5 Things Successful People Don’t Do

5 Things Successful People Don’t Do

How do successful people find the time to be successful? Well, apart from doing the things that helped them to become successful, there are 5 Things Successful People Don’t Do.

There may well be more than 5 things successful people don’t do, but in the main, these five things that I have listed here would be up among them. Let me explain why successful people don’t do these 5 things.

  1. Successful people don’t do Facebook
  2. Active people don’t watch TV
  3. Thriving people don’t dwell on negative thoughts
  4. Productive people don’t try to be perfect
  5. Successful people don’t wait for the right time!

Successful People Don’t Do Facebook

Social Media is the number one killer of time. Facebook, or social media in general, has overtaken the TV from eating up our time. Time is one of the most precious commodities that we have. Do not squander it. How many times have you heard yourself say “I don’t have time”? I am sure if you added the time spent on social media, you would be horrified! Everybody has time. We don’t manage it very well. Successful people do!

Today, social media has become so much a part of our lives. Companies such as Apple have now updated their operating systems to monitor our social media app usage and warn us if we have spent too much time using social media. This feature is by design turned on, but it can be turned off. Successful people do not turn this function off because they do not need it!

Thumbs Down - Facebook

If you want to be successful, then the first thing you will do now is to abandon social media. It has no place in your success!

By all means, use social media as part of your marketing strategy. FB rules that you must have a personal page, but that doesn’t mean you have to use it or waste time browsing your FB feed. It’s ok to have a business or fan pages where you can use PPC and utilise the power of FB to direct traffic to your website. Just don’t get sucked into checking up on what ‘friends’ are doing. Stick to the plan!

Active People Don’t Watch TV

If social media is a big NO, then so too is TV. I find it easy to do, as I am not into sport. I don’t like dramas, and I’d prefer to be learning. As a treat, I will watch one, half-hour episode of a reality documentary that I particularly love, once a week, during its annual showing each winter. I much prefer the multitude of offerings from the likes of YouTube, not the cat videos or others in a similar vein. For me, I want to learn something. My top choice for when I want to relax is the TED and TEDx talks.

TV Blah Blah blah

If you add the time that the average person uses social media and watches TV, you will find that these people lose on average about 4 hours a day on these top two do not does! That’s a whopping twenty-eight hour per week or one whole day! We cannot recover lost time.

No successful person can afford to lose one whole day, every week, that is the time not spent on doing the things that make them successful.

You can have all the dramas you what at your desk. Log on and build your business. Stay focused!

Thriving People Don’t Dwell on Negative Thoughts

We all have negative thoughts from time to time, and it’s how we handle them that makes all the difference. If you want to be successful, then you first need to become aware of each negative thought that enters your head. Accept that thought, and let it go! Do not let the negative thinking stay in your mind. Do not let it grow. Each negative thought is just testing you, say hello and then say goodbye.

It is the successful people among us that seek out the ancient art of meditation and yoga, not just for the health benefits but also for quietening the mind. Negative thoughts are the quickest way to sabotage any plan and stop you in your tracks – In with the good, out with the bad.

Blancing Stones on a Beach

You must stay positive and know what you are doing and why you are doing it. Have you written down your plan? No? Do it now! Write down three reasons as to why you are building a business. Now, write down three things as to what you are going to do, to achieve your goals. What? Haven’t you written down your goals? Do that too.

You should have short-term goals; what do you want to achieve in the coming few weeks? Decide on your mid-term goals; what do you want to accomplish in the next six months? Then there are your long-term goals; what do you want to achieve in the next 1 to 3 years.

These plans and goals are adaptive and can change as you progress with your business. Just like a business plan, your ideas and goals will evolve. Do not be afraid to amend as you gain experience and overcome the many challenges ahead.

You must, above all else, stay positive and stay focused on your plan!

Productive People Don’t Try To Be Perfect

I see this in my professional life every day. There are tasks to be done, but some people cannot meet a deadline. No job undertaken will ever be perfect. Don’t try to make it so. Be happy that you have completed the task on time.

Perfection is Stagnation - Successful Don't Worry About Perfection

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it! If you find an answer to a problem, and the steps are simple, then in all likelihood you have found the correct solution. Do not spend unnecessary time trying to find, the smartest, the most elegant, or the most complicated solution to a problem. Unless the job requires the extra finesse, then why do it? Successful people get the job done.

Successful People Don’t Wait For The Right Time

There is no time like the present, is an overused phrase, but it is true! Just do it! Tomorrow is not the time. Get yourself organised, plan out your strategy. Deconstruct it if you must, but do it now!

You will never hear a successful person saying, “I’ll do it tomorrow”. A successful person may not do the task themselves, but instead, ask someone else to complete the work. Either way, if the job needs doing, the successful person will not wait for the right time.

