Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
I spend much of my time working with and looking at those who are currently high performers or are well on their way to becoming high performers. In fact, surrounding myself with those who consistently perform at an incredibly high level and generate vast amounts of wealth fascinate me. I’ve even, along with a handful of colleagues, conducted some of the largest tests and studies dedicated to finding out what makes a high performer tick. This has not only allowed me the opportunity to speak to large amounts of entrepreneurs and business owners, but also to coach these same people individually.
As you can imagine, my attention is easily grabbed by the most successful people of our day. The Elon Musks, Oprah Winfrey and Jeff Bezos of the world fascinate me. So I want to talk about why I think Jeff Bezos (you might have heard of the founder of Amazon) is so wildly successful. Hopefully, my observations can act as truths and actionable items that you can apply in your own search for success.
Risk it all, carefully
Very few success stories have been written without plot twists, climaxes and stressful paragraphs. The same is true for Jeff Bezos. But although he seemingly risked it all, lived in the red and barely made it out alive, he did it all with a plan.
Everything he did was part of a two or three-year plan. This plan was complete with growth markers, backup plans, and more. The risks that he took during these two years, although nerve-wracking, were seemingly calculated. He watched as others around him shook their heads at these decisions, but he knew that to succeed, he was going to have to ignore these naysayers and push forward with what he thought was best.
So, take risks. You have to. But, calculate them. Pad them with backup plans and secondary options, but push yourself out of your comfort zone. Ignore the naysayers and trust your gut. Even if it doesn’t all work out as you planned.
Don’t just think big — think specifically big
Amazon is crazy. Crazy big. Crazy fast. Crazy expansive in its inventory, breadth and scope. But, every time you log into Amazon, you feel that it’s catered specifically and especially for you. Right? This isn’t by accident. This is Jeff Bezos’ way of thinking, personified in a business model. In interview after interview, he describes an obsession with delivering customers exactly what they want.
So, when you begin thinking about how you’re going to change the world, think big, but think specific. Think about big ways to solve little problems. To make life more convenient. To give people what they need, even if they don’t know they need it.
Set aside time to be inefficient
That sounds crazy, right? The richest man in the world telling you to be inefficient. And get plenty of sleep. How does that work? I’ll tell you how.
Inefficiency, when done correctly, can be highly efficient in the long run. Especially when it’s undertaken with a purpose. Too many people work for too long at one thing and burn themselves out. Not enough people take the time to become well-rounded, explore their curiosity, and expand their horizons through inefficiency. An activity that you may not see as being directly applicable to your current job, can do wonders for another piece of your life that ends up making you more efficient.
Purposeful inefficiency can be a great teacher, a great disconnect from stress, and a welcome diversion that teaches and enhances. Especially when you do it intentionally.
Putting these tips into action
Now, these aren’t the three, top things that make Jeff Bezos so successful. But, they are incredibly important pieces of his personality that have added to his success. The bottom line is: take the things that you excel at and add simple things that you can learn from others. Risk it all, carefully and efficiently. Think specifically big. And set aside time to become more well-rounded. You’ll notice increased performance in all aspects of your life.