It’s been said before that “Success leaves clues.” 

As I was preparing for the beginning of this new year and thinking about the person I want to be in 2023, I reflected on this concept. If you study the successes of others, you can learn from their experiences and apply their techniques and approaches to your own life. “Success leaves clues” suggests that success is not a random occurrence. Instead, it results from specific actions and behaviors that can be identified and replicated. In other words, the habits and strategies of successful people can be identified and emulated to achieve similar success. 

To be clear, the first step in this process is to define your version of success. For some people, it’s tied to achieving financial, professional, or business goals. For others, it has to do with the quality of their marriage, the way their kids are growing up, or the friendships and relationships they’re cultivating. Still others measure it around things like their faith walk and how generous they live their lives. 

With that in mind, I walked through my mental contact list and thought about the people I’ve worked with who have experienced success based on my personal definition. That definition includes:

  • Living boldly
  • Mastering self-control
  • Building financial freedom
  • Growing their business and the people around them
  • Developing good leadership and character
  • Building a strong, connected marriage
  • Raising independent kids with mutual respect
  • Maintaining fitness and health
  • Walking out their faith life in their daily lives
  • Living generously with their time and resources


What made “D” successful? This individual was a quiet leader who believed enough in the people around them to let them do their work without micro-managing them. He showed me what it looks like to surround yourself with the best people, make bold moves, and always ensure you’re top-of-mind when people need what you do. He also gave me a window into prioritizing family, keeping communication open with your children, and living with transparency. “D” is one of the most authentic people I know. He says what’s on his mind, and his personality is consistent in all situations.


What clues has “S” left for me? This individual has shown me the importance of thinking about what you’re thinking about, and developing a high level of personal awareness. They’ve also shown me how using your imagination and visualizing success helps you create the roadmap to getting there. I have watched them do this and seen firsthand how imagination translates to reality when you are focused, determined, and take risks. Specifically, “S” has helped me live with a positive “what’s possible?” mindset. 


This individual shared lessons with me on resilience and faith. I watched “M” walk through some very challenging times, specifically within their business and finances. Yet, through it all, they’ve continued staying focused on their faith and who God is in their life. I’ve witnessed them walk through these major life storms, continuing to work hard and always staying focused on what really matters and where they were going – not where they were. Today they are experiencing levels of success that most would have never imagined based on their past circumstances. 

The Takeaway

These are just three examples of success leaving clues within my circle. As you were reading this, two or three people also popped into your mind. Ask yourself, “What clues have these individuals left for me?” What specific actions and behaviors can you identify and replicate in your own life? Answer this, and those clues will lead you to your own successes in 2023.

Ready for more?

Follow me here for more insights just like this one as you begin working on your goals! You can also listen in to my Grit Meets Growth podcast here or on your favorite podcast platforms. Episodes are also available on YouTube.