 differences I have identified, between successful and unsuccessful people.  Where do you stand?


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