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Major differences between successful and unsuccessful people


  • Successful people and unsuccessful people often differ in key ways, says author and businessman Dave Kerpen.
  • People who listen to others, ask questions, compliment others, and have a positive mindset tend to succeed.
  • Unsuccessful people, meanwhile, blame others for their failure and talk too much.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. 

In 2014, Dave Kerpen, the New York Times best-selling author of “The Art of People,” received a postcard that illustrated the traits and behaviors of successful and unsuccessful people.

The card came from fellow Entrepreneurs’ Organization member Andy Bailey, the chief executive of Petra Coach, a business-coaching service. Although the two CEOs have never met, Kerpen said in a 2014 LinkedIn post that the postcard had a profound effect on him, “reinforcing values I believe in and reminding me on a daily basis of the attitudes and habits that I know I need to embrace in order to become successful.”

Read more: Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens left behind an incredible letter about the best life lessons he learned, and every line is a must-read

The postcard points out 16 big differences between successful and unsuccessful people. Below we highlight nine of our favorites, plus seven others Kerpen shared with us in a recent interview.

Read on to find out what distinguishes superstars from everyone else:



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