Success Series #3: Success Stories

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By: Kara Stewart of Blue Ascension Media

Read on to explore success stories from 12 people recognized as contributors to the success mindset through their inspirational books, podcasts, or coaching. Some are icons in success coaching and others newer to the scene, but all have valuable insights into growth, goal setting and achievement, productivity, and becoming the best human being we can become.  

Illustration of Laurus Success Stories

Attending and graduating from college is one of life’s biggest achievements, and it marks a significant step toward personal success. 

But success, like staying fit or playing a musical instrument or sport, isn’t a one-and-done event. 

True, lasting success comes from developing lifelong habits, long-term views, and a dedication to continual improvement. 

And, while it may seem like some of today’s most recognized and successful leaders came to their success overnight, the truth is that they worked at it for many years before they achieved their current positions. 

To your success! 


Brendon Burchard

Brendon Burchard’s first book, “The Motivation Manifesto,” was turned down by major publishers, but he believed so strongly in his message — Live. Love. Matter. — that he persevered. The book went on to be #1 on The New York Times bestseller list for 30 weeks. Since then, he’s become a recognized personal development and leadership coach, speaker, and teacher. Other books include his most recent, “High Performance Habits,” as well as “The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives that Make You Feel Alive,” “The Millionaire Messenger,” and “Life’s Golden Ticket.” The weekly podcast “The Brendon Show” features tips, strategies and inspiration for living a high-performance life. 


Dale Carnegie 

Born in 1888, Dale Carnegie later became a salesman and actor. While teaching communications classes to adults at the YMCA in New York, he discovered techniques that helped speakers address audiences confidently and without fear. To this day, his classic book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” written in 1936, remains relevant and influential, with its focus on creating success in business and personal lives. The Dale Carnegie Training company now offers online and in-person coaching, leadership, sales, and organizational improvement courses. 


James Clear

It’s the small things — the daily habits — that create a successful life, and James Clear has developed an approach to create positive habits and let go of not-so-helpful ones. His book “Atomic Habits,” is geared toward a 1% improvement every day, and combines ideas from neuroscience, psychology and biology to create a program that makes good habits easy to instill. As he says, “If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system.”


Lolly Daskal

As a leadership trainer, Lolly Daskal created her Lead From Within program to be a catalyst for leaders who seek to enhance their performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world. Her approach draws from nearly 30 years of coaching combined with science and philosophy. In her latest book, “The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness,” she explores the common pattern of workers and leaders rising to a certain level before their performance starts to suffer and failure is imminent. By identifying leadership styles and the strengths behind them, as well as becoming aware of the hidden liabilities, performance returns.   


Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, began her career as an elementary school teacher and realized her passion for developing young minds. Through her research, she discovered the secret to high-level and consistent achievement and success is not talent. It’s a blend of passion and perseverance she calls “grit.” In her book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” she shares how grit can lead to success and achievement in any area: business, academics, athletics, and parenting.

Read the Laurus College Success Series article on Grit


Carol Dweck

Stanford professor Dr. Carol S. Dweck discovered two primary mindsets – fixed and growth – and how each one has a big influence on how we approach learning, challenges, and long-term success. Her book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” gathered and expanded the early studies. Since then, the ideas have been applied in classrooms and businesses around the world. The good news: intelligence can be grown through challenging our brains, and a growth mindset can positively affect success in school, career, and life.

Read the Laurus College Success Series article on Growth Mindset.


Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss’ first book, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” explored the ideas of “How can I invest money to improve my quality of life?” Or “how can I spend moderate money to save significant time?” The results, both for Ferriss and the book, were successful by any measure. Ferriss went on to write additional bestsellers, including the most recent, “”Tribe of Mentors,” a collection of conversations from top leaders. The Tim Ferris Show podcast has been downloaded more than 300 million times, with interviews about business, success, and life. Ferriss is currently a Guest Lecturer at Princeton University on the subject of High-Tech Entrepreneurship. 


Seth Godin

Seth Godin is widely recognized as the guru of conscientious marketing and tapping into individual strengths, encouraging entrepreneurship, fostering true leadership, and inspiring change. He’s written 19 best-selling books, including “Linchpin,” “Purple Cow,” “Tribes,” and his most recent book, “This is Marketing.” In addition, his popular blog began in 2002, and since then he’s written thousands of fresh, thought-provoking posts. He’s been inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame (2013) and the Marketing Hall of Fame (2018). 


Jon Gordon

As author, coach, and speaker, Jon Gordon is passionate about the power of positivity in developing effective leaders, organizations and teams. Best-selling books include “The Power of Positive Leadership,” “The Power of a Positive Team,” and his latest book, “Stay Positive.”


George Leonard

While the author passed away in 2010, his books are still in print and still relevant. One of his works: “Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment,” explores the idea of success being the result of a long-term dedication to practice, not extraordinary talent. This philosophy applies to learning and improving in any area: from martial arts (the book has the backdrop of his Aikido training) to management, business development, and leadership. 


Simon Sinek

Perhaps best known for his book, “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action,” Simon Sinek’s training in ethnography led him to discover patterns in how humans think, act, and communicate, and the environments where they perform at their best. Focusing on the traits of companies and people that have made a great impact in the world, he discovered his life’s work: to help leaders and organizations inspire action. Other books, which share the power of optimism, include “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t,” “Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team,” and his latest book, “The Infinite Game.”


Carson Tate

During her decades of work with individuals and organizations, Carson Tate has seen that there is no one single productivity system that works for everyone. In her book, “Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style,” she covers how there are four distinct “productivity styles” – Prioritizer, Planner, Arranger, and Visualizer. When we find and implement the strategies that align with our individual style, we’ll be more productive, efficient, and less stressed. 


What’s Next for You? 

Which of these success stories and messages resonate most with you? These are good resources to start with as you continue your path toward success. 

Also realize that those topics that don’t speak strongly to you are worth checking out to help give you a well-rounded view of what’s possible. 

Be sure to check out the resources below for more inspiration as you continue to make progress toward your aspirations and goals for success in life. 


Laurus College Resources

Laurus College Student Services: Career Toolbox

Laurus College Blog Article: Study Skills

Laurus College Blog Article: Soft Skills — The Key to a Successful Career


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