Day 15: What I learned from watching Richard St. John’s Ted talk “8 secrets of success”

Today’s instalment of my 365 Days of Ted features a 3 minute Ted talk by Richard St. John titled “8 Secrets of success” Don’t be fooled by the very short duration talk, the content that Richard shares in those 8 minutes sums up  pretty much  what what I have read in every self-development book on success and to have it delivered in a succinct 3 minute speech is extremely helpful.


Day 15 8 secrets of success (1)


 So what are the 8 traits of success people?

The event which triggered this Ted talk happened about 7 years before Richard gave this talk in 2007.  Richard was on a plane to a Ted event when a high-school aged teenager sitting beside him asked him what leads to success.  How’s that for small talk! Although Richard was unable to give the girl a definitive answer in the moment, this single conversation led Richard down a path of discovery as he interviewed over 500 successful people to find out the 8 most common traits that they have in common.

  1. Passion: You need to be passionate about what you are doing. As Richard says if you do something you love the money comes anyway.
  2. Good: To be successful you need to practice, practice and practice and get  good at whatever it is you are aspiring towards.
  3. Work: Success isn’t just handed to you, you need to work for it and work hard.
  4. Focus: To be successful you need to develop laser-like focus on just the one thing
  5. Push:  Success involves pushing yourself physically and mentally to break through any mindset barriers. These barriers could be shyness or self-doubt, emotions that everyone experiences from time to time.
  6. Serve: Successful people ‘serve others something of value’
  7. Ideas: Successful people need ideas and Richard says theirs no magic needed in getting ideas you simply need to ‘listen observe, be curious, ask questions, problem solve and make connections.’
  8. Persist: Being persistent is probably one of the most difficult traits of successful  people.  No one is immune to facing challenges in their business and personal life and persisting through these hard times is what makes people successful and all the stronger for it.

Today’s Action Step

I wanted to find out more about these 8 Secrets of Success so visited Richard St John’s website. Richard’s website has some free posters to download that covers the 8 traits of success that I have printed and stuck above my desk. Today’s talk has reminded me that the truth is, the formula to success is easy in theory but can be difficult in practice, so I am hoping that having these reminders in my workspace will remind me that I need to keep persisting with my goals and push through any mindset barriers that I may be facing.

To download the 8 To be Great free posters visit Richard’s official website I should point out that it seems that in the 7 years since this Ted presentation Richard has renamed the ‘good’ trait with ‘improvement’ which seems far more fitting and in sync with the other traits. There is also the 8 to Be great: The 8-Traits That Lead to Great Success book as well which is sold by Amazon. I will be honest I haven’t read it yet but plan to order and it will write an update about what I think about it.

What do you think of the 8 secrets to success? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.