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This Is What A Successful Person Looks Like



If I were to ask you to close your eyes and imagine a successful person, what is the first image that comes to your mind? Most people will describe images of a good-looking person wearing expensive clothes, driving a nice car and having achieved wealth, fame and power. Perhaps they came from rich families and went to Ivy League schools after having been raised by loving parents in upper-middle class suburbia. Most people would probably describe a successful person in such a way because the world tends to define success based on money and material possessions. That’s understandable and there is nothing wrong with being wealthy but money isn’t the only measure. We might also agree with the description above because that is how a successful person is typically portrayed in the media and is similar to what people call the American Dream. We’ve been conditioned to think of successful people this way.

The truth is that there is no standard description of what a successful person looks like.  That’s because success is not defined by what you wear or drive and it’s certainly not dependent on where you grew up or who your parents were.  If I took you to an airport and asked you to pick out the successful from the unsuccessful, you wouldn’t be able to do it.  Success doesn’t care what you look like, whether you’re male or female or even about the color of your skin.  Success doesn’t care what neighborhood you grew up in or how popular you were in school.  There is no success gene and people are not born with a pre-disposed ability to become successful or wealthy.  Rather, people achieve success because of who they are and who they have become.

“It’s not about your looks or your past but is instead about your personal characteristics.”

This is what a successful person looks like:

A successful person keeps goals and a to-do list while the unsuccessful person is easily distracted and unfocused. A successful person talks about their ideas and shares useful information with others, while the unsuccessful person likes to talk about other people and regular shares criticism. A successful person makes time for personal development by reading books and listening to audio that will help them grow as an individual, while the unsuccessful person prefers to watch a lot of TV and spend hours playing video games. The successful person is not afraid to fail and always learns from their mistakes rather than blaming others for their failures. The successful person wants others to succeed and compliments others rather than feeling threatened by someone else’s success. A successful person seeks to build positive relationships with others and learns from those that have gone before them rather than trying to look like they know it all. A successful person is confident enough to show real humility and gratitude instead of trying to come across as successful and as better than everyone else. A successful person hustles and works hard at developing new skills and good habits.  They have patience and they persist because they understand that success doesn’t come easy so they are willing to put in the time necessary to achieve results.  The successful person takes action, makes progress and makes things happen.

Success, you see, is not about what a person looks like but rather it’s about who that person is.

It’s about what they do rather than what they own. The thing that separates the successful and the unsuccessful is what takes place inside their head and it’s not based on genetics or the neighborhood they grew up in. I’m fully aware that some cities and schools do more to help kids become successful than others and that poverty, drugs and violence are very real issues. I myself grew up in such an environment and saw more than my fair share of these things. But I have also realized, that in spite of all these external things, anyone can achieve success if they want it bad enough and are willing to do the things necessary to transform who they are.

Success is not easy, but it’s possible!  Quit making excuses.

Words of wisdom from Gary Vaynerchuk on the myth of overnight success.

Change Your Past, Predict The Future 


Your Thought Pattern

Have you ever stopped to consider what you spend the most time thinking about? Our thoughts are on autopilot most of the time, meaning we generally have the same thought patterns day in and day out. We tend to think about the same types of things, worry about the same problems and rarely stop to break pattern. That is why I love seminars and personal development programs so much. They get you out of your element and produce thinking in new ways and about new possibilities.

Future/Past Ratio

One major differentiator between those that succeed and those that continue to struggle is their ratio between thinking about their past problems and regrets and thinking about future possibilities, opportunities and creating solutions. Simply put, the balance between past thinking versus future thinking is key.

The successful are heavily weighted to the future thinking side. They are always looking ahead, planning, dreaming up the future and taking action to realize their goals. The unsuccessful continue to wallow in past regret, find excuses for why things didn’t work out and feel sorry for themselves because of failures. Success begins in the mind and you need to control which side of the balance your mind will focus on.

Forget the Past

The past is extremely important if we can learn from it and apply it to the future. The past is wonderful if we revisit great memories and experiences that produce feelings of gratitude and satisfaction. But don’t be a slave to the past. You can’t change the past, you can only change your mind about it. Even better, you can just stop thinking about it altogether. Yes, the successful make time to reflect and evaluate their past. They assess their actions, results and adjust as needed. But they don’t do this every day. This is done periodically and with focus.

