7 Surprising Things that Ultra-Successful People Don’t Do

April 29, 2020

by Josh Linkner

There’s been plenty written about the habits of highly successful people. They set goals and they follow through. They learn and listen. We get it.

But what do the most successful people avoid? From celebrity entrepreneurs to captains of industry, here are seven surprising things that top achievers prefer to skip:

1. Don’t have a Plan B.

We’re taught to have a backup, but that safety net can actually do more harm than good. No Plan B means you have to be all-in and, in turn, your intensity will drive better performance.

2. Don’t fight the last war.

There’s a saying that too often, “Generals fight the last war.” With today’s unprecedented rate of change, we need to use a fresh approach instead of blindly relying on what worked in the past.

3. Don’t accept the world as it is.

Those that change the world first have a bold vision of what’s possible. Refusing to accept things as they are is hallmark of history makers.

4. Don’t compare to others.

Top achievers benchmark performance against their own potential, not what others do. They lead instead of follow.

5. Don’t play it safe.

Not being afraid to be a little crazy, the most successful people know that progress only exists outside our comfort zones.

6. Don’t wallow.

Uber-successful people mess up just like all of us. But they don’t focus on the failures or let negative thoughts inhibit their growth. They take their lumps, learn what they can, and quickly move on to the next challenge.

7. Don’t get comfortable.

A telltale sign of a top performer is that they’re never satisfied. Yes, they celebrate the wins, but they are always on the hunt for more. It is an unquenchable thirst for achievement that unlocks potential.

It turns out, your stop-doing list is just as important as the to-dos. Embrace these don’ts, and you’ll be well on your way to unlocking greatness.


Josh Linkner

Josh Linkner is an internationally-recognized thought leader and top-rated keynote speaker on innovation, creativity, reinvention, and hyper-growth leadership. Josh is a two-time New York Times bestselling author of three books – Disciplined Dreaming, The Road to Reinvention, and Hacking Innovation.

Beginning his career as a professional jazz guitarist, Josh brings the same love for improvisation and creative expression to everything he does. He is a weekly contributor to Inc., Forbes, and the Detroit Free Press. He has twice been named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year and is a President Obama Champion of Change Award recipient. Josh is on a mission to help people and organizations unleash creativity to maximize full potential. And yes, he still plays a mean jazz guitar.