What Is The Most Important Ingredient For Success?

Question MarkThrow that question out to a table of 10 entrepreneurs, and you’ll get 10 different answers.

I know — I do it all the time.

Different experiences and perspectives create different results. No one way of approaching success is better than another — if it works.

The goal is to find what resonates with you, and make that your driving force.

My Answer

To me, the most important ingredient for success is awareness. Awareness cultivates mindfulness, which results in productivity. It also allows me to constantly be alert to changes, emerging trends, opportunities, and signs.

When my awareness is clouded, I tend to screw up and miss things. Over time, I’ve realized how crucial it is to my own success.

But that’s me…

Your Answer

The benefit of hearing the collective stories of successful folks is the wisdom that is shared. Within the shared experiences of a group of successful people is that nugget that will strike something within you.

By sharing experiences, we gain a variety of perspectives. So, take a minute think about it, then jump in and share your own insights:

Based on your experience, what is the single most important ingredient for success?


  1. Purpose!!! Without it we have no reason to get up in the morning. To me PURPOSE is the first ingredient in the soup of entrepreneur. I did a posting just a week ago on the three P’s to sucess. “Purpose, Passion, Practice!!

  2. Success in life is the result of good judgment. Good judgment is usually the result of experience. Experience is usually the result of bad judgement – Anthony Robbins

    I think the most important ingredient to success is taking action!

  3. I like Priscilla’s 3 P’s. I would say there isn’t one single thing, it’s the combination of these things that when they come together it makes success.

    That said, I think you’ve got to be smart, have a driving purpose, take risks, know when to quit, and make an experience out of whatever product or service you offer.

    Great blog!

  4. Priscilla – I like your 3 P’s. That combination is a good way to stay on target.

    Roberta – Great one. That’s one that often gets overlooked.

    Peter – You’re right – flexibility is essential. Tunnel vision can hamstring you.

    Vido – Terrific quote and I agree. No amount of planning or strategizing will do any good if you don’t take consistent action.

    Michael – “…make an experience out of whatever product or service you offer.” That’s great advice, and a good way to maintain focus. It’s hard NOT to be successful if you do that.

  5. Action – You get nowhere without it. Sure, some actions are stupid, destructive, and pointless, but all the good stuff in life also requires action.

    An Anecdote:
    When I was a truck driver I was talking to my good friend and co-worker Johnny Ortega… and he was bitching about some guy that just quit and got a big rig and was living his dream as an owner operator driving the country with his girlfriend. When I asked him why he was complaining about someone realizing their dream, he said, “Anyone could do it, you could do that, I could do that, it’s no big deal, he just went out and did it. So what? Now he thinks his sh** don’t stink.”

    To which I replied, “If its so easy, and anybody could do it, why haven’t you done it?”

    He looked happily surprised and said, “Point taken.”

    Johnny drives a big rig now.

  6. Focus – There are so many different things we could do with our time. To succeed, we have to dedicate ourselves to achieving one of them and accept that we can’t do the others (yet, or maybe ever). Too often people fail to achieve their goals because they spread themselves too thinly and try to do too much at the same time, or because they allow themselves to be distracted by trivia and side projects.

  7. Just adding a confirming voice to the other comments. I think follow-through is key. Anyone can have an idea but those who follow through seem to garner more success. Seems like I meet lots of people who have ideas or make tepid commitments but then they drop the ball. In fact, I confess that I used to be one of those people.

    As an entrepreneur I’ve learned that the significant qyuality of those who are great at business are those who make an effort to stick to their commitments.

    The experience of being one who has to ask for help, ask for the sale, etc. has given me a new appreciation for those who can be relied upon to follow through with their commitments.

    Great question!

  8. I agree with Priscilla.

    Finding your purpose. The ideas and goals that resonate within us and bring meaning will drive our our passion which in turn drives our action.

  9. Partners.

    The people you work with are critical to your success. Perhaps they’re the MOST important, above everything else, although that precludes solopreneurs, which isn’t my intention.

