The 10 Habits of Unsuccessful People

The 10 Bad Habits of Unsuccessful People

I am sure you have heard of the book by Stephen Covey, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People."

This post is not about that book.  Well, it is the companion post to that book.

Not only should you learn the habits of successful people, but you also need to reduce or eliminate bad habits as well.

If you are stuck in bad habits it will simply become very difficult to become successful.  That is a fact.

Some of these habits I will list may be painful to read about, if you are stuck with any one of them.  Better to experience the pain of knowing the truth so that you can change your character before too many years go by and they become rooted in your bad character for life.

1) Arrogance – This is one of the greatest self-destroyers I can think of.  People who think they are so great that they are above reproach.  They are always praising themselves and are totally blind to the ways in which they build themselves up and tear others down to feel superior to others.  This is nothing but a big fat lie that will destroy your relationships with others, and even your family. It takes a lifetime of practice to learn humility.

2) Talking the talk and not walking the walk – if you do not live by your own words you will be perceived as insincere or a phony.  It will be difficult to build the trust you need to engage in successful and profitable business relationships.  A business thrives under conditions of mutual benefit.  If the seesaw leans too much to one side, that person will get off and abandon the relationship sooner or later.

3) Constant distraction – If you are constantly distracted by others, or by your own lack of discipline or focus you will find it hard to get things accomplished in any meaningful way. Do not be distracted by any of the following.  Email, Social Media, telephone calls, etc. Maintain a balance and a discipline to allow no more time than necessary to any one task.  Especially do not allow personal things to invade your work time.

4) Wrong Contacts – this is another big one. Friends are for time off work. By the same token, business time is for productive relationships with good suppliers, good customers.  Anyone who does not qualify as either one should be eliminated from your schedule.

5) Negative attitude – people in business like associates with positive and uplifting people, not negative ones.  So what if you are having a bad day.  Find a way to turn the negative into a positive.

6) Procrastination – this is another big one. Some people have made this a standard way of doing things for years.  Difficult tasks and decisions get put off as long as possible. The best way to deal with a difficult situation is to confront it head on and deal with it as soon as possible.  Procrastination also tends to make problems worse if they are left unresolved.

7) Meanness – I once worked for a CEO that continually berated and cursed out those around him.  Everyone around him was no good and inferior, and he let them know it on a daily basis.  His office was a revolving door of people leaving not because of their own shortcomings but because of the meanness of the boss.  Being nice goes a long way.

8) Failure to listen – this is one of my pet peeves.  If you cannot listen to others, this is a sign of lack of respect.  Sometimes in any company, the best ideas do not come from the top.  They may come from those at the grassroots level that have the most experience in a particular area, not those who manage them.  Good advice is good advice no matter where it comes from.  Listening to others is an acquired skill attained only by those with open minds.

9) Laziness – Nothing is worse for employee moral than to see someone that is lazy. Regardless if they are doing the same job, or if they are a boss, laziness is intolerable, but especially by the leadership of a company.

10) Giving up – Hopefulness and cheerfulness is contagious, and so is the opposite.  Fear of failure can be almost as bad. Regardless of difficulties or obstacles faced, a cheerful attitude can inspire others and giving up leads only to hopelessness and failure.


I sincerely hope you are not a victim of any of the above bad habits.  Even a small amount of these tendencies can have a negative effect on your own happiness and success and others around you.

Best of success in eliminating any of these bad habits that you might fall victim to, and best of luck in all your endeavors.


John Lombaerde