8 Reasons I Am Successful, And You Are Not

success and failure

One thing I get asked frequently is how did you become successful. Usually when people ask this they are looking for 1 answer, but the truth is there are a lot of factors that caused my success.

  1. Location – I live in Orange County California. It isn’t the silicon valley of the world, but there are a lot of big companies out here and a lot of rich people that can come in handy. Overall I am pretty central because I am 30 minutes away from Los Angeles and I am an hour flight from San Francisco.
  2. Speaking – when most people speak they tell the audience what they want to hear. When I speak I tell the audience the truth, whether they like it or not. By doing this you can gain the respect of thousands of people every year, as well as obtain paid contracts from a few of the conference attendees.
  3. Blogging – a great way to spread your knowledge to the masses is to give them advice. It is an easy thing to do if you have a blog. The key with blogging is to lay it all out there because sooner or later people are going to know what you know, so might as well be the first one to share the information and get credit for it.
  4. Networking – whether you are shy or not there is always a way to get to know more people. For me, I enjoy networking in person, but you can also network through the web. Knowing tons of people on a personal level is never a bad thing. It maybe time consuming at first, but it can be advantageous in the future. Just keep in mind, you need to network with the little guy and not just the big guy.
  5. Sucking up – some people like their ego being stroked, so I stroke it. By sucking up to certain individuals they will start liking you and many of their followers will also want to get to know you.
  6. Talking shit – just how sucking up works with some individuals, others may prefer it when people talk shit to them. I have done this multiple times in the past and it works well. If you think about all the big fish in the sea, too many people hit them up saying how great or cool they are. So I take the opposite approach by telling them how they suck and point out everything they are doing wrong. This may seem like a way to build enemies, but it is actually a great way to build friends.
  7. Age – I’m a 22-year-old kid and when I am the only young person in a room, I stand out. I use age to my advantage all the time, and if you are young like me I recommend doing the same. On the other hand if you are old, there is not much you can do to leverage your age other than to share your experiences.
  8. Risk taker – I have very little to lose, so I take risks whenever I can. I currently run a business, go to college, and still live at home. I have no personal expenses because of my parents, which means if I lose everything I can leech off my parents. You may not be able to do the same as me, but it doesn’t mean you can’t take risks. Take as much risk as you feel comfortable with or even better take a bit more than you feel comfortable with. Whatever you decide to do, just take on some risk.

Hopefully my experiences help you become more successful in life. Anyone else have any experiences they want to share?

<em><strong>P.S.</strong> Want to be more successful?Β <a href=”https://www.quicksprout.com/pro/”>click here</a>.</em>


  1. Dan Schawbel :

    I always try and be the first to comment on your posts. I think it’s very important where you live, in terms of the people and businesses you surround yourself with. You want to work with people who are smarter than you, so you can learn.

    Blogging is king for many reasons. I think that it attracts the right people to your personal brand, while repelling others.

    • Your commenting strategy is working well for you. I see your name everywhere on the web and more importantly everywhere in your vertical.

      • The more times you see someones name and face, the more you recollect them, especially if they have connected both to a concept.

    • Hey Neil,
      Who says you’re successful, you cocky SOB…

      Haha, is that enough sh!t talking for ya? Ok really, I think you’ve done a great job branding yourself and marketing yourself as an authority in the industry. Pretty cool tips – did you think of them after the fact or did you have this strategy laid out from the beginning?

      I met you at Elite Retreat last week btw.

      • LOL, that is some good shit talking. I have had this strategy laid out from the beginning.

        BTW, it was fun eating multiple desserts with you at Elite Retreat. I already miss the food. πŸ™

  2. I’d agree on location, and OC is a giant pool of money spending people. Being close to LAX certainly doesn’t hurt either.

    • The thing with location, is it all depends about the industry you are in. For me I could have potentially made more if I lived in New York City as a marketer.

      But overall I like OC.

  3. Wil Reynolds :

    As for #8 – its a smart move, the more stuff you buy (house, porsche, 5k laptop) the more you owe people, giving you less flexibility. My parents would let me move in if I got screwed!

    as fir #2 – Telling brutally honest truth is HUGE in my book, people can tell when they are always being told the good news, I think it build credibility and TRUST when you are willing to tell someone the unfiltered truth.

  4. Is this about being successful or well known? There is a difference. You can still be well know, but not have a clue as to what you are doing.

