10 Characteristics Successful People Share

10 Characteristics Successful People Share

Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but most of us have to reach success the good old fashioned way, with hard work.

But it takes more than just putting your head down and getting to work. The truly successful people each have certain undeniable traits they share in common.

If you want to learn how to get out of the rat race and achieve all your goals, read on for these 10 characteristics of truly successful people.

Be Persistent

Thomas Edison famously tried and failed at countless innovations he pushed through. He never gave up and ultimately came up with the light bulb. It was his persistent attitude that got him through it.

He once said:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

That’s the definition of persistence right there. Whether you fail one time, two times or even a thousand times, do not give up. In business and in life you must be stubborn if you want to achieve your goals.

Have Self-Discipline

Keeping yourself focused on the task at hand is easier said than done. If you work at home it can be difficult to stay focused with all of the distractions around you. It’s also difficult to keep your head in the game when the whole world is outside waiting for you.

But to be successful you have to hold yourself accountable because you know that you and only you determine your successes and failures in life. Success can be measured in many ways. To be successful financially, you must have self-discipline in your expenditures. Measuring your incoming and outbound money can be difficult, but the proper tools can help monitor oneself. Click here for an example of such tools.

Be Decisive

Successful people act fast and decisively. They do not waver in their decisions because they truly believe that what they are saying is right.

Decisive people act quickly, and when it comes to innovations, half of the game is being the first one through the gate.

Don’t be afraid to make a bold business decision because while you’re deciding, your competitors are running right past you.

Be Goal-Oriented

Do you want to know why successful people attain their goals? It’s because they make them. Do you have a goal for today? I didn’t think so.

Remember that success is not going to fall right on your lap, you have go out and grab it. Every day is a new chance to accomplish some goals.

Successful people make both short term and long term goals. By keeping your goals in sight you can take steps to make them all a reality.

Every day you should have at least one attainable goal you can accomplish by the end of the day. If you keep building on that every day pretty soon you will reach your larger goal of being successful.

Use a smartphone app like Wunderlist to create tasks, assign deadlines so you can track your progress and reach your goals.

Always Remain Enthusiastic

Enthusiasm comes from passion. If you are passionate about what you do then you’ll never work a day in your life. So become enthusiastic about your next project or idea.

When you encounter failures, learn from them and don’t let them get you down. These are merely speed bumps on the road to success.

Embrace change, rise to the challenge and good things will come your way.

Become Self-Aware

Know who you are, what your abilities are and what your limitations are. This will help you focus on the areas that need improvement while playing up your strong points.

If communication or money management aren’t your strong points, then surround yourself with people that can help you fill in the gaps in your knowledge to build a well-rounded team.

Don’t be so hard-headed and think you can do it all. Even one of the most successful entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs, needed Steve Wozniak to build and program the first Apple computer. Jobs had the vision and the drive, Woz had the technical know-how.

Take Calculated Risks

As the saying goes, no risk no reward.

Don’t hesitate and be afraid of what others will think and certainly don’t be afraid of failure.

Do you think Steve Jobs knew the iPod, iPhone and iPad would be a hit? Nope. Apple took a risk and you should too.

With said, taking a blind risk at certain failure isn’t what I’m saying to do here either. Do your due diligence and then take the plunge.

Be Inquisitive

Learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from college. For successful people, learning is a lifetime endeavor and they are always willing to find a lesson in every adventure.

Most successful people are not geniuses, but rather are people with a passion for learning and trying new things.

Be A Good Communicator

If you want to be a leader, you’ll need to know how to communicate effectively with others.

You can get books or take courses to help you improve your skills if they are lacking.

Effective communication is essential for building better relationships with your team and improves your networking capabilities as well.

Be A Hard Worker

You can never underestimate the value of hard work.

Every successful person has to work hard. They have to be willing to put in the hours required to get the job done.

Successful people know that sacrifices will have to be made along the way and they accept it.

Did you enjoy this article and have you found it helpful? I’d appreciate it if you could share it with your friends on social media.

