In this article, The success expert Richard St. John share with us the eight secrets that lead to success:

it all started one day on a plane, on my way to TED, seven years ago. In the seat next to me was a high school student, she came from a low-income family. And she wanted to make something of her life; she asked me a simple little question. “What leads to success?”

I felt terrible because I couldn’t give her the right answer.

I get off the plane, and I come to TED. I think I’m in the middle of a room of successful people! I said, why don’t I ask them what helped them succeed, and pass it on to kids?

So here we are, seven years, 500 interviews later, I’m going to tell you what leads to success and makes TEDsters tick.

Passion

The first thing is passion. Freeman Thomas says, “My passion drives me.” TEDsters do it for love; they don’t do it for money. Carol Coletta says, “I would pay someone to do what I do.”

And the exciting thing is: if you do it for love, the money comes anyway.

Work

Work! Rupert Murdoch said to me, “It’s all hard work. Nothing comes easily. But I have a lot of fun.”

Did he say fun? Rupert? Yes! TEDsters do have fun working. And they work hard. I figured, they’re not workaholics. They’re workafrolics.

Good

Good! Alex Garden says, “To be successful, put your nose down in something and get damn good at it.” There’s no magic; it’s practice, practice, practice.

Focus

Norman Jewison said to me, “I think it all has to do with focusing yourself on one thing.”

Push

And push! David Gallo says, “Push yourself. Physically, mentally, you’ve got to push, push, push.” You’ve got to push through shyness and self-doubt. Goldie Hawn says, “I always had self-doubts. I wasn’t good enough; I wasn’t smart enough. I didn’t think I’d make it.”

Now it’s not always easy to push yourself, and that’s why they invented mothers.

Frank Gehry said to me, “My mother pushed me.”

Serve

Serve! Sherwin Nuland says, “It was a privilege to serve as a doctor.” A lot of kids want to be millionaires. The first thing I say is: “OK, well you can’t serve yourself; you’ve got to serve others something of value. Because that’s the way, people get rich.”

Ideas

Bill Gates says, “I had an idea: founding the first micro-computer software company.”

I’d say it was a pretty good idea. And there’s no magic to creativity in coming up with ideas — it’s just doing some the right things. And I give lots of evidence.

Persist

Joe Kraus says, “Persistence is the number one reason for our success.” You’ve got to persist through failure.

You’ve got to persist through the word CRAP! Which, of course, means “Criticism, Rejection, As*holes and Pressure.”

So, the answer to this question is simple: do the eight things — and trust me; these are the big eight things that lead to success.

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