Successful vs. Unsuccessful People

by Krantcents · 37 comments

Post image for Successful vs. Unsuccessful People

Successful vs. Unsuccessful People. It points out the different traits of success.  Why is this important?  Recognizing those traits within yourself may help you change or rid yourself of those bad habits.  It is also an opportunity to embrace your good habits and build on them.  Here is 50 traits of successful and unsuccessful people.


Living on their own/Living at home with parents


Take responsibility/Blame others

They learn from their mistakes/They repeat mistakes

They try and fail, but keep trying/When they fail, they give up

They are persistent/They give up too soon


Focused/Easily distracted

Goal oriented/No goals


They make quick decisions/Slow decisions and change them

Success is internalized/Failure is internalized

They plan for the future/No plan

Calculated risks/Risk averse

Curious and eager to learn/Indifferent to learning

They go after what they want/They think it will come to them

They work hard and smart/They complain about their circumstances

Have a network of people/No reliable network

Work on improving themselves/Tolerate their shortcomings

Creative problem-solver/See themselves as limited

Self reliant/No initiative

Not impulsive/Impulsive

No wasted time/Wastes time constantly


Persistent/Give up

Imagination (anything is possible)/Accepting of existence/reality

Self understanding/Not aware of strengths/weaknesses

Vision/No vision

Passion/No passion

Dreams/No dreams

Plan/No Plan

Specific knowledge/training/ Untrained/unskilled

Will not take no for an answer/They feel they do not deserve yes

Ambition/No ambition

Motivated/Not motivated

They know how to get things done/Do not accomplish much

They look for solutions to problems/They do not even look

Courage of convictions/Fearful

Enthusiastic/Hate what they are doing

Supportive/Out for themselves


Little or no debt/Debt is a way of life



Think about what they can do/Think about what they cannot do

In control of their lives/Waiting for someone else to bail them out

They look for things to do/They wait to be told what to do

Better use of time/Wastes time

Doers/Dreamers or do nothing

Hang with other rich people/Hang around with other losers

Final thoughts


You can read these traits and only identify with the successful people!  No one is has all the traits!  Be honest with yourself and work on your shortcomings.  Don’t ignore them.  Recognize you may have weaknesses and do something about them.  Remember the definition of success is accomplishing a goal, objective or task.  You can be successful in business, school or at a job.  all it takes is a positive attitude and open to change.  It has nothing to do with money.  Although I use money as a  scorecard as to how I am doing!  Recently, I wrote an article called “My Journey to Success” which may indicate I have some of the traits I described.  Look around you and you will find successful people.  Join them, associate with them and learn from them.  What do you think?   Which traits do you have and which ones would you change?   Successful vs. Unsuccessful People.

Please make sure to subscribe to our RSS feed to get the latest updates!


Maggie@SquarePennies August 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Good list!  These are the kind of things it’s so important to work on with our kids.  They think good things will come to them without having to work for it.  Their parents have taken care of them without the kids having to earn it, after all!  lol  It’s a process of learning to cope with the world by the time they graduate from high school.  Step-by-step it’s our job as parents to bring them to successful behaviors and attitudes.  A good list to post on the fridge perhaps!  Thanks KC!

krantcents August 18, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I constantly try to learn about successful people so I can emulate them. Before I knew it I was one of them! I asked my own adult children what, if anything we did to make them successful. Their response was they saw what my wife and I did when there were problems or just in general. Parental modeling and interaction is very important!

Maggie@SquarePennies August 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm

And of course parents need to model these behaviors and attitudes for their kids!  Attitudes are contagious!

krantcents August 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Children need good role models close to them and parents need to expose their children to opportunities or experiences that help them be successful. My daughter achieved a Gold Award in Gir Scouts and my son was in sports.

Untemplater August 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I love how you formatted this Krantcents!!! I was having a bit of a down day but feel so much better after reading your post. Success takes hard work and we just have to get back up when we fall or get knocked down. -Sydney

Hunter @ Financially Consumed August 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm

This list is challenging me. I can see that there are situations where the negative trait would be a good way to go under some circumstances. Quick decisions, vs slower decisions for example. Some thought is necessary, even for successful people, I would think. Thought provoking article.

krantcents August 18, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Quick does not mean snap decisions! Quick is the opposite of procrastinate or maybe I should say relatively quick. There are some people who analyze things to death. Some may call it analysis paralysis! I believe what it means is as soon as you have the facts, make a decision.

krantcents August 18, 2011 at 8:56 pm

That is the not so well kept secret of successful people. They fail, but always keep trying.

B Kelly @ Moneymasteryacademy August 19, 2011 at 2:41 am

Right now I’ve got debt, big debt actually.. but i’m working on the other positive traits to eliminate debt in the shortest time possible.. Guess the article for me is a good reminder of not taking the easy road when it comes to making hard decisions in my life.

krantcents August 19, 2011 at 2:57 am

Anything worthwhile takes effort! If you break down your goals into small pieces, you will find it is easier to achieve. For example, if your goal were to lose 50 lbs., break it down to 2-3 lbs. per week. It is much easier to deal with 2-3 lbs. vs. 50 lbs.