Planning For Unexpected Expenses On Your Next Vacation


When traveling, we all know that the unexpected happens more than we’d like it to. You can be the best travel planner in the world and still find yourself in an unfortunate situation half-way across the globe. Without proper planning, you may not have the necessary resources available to tackle the challenges that arise. That’s why it’s important to have a financial backup plan on your next vacation.

What’s The Worst That Can Happen?

  • Medical Emergencies

Did you know that 20%-50% of international travelers develop some sort of illness? Even the best informed travelers can fall victim to illnesses when traveling abroad. Depending on the severity of the illness, you may even need to visit a local doctor or hospital. In addition to having extra cash resources available, consider obtaining travel insurance for potential large medical expenses.

  • Other Emergencies

While flight horror stories are a rare occurrence, issues resulting from flight cancellations, delays, and even hotel overbookings do happen regularly. Last minute changes to flights and hotels are notoriously expensive (take it from me), so it doesn’t hurt to have some additional liquidity on hand just in case.

  • Upgrades & Fun

Let’s be honest, we don’t always stick to a perfectly planned itinerary. We love to go out, explore, and try new things. After all, isn’t that the point of traveling? Be honest and well prepared by adding a little padding to your travel budget to accommodate for little luxuries.

How Much Extra Should You Plan For?

As a good rule of thumb, it’s best to add a 10% padding to your estimated trip costs. This should cover the little expenses such as upgrades and unplanned five star dinners. For the bigger emergencies, such as flight changes and medical emergencies, it’s wise to have additional liquid assets easily accessible.

What Are The Best Financial Resources for Emergencies?

For starters, a good travel insurance plan is your best protection in case of a medical emergency. You just never know where you’ll be when a medical issue occurs and having cash on hand may not be enough.

Making sure that your credit card bill is paid off before you go on your vacation is also crucial. For example, if your limit is $3,000 and you have half already used on bills, you could run into trouble. For this reason, we recommend taking your full credit card limit with you when vacationing. Of course, be sure to let your credit card provider know that you’ll be traveling (and where you’ll be traveling to) to ensure that any emergency transactions are not declined due to fraud.

For even larger emergencies, ensure that a portion of your savings account is liquid and available and if all else fails; you can dip into your retirement fund.

We all hope that our adventures will be free from emergencies and unexpected expenses. By thinking ahead and planning accordingly, you can ensure that the unexpected won’t dampen your otherwise fabulous vacation. Happy travels!

6 Ways To Watch Movies For Free

6 Ways To Watch Movies For Free

Going to the movie theater is a national pastime, but gone are the days of the cheap drive-in movie. Now you could be shelling out $100+ for a night out at the movies with your family.

Buying DVD’s isn’t cheap either, at about 15 bucks per movie. What if you could watch movies for free? What if it wasn’t illegal? Well It’s entirely possible to feed your movie addiction on a shoestring budget. Here are 6 methods to do just that.

Share A Netflix Account

If a friend of yours has a Netflix subscription, you can mooch off of them if they don’t mind. With Netflix you are allowed to have 6 devices registered and you can stream up to two movies at the same time.

Borrow DVD’s From The Library

The popularity of libraries is on the decline as more and more people are using their tablets to read books. But libraries have more than just books, they’ve got DVD’s as well. While each library is different, you may be able to borrow DVD’s from your local library for free.

RedBox Codes

RedBox is cheap enough as it is, at just $1.20 per day. But your 1 day movie rental is free if you find a RedBox coupon code that works. Go to Inside Redbox (http://www.insideredbox.com/redbox-codes/) and find a recent working code and give it a shot.

Swap DVD’s

You may have some luck trading your collection of DVD’s with someone else. You can do this with friends, at yard sales or at the swap meet.

You can also use an online service such as Swap A DVD (http://www.swapadvd.com/) which lets you trade movies with other members for free. You can list the movies you’ve already watched so someone else can enjoy them.


You can find just about anything in the free section of Craigslist. Sometimes people have a big couch they want to get rid of. But other times people are moving and don’t want to haul a bunch of junk. Some people may end up giving away their DVD collection so it’s a good idea to check the section out every once in a while.


Hulu is generally known for being the go-to place to watch television shows, but they have hundreds of movies available to watch for free. While the selection isn’t as impressive as Netflix, you can’t beat free.

3 Important Questions To Ask Before Getting A New Credit Card

Questions Before Getting New Credit Card

Credit card companies spend millions of dollars on marketing. They study human behavior to learn what colors to use and what kind of language to use to attract more customers.

While the big credit card companies are still doling out the big bucks on television commercials and direct mailing, now they’re getting closer to you by investing in social media marketing, inserting their clever ads directly into your Facebook and Instagram feeds.

They are very good at what they do. So good that they can convince a person with 4 credit cards and massive credit card debt to open another credit card. These experts at marketing can convince even the savviest of savers to open a zero percent interest, no yearly fee, rewards credit card.

But as the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Before you go and get yourself in trouble by opening up yet another credit card, ask yourself these 4 questions first.

1. Do You Really Need Another Card?

This is the first question you should ask yourself if you are considering opening up another credit card. While you may want a shiny new card with better terms than your current card, that simply isn’t enough to justify opening up a new account.

If you want a new credit card because you’re going to transfer your balance to a new zero percent interest card, this is a very dangerous game to play. If done correctly you can save quite a bit of money, but you could end up in a very serious hole if you can’t pay off the balance in time.

Are you trying to fund a lifestyle that you can’t afford? Are you trying to keep up with your friends? The only way to do this is to increase your income, not add more credit. Sooner or later it’s going to come back and bite you. Just a couple of years of fun could lead to a lifetime of bad credit.

Only use credit cards as a tool for rebuilding your credit or as a vehicle for earning rewards. Use credit cards wisely, don’t let them use you.

There are credit score implications you should consider before opening up a new card.

When you open a new credit card, you are changing the average age of your credit history. If you have a 10 year old card and nothing else, the average age of your credit profile is 10 years. Now if you open up a new one your average age would be just 5 years.

Opening a new account can also mess with your credit utilization ratio. Let’s say you have one credit card with a $3,000 limit and a balance of $1,000. This gives you a CUR of 33% which is about as high as you want to get. If you open a new card with a $1,000 credit limit and max it out, you will now have a total credit limit of $4,000 with a total balance of $2,000, giving you a very high CUR of 50%.

If your credit profile consists of nothing but credit cards, creditors aren’t going to be impressed. A good credit report has student loans, a mortgage, a car loan and yes credit cards. If you want to increase your credit score, opening up yet another credit card may end up doing more harm than good.

2. Did You Read The Fine Print?

I know that some offers seem great. Some offers may even seem so good you think you can outsmart the credit card company and make money off of them. But ask yourself this question, why would the big banks want to help little old you? There’s only one way they can fund their massive marketing campaigns, and that’s by making big money off of people like you.

Familiarize yourself with the cards’ terms. You will likely begin to find how they plan on making money off of you. Look at the following items and see if they sound fair to you:

Interest Rate – They got you to do a double take by offering you zero percent. But is that zero percent for 6 months or 1 year? Then after that, is it 17, 22, 29%? In theory you should keep this card for life, so who really cares about zero percent for 6 months, when you may use the card for another 20+ years.

Annual Fees – Check to see if there is an annual fee. Don’t get blinded by all of the flashy rewards they’re offering. Yes, I know that you may end up making $100 in rewards and only spending $50 per year, but that’s only if you always use the card. You never know, a competitor of theirs may make a better offer a year from now. Then you’ll be forced to either close this account or keep paying the yearly fee for a card you no longer use.

Other Fees – Is there a foreign transaction fee? What’s the deal with any late fees? If you’re late one time, does your interest rate jump up? What is the balance transfer fee? Often times credit card companies, much like airline companies, make their money with these pesky additional fees.

Rewards Points – 3% on restaurants sounds nice, but have you seen the list of restaurants that qualify? 2% on your grocery store purchases sounds great too, but again, what if the store you shop at isn’t listed? Do rewards points expire if you don’t use them? Is there a limit to the amount of rewards you can redeem? All of these are valid questions you need answered before you sign up.

3. What Are My Options?

Just because one credit card company enticed you into looking into their offer, doesn’t mean you should jump on it right away. Scope out the competition first, you may be surprised to find a better deal out there for you.

There’s a wide variety of credit cards available, each with other own advantages and disadvantages, so it doesn’t make sense to settle for the company whose sales pitch enticed you.

When deciding which credit card to sign up for, it’s not just about who has the lowest interest rate or the best rewards program either. It’s about which card best fits your lifestyle.

Some credit cards are great for business travelers who fly a lot and stay at hotels. Other cards offer extra points for purchases at the pump and would be best suited for those who have a long commute to work. Find a card that offers the best rewards on the things you already purchase the most.

8 Smart Ways To Use Your Tax Refund

8 Smart Ways To Use Your Tax Refund

A lot of people look at their tax refund as free money. Because of this they tend to splurge on things they don’t need. Unfortunately, tax returns aren’t free money at all – it’s in fact funds that you have worked hard to earn and have loaned to the U.S. government for the past year, interest free at that.

Looking to make the most of your tax refund? Here are 8 ways to use your refund smartly.

Build A Rainy Day Fund

Having a stash of emergency cash is the key to financial security. Take your tax refund and stash it in a savings account to fall back on in the event of an illness, auto repair or another financial blow.

Pay Off Debt

If you have any revolving balances on your credit cards, paying it down or paying it off with your tax return is one of the best ways to use your refund. Besides cutting down on interest payments, you’ll also get the peace of mind that comes with being debt free. Paying off some debt should also bump up your credit score as well.

Fix Up Your Home

Your home is likely your largest asset so you want to keep it in tip-top shape. Use your tax refund to invest in home maintenance and fix any lingering problems. Aim for large expenses that you’ve been putting off for years such as a new roof, plumbing leaks and cracked foundations.

Open A Roth IRA

Do you have a Roth IRA? Even if you already have a 401k with your employer, you should still open one up if you don’t have one. With a Roth IRA your money will earn interest, tax free. The real benefit comes from being able to withdraw your deposits any time you want, even before retirement, with no penalty.

If you’re under 50, you can put as much as $5,500 into your IRA. If you’re over 50 you can add as much as $6,500. So if you get a sizable refund, you can’t go wrong with putting money in a new Roth IRA.

Think About Education

If you have college aged kids or if you just want to start saving early for your little ones future, you can invest your tax return in their education. Instead of putting college funds aside in a savings account, store the money in a 529 college savings account instead.

With a 529 college savings plan you can use the money tax-free when it’s time for Jr. to go off to college. The interest you earn will never be taxed as long as you use the funds to pay for tuition, room and board, books and other school related supplies.

Be Charitable

If you’re the type that has always wanted to give back but never had the budget to do so, your tax return may be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Give back to your favorite charity and enjoy a nice tax deduction the next time you file your return.

Start A Business

If you’ve ever dreamt of turning a hobby into a business, investing your tax return on your entrepreneurial instincts may be a good idea. If you only need a little seed money to get started, you can embark on an adventure that leaves you as your own boss.

As an added bonus, money spent on your business is tax deductible on next years’ return.

Dream Fund

If you’re not sure what to do with your tax refund and none of the other options seem all that appealing, why not start a “dream fund”?

A dream fund is there to help you achieve your “someday” goals like traveling through Europe, going on a cruise, buying a new sports car or going back to school.

If you’re expecting a refund next year, how do you plan to spend (or save) it?

7 Ways To Teach Your Kids To Save

7 Ways To Teach Your Kids To Save

Teaching your kids to be savers instead of spenders can be tough. While opening a savings account is usually the first step, how can you get them to keep making deposits?

Savings accounts usually have low-interest rates and many charge monthly fees which can eat up savings. In light of all these things, that can make teaching kids to save a real challenge.

Read on for 7 tips to help teach your kids how to save.

Be A Good Example

Having a financial role model that children can look up to can really work wonders. Kids learn by example after all, they do everything we do, the good and the bad.

If they grow up answering the phone to collection agents, that’s not a good example to set. If they constantly hear you arguing about money with your spouse, that’s strike two. If there’s always a stack of unpaid bills lying around, that’s strike three.

Shop Wisely

Get your kids involved in saving money. Have them help you find the least expensive products, either on their smartphone or at the store.

Show them how to find and use coupons you get in the mail. Go to the store with them so they can see the entire process.

Match Their Deposits

There’s nothing like a good bribe to get kids to do what you want. Giving up shiny coins into a piggy bank can be tough for young kids, but if you promise to match what they have to double their money, they may be more willing to part with their pennies.

If they’re older you can do the same matching deal with their savings account. Don’t worry if they start saving too much because they’re hopefully going to use that money to pay for college or buy their first car.

Show Them The Benefits

If you’re planning a vacation or other expensive project, show your kids how much it costs and how hard it is to save for it.

Create a family savings plan and monitor savings as a group until you reach your goal. You can use a savings app that syncs with each family members’ phone so you can track the progress of various financial goals.

Then when you reach the goal, see it through by taking that vacation, buying a car or doing whatever other goal you had in mind.

Teach Them About Emergency Funds

While young kids aren’t likely to grasp the importance of an emergency fund, they will understand that sometimes emergencies happen and that money is needed to pay for it.

If you have older kids, use real examples of emergencies they may encounter and encourage them to save. For example, if you have a son or daughter buying a car, have them keep $1,000 in the bank to pay for repairs.

Put Them To Work

Whether it’s a job outside of the home or a weekly allowance for doing chores, teaching kids the value of money is as easy as making them work for it. Once they see how difficult it is to earn a dollar, they’ll be less likely to squander it.

While you shouldn’t pay them to pick up their own clothes off the floor or making their bed, you can pay them for tasks like mowing the lawn or cleaning the pool.

Teach Them About Compound Interest

Since interest rates for savings accounts are so low at the moment, it’s hard to show this principle, but you can teach the lesson using spare change instead.

Start with a dollar in a jar. Each day, add 10 percent interest and let your kids watch the money grow. At the end of the week or the month, add up all the money in the jar.

Do you have any other ways to help teach kids about saving money you can share?

5 Websites For Supplementing Your Income

5 Websites For Supplementing Your Income

If you’re looking for a little extra cash – and lets face it who isn’t looking for extra cash – there are some easy websites you can sign up to in order to supplement your income.

Whether you’re looking to pay off debt or fund your summer getaway, there are plenty of ways you can bring in some extra money without killing your weekends delivering pizza. If you have basic web skills and a hobby you can turn into a profitable venture, you can turn your extra time in the evenings into a cash cow.

Here’s a look at 5 websites that will help you make extra money in your free time.


If you’re feeling crafty, consider posting your creations for sale on Etsy. The website helps handy people sell their goods including jewelry, stationery, custom-knit designs and more. Whatever your special talent is, you can turn it into profit on Etsy.

Beware that the site charges sellers $0.20 to list an item for 4 months and then 3.5% of the sales price once it’s snatched up. There are similar crafty sites, but none are as well-known outside of the crafting world as Etsy.


If you have a spare bedroom gathering dust or a futon that hasn’t been slept on in ages, you can list your accommodations on airbnb.com to make some extra cash.

As the host, you decide how much to charge and whether or not you should require a minimum stay of your guests. You can also pre-screen your visitors and read references from their friends or other hosts to make sure they’re not creeps.

The site will do the hard work of collecting the money and distributing payment. Similar sites include ParkCirca.com which lets you rent out a parking spot and NeighborGoods.com which allows you to rent lawn mowers, blenders and other items in your home.


