8 Traits That Every Successful Man Has

Over the years I have had the opportunity to hang out with and become friends with a number of very successful men. They include writers and other artists, people who’ve made a fortune in finance and property, the CEOs of various global companies, and a very famous British recording artist who has had a number of transatlantic hit records.

I have spent a long time thinking about what they have in common and I’ve observed that there are eight traits that they all share. While this list is by no means exhaustive, the characteristics below are positive and worth emulating in your own field, be it meeting women, starting a business, or creating art.

1. The Ability To Self-Publicize Without Annoying People


Let’s face it—we are in the golden age of self-promotion, with global stars as diverse as Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris, and Kim Kardashian all owing their initial success in a large part to their social media profiles. While I’m not suggesting you should become a digital braggart who puts everyone off by making every Tweet about your latest project, you will do well to find less obtrusive ways of letting people know about your successes.

Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and the truth is that unless you let people know what you’ve done they very likely won’t be aware of it, or will pay little attention.

Success is contagious. Once people know that things you are doing are working then they are more likely to approach you with ideas to augment yours.

2. …But Avoid Talking Too Much About Current Projects In Casual Conversations

This doesn’t contradict the point about self-promotion. Once a project is finished, then you should be talking about it. Before it’s ready, you should be working on it. Save the chatter for when you’re finished.

3. An Almost Pathological Obsession With What They Do


People who are very successful are by definition obsessed with whatever field they work in. This is essential. If you aren’t in love with what you do to the exclusion of (almost) everything else, then you should find something else to focus on and make your current hustle a hobby – if that. It is only through the razor-sharp focus brought about by immersion in a subject that success is born.

This obsession should not be limited to your own work, by the way. It must also includes being a “fan” of others. So, if you want to be a concert pianist, then you should have listened to every recording you can get your hands on of the best (and the worst) other concert pianists out there. You need to understand what it is other people are doing, not to copy them, but to learn from them as you develop your own style.

4. The Ability To Make Quick Decisions

Decision-making is hard, but procrastinating doesn’t help anyone. Sun Szu in The Art of War says that a long, protracted war has never done anyone any good. Make your decision quickly on the basis of the information at hand and act immediately.

In many cases it is less the decision you’ve made that is important – as frequently each of two approaches can have merit – as simply taking action and enjoying forward momentum.

5… And Not Be Swayed

Once you’ve made a decision, don’t look back. Stick with it. Understand that you took what you believed to be the right action in the moment and trust your instincts. You chose that route for a reason. Don’t beat yourself up about what could have happened if you’d gone the other way. Move on and don’t look back.

6. A Strong Sense of Self

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The successful guys I know have a very strong sense of their own identity, likes, dislikes, and beliefs. In game terms this translates roughly as having strong frame, and it means that you will be harder to push around, less prone to navel-gazing and uncertainty, and more steadfast. Take time to understand yourself, work out where you stand in relation to the world, and live accordingly.

7. And An Invincible Work Ethic

No getting around this one, I’m afraid. Real success requires hard work. The English novelist Anthony Trollope used to get up at 5am to write before his day job. As soon as he finished one novel he would move on to the next – sometimes on the same day.

Whether you want to get good at meeting girls, or start making money online, you need to stop making excuses and get to work. Once you begin putting in the hours it will become addictive, and you’ll establish a virtuous circle, finding it hard to tolerate your old, less driven lifestyle.

8. The Ability To Maintain Consistency Of Output In The Face Of Success Or Failure

Successful people don’t dwell on great failures or great successes – they’re too busy working on the next big thing. Once you’ve put something out into the world, be it a blog post, an approach to a hot girl, or a new product, then how it is received is largely out of your hands.

Of course you should tweak and refine as much as you can, and learn from any errors, but undue angst or celebration won’t help. Consistency of effort is the mother of success, not analysis.