Miss T August 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Great post Krant. You have stated some really great qualities to have and cultivate. One of the things I have been working on for the last number of years is to move on and not dwell on the negatives. Being negative takes so much energy that I could be using on good stuff. Plus it makes you miserable. I have also learned to give people a second chance and realize that people can change for the better. This has helped me let go of a lot of anger and resentment I had as a child for people who bullied and beat me up. I have come to terms that they were just dumb kids and I would hope they have changed and grown up. I do my best to just let things roll off and focus on the positive. So far doing these things has made me more successful. 

krantcents August 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm

We are a result of our experiences! Everybody reacts differently to negative things, I am glad you taking what you experienced and turning it around. Although my mother was very successful, she was also cynical and negative. I tend to be much more positive and optimistic. I think it helps me be more successful.

Barbara Friedberg August 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Wonderful article. WEll put and succinct. This is one to come back to when things look dark!

krantcents August 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I think it is a reminder of what traits you should embrace versus discard! You need someone to remind you when you go astray and start acting like an unsuccessful person.

My University Money August 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I found myself agreeing with the vast majority of the list all the way down.  I have thought these things in isolation before, but never considered putting them in such a simple list.  Very succinct and convincing!

krantcents August 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Thank you, I think it is helpful to recognize the successful traits and work on your negative ones.

Ashley @ Money Talks August 20, 2011 at 2:18 am

Love this article.  I’m pretty good at most but I certainly have some work to do.  Especially on the persistant type ones. 

The switch flipped on “Curious and eager to learn/Indifferent to learning” for me a few years ago and it has made all the difference in my life.  If other ones are as powerful as that then I’m missing out.  I need to be more persistant!!  I’m working on it.

krantcents August 20, 2011 at 3:09 am

I am thinking of starting a boot camp in tenacity/persistence/determination! Can I sign you up? :) Create more of a reason to achieve than not and you are half way there. For me, all I have to do express the goal out loud and you cannot stop me.It is sort of making a contract with myself!

Buck Inspire August 20, 2011 at 6:15 am

Awesome list KC!  You keep outdoing yourself.  Love the quick pace; snappy and to the point.  I even chuckled at a few as they were so honest and in your face.  Thought provoking and challenging as usual.  If I had a vote, I would nominate this post for your weekly KC awards!

krantcents August 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm

My committee (me) felt it would be a conflict of interest! :) Remember to discard those negative (unsuccessful) traits and acquire the positive ones.

Jeremy Noel Johnson August 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Krant, I particularly like your concept of being goal oriented -vs- having no goals. Second favorite is who we hang around rich/other losers. I like how you get right to the point. I’m going to print this out and post it on my wall. Thanks!

krantcents August 22, 2011 at 5:01 pm

It is a good reminder or motivator for change! Whatever works for you.

Little House August 22, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Great list. I’d have to say that I identify with most of the successful traits. There are a few I still need to work on, like not wasting time (I don’t always waste time, but every now and then I catch myself doing something completely useless!)

krantcents August 22, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Your assignment is to work on your weaknesses! :) Remember successful people are always trying to improve themselves!

Harri Pierce August 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Great list and a great means of identifying what you I need to work on. I internalise failure like you wouldn’t believe (I’m exceptionally self-critical) and generally very risk averse. I’ll continue working on that!

krantcents August 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm

That’s good since successful people work on improving themselves. Small steps are a part of change so keep working on it.

Jen @ Master the Art of Saving August 26, 2011 at 8:34 pm

This is an awesome list! At first I was a bit worried
that I was going to be having more traits on the unsuccessful side. Thankfully,
I’m leaning more towards successful—still a lot of room for improvement,
always. The one I’m lacking with the most impact, as far as I’m concerned is
confidence. I’m not sure why I’m insecure, but almost anything can be fixed.
Thanks for the great post. :-D

krantcents August 26, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Confidence comes from more success. Years ago, I had a consulting assignment with a non profit. I had only worked for profit companies, but my approach to problem solving worked! I realized I could do anything. You need one of those “aha” moments.

Abbie @ Financial Tutorials September 2, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Good Post but I have to say that the one trait from the list that stood out the most to me is to be focused and not to be easily distracted.

Everyone should
establish some goals to become successful. Then you must focus on those goals
to accomplish them.

I believe being focused is my most powerful trait.  However I had to learn this trait.  But once I did learn it, I began to easily
identify things that come to distract my progression of accomplishing my goals.

Once you identify the distractions you can then ignore
them.  And with the distractions out of
the way, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t gain success.  And the good news is you will be successful

krantcents September 3, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I think just keeping your goals in front of you helps you focus on them. I monitor my progress daily and measure my effort weekly. This way I can adjust my effort.

{ 7 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: