My good friend Melissa has a terrific lifestyle blog, GiaMel, that you should follow, which covers how to have a thriving home, fulfilling relationships, an accomplished career, and enjoy life’s luxuries and adventures. She talks about how to do all of these with style, hustle and heart.

Melissa is herself an incredible success story – coming to the United States from Turkey to go to college leaving her family behind, and paving her path on her own and on her own terms. She has a successful career in legal marketing as the Chief Development Officer at Winston & Strawn and juggles a busy personal life as a new mom of Siena with her husband Justin.

Melissa is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She is smart, kind, wise, passionate and loyal. I am lucky to have her as a friend.

In this article, Melissa talks about 13 attributes and habits of highly successful professionals, and we could each learn something from all of them.

  1. Presence. Everything starts with presence, doesn’t it? There are certain people who walk into a room and are magnetic. Presence is not about good looks, it’s almost like energy you bring with your presence.
  2. Consistency. All successful people are consistent. They are consistent in what they do, what they eat, and what they wear.
  3. Persistence & Perseverance. These are two of the most important attributes. If you are not persistent, and if you have not persevered in a difficult situation, you may not be able to achieve long-term success.
  4. Laser Focus. I have found that some of the most successful people are the ones that are most focused in everything they do. They have the ability to block out everything else and laser focus to achieve their goals and dreams, and become the “best” in their field.
  5. Specialization. This really complements the laser of focus I mentioned above. If you look at the most successful around you, you will see that most of them are the ones that are specialized. It is too difficult for generalists to become successful and maintain it long term.
  6. Innovation. The most successful are not afraid of change. They are flexible, solution-oriented, and are quick to innovate in order to succeed.
  7. Street Smarts. I truly believe that street smarts are all you need. Not an ivy-league degree. By now, we all know so many school drop-outs who have become super successful in life. Street smarts are defined as the experience and knowledge necessary to deal with the potential difficulties or dangers of life. Yes, there are some that are lucky and achieve success on a dime, but most have to suffer and face difficulties before achieving great success, and street smarts will help you come out alive. If you do have a degree (ivy league or not) and have street smarts, then you are golden!
  8. Proactive. Successful people are proactive. They don’t wait around for things to happen for them. They anticipate what is to come, they make good use of their time.
  9. Value alone and family time. Successful people know how to manage their time and who and what to prioritize. When they are on a mission and are laser-focused, they don’t waste time in gatherings and meetings that are not contributing to their overall goals and objectives.
  10. Have mentors. Most successful people have had great mentors. It always amazes me how one’s life can be completely different and move in a new direction with the right mentor.
  11. Surrounded by ones who are smarter. My father always used to tell me, “hire people who are smarter than you. Make friends with people who are smarter than you.” It is so true.
  12. Good Listener. Successful people are good listeners. They are not stubborn. They listen, reflect, and absorb. They learn from every situation and people they come across.
  13. Global Perspective. Most successful people have a global perspective. When they sit in the boardroom, they are aware of the international implications or aspects of a product or business and know that the empire they are building will not only have an impact on their own country, but others as well. They are aware of their global politics and news.

It’s possible to have a successful legal career/day job and a blog or business – Melissa and I are happy to give you tips on making that a reality.

Check out Melissa’s GiaMel blog.