Alongside this trait, is attempting to do everything yourself. Yes, I know we can do it better. We all think that. The problem is, we cannot possibly do everything. If it’s not critical, then either delegate it to someone else or bin it! Keep your time for the essential tasks that must be done now.

There is a beautiful decision quadrant that makes this clear. I hope this enables you to sort the wheat from the chaff and become more productive and successful.

A Decision Quadrant - Successful People Delegate!


If you want to be successful in your life, then you must stop doing these 5 things successful people don’t do.

If what I said motivates you, or if you have any questions on this or anything else on this blog, then please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you, and if you ask a question and my reply promptly.

Affiliate Marketing is a huge step forward (for me) in my path to success. I did this by joining a training program on how I can steadily build an active business online, allowing me to work from home, or anywhere in the world where I have access to the internet. You can try it for free too!

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20 thoughts on “5 Things Successful People Don’t Do”

  1. Thank you for the reminder Paul. I think I struggle mostly with perfection and procrastination, which then leads to me thinking negatively. All three things sabotage success, so will you be writing a post on a plan to help curb these five tendencies? Some people don’t know that they are addicted to Facebook and/or Television so maybe some tips on decreasing these habits would help. 

    • Hi, udepth. The only way I have successfully stopped ‘just nipping onto FB’ and staying too long, is to remove the app from my mobile device! Going cold turkey seems to work for me. I still have my account for my business pages, but I only visit them via my desktop browser, when I get a notification. To beat perfection and procrastination, by far my top solution is to plan, plan, and plan. Yes, I will be writing again individually on these fives ‘Gotchas’! Regards, Paul.

  2. I enjoyed reading through 5 Things Successful People Don’t Do.

    Okay I know pretty well that Facebook is a top notched time waster especially when used wrongly. As one planning to be free Financially, Facebook can be a great Platform to market ourselves.

    I don’t watch TV often. I can’t sit down alone and watch TV. I just find it difficult to do it and I rarely do it. I can manage to watch a movie if I have a companion.

    Negative thoughts have ways of spoiling everything. I don’t entertain it too.

    Oh! I try to be perfect and that is why I have not started my website. But I just wanted all the tools I need in place. Fund is what is slowing me down anyways.

    I have been told several times, there is perfect time to start. Start today, start now!


    • Hi, Barry.

      As I have said in another comment, by all means, continue to use your FB business pages but don’t let yourself be drawn into reading your wall, ten minutes quickly becomes an hour! It’s what FB wants you to do. As a business owner, you don’t have time for that.

      Sure, watch the odd movie, but no watching a movie until you have finished your blog post! Use the film as a reward for a job well done. 

      Hello negative thoughts; goodbye negative thoughts. My mind has no place for you.

      Trying to be perfect slows you down in business. I love this quote from Jack Ma: “If you cannot be the best, be the first!” I read that to mean; don’t spend time trying to be perfect, get in there and do it now! Google will not penalise you for not being perfect, and if you’re first, you’ll get all the best favours.

      Kind regards, Paul.

  3. I think you outlined those 5 things very well. I definitely struggle with time management at times, and find myself being tempted by entertainment rather than furthering my work. I really like what you said about negative thoughts, and to just treat them like they’re testing you. I’ll have to remember that next time they start creeping up, because I think I could handle them better if I think of them that way. So thank you! Out of curiosity, which one of the five do you think is the most important not to do?

    • Hi, Calista. 

      Time management? This is something many of us struggle with, and I believe the decision matrix is a great help. Do what is urgent first, and don’t get side-tracked. No procrastination! Break your task down to smaller tasks, so there is no excuse for not doing them. Don’t be afraid of binning some jobs that really are not worthy of your attention. Do what must be done. If you have other tasks that are important but you don’t have the time to do them yourself,  then get someone else to do them, or pay them to do those jobs.

      As I have said with negative thoughts; don’t fight them. Let them come, say hello, and then wave them goodbye and go back to your positive thoughts, they are more deserving of your time.

      Kind regards, Paul.

  4. I just love your article it speaks t me as well I can agree 100%.

    I am not a huge Social Media user, yes, I have Facebook but that is pretty much it.

    I also don’t like TV anymore since it really has changed over the last two decades, in my opinion, and yes, it is a huge waste of time.

    Keeping up a positive mindset is essential to every success. It is sometimes harder than done but overtime it becomes as normal as brushing one’s teeth.

    Thanks for sharing I really enjoyed the read.

    • Hi, Sylvia. 

      Thank you for your kind comments. I believe these are big problems that hold many people back. I would like to see everyone to have better success in their lives, and removing the distractions and not trying to be perfect, is the only way to go.

      Kind regards, Paul.

  5. Great article, but when I look at success I think people have different definition of it. Some having a lot of money is success, others doing what makes them happy is success, some building an empire as a legacy and so on. So it is hard to define dos and don’ts for this different people, I know for you to come up with this specific points, you have your own definition of success. 

