4 Secrets to Success from 75+ Top Performers

Over the last few months, I’ve had the privilege of personally speaking with more than 75 millionaires, CEOs, Olympic gold medalists, bestselling authors, pro athletes and more

I have learned so much from these incredible individuals. As a young twenty something who had just quit my job and didn’t really have a plan as to what I’d be doing, their insights have provided me with incredible clarity and direction.

The most fascinating thing about this project was observing the patterns that these top performers shared, regardless of industry or profession or previous accomplishments.

It’s no surprise that books like 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich have been bestsellers for decades and decades.

Highly successful individuals share similar habits, mindsets and behaviors. By studying these, you’re able to apply the same to your own life to lead you on your own path to success.

In this post, I’m going to be sharing four secrets to success based on the insights I received from more than 75 top performers who have won super bowls, sold millions of books, been interviewed by Oprah, built and sold companies worth millions and much more. (If you want to download all 75+ insights I received, click here.)

Here are four secrets to success from people worth listening to.

1. Take action

This was the single most recurring piece of advice I received in speaking with more than 80 top performers. That means it is surely one of the most important.

They say knowledge is power, but that’s not entirely correct. Knowledge is only power if that knowledge is converted into action.

That is what top performers do. They take action before they are ready. Because they know the “perfect moment” is a myth. They know they will learn more from trying and failing than by doing nothing at all.


Brett McKay, founder of The Art of Manliness

2. Embrace failure

Top performers understand that failure is absolutely essential to success. It is essential because it is the single greatest learning tool. That is it. Failure does not define who you are as an individual. It is simply the universe telling you what you did wrong and what you need to fix.

Highly successful individuals understand this and simply view each and every failure as an opportunity to learn and improve.


Don’t fear failure. Embrace it and use it as a guide. You’ll waste so much time trying to determine the perfect situation, instead of “learning by doing.” Failures feel like a step back, but if you learn from them, they actually can accelerate the process, narrow your focus, and help you determine what you will do best to have the most impact and success.” Adam Bornstein, New York Times bestselling fitness and nutrition author, founder and CEO of Born Fitness and Pen Name

3. Take big, but calculated risks

Most of you reading this are young twenty somethings, so this principle of success is even more important.

Why? Because you will never have as little baggage as you do right now. You are most likely unmarried, do not have kids (to the best of your knowledge), do not have a mortgage, etc.

You will never have this same freedom again. Ask any of your older friends. Life only gets busier.

This means that you need to capitalize on this incredibly important time period.

The decisions you make during your twenties will “set the stage” for the rest of your life.

There will never be a time better than now to take massive, but strategic risks.

I started a business last summer and six months later it failed. I  lost several thousand dollars. That was it. I had to dig a bit deeper into my savings than I would have liked. But, the world didn’t end and I didn’t have a family that I needed to put food on the table for. You most likely won’t have this luxury five to ten years from now.

WARNING: Reading the following quote may compel you to quit your job, move to a remote island and pursue your dream job.


Your twenties will set the stage for the rest of your life. If you spend it all wearing a suit and tie and climbing the corporate ladder, there’s a good chance that’s what you’ll be doing until retirement.

Take calculated risks. I quit my job to move to Thailand when I was 24. Worst case scenario? I run out of money, come back and get a new job. At that age (and even at 30 or later), you still have plenty of time to build up a career – and that global travel will only make your resume look better.

Best case? You live the rest of your life on your own terms.

Bottom line, your twenties are the time to take a chance on what you want to do. Your older self will thank you. — Sean Ogle, entrepreneur, speaker and founder of Location180

4. Invest in experiences, not things

This secret is one that has been confirmed by research. Two researchers recently authored the book, Happy Money, making the argument that if we invest in experiences versus material goods, we can actually “buy” happiness. Their research found that investing in experiences, spending on others, rewarding ourselves and spending money to buy more time resulted in happier, more productive individuals and businesses. Many top performers I spoke with clearly understand this secret and spend their money accordingly.


Understand that money can be used to buy things or experiences. Those who spend on experiences live the richer of the two lives. Travel as much as possible outside your comfort zone and always challenge your assumptions. — Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise and bestselling author

40 Secrets to Success (free download)

I hope you found the above secrets valuable and are pumped to implement them into your own life.

I have put together a free download for you outlining all 40 that I discovered in speaking with these 75+ world class individuals.

If you enjoyed the above article, you’ll love this. Click here to download all 40.

Written by Matt Kohn

Matt Kohn is an adventurer, Crossfitter and web designer. He authors Different Hunger where he provides ambitious 20-somethings with practical insights and tested strategies to improve their mindset, productivity and motivation.

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