Read More: You Have to Learn to Love Rejection 

76 thoughts on “8 Traits That Every Successful Man Has”

  1. When I first immigrated, I realized from observing Western media that the average boy here is taught only “Good Man” values. As in, unoffensive, nice-sounding traits that utopian academics use to redefine normal masculinity. On the surface, this is true in most parts of the world. But where I come from the father would pull the son aside privately and tell him that sometimes, you gotta put away the shit your schoolteacher taught you, and go for the objective.
    Yes, working hard and such are all necessary, but success requires more than just socially acceptable “Nice Guy” qualities. Here’s a more redpilled version:
    Success requires a tempered, but substantial amount of greed, ambition, competitiveness, and sociopathic ruthlessness.
    You have to be a bit of an asshole. Not always, but the capacity for it needs to be there. Nice guys do finish last. People who tell you otherwise are:
    1. Ignorant
    2. Deceptive
    3. In denial

    1. ”Success requires a tempered, but substantial amount of greed, ambition, competitiveness, and sociopathic ruthlessness.”
      Of course, but keep it hidden.

      1. “Of course, but keep it hidden”
        Good point. And to take an example pictured here, Richard Branson. On the outside he seems that it was his toothy charm that was solely responsible for his success but to get as far as he did must have required a certain level of ruthlessness, but he does a good job at not showing it.

      2. wrong, this is typical thinking of “losers” but that mentality of un-abundance, works against you
        its part of the “mean world syndrome” we have going on in society today
        also, seek to “feel rich” this is more important than money, seems people forget this
        we identify with materialism because its visible, proven, and tangible and because of this we can collectively give it value, but hidden is the currency of the mind and the quality of your mental energy which, if low, you are low value materialism cant help

      3. Of course, but keep it hidden.

        A perfect example of this is Julius Caesar. Ancient Rome had done away with kings, and Caesar wanted to be an emperor, which is basically the same as king–absolute power. Caesar maneuvered and manipulated his way to the top, all while pretending he wasn’t trying to seek power. Eventually, the senate assassinated him out of fear he’d turn their Republic into a monarchy, and it ended up causing a civil war. The winner of the war, Octavian, became emperor and adopted “Caesar” as an honorary title. He’s commonly known as “Augustus,” another title he adopted. (Fun fact: July is named after Julius Caesar and August is named after Augustus.) The senate stuck around, but their power was superficial. The emperor now held all the real power. Check out the HBO series “Rome” if you can, I enjoyed it.

    2. “Success requires a tempered, but substantial amount of greed, ambition, competitiveness, and sociopathic ruthlessness.”
      Yes, we can list off various traits such these, and many others. But we can sum it up in one simple phrase
      Don’t be afraid of your testosterone like most feminized men, Grab your fucking nuts, and don’t apologize for it!
      “Thrust” yourself into the vagina that is the world, and claim it as your own, just as you would with any old broad.

    3. I dont know.I think one of the things red pillers have to agree is that some of the old ways of thinking are obsolete.I’m not saying that we need to be pussy beta p.c bots but you shouldnt have to be a dick to get what you want in life.Old outdated concepts of greed at all costs are what opened me up to going against the status quo. Neomasculinists reject the status quo’s old business model of greed is good and being a slave to the corporatocracy. The idea that resources are ours for the taking is ignorant and short sighted. Right now the world is full of billions of ignorant beta sheep blinded by unbridled consumerism with no consciousness of the idea of sustainability as far as resources go. Sure the 1%ers that are making billions by being greedy cocksuckers by working the system and exploiting the planet are driven but how far and how satisfying is it to be a cocksucker with a lot of money at the expense of the planet. The idea of being a” baller ” is ghetto bullshit spouted by poseurs with temporary money with nothing more than an unlimited credit card lended out by their record company, who’m are made up by people definitely NOT from the street…more like they’re from Wall street. It’s true Nice guys finish last but striving and being driven for the sake of greed and never being happy with what you have is beta blue pill bitch mentality destined for an empty shallow existence. At this time of rampant corporate, political and social corruption on every level at an all time high even beyond the time of the robber barons, I think the world can do with a few million less greedy sociopathic assholes.