Create Your Future 

Because those that succeed are future thinkers, they spend considerable time writing their goals, planning their days/weeks, using visualization techniques and brainstorming solutions to current obstacles. It’s all about moving forward, making progress, chasing destiny. Live in the moment, dream about the future, focus on your goals. Spend very little time worrying about the past.

Arizona’s Ambitious Startup Scene


It’s never been a better time for Arizona-based startups.

In just the past few years, the Phoenix Metro area has seen a positive shift in the local community’s support for technology startups and entrepreneurs reconnecting with each other. One big driver has been a notable increase in the number of incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces available to help startups. Organizations such as AZTechBeat, Deskhub, CEI & Co+Hoots are creating a solid foundation and conduit for Arizona’s startup ecosystem to thrive.

Strong Innovation Centers

The major universities and local community colleges are focusing on development in the city centers and are contributing to the re-urbanization of Phoenix, Tempe & Scottsdale.   This has helped entrepreneurs reconnect in what has historically been a scattered community. ASU has long been a driver of innovation locally and has encouraged entrepreneurship through programs such as their Startup accelerator, Furnace tech transfer program, SkySong and the Startup School curricula.   UA and NAU have also created strong technology centers and programs to foster innovation and economic growth. Technical degree programs at the local universities continue to attract a young and diverse crowd of innovative and ambitious students.

Economy & Talent Pool

Arizona’s local economy has several major companies that have grown the local engineering talent pool and spans industries such as Aerospace, Semiconductors, Solar, Software, and Medical. Additionally, Tempe & Scottsdale have seen an influx of smaller technology companies moving to the area which further contributes to the excitement around Arizona’s technology-centered future. Community business and political leaders have become strong supporters of the local entrepreneur scene and Arizona is now host to startup events and competitions.

Cost of living, local wages, the tax burden and ease of starting a business have long been favorable in Arizona.

Wealth & Financial Backing

Aside from a strong talent pool and favorable economic conditions, Arizona has a strong investor base with access to capital and wealth.   While Arizona investors have traditionally been known for focusing on real estate, recent trends point to a healthy appetite for investments in tech and medical startups. While the area doesn’t boast an established financial or venture capital sector like those in San Francisco or Boston, there is plenty of interest and capital available for startups to connect with angel investors and raise seed capital. Groups such as Desert Angels and Wasabi Ventures have recognized the potential in Arizona startup investments and play a key role in the ecosystem with their financial backing and connections to other regions.


sethgodin quote


While the local startup ecosystem is still relatively young, the momentum and recent success stories all point to the fact that entrepreneurship is alive and well in Arizona and should encourage both startups and investors alike. Aspiring entrepreneurs would be wise to connect with this community and join forces with their fellow change makers.

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How To Transform Yourself – 3 Tips


superhero tranform jump

One of the most incredible freedoms you have is the ability to change who you are and what you can do.  Everyone has this amazing power to transform themselves yet it is probably one of the least used powers today.  Most people have settled with who they are, what they have and what they have been able to accomplish.  They’ve quit pushing themselves.

By nature, most us resist change and would rather stick with the status quo.  But for those of you who want more, those that dream big and aren’t afraid of change, here are some tips and basic principals to be aware of.

90% of  transformation takes place in the mind

One of nature’s most incredible creatures is the butterfly.  It enters the cocoon a slow fat caterpillar and soon emerges a majestic and colorful butterfly with wings that can take it anywhere.  While we don’t have the capacity to physically morph into another being, we all have the incredible ability and freedom to transform our minds.

Your beliefs limit what you think is possible for your life and will drive much of what you do over the course of your life.  The types of goals you set, the sacrifices you make to achieve something big, the amount of money you earn and even the kinds of friends you have will all be influence by your beliefs.  The good news is you have the ability to influence and transform your beliefs, which will ultimately transform your life.


no limits


Next time the Yankees play the Red Sox, look at the sold-out crowd and try to pick out the millionaires, the CEOs, successful entrepreneurs, accomplished authors, or the political power brokers.  You won’t be able to do it because much of what makes these individuals successful is what is in their minds.  Sure, some drive nicer cars, can afford better seats or fancier clothes, but if they were all dressed in the same sports attire and standing in the hotdog line next to you, you couldn’t tell them apart from anyone else.  The point is that success begins in the mind.


Transform these three areas to accelerate success

Your knowledge  

Depending on the goal you have set for yourself or the person you wish to become, you will need more knowledge that is specific to your goal.  In today’s world of readily available information, free online tutorials and countless universities, there is no longer the excuse of not knowing what you need to know.  Begin to focus on what you need to learn, seek out the information you need and see how quickly you will begin to transform your mind and confidence in what you can accomplish.  Never stop learning.

Your Habits

A large part of our day to day activity is done on autopilot and this is due to all of the engrained habits and routines we’ve accumulated over the years.  There are good habits and there are bad habits.  Determine which habits or routines would help you reach your aim and being to set those new habits in your life.  It is the cumulative effect of consistently working on establishing a good habit that produces miracles.  Tackle one at a time and slowly but surely, you will build a solid foundation of good habits that will transform your life.

“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.”

Your Skills  

Never say “I can’t do that” or “I’ve never been good at that”.  The truth is, you can learn just about any skill given the time and effort.  Learning more about effective techniques, setting aside time to practice and develop, committing to regular and consistent improvement & not fearing failure will all lead to you developing skills.  Focus on the skills you need to reach your goals and start with one.  Then over time, you can build on that and add new skills.  The most successful among us are the most skilled at something.



Commit to Life-long Development

Most people think personal growth and development stops when they finish school.  In today’s fast paced, ever-changing world, it is critical to stay ahead by constantly learning new skills and gaining new knowledge.  Be one of the few that will continue to improve throughout their lives.  Become obsessed with improvement and you can become anything you put your mind to.  No matter how long it takes or how hard it gets, it’s ultimately up to you.


Your Mind is the Foundation

It Starts in the Mind

The most important element of the SHARK Belief philosophy is Beliefs.  This includes everything about your mind such as your character, your thought process and motivations.  Your psychology must be managed and improved if you are to reach the levels of success you’re capable of.

Your mind is the bedrock foundation to your success.  Your psychology, thoughts, and beliefs all form the ultimate foundation upon which you build your achievements and your life will reflect your thoughts.

It is through the mind that you first consider possible goals.

It is through your mind that you gain knowledge and understanding.

It’s ultimately from your mind that you decide to take the necessary actions that lead to new habits, skills and accomplishments.

Remember, You become what you think about most of the time. Success starts in the mind.


skyscraper bk


Build A Skyscraper

You can often tell how high a building will be built by looking at how deep and strong the foundation is. The construction team may spend several months planning, digging, pouring and reinforcing a strong foundation before a single story of a skyscraper is started.

Conversely, the foundation for a single family home may be nothing more than a slab of concrete a few inches thick and is completed in a few days. While the skyscraper foundation requires more time and action, the end result is spectacular and orders of magnitude greater.


“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.

The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”  

– Henry Ford


Your mind is much like this in the sense that the stronger, deeper, and more developed your foundation, the more likely you are to realize big dreams and achievements.  Which are you?  Have you stopped developing and settled for a small and simple life or do you continue to find new ways to improve yourself, motivate yourself, and dream of making greater impact?

The choice is yours, you are either building a little house or building a skyscraper.




Never Stop Developing Your Mind

Unlike the skyscraper’s foundation however, your mind is a highly complex machine that can be reprogrammed and continually improved so that your foundation continues to expand and strengthen. You can simultaneously build your skyscraper while deepening and reinforcing its foundation so that greater heights can be achieved.

Learn to apply the SHARK Belief process to all aspects of your life and you will be amazed at how much more you will accomplish!   To learn more about this success philosophy, read the SHARK Belief Overview.

3 Roadblocks Keeping You From Success


If you’re familiar with SHARK Belief, then you already know that there are six critical elements needed to successfully map out your path to achievement.

However, your road to achievement may have roadblocks and they will prevent you from moving further, or even worse, will set you back.   You must be aware of them and take action to eliminate these 3 Roadblocks to reach your success:

1. Your ‘BUT’

No, I’m not talking about that anatomical location below your back! I’m talking about your “Yeah but” and your “I would but”. Your excuses!   When you talk about your goals, you may notice that creeping ‘but’ in your comments.

Had a temporary failure or setbacks? That’s okay. Learn from them and KEEP GOING! However, if you’re using your ‘but’ to justify why you can’t or haven’t done something, it’s nothing more than an excuse and a distraction. Instead, be thinking of “HOW” and “WHY” you can and should do it.   Remember, it’s our own limiting beliefs about what’s possible that hold us back, nothing more. Don’t use your but as an excuse to hide behind. Don’t let your but be a dream killer. Just get off your but and go take some action!

“Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion”

-Michael Jordan

2. Fear of Failure

The great Arnold Schwarzenegger has 6 rules for success and one of them is ‘Never be Afraid to Fail.’ The truth is, all successful people learn to fail effectively and will likely fail more often and more spectacularly than most people will ever experience. It’s not because they are reckless or great risk takers, but rather, they know that to succeed one must continually stretch themselves outside of their comfort zones and that the occasional failure is simply an opportunity to learn and become stronger.


If you’re not failing often, then you’re not trying hard enough!


Go outside of your comfort zone.  You only truly fail when you decide to give up, quit and stay down.

The fear of failure often leads to that deadly habit called Procrastination.

To overcome this roadblock, take these simple actions:

  • Learn more about what you want to accomplish: Lack of knowledge will lead to doubts.   Talk to those that have been down your road before and see that it’s possible. Search the web, read books, listen to podcasts, watch videos and immerse yourself. There is no excuse in this great age of easily accessible information.
  • Ignore the naysayers: Never listen to the simple-minded, the doubters and the unmotivated. You will be criticized for dreaming big and reaching high. You will be laughed at when you fall short. And when you ultimately succeed, you will be called lucky. The haters will always be there and they will get louder as you near success. Take it as a sign that you’re on the right track.
  • Ask for help. Not because you are weak, but so that you can become stronger. The greatest achievers all had mentors, coaches, support groups and partners that helped them succeed. Life’s too short to learn all the mistakes on your own, so learn from the insights and experiences of others. You’ll be amazed at the willingness of others to help you, if you just ask.

Like a child learning to take their first step, you too will fail your way to success. It’s nothing to fear. Just take action.


steve jobs perseverance success

3. Quitting too Soon

Do you feel like you have already given it your all? Do you give up at the first signs of trouble?  Sure, it’s wise to know when you must change course but there is a fine line between adjusting your direction and quitting altogether.

Quitting usually happens one of two ways:

#1.  The Big Blow Up – You reach the point where you’ve had enough, you suffer a devastating loss or you see no way around an obstacle. You decide that you’ve given it your best and very suddenly give up and quit.

#2.  The Slow Fade – Momentum starts to slow, you grow weary and inertia sets in. You don’t talk about your goals like you used to, you’ve stopped taking regular and consistent action. You have recently worked towards your goal half-heartedly.   Before you know it, time passes and your dream is but a distant memory because you have secretly given up.


Whether you admit it or not, you may have a habit of quitting to soon and it’s time to conquer this and take control. Next time you feel like quitting, remember the words below and give it all you have. Don’t be surprised when miracles start to happen.


Persevere in the face of difficulty. Carry on and go on. Keep at it, hammer away.  Be persistent, be determined.  Follow through and never take ‘no’ for an answer. Be tenacious, stand your ground, go the distance, stay the course and



SHARK Belief Your Life.

Take Action.

Formula for Success


Is there something all successful people have in common?

I remember listening to a businessman give a speech about his success in business and life.  He boldly stated that he didn’t worry about losing it all because he now had the formula.  He tapped the side of his head and smiled as he said “the recipe is in here”.

That wasn’t the first time I heard such a comment and when you see an individual succeed multiple times in more than one area of their life, you can’t help but wonder if it’s more than just good luck and perfect timing.

The Discovery

It was over 14 years ago when I started my journey to discovering what lies behind the success of those great names we hear about.  Rock-star entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs; ultra-successful athletes like Michael Jordan and Tom Brady; tycoons like Rockefeller and Bill Gates.

It was the result of over a decade studying and applying personal development that I clearly discovered the formula!  That exciting discovery was like finding a treasure map, except the buried treasure this map leads too is essentially anything goal one wishes to accomplish!

Bold statement?  You bet, but as you begin to study and learn the elements to this formula and philosophy, you too will become a believer.

To get started in applying this success philosophy, learn more through the SHARK Belief Overview.

To your success!