Perhaps you’re good at web design, cooking, or another technical task. Skillshare helps you pass those skills onto others for a price.

As an instructor, you’ll be able to teach students in-person or online and the site will even help you find a venue with which to hold your classes.

While it’s free to list your class on Skillshare, the site will take 15% of any ticket sales you make.


Perhaps your skills include assembling IKEA furniture or cleaning out closets. TaskRabbit.com lets you list your services for a variety of things so others can hire you to be their errand boy.

Once you and the buyer agree on a price, the site will take care of the transaction, saving 20% of the pie for themselves. In order to sign up, you must complete a video interview and a criminal background check, so weirdos need not apply.


This site allows you to offer babysitting and nannying services in your area. You can also sign on as a housekeeper, tutor, senior sitter or pet sitter.

Before you hire someone to care for your loved one, you can read reviews other members have left, conduct a background check and also conduct an interview with them.

6 Reasons You May Be Rejected For A Mortgage

6 Reasons You May Be Rejected For A Mortgage

With the housing market on the rebound and mortgage rates still incredibly low, it’s a tempting time to buy a home right now. But because of the subprime mortgage industry collapse a few years ago, many mortgage lenders have tightened their standards when it comes to lending.

If you’re ready to make the plunge into home ownership, you may be surprised to find that you’ve been rejected for a mortgage.

Here are 6 common reasons you may be rejected for a mortgage.

Not Enough Credit

Before the housing bubble burst, no credit was good credit, but today no credit is a risk factor. Homebuyers needs to be able to demonstrate a history of managing their credit. New players to the credit game will find it nearly impossible to get a mortgage.

You’re going to need to have an aged credit profile. Your oldest credit sets the age of your account. Another factor is the average age of your credit accounts. If you’ve opened up new credit accounts as of late, it’s going to lower your average credit age.

It’s even more important to have a good mixture of credit. This means a solid credit profile has revolving accounts like credit cards, installment accounts like a car loan and open accounts like a cell phone bill.

It’s more difficult to get a loan with only 5 total accounts. When you have 15+ accounts you’re showing you use credit and can handle it resposnibly.

Too Many Inquiries

Applying for credit cards, mortgages or other types of loans will have a negative effect on your credit score. If you’re on the threshold of good and fair credit, a slight drop of a few points may be the tipping point that prevents you from being approved for a mortgage.

To be safe, don’t apply for new credit 6 months before you apply for a mortgage. You cannot give the impression you’re short on cash and desperate for credit.

Your Credit Score Changed

You may have been pre-approved for a mortgage before you went home shopping. But Fannie Mae requires lenders to run a new credit report just before a loan is funded. Thus, changes to your credit situation while the deal is in escrow can put a wrench in your closing plans.

If you’ve opened a new credit card, financed furniture or made any other changes to your credit profile before closing on your home, expect to have to provide a good explanation or have the deal fall through.

You Don’t Qualify For PMI

If your down payment is less than 20 percent of the sale price, you’ll need to have private mortgage insurance on your loan. PMI is required by most lenders in case you default on the loan.

However, qualifying for a mortgage and qualifying for PMI are two different things. Both companies will run their own credit check and determine if you’re worthy of their services.

Not Enough Reserves

Most lenders like to see that the borrower has proper financial reserves in case of a job loss or other unforeseen event. This means that you need to have money in your savings account, IRA, 401K, stocks or other source to cover a loss of job.

So even if you have good credit, even if you put down a solid down payment, you could still be denied if you don’t have money left in your bank account. Having inadequate reserves can kill your chances of securing your dream home.

The House Appraised Too Low

Just because you and the seller have agreed on a price doesn’t mean the negotiations are over. In a shaky market, the appraised value of the home may be lower than the agreed upon purchase price.

The bank isn’t going to want to loan you more money than the house is worth in case they have to foreclose on it later. In this case, the buyer must come up with more cash as a down payment to maintain the correct loan to value ratio.