So what exactly do you need to be a success in today’s competitive society? Stunning good looks? A high I.Q.? Prodigious talent? Many people assume that if they aren’t born with a large trust fund, then they have to be beautiful or brilliant to be successful. But the truth is successful people share several common traits that are not inherited. For more than 10 years, author and award-winning communicator Richard St. John researched and dissected what truly makes a person successful. St. John interviewed 500 successful people from all walks of life.

St John ultimately identified the following seven common traits shared by successful people, which from the foundation for success, wealth and greatness. And the best part – they easily can be applied to our everyday lives.

1. Passion – Discover what you love to do and pursue it. Chase love, not money; the money will follow.

2. Work – You must work very hard, but when you love what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel so much like work.

3. Focus – Successful people say you must focus your energies with precision. Develop the ability to ignore distractions and concentrate.

4. Ideas – Come up with ideas to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities. We all can be creative.

5. Improve – Successful people don’t rest on their laurels. They’re always looking for ways to improve themselves.

6. Serve – You must serve something of value to other people. Focus on the people you serve and listen to what they have to say.

7. Persist – Do not cave in to adversity. Persist through the rough times, failures, criticisms and mistakes.