7 Characteristics of Financially Successful People

Do you sometimes think your financial success depends on knowing something that most people don't? Well, it's not. Research shows how highly-successful people think and act differently from the great majority of people with identical levels of education and smarts.

There are certain elements of success that everyone agrees on--ambition, hard work, persistence, and a positive attitude. But most people with these characteristics are not wealthy. There is a distinctive take on getting ahead financially that is often at odds with the more pervasive mindset.

Story of a Successful Person

1. A man is walking down the street. He walks straight ahead without looking down and falls into a pothole. It takes him many years of struggle to climb out of it.

2. The man is walking down the street. He walks straight ahead without looking down and falls into a pothole. He remembers being here before. It takes him a few months to climb out of it.

3. The man is walking down the street. He walks straight ahead without looking down and falls into a pothole. He immediately climbs out.

4. The man is walking down the street. He walks straight ahead, glancing down periodically to watch where he is going. He trips over a pothole he is able to prevent himself from falling in.

5. The man is walking down the street. He walks straight ahead, consistently watching where he is walking. He sees a pothole up ahead. The man walks around the pothole.

7 Characteristics Wealthy People Share

If you want to get an edge and separate yourself from the common herd, take some cues from the seven beliefs and habits of the most successful people:

1. Learn from your mistakes.

Force yourself to walk around and past the potholes you used to fall into. If you've made most of your mistakes because you were impulsive, force yourself to stop and wait a few days before making any large decisions.

2. Doing things well is more important than doing new things .

Getting wealthy usually means you've taken an ordinary idea and executed it exceptionally well. Most other people, though, think that wealth requires a big, new idea. Unfortunately for them, big ideas are rare and risky. Too many people are waiting on the sidelines for the perfect big idea to come along, while the most successful people have jumped in the game, and busily honed their skills at execution.

3. Hire people who are smarter than you (or who know how to do things you don't or who like doing things you don't).

Exceptional execution requires you to focus on the two or three things you do very well. So you get their work done by building teams with complementary capabilities. Surveys show that most people, though, would rather learn to do tasks they're bad at than get others to do them. The wealthy know that you get to the top because of your strengths, not your weaknesses.

4. Walk away from a deal if it's not right.

The most successful people know that bad deals, like bad marriages, can be painful--and costly. So if the deal on the table isn't right, 71 percent of super-successful people say they have no problem cutting bait and moving on . Only about 22 percent of the middle-class say the same. Most people are willing to take their chances on deals that don't seem right from the start, even though it's less risky to walk away.

5. An equity position is necessary to get wealthy.

Ninety percent of the super-successful say this is true, versus fewer than half of the masses. 80% of wealthy people have an equity stake in their work. An "equity stake" means that they own a part or all of the business. Employees can have an equity stake in the business they work for through stock options and other types of equity sharing plans. Just 10 percent of the middle-class have an equity position of any kind, and the vast majority (70 percent) say they're not even trying to get one.

6. Stay on the move.

Successful people are always looking ahead to see what the trends are and what is happening in the world. They are constantly observing what is happening around them. They are aware of their target market, what they are doing, enjoying, wanting, and using. They get prepared for change. They prepare for setbacks. They are always on the move.

7. Constant and never-ending improvement.

Successful people use the acronym from Tony Robbins: C.A.N.I. (pronounced "Can I"). This stands for Constant And Never-ending Improvement. The difference between companies who continually do well and those who don't is their ability to keep improving as well as keep promoting. They make sure they are consistently letting their market know of their presence and making it easy for people to do business with them.