    But having experienced my ups and downs with partners, I can say unequivocally that they make the difference between success and failure. You can’t succeed with bad partners.

  10. I would say persistence. Willing to keep at it even when things don’t seem to be going your way. And even if you fail the first time, willingness to get back up and try again 🙂

  11. I would say it’s motivation. I noticed that in most cases I don’t succeed when I’m either not motivated to start or lose the motivation after some time. Each task requires a lower or higher level it, depending on it’s heaviness. Usually it comes out of a benefit that can be expected and it is important to clearly know what will be the result of an action. It is hard to struggle with meaningless tasks.

  12. Some really terrific insights here…

    Steve – Great story. Thanks for sharing it.

    Sean – I struggle with focus some myself. As an entrepreneur, we’re wired to look for opportunity, but it’s important to stay focused to see an idea through.

    Sherry – You never know how successful an idea can be until you see it through.

    Happy Rock – True. When you’re on a larger mission, it makes taking action easier.

    Ben – Absolutely — they can make or break the whole venture. I’ve been lucky here (or vigilant, depending on how you look at it 🙂 )

    Daria – Remember Edison’s 1000’s of “failures” — “I haven’t failed, I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work,” or “I never failed once. It just happened to be a 2000-step process.”

    Grigor – Keeping the goal in sight does help with doing all the crappy work. Always knowing why you’re doing it inspires that motivation.

  13. Every comment here has huge validity. Like Michael, I don’t think we can point to a one thing and say it’s the quintessential success maker (unless it would be ourselves).

    I’ll throw in a few ‘L’ words, though: look, listen, learn. Even if we’re not inventing lightbulbs, Edison’s processes are invaluable lessons.

  14. Trusting your gut.

    I agree with everything that everyone else has said. But the human factor that allows you to know when you have the right purpose, when to show patience, what to focus on, who to partner with, etc. etc. is trusting your gut.

    There are a very small number of business decisions that have a crystal clear, factually based right or wrong answer. In 99% of the situations/decisions we face — sooner or later, we have to make the call.

    As you and I both know, being a business owner means you can 2nd guess yourself to death. Or you can learn to listen to those nagging little instincts or worries or excitement…and trust it.


  15. I have motivation, I have purpose, I have patience, and all that jazz which will mean nothing to me if I don’t do something about it, so TAKING ACTION is most important to me for success. Learned it the hard way, too.

  16. Dedication. I’ve seen a lot of people with great skills, but somehow fail because they lack dedication.

    With dedication, I’m always ready to face every obstacle for the sake of achieving my goals.

  17. I would say preparation. Success is concerned with the achievement of our goals and preparation is our first step to make things possible. Preparation is the assurance we need to stay calm during unexpected situations.

  18. I’d have to agree with a lot of things stated here. Drive, execution, and gut are all phenomenally important. I personally would have to say the most important, however, is adaptability.

    Many of the things that I’ve seen lead a company to success is their willingness to interact and listen to their ‘customers’. Sometimes the gap in the market you set out to fill doesn’t go quite the way you wanted. I think those are the deciding moments, the moments you need to adapt or die.

  19. I agree with most of the comments that have already been made.

    I don’t think there is any one thing that is most important; I believe there are several interrelated things that are necessary for success, and many of them have already been mentioned.

    I think Success is a result of a lot of little successes and it seems to me that you get there by setting goals, making plans, and then persistently taking action until each of the goals are accomplished, in turn.

    Eventually, the accomplishment of our individual goals will lead to the success we seek.

    Act on your dream!


  20. Consistant action not busy work,almost an obsession to work alittle harder especially when you don’t feel like working & keeping a focus on the big picture

  21. I think the Ps have it!

    I would say that Passion is first followed by persistence.

    Passion is the driving force that creates it all.
    Persistence gives you the strength and power to
    “make it happen”.
    followed by purpose, preparation, practice and patience.

    The Ps will “make it happen”!

Comments are closed.