        1. Exactly! Probably the best monologue on the myth of god and human nature. Perfectly demonstrated by none other than the dearth of humanity…Lawyers. Single handedly the most damaging profession that has completely sucked the soul from this country and anywhere else they’ve infested and infiltrated the laws only to pervert them to their own profit at the expense of the human race.Lawyers…the cocksuckers that have hijacked the political system with shills working as lobbyists,law changers, p.c thought crime ambulance chasers. petty law attack dogs.The assholes fighting the battles for Monsanto,Con Agra, Wall Street,The F.D.A, N.S.A, E.P.A etc.. all iron clad agents of the cleptocracy cronies that have exploited, corrupted and destroyed this country.

    4. I’ve found in my travels that in many parts of the world people believe you have to steal to get rich. But if you look at the richest countries they generally have the strongest senses of honesty. There are many ways to the path of success. I find that Russians are generally ambitious and driven and sociopathic..and their economy is almost all just the sales of oil and gas. Warren Buffett talks about activities that enlarge the pie and ones that reapportion the pie, and says its best to focus on the former as the latter is a zero sum game. Theft is a negative sum game, and tends to develop enemies. Things to consider.

  2. Good observations, but don’t take number five to the idiotic extreme. It’s one thing to persevere when folks tell you something is dumb, it’s another to realize that you made a bad decision, you are failing, but to continue to beat your head against a brick wall because you are determined to stick with the decision you made. Number five is best qualified with, “but realistically evaluate your success and know when to cut your losses.”

    1. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit, there’s no point in being a damn fool about it. – W.C. Fields.

    1. Yes. Rather have an RoK article of Sun Tzu but with modern day or last century examples of his art of war. That, is how leaders have used Tzu’s methods for corporate, diplomatic and military battles.

  3. I could swear that I saw this article, or something along similar lines, posted on ROK in the last two weeks. Even accompanied by the same header picture.

    1. Next: 15 reasons why you should shave your balls.
      Next: 35 traits of faggots who like to stick vegetables up their arse.
      Next: 1 way to tell a woman has a stinky box.

    1. They should cross check the title images because that same image headed up a previous article from ROK.

      1. Wouldn’t surprise me if it actually were close to a dozen articles bearing this same header image.

      2. The image, though repeated in other articles, is effective. It would be nice to have other images that represent the message they are trying to convey however, at the end of the day, the image is still effective. Don’t get hung up on the basket in which the “food” is carried for the basket has done it’s job. Eat the food.

    1. We need more on holding frame. The “Surviving a Modern Day Witch Hunt” article needs to be etched in stone.

  4. The last value on work hard is not quite accurate from my experience. Hard work is often mistaken for working effectively and they are not the same. Have a work ethic is important, but being able to recognize when you are not working effectively and fixing it even more so.
    For example, I had one time at work as a senior engineering manager where I noticed in a contract review that we could change the wording and the company would get 500k more from the customer. I spent 1-2 hours reviewing the contract and my moderate amount of effort and work earned the company much more than a lot of employees earn the company in a year of hard work. My review and compensation reflected it.
    I have also seen many people put in long hours “working hard” and the reality is they are working very ineffectively. The best way to put this is be persistent when needed and learn to be highly productive.

    1. I agree. Working smart is more important than working hard. Look, observe, be aware, make connections, learn, think. I took the Karrass negotiating workshop when I first started my business. I learned that the most important time in any negotiation is the hour or two you spend preparing for it. Go over all the scenarios in your head beforehand. Plan, think, then relax and be confident. Reviewing the contract is a great example of this. Men should think this way about their relationships too. Do you even want to date this chick. What are the potential downsides? Fools rush in where angels fear to tread – and pay the price. The most powerful word in any negotiation is… NO.

  5. I can see you guys have all watched “House of Cards” one too many times. What this writer fails to explain is that you can’t just cultivate these values out of nowhere. #3 for example. You can’t just develop “love” or “obsession” because you want to: you have to love it or obsess on it.

  6. Off topic, but these two stories have been popping up on tv and online for at least a month:
    men are more narcissistic than women
    men are more whiny when they are sick(i.e., women are tougher than men)
    what say you, ROKers???

    1. Media groupthink bs. It’s a feeding of the blue pill through the trough of the idiotbox and the online iv drip.

    2. Otherwise known as “man-flu”. I have never heard a man whine when he is sick. Women take more sick days than men.
      Not much else to say really.

      1. Women whine even when they’re not sick……leaving out the non physical sick in the head component here, of course.

      2. I had to deal with snow days recently, and i was the only one in my lab to come in. The females i worked with all called in sick.
        Pathetic weaklings…the ice age would probably wipe them all out if not for us.

      3. Well I whine when I’m sick but I’ve gone years without taking a sick day. I worked with a mixed staff of teachers once. 8 women, 8 men approx. We all got Sunday off and had another day off when we were on call in case of illness to another teacher. We all taught all over the city. The men NEVER stiffed a co-worker by calling in sick. Something about keeping your respected place in the pack. You don’t betray. The women called in sick all the fucking time. I was dinged to work on my day off about 70% of the time, always by a female. I got my attendance bonus at the end of the year and one of my female colleagues who was a pal, was kind of like, “You lucky bastard!” Yet she had called in sick about 10-15 times. My perfect attendance was luck in her mind. The fact that she indulged herself to a day off 15 times didn’t cross her mind. It was bad luck for her and I was a lucky bastard. Amazing.

        1. People are funny like that. I got told I was lucky to be going on vacation. No bitch, I fucking worked hard for it.

  7. On #1, I’m not there yet. I’m working on a project but at this time, I have nothing to promote.
    On #2 I’m learning how to shut the fuck up and listen. In casual convo, no one want’s to hear me speak about “me”. However, I need to accomplish my goal (See #1).
    On #3, I’ve encountered a growing obsession with what I am attempting to do. It’s starting to interfere with my “day job.” It’s all I think about.
    On #4, I am victimized by constant uncertainty. I am constantly plagued with an an inability to decide on a course of action and take it. I’ve been trying to work on this.
    On #5, I am naturally stubborn so once I settle my “account” with #1, I believe everything will fall into place.
    On #6, I have to fake it because my sense of self is not very strong. I call it “faking alpha”. I go into character during the work day. Lately though, I’ve been finding it harder to get out of “character”. I’m not sure if this has any meaning.
    #7 is my fatal flaw, my biggest weakness. My work ethic sucks but I’m working on it.
    On #8, the jury is out. Maybe once I accomplish what I am pursuing, I’ll get greater insight. This may have something to do with #4. I’m on a journey right now and this issue may be resolved. I’ll see.

    1. I think you are on the right path. Most man first stranding here at Rok lag all of the above listed abilities. That’s normal. Nobody told us such things, so we went on a Internet journey and landed here. And we began to read articles. In my case, sometimes I read an article but don’t think about what it is trying to tell me. Where the content of another article sticks to my head and “forces” me to think about it insights. those are the most important because, they changed something. My opinion is that human beings change in two different ways and amplitudes. The first is way is that one is confronted with an extreme situation. On the basis of the pure necessity to act, one can change immediately. The other way got no cause but the will to change. One can make then changes too, but only small one’s. In our daily life we are not confronted with great risks or situations which can trigger case1. But we can choose: you and me choosed to change yourselves. We hence can make on the above assumption only small steps towards our goals. But these small steps count and accumulate when we you proceed to try to make something more manly/ better out of us.
      Keep going and stick to your goals!

      1. Thanks for the words! I often encounter self doubt from time to time. I’m fortunate enough to pursue something that I have strong interest in so the self doubt, which can discourage, is offset.

