Hustler. Go-getter. Achiever. Doer. High-flyer.
Fueled by ambition and defined by their drive, these people work relentlessly to pursue their goals.
Does it sound like you? Or do you want to become one?
Everyone can become a higher flyer. But here’s the thing: While I believe anyone can become successful, not everyone will.
One needs to have or develop certain traits in order to reach their full potential.
Here are the 15 rare personality traits that set a higher flyer apart.
1) They take rejection well
The path to success is long and filled with failure and rejection. The truth is that even the most successful people have failed far more times than they’ve succeeded.
Because here’s the thing: you won’t reach your full potential if you don’t go through the fire (the strongest steel has to go through the hottest fire). You can only improve if you’re getting criticized and challenged.
Stay humble but driven. Take in criticisms, but always take it with a grain of salt. Use it as inspiration to do and be better.
And for the haters? Those who don’t have anything useful to say? Those who just don’t believe in you?
Use them as fuel—prove them wrong!
2) They build a strong network
As much as we talk about the individual efforts required to be successful, in reality, no one builds something great on their own.
Building a network should be a key part of your efforts.
Because in some form or another, you’ll need to connect with like-minded visionaries.
Not only will you expand your knowledge by discussing and debating ideas with them, they just might directly help you execute your plans.
As motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Surround yourself with people you look up to. And you know what? Look for as many as possible, not just five.
3) They know what’s truly valuable
High-flyers know that their time, energy, and money are limited.
Before they commit to anything, they evaluate if it’s actually worth it.
Like, before getting a car they think it through really deep.
Will it become a monetary liability because its value decreases over time? Or will it be a worthwhile investment, allowing them to be more time-efficient and ultimately lead to more opportunities?
Is it worth going to this event to build connections? Or will it be a waste of time because they can stay in and do some important work instead?
There are rarely one-sided and straightforward answers to these kinds of questions. But what’s important is that higher flyers always think critically before they decide.
4) They’re organized and efficient
Ever wonder how some people are able to:
- Go to the gym on a regular basis, and don’t cheat;
- Keep their house clean at all times;
- Spend quality time with friends and family;
- And get adequate rest when they’re tired but not when they’re exhausted…
All while working their butts off?
It’s because they’re organized—and therefore efficient. As I said above, it’s also why they always think twice before committing to something.
By refusing to waste time and energy on trivial matters like scrolling through social media for hours a day, they’re able to work hard, all while maintaining a healthy personal life.
Time management truly is key.
5) They work hard for what they believe in
High flyers have an unwavering belief in their vision. In fact, they obsess over it.
They are quite literally willing to die for it.
(Well, maybe not literally—just give their whole lives to it. So, close enough.)
And because they are so uncompromising in what they want, they will power through anything with great resolve.
Whether that’s a grand ambition like building a business…
Or a noble ideal they want to devote themselves to, like helping women fight inequality…
They are absolutely tenacious. After all, visions will remain just that—visions–without the grit to make them a reality.
6) They’re open-minded
However, just because they’re laser-focused on their vision doesn’t mean they’re narrow-minded.
If anything, it’s the opposite. They’re looking to expose themselves to different ideas and seeking to learn something new every day.
Whether it’s by reading various books or trying to surround themselves with people they look up to, they’re constantly trying to deepen their knowledge.
7) They’re curious and courageous
This is why they also try to engage in new experiences all the time.
No matter how daunting they might be, they never back down:
- They venture out of their comfort zone to strengthen their weaknesses;
- They experiment—because even if they fail, they’ll at least learn;
- They fake it till they make it—because sometimes, there’s no such thing as preparing, just doing.
Higher flyers pride themselves in taking on new challenges and keeping the window of opportunities open for new people and ideas.
8) They’re actively looking for opportunities and…
However, your mind isn’t the only thing you should open. Your eyes need to be widely open as well.
Because the truth is hard work won’t get you anywhere on its own.
You need opportunities. And just like building connections, looking for opportunities should actually be part of your efforts.
Opportunity can present itself in a myriad of ways, so always be on the lookout.
It can come from a business partner. Or a dumb stroke of luck. Or even a random yet brilliant idea you suddenly had while on the toilet!
Watch out for anything interesting out there, and don’t miss your chance when it reveals itself to you!
But higher flyers aren’t only looking for the opportunities….
9) …they’re creating them too!
And you know what? Sometimes you just need to create your own luck!
There are times in our lives when there really is no way forward. There’s no one willing to guide you or help you with your vision.
So you grit your teeth and pave your own road. If there’s no way through, maybe there’s a way around it.
This is why creativity is just as important as hard work, consistency, and determination.
10) They own it…all of it
When you’re this committed to an idea, many people will look down on you.
They’ll say things like:
- You’re trying too hard;
- You’ll never make it;
- You’re obsessed;
- You need to be “realistic”…
But if you’re a true hustler, you won’t care. You’ll own your dreams and actions.
If other people don’t like it for whatever reason, that’s on them.
Keep doing you and own it. All of it.
11) They never settle
Most people are satisfied with mediocrity—or worse, the bare minimum.
If you want to stay on the ground like everybody else, that’ll be fine, sure.
But if you want to fly high, you cannot settle!
If your dreams are as grand as they are, then you need to put your best foot forward with everything.
Be competitive, especially with yourself. Strive to do better every single day.
It’s the only way to become the best you can be.
12) They optimize costs and benefits
Nothing in life is free. It’s one of the first harsh lessons you have to learn if you want to become a higher flyer: everything has its price.
The not-so-secretly secret is to choose decisions that minimize the overhead costs and maximize benefits.
Want a concrete example? If you’re starting a company, heavily consider if you can be home-based. How much will having a physical office or store actually benefit you?
You’d spend lots of your budget on maintaining a physical space, so maybe starting with a home office will be more beneficial at first?
That’s a higher flyer thinking right here. They do want it all. But they’ll get it in a smart way.
13) They understand how to cut their losses
Owning a business is a huge risk.
And just like how you will fail many times before you succeed, a lot of the risks you will take will not pay off.
So, learn how to cut your losses, reevaluate, and improve moving forward.
For example, did you invest in a dud of a product? Try to get rid of it ASAP and make it better.
While you need to be persistent, that doesn’t mean you should be stupidly stubborn.
14) They have an internal locus of control
We can’t control everything. Sometimes we experience bad luck. Some of us are just born underprivileged.
However, successful people have put that aside and stay focused on what they can control.
No matter the external circumstances, higher flyers always see both their successes and failures as a result of their own doing.
It’s this mindset that allows them to break all barriers that get in their way.
15) They motivate themselves
You’ve heard it before: consistency beats motivation.
Eh, I disagree. At least partly.
Because why can’t we have both?
If you’re reaching for the stars, then having an aircraft that can fly at consistent speeds isn’t enough. You need a rocketship that will blast you off with great force.
There will come many times when you will find yourself exhausted working towards your goal.
During those times, you’ll want to abandon your routine and give up.
Hustlers know how to tap into their motivation when they’re feeling low and remind themselves why they’re doing what they’re doing in the first place.
In other words, they can fire themselves up when they’re about to be burnt out.
Before you fly away, dear high flyer…
I know I made reaching success sound so simple and easy in this article.
But all I wanted to do was to at least make you try.
Do your best. And even if you fail, at least you won’t lie in your deathbed, regretting that you didn’t give it a shot.
Because here’s what I think:
Daring to be different and reaching for the stars when other people just want to remain on the ground is a success in and of itself.
As the great Norman Vincent Peale said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”