    My case am a content creator and use social media a lot both on personal and business purposes, it is in my timeline that I draw ideas, inspiration and learn what people are looking for. I also use TV for the same purpose but I make sure they both don’t consume me by scheduling time to spend on both and always having an objective each day when I use them. This helps me stay in check.

    I like your decision quadrant and i am going to utilize it to prioritize my work and time I spend in each task on my way to meeting my success goals.

    • Hi, Anita.

      I agree with your opinion that different people have a different definition of success, and in many cases these are personal. It doesn’t matter what our goals are for attaining success or which path we take. If we allow distractions to hold us back, then those goals are really only dreams.

      Using social media and TV for business is so different from using social media and TV as an excuse to avoid doing what needs to be done to be successful. Well done, in being disciplined enough to keep the two separate. Unfortunately, too many people allow TV and social media (for entertainment, rather than business) take up so much of their time, that they no time left to build themselves a better life.

      I’m pleased you like my decision quadrant (also called a decision matrix). It does focus the mind!

      Kind regards, Paul.

  6. Hi there,

    Awesome article, I really enjoyed the reading! 

    My biggest problem is I am a perfectionist. If it’s not the way I want it to be, then I don’t do it. When I write an article, if it doesn’t seem perfect to me, then I rewrite it again and again. Sometimes I feel I am losing my time. You have provided a great list and I will definitely correct myself as soon as possible!

    Thank you for this exceptional post!

    • Hi, Daniella.

      I am pleased that it has been of help to you. I have several more posts in the pipeline one of which will be my antithesis to this article; 5 Things Successful People Do!

      Try and curb your perfectionism. It will hold you back from touching success. Please, read my replies to the other comments. Google will not penalise you for not being perfect. You need to get published. I recommend one of two methods for planning and laying out your ideas. Either use a mind-map or sticky notes. Get your ideas out as they come to you. Don’t think about them just write them down. When you believe you’ve got all your thoughts and ideas written down, Use the mind-map/sticky notes to organise your thoughts. Using these methods, you can make the best use of your time in having an organised layout of paragraphs and sections. Were all done? Now, write your blog. Have you got your one to two thousand words? Great! Now, spell check and grammar check your article. Last but not least, insert appropriate images, and/or videos.

      I hope this helps?

      Kind regards, Paul

  7. I found this article today and I started reading this. To be honest after reading the whole article I felt very motivational and also came to know what successful people do and I was able to compare myself to them. I was really inspired reading this whole article. Thank you for writing this article and sharing it with us.

    • Hi, Sujandar. I am pleased that this article motivated you, and inspired you to think carefully about how you spend your time. Time is precious, use it wisely. Paul.

  8. I have gotten rid of Facebook socially and only use it for marketing now and it really doesn’t bother me to do that.  In fact I do have a little more time.

    As for TV, I watch sports, but only at night and early Weekend mornings.  I don’t think I watch enough tv to effect me.

    Ok you’ve got me on negative thoughts and yes they do get in the way so I’ve go to deal with them.  Always work related.

    These are things I wouldn’t have thought of but yes, they do effect your time and motivation and I need improvement.

    • Hi, Stew. I feel the same way. I haven’t missed the social side of FB one bit. I have more time to focus on my business. I am less stressed now that I have more time to write content for my websites. I also try to stay positive, whatever happens.  Paul.

  9. Hello Paul,

    I have carefully read your very interesting article. Being successful implies everything that you explain, concentrating on what is useful to us, not wasting time with social networks, etc. 

    Expel any negative idea, feel motivated, search without pause everything that we like, that we are passionate about. Wealthy Affiliate is a very good opportunity that I hope not to waste.

    Thank you very much for sharing, take care.


    • Thank you, Claudio. I am cautious now with what I do with my time. Is what I am doing now, helping to move my business forward, is something I am more aware of with everything I do. Is this a good use of my time? As business owners or entrepreneurs, we should always be mindful of these questions. Paul.

  10. This is different yet awesome.  Instead of a list of what successful people do and copy it for myself it’s a very help tip to remind me what NOT to do.

    I agree on number one.  A lot of people live inside Facebook and it doesn’t add any value to life.  It’s just a way to suck time that could be used for much more worthwhile purposes.

    Also TV is also a time suck.

    Waiting for the right time is a big one for me.  I’m not sure why i have this need to wait for timing to be right when i know full well there is never a perfect or right time.

    Thank you!

    • Hi, Barry. I wrote about the first two specifically because I’m an avid reader of contemporary business leaders and entrepreneurs, and it occurred to me that I was doing these things, which tellingly, these successful people didn’t do. They were far too busy being successful. It was this realisation that forced me to delete my FB app.  Apart from my business pages, I do not go on FB, to check what other people are doing. This one thing has made a massive difference to my life! Regards, Paul.

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