  8. I knew a guy once that looked just like the chat in the top picture with the suit, he was a nutter, total freak.

  9. “hard work” is a lie
    Its easy to get rich if you are lucky enough to be passionate about something that HAPPENS to make money, since these people enjoy it, it is easy
    Some people’s love is just money, it creates a massive high and they have no choice but to follow that craving or they will be miserable and hate life, this is their natural flow, and doing anything else would cause existential un-ease
    ^this is the truth. It’s your character
    You don’t just have to have a very high intelligence, the conditions for success also mean you have be to lucky enough to enjoy something which fits capitalism, than you have a massive edge, because not only are you more intelligent than most people, but your skill happens to make money as well, and if you happen to enjoy that skill you have an even bigger edge
    it seems to us that people who are burried in something are “crazy” but they are loving every minute… the entire idea of “hard” is a lie, even these rich folks took the path of least resistance

    1. Great “lottery of life” speech, brah. Justifies every tax coming down the pike against us.
      Try simply being a loafer and find out how truly lucky you are. I guarantee you that somebody who works at what they love will find more luck than you.
      I think it was Jefferson who said: “I’m a firm believer in luck. I find that the harder I work, the luckier I am” (paraphrase)

  10. These are all good points. But I think it’s important to realize that being successful isn’t necessarily equated to how much money you make. All that matters is that if you’re satisfied with the life you’re living. After all, you should be living life for yourself, not for others. You will seldom find happiness comparing yourself to other people.

  11. There are many people out there ‘working hard’ but going nowhere…
    The ‘Hard work’ mantra is the kind of shit spewed by boomer faggots in order to get the younger generation to tow the line. It’s the same kind of shitty advise as ‘be yourself’, just nebulous crap about how you should behave and live your life.
    I would reword this to ‘work smart’, find ways to be productive and apply yourself effectively towards achieving success. Leverage other people’s money and resources, partner with people smarter than you, use technology, automate etc etc

    1. That’s all nebulous crap too, though.
      Guys, ‘work smart’ is a buzz word. Of course, apply yourself sensibly – that goes without saying. But I’m sorry, you gotta put the hours in. Trying to shirk hard graft is the trait of the mummy’s boy beta manlet.

      1. I agree…however, in the modern work place some of the old dinosaurs and relics of the old world (in the bad way) are still using an hours=work rather than output=work mentality.
        I have two people in my office in senior positions that are always bragging about how many hours they work. I do an 80 hour work week pretty regularly. But when I head someone tell me how they spent 10 hours on a Saturday doing something I could have knocked out in 45 minutes I don’t think, as they want me to, “boy that is a hard worker” i think “you are stupid and too lazy to learn how to use the tools at your disposal to streamline your process”

        1. Totally agree, but i’m not really talking about corporate work here.
          Of course people need to work in such a way as to maximize efficiency and their time – that’s obvious. But to say that you don’t have to work hard in order to effect substantial change in your life is simply delusional. You have to work smart AND hard.

        2. Yeah, I think you article (and comment here) were spot on. I think some of the dissent came from people who didn’t see the distinction between the work you are talking about and the work i am talking about.
          When you say work I read you meaning the work you do to Become a better man, earn a living, get into shape, built a log cabin whatever whatever…..but when applied strictly to a corp atmosphere the idea of inefficient work necessarily consuming a ton of time and the being bragged about by people who “work so hard” is infuriating.
          If you have a department of 7 people and all 8 of you are working 100+ hours a week doing something I could knock out by myself in a 40 hour week then you are not working hard…you are just an ass (not you, someone in my office I am thinking about in particular)

    1. Working for your own interests is hardly slaving.
      Or are of you of the mind that if you dare to lift your finger to earn a buck, you are somehow lowering yourself in some way? To get away with that attitude you have to either be royalty, who thieve professionally at the top of the pyramid, or you have to be a trust fund Hipster leftist who lives on the backs of others.

  12. There are too many rules here. 8 traits for this, 5 reason for that, 7 tips for success. Blaze your own trail. Orthodox society is killing us with rules, particularly PC rules. We don’t need a second straitjacket in the manosphere. My style is very individualistic. Maybe yours is too. Whatever works. Fuck the rules.

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