16 Things Every Successful Person Knows But Doesn’t Talk About

16 Things Every Successful Person Knows But Doesn’t Talk About

It may seem like some people were born to be successful — and maybe they were! — but that doesn’t mean they haven’t worked hard and developed some strategies for getting ahead that have gotten them where they are today. If you want to be like them, here are some things successful people know but never talk about.

1. How privileged they are

It’s not like successful people don’t know that privilege plays a huge part in their lives, but it’s just awkward. They don’t throw themselves around claiming that they had to come from nothing, or that they didn’t get a head start in life with proactive parents — it’s complicated. It’s best to come across as modest otherwise the line between successful and selfish gets very blurred.

2. How to interview well

two women chatting on a sofa

Successful people are more likely to be confident, persuasive, and compelling — people want to listen to them. It means that for them, the job hunt is rarely the toil that it is for the general public. It’s how they get ahead in life! It wouldn’t make sense to reveal all their secrets.

3. The pressure that comes with being successful

Portrait of a confident businessman in modern office. Shot of young businessman standing with crossed arms looking at camera.

It’s important to successful people that the rest of the world views them as such. Feeling untouchable and being respected is wonderful. However, one thing they don’t talk about as much is the pressure that comes with initial success as people come to expect it after a while. It feels like there’s no room for error.

4. How tough it is being the financially responsible one in the family

beautiful woman outside in sunshine

It’s a poisoned chalice, being the most successful person in a family. It means that, from a young age, you become a guardian of sorts if you need to help support the rest of your extended family. People may even come to demand your support. Successful people often feel used in these situations.

5. The difficulty of being the mom of the friendship group

When you’re out on a girls’ trip or any sort of group holiday, it’s invariably the most successful person who gets labeled as the responsible one. It’s most likely because you had the extra income to spring for the international calls and data phone plan so you’re the only one with WiFi, but even so! Successful people often try to hide their frustration in these situations when they don’t get to relax like other people.

6. How hard the hustle is

It’s no secret that the corporate rat race is exhausting. There’s always something more to give and it seems like there’s never enough of you to go around. Still, successful people can’t deny that they love how everyone else admires them.

7. How much it sucks when friends claim you’re not as fun as you used to be

smiling businessman on laptop

People change and times change — that’s not something you should have to defend every day. However, it’s something successful people get told regularly by their friends who resent that they no longer have time to hang out with them.

8. How little time there’s left for hobbies

Life can be like a trade-off — in saying “yes” to one thing, you have to say “no” to lots of others. The more successful you get, particularly in your career field, the less time you have for going out drinking, watching football, or even reading. It’s isolating.

9. The inevitability of failure

Successful people have a secret: they’re just as likely to fail as anyone else! Okay, maybe they’re a little less likely to fail, but because they’re typically entrusted with big projects and deadlines, the stakes are higher. It’s important for successful people to know where their community is so they can support them in these moments.

10. Breakdowns are frequent

The mental toil that it takes to maintain a facade of perfection cannot be understated. Successful people feel like they can’t lower the veil and let people see them be vulnerable and it means they bottle things up. That bottle sometimes cracks.

11. Money and success don’t buy happiness

Yes, money makes the world go round, but there comes a point where it stops adding value to a life and actually adds a strain — and I’m not just talking about the tax filing. Mortgage repayments, divorce settlements, private school for kids — these are all first-world problems for successful people, but it’s incredibly hard to navigate alone.

12. How hard it is to slow down

Businessman, happy portrait and outdoor city for leader success, corporate management or happiness vision. Male, smile and manager positive mindset energy or achievement in cityscape background

When you’ve spent the majority of your life going a thousand miles an hour with a misplaced sense of urgency, it can be terribly hard to stop and smell the roses — even when your loved ones ask you to. Many successful people fear retirement because they don’t know how to define themselves without their success at work. It’s a struggle that characterizes successful people.

13. How tough it is to deal with people thinking you’re a machine

When people have only ever seen you succeed, they think it’s the norm. However, each time you pull off a big project or bag a huge client, it piles another layer of expectation on your shoulders as a successful person. Eventually, something has to give!

14. Success doesn’t necessarily come naturally

For those people who achieved success without the use of privilege, it can be hard when people assume you didn’t work hard to get where you’ve got. In reality, it took time, effort, and risks — and because people assume success just comes from Daddy’s money, this isn’t talked about. It should be.

15. You can manage change really well

Successful people have the personal and technical skills — as well as the sheer nerve — to be totally unafraid of change. It’s part of what sets them apart from other people – they will ask for a promotion and work in a new city or country, or they will double that work with school to fastback their career. They may not always boast about it, but adapting to change is what successful people do.

16. Problem-solving like a boss feels pretty great

If successful people are good at change, then they’re superstars at problem-solving. They have a unique ability to find the best solution for challenges in their workplace and personal life that just wouldn’t have occurred to the average person. It’s magic and one of their less talked-about skills!

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Hannah has a Masters degree in Romantic and Victorian literature in Scotland and spends her spare time writing anything from essays to short fiction about the life and times of the frogs in her local pond! She loves musical theatre, football, anything with potatoes, and remains a firm believer that most of the problems in this world can be solved by dancing around the kitchen to ABBA. You can find her on Instagram at @_hannahvic.