The Five Attributes of Success

The Five Key Attributes of Everyday Millionaires

  • Take personal responsibility
  • Practice intentionality
  • Goal orientated
  • Work hard
  • It takes consistency

The above five points were adapted from an interview I heard with Chris Hogan regarding his new book, Everyday Millionaires. This is not a post about personal finance or investments (but you should take control of these as well). After interviewing thousands of millionaires Hogan identified these five common traits. Not only are they applicable to personal finances, but I think they also apply to success in any aspect of life, especially when it comes to health and athletic success.

Take Personal Responsibility

Borrowing from the stoics, because it’s not what happens to you that matters, but how you react. This mindset means that you don’t shift any blame to anybody but yourself. There is an understanding that there are some things that are outside of your control, however, you can always control your actions. You are where you are, because of your choices & actions.

Nobody else is going to move your body to train. Nobody else is going to make you make better nutritional choices. Nobody else is going to learn training concepts and self improvement. These are all things within your control that you can change immediately.

Practice Intentionality

Your thoughts and actions should have purpose and meaning behind them. As Simon Sinek has written: Start With Why. This is because it’s easier to figure out the mechanics of how to get something done, once you establish the reasoning and intent behind your actions. Do you want to be a great powerlifter? This will entail a certain training style and exercise selection. Do you want to be the best powerlifter? This will entail certain lifestyle choices that won’t be enjoyable, however when you have a strong enough why, you can endure almost anything.

Having intention behind your actions, usually means you’ll put in more effort. We’ve all noticed two people doing the same activity, yet somehow their attitudes are vastly different. There’s the story of two people who work at a MacDonald’s, the first person is apathetic towards their job, they are simply there to complete tasks and collect a paycheck. The other person is enthusiastic about every single task they complete and want to learn everything about the runnings of the business, this is because they hope to one day open and run their own MacDonald’s franchise. Although both are completing their tasks as required, one person is showing intention behind their actions and it shows in their work.

Goal Orientated

Those that are successful set goals and targets to aim for, as well as a time frame to achieve them. This doesn’t mean that they have a 100% success rate in completion by that date or even completion at all. But they have a target to shoot for and focus their effort to achieving those goals.

In many a commercial gym, if you go there year after year, you’ll begin to notice certain people who do the same thing over and over and over again. They never look worse or decline in their performance. They are simply dedicating an hour of their life to going through the motion. They don’t have a sense of urgency or intensity in their workouts. This is because they haven’t set out a goal and deadline.

A great saying from Silicon Valley is, what gets measured gets managed. Set some targets for yourself and do everything in your power to accomplish the. Without having a goal, it would be like getting in the car and driving without having a destination and whilst your driving not paying attention to any metric, such as distance traveled, gas left in the tank, your surroundings.

Be very specific in your goals, because it will help you keep on track. If you had the broad term of ‘getting stronger’. What do you want to get stronger in? Do you want to get stronger for a single rep or for 10 reps? How will you know when you’re ‘stronger’? How strong are you now? When will you get stronger? You need to set definite goals, e.g., I want so squat 595 lbs for a single by the end of 2020. Is an example of a very specific goal with a deadline. Along the way we can track and test progress and adjust our actions along the way. But without this specified end goal in mind, we won’t achieve nearly as much.

Work Hard

Working hard should be a given. Nothing can be accomplished without hard work. For those that say they prefer to work smarter not harder, why not do both? It’s not a binary choice, you can work hard and effectively at the same time. Great results are the by product of hard work.

Hard work callouses the body and mind. Because excellence is not an act, but a habit (Aristotle), working hard in one aspect of your life, will start to spill over into other aspects of your life. These are referred to as ‘key stone habits‘ because they start to have a chain reaction to other aspects of your life. When I work out hard in the gym, I know that my body is fueled and rebuilt by the food I consume. I don’t want to choose poor foods to consume, because it will mean I won’t be able to perform in the gym. Subsequently, I’ll want to improve the quantity & quality of my sleep, because that is where my body recovers. By lacking in any one of these factors, it will be to the detriment of the others, so to rationalize my actions, they all have to be on point in order to drive success

My behavior has to be consistent with my beliefs. If I believe myself to be somebody who is a powerlifter that trains hard and pushes themselves. Then any actions counter to this belief won’t be feasible in the long run. I can’t both be a successful athlete and a party animal who drinks every day. One of these has to give to accommodate the other.

It takes consistency

Coupled with hard work is consistency. Success, wealth and physical fitness are not flash in the pan stories. They are all tasks that take time, which requires grit and consistency. Because the path to success is not a straight line, there will be a lot of failures and plateaus.

An accumulation of effort is all success boils down to. Showing up each and every day to put in the hard work. We can’t ultimately control whether or not we are successful, the external environment will have its say, but we can stack the odds in our favor by consistently putting in the effort.

The majority of the millionaires in the book, did it all over the course of a couple of decades. You can’t wait to reach a certain level of wealth before you start behaving like you’re wealthy. They accomplished tasks like saving 20% of their income when they weren’t wealthy, and this action is what made them wealthy, over a long period of time.


When you place these five attributes in use today, you will immediately feel a sense of control over your life and actions. All we can control in this life are our actions and feelings. Not only should we apply this to finance and health, but to everything in life. These are five rules that apply to life in general and will create a virtuous cycle, where more action leads to success, which leads to more action.

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