The Eight Traits successful People Have in Common — 8 to be Great
Richard St. John
Train of Thought Arts, 224 pages, $17.70


A few weeks ago I had the fortune to be invited to a TED recording for popular speaker and author Richard St. John.


The talk, based around his latest book, The Eight Traits Successful People Have in Common, gives the framework for how people like Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and Lance Armstrong achieved their own success … and I’m not going to lie, you will be disappointed to learn that there is no shortcut, it’s going to take a lot of work. According to St. John, if you are able to focus on the traits he discusses in his book, you can expect to achieve success “in about 10 years.”


St. John’s eight traits include Passion, Work, Focus, Push, Ideas, Improve, Serve and Persist. Having interviewed hundreds of successful people from a huge range of disciplines including sports, science and business, St. John discusses how passion creates super achievers and is quick to clarify that success does not always mean money. In fact the best success stories are from the people who just wanted to be successful … the money came after.

It is important to also know, and St. John has experienced this first hand, that success is not permanent. Without continuously and consistently following the eight traits, your success will start to wane.

– Craig Lund, a director with the staffing firm Marketers on Demand, can be reached at