Success Is Only 25% Hard Work

in success •  last year


In a great interview on Impact Theory, Tai Lopez gave some insight as to what it really takes to achieve success, based the 4 defining factors, and I thought he was spot on.

I would however recommend you watch the whole hour-long segment as it is very insightful as almost all Impact Theory episodes are. I am sure anyone hungry and working hard to achieve success can benefit from.

The 4 Defining Factors For Success

Defining Factor 1: Diligence

Or in simply put, pure hard work. As the title states, this only makes up 25% of what is truly needed to be successful. Everybody on earth has heard the phrase "If you want to achieve success you have to work hard!", and of course, this is true. If no action is taken, no work is put in, there will never be progress.

Tai makes a great point however, he said:

If hard work was all that was needed to achieve success, construction workers would all be millionaires.

If hard work were truly all it took, there would be millionaires all around the block. However I think it is clear, that life is far more complicated than that.

In my own life, I remember when I started out my own entreprenurial journey and started my first business, I was so focused and dedicated to building my business that nothing else in the world mattered. I gave up every other activity short of working on my business, 7 days a week, 16 hours a day. I would get up, get dressed, go to work on my business and go home to sleep. Rinse and repeat.

It didn't take too long, before the sheer imbalance of how I was living would catch up to me, which led me down a path of depression due in very large part because of my work habits. This led down to a extremely counterintuitive journey as, once you are depressed, all life grounds to a halt as depression melted away any form of productivity and soon I began to struggle to maintian even the regular work hours as it got worse and worse.

My conclusion to this point is, hard work sometimes isn't not only enough, doing too much and not seeing that you need time away from it all as well will lead you further back than forward. Know that your body and mind is not a mechanichal engine and try to strive to be healthily productive instead of insanely productive heading towards a crash. It makes far more sense in the long term.

Defining Factor 2: Organization

Of course, proper ogranization of your work to ensure everything is in an orderly manner, easy to sort through and locate and access is paramount to success. However, Tai was specifically talking about organization of your daily actions.

He says it is paramount that you start your day with a plan, clearly listing out every single thing that you are to accomplish for the day. If you don't, and think that you're just going to put in 8 hours of solid work and it will all work out.

The question becomes, work on what exactly?

To the above point, you can work hard, but working hard on the wrong things doesn't actually do much for you. It may be work done, sure, it probably won't be effective work which is really, at the end of the day, the only work that counts.

Decide what to do when your brain is fresh, and look at where you are objectively from a top-down view before getting into it.

I face this problem all the time. Where if I do not have a clear plan as to what exactly I am to do for the day, I end up doing a whole bunch of things which did not make me one additional cent, yet I could have clearly used that time to say, write another post, which would have been much more effective to me achieving my goals.


Tai's recommendation is to spend 10 minutes, before you start work, sort through your thoughts and write down exactly what you are going to accomplish today. It doesn't even have to be too long, even 3 main things that must be complete, then everything else.

I personally use a online to-do-list which works pretty much the same.

I definitely think this is integral and helps me massively in my own work.

There is really something to To-Do-Lists too. Everytime you check off something from your to do list, your brain rewards you with a tick of dopamine. If you breed this habit long enough, you will crave to be productive just to have that tick of dopamine release everytime you cross something off your list.

For me, it is the 'Ting!' sound I get and I love it. I go as far as to add in my list of daily practices. Everytime I complete a daily habit, which often times takes no longer than five minutes, I get a little hit of dopamine which motivates me everyday to get it done!

I recommend checking out this short 6 minute video by one of my favourite speakers, Simon Sinek, on just how powerful to-do lists and hacking your dopamine can make you extremely productive:

Defining Factor 3: Perfectionism

Perfectionism sometimes gets a bad rep as it makes people seem overbearing and wanting check and check things over and over again. There is certainly a line where being diligent about making sure there are no mistakes and psychotic over-perfectionism.

However for many, myself very much included, that I get sloppy and don't thoroughly check through my work before I post. I can count the very many times, I finally submit my post, only to jolt out of bed because I had not adjusted my tags and ended up submitting my post to all the wrong tags.

Success hedges upon being able to have reliable and consistent work. Of course, more relevant in certain jobs, say, flying an airplane of course. Nonetheless, it is absolutely crucial to breed a level of due-diligence if we are serious about achieving serious results.

Defining Factor 4: Prudence

Tai highlighted this point as the most crucial of the four and it is clear to see why.

Prudence, quite simply, is the ability to to make the best decisions possible to get where we want to go. I doesn't matter how hard you work, how organized your work is, how polished and perfect the work is. If it is the wrong work to get you want to go, all of your efforts will be in vain.


**Yeah, really simple, make good decisions. The question is how do you even know which is the right decision?? How do you know you are making a wrong one!? **

Tai's answer, learn, learn learn. The ultimate factor to achieving success hedges on you knowing what the right thing to do is. You can only know this, by educating yourself on everything there is to know about what others have done to get to where you want to be. Find mentors, learn from people, listen to podcasts, ask questions, search google.


Without a definitive means of going in the right direction, you will almost always be headed in the wrong direction. Don't learn from trial and errors of your own, read one book of someone else who has had a similar journey and learn from their lifetime of mistakes and lessons instead of making them yourself.

In doing so, you will avoid all the pitfalls that you otherwise would have got stuck at, you would have been able to conquer challenges much more effeciently and most importantly,


You can get where you want to go.

Educating yourself immensely, at the end of the day, will be what drives you to success.

Though all of these points seem extremely mundane, it truly is, what it takes. Often times the answers to the hardest questions are ones you've heard a thousand times. That's why you've heard them a thousand times.

Stop looking for a secret sauce "Secret Social Media Hack That Made me $10,000 in 30 days" type answer. It's the truly mundane things, when practiced over and over again, that help you achieve success.

God Speed Brethren.

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Thanks for your my friend


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Good article, staying organised is most definitely an important factor, it is so easy to get overwhelmed if you don't know which task to start. I do find lists useful to a point but in my line of work that list can grow from a handful of tasks up to over 20 within a matter of hours. I always try to list any additional work as tasks for tomorrow but find putting a little priority/importance measure against tasks very very useful because 20 tasks can be too much to mentally handle but 5 important tasks and 15 tasks which are either menial or not urgent can be kept separate so that your mind can focus on the pressing issues.


Thank you very much @realfast8!

I'd say definitely at least check out some of the to-do lists out there, they are getting pretty sophisticated and have some great functionality.

The one that I use, Wunderlist, which was bought out by microsoft last year has some really great functions which I use to keep track of my 100+ tasks which I have arranged according to priority and in different folders set accordingly.

Best part, it's free!

I only knew Tai Lopez because of his meme status but I watched the interview which was surprisingly interesting. He is definitely a smart guy with some good insights.