  5. Tanner Christensen :

    Don’t forget about luck, Neil. You’ve mentioned it in the past, and I’m surprised you didn’t mention it again on this list. You’ve been pretty lucky in the past.

  6. Neil,

    Which do you prefer, being sucked up to or someone who talks shit? Will you be at the TechCrunch party tonight?

  7. 10. Sound like a douchbag.

  8. someone’s feeling high and mighty today ;-P

    • All of the Quick Sprout readers make me feel high and mighty. Without you guys I would be no where. πŸ™‚

  9. Nate Whitehill :

    Neil Patel, in da house.

  10. Hollywood http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=8875633169

    • Thanks for the link. Sadly I don’t think I can make it. πŸ™

      I have to finish my work this week because all of next week I am traveling. Have to fly to Europe, Seattle, San Francisco.

  11. Here’s a new one:

    Taking Shit.

    I succeeded at my job by doing (and mastering) the work nobody else wanted to do, now they come to me for help and I’m the youngest Sr. Engineer in the company.

    • Never really thought about taking shit, but it seems like a good strategy. My only concern is that people may abuse it and not reward you for your efforts.

      • Eric DeLabar :

        Maybe taking shit is not quite the right way to put it, or maybe it just really worked in my favor. The “shit” in this case was JavaScript and AJAX, when I started it the whole company hated it, now we can’t do a job without it. I really just filled a niche, but at the time it wasn’t a very desirable one.

        • Favors are always a smart thing to do. By helping others out, you can call for favors in return. πŸ˜‰

  12. Luke Harvey-Palmer :

    Just remember one of the essential tenets of Personal Branding…you need to be authentic and be able back this up…there is a lot of stuff here about what is on the outside…but what do I really get when I get you (apart form a 22 y.o who speaks shit and sucks up….and I have met plenty of those!)…great post

  13. Neil loling at the leech off your parents bit… i can totally picture you saying that
    so if i go for broke but come up empty can I move in with them too

  14. Hey Neil – cool article bro. To me, #4, Networking hands down has to be my key to success.

    I’m not smart
    I’m not geeky
    I’m not good looking (well a little bit at least)

    I owe probably 98% of all my success because of my network, hands down. The other 2% is actually taking little steps of action and things happened.

    Keep up the good work man and would love to hang out here more, so don’t block my IP… πŸ˜‰

  15. what a crappy post. You don’t blog much but you say blogging is one reason you successfull.. Do you have any other blog?

  16. I believe that #2 is a big issue. I’ve been in business for as long as you have been alive – and truth is hard to come by. Sometimes business owners don’t like to hear the truth when you deliver it, but once they see the reality of it you become a hero.

  17. Great quote on blogging. In fact, I added it to my favorite quote list.


  18. David Temple :

    I’m wondering what your suck up/talk shit ratio is by the way. I think it’s more that you’re genuine and that comes through. You like networking because you like people, period, not because you see it as a means to an end. And I’m usually the oldest in the room and I do leverage it by sucking up to kids like you, lol.

    • Not sure on the ratio, but I talk shit more often than sucking up.

      As for the genuine part, you are correct. With anything you do, if you are not genuine, the results usually don’t term out as well.

  19. Nice post Neil. I think you hit the nail on the head with all tghese. Especially the part about blogging. The one reason people like this blog so much is because you keep it real.

    I hate reading personal blogs that are nothing more than someone trying to push offers or get you to click on ads.

    In respect to networking, it is critical to be successful. All great points….

    • Thanks Jeremy. I think blogging is also one of the reasons you are successful. BTW, nice post on ways to increase your click-through ratio.

  20. All are so true. I try to impart some of that knowledge onto the people that work for me, but they just don’t get it. You need to be honest in business, but it doesn’t hurt to stroke those egos that need it – I mean we ALL like it once in a while. You just need to be careful about how you do it because these type of tips can easily manipulate someone. The last thing you want is for the other party to feel that they’ve been manipulated by you…


    • Yea, you never want to manipulate. Sucking up a bit can be wise, but if the other party feels you are manipulating them, it will work against you.

  21. Very impressive Neil. So when exactly you started and how come you got into social media ?

    Finding clients is indeed a big thing and finding big clients is even a big thing. πŸ™‚ How about covering a Post on it ?


    • I got into social media a few years ago when I saw how stories hitting the front page of Digg.com were getting tons of links. After a few days of investing it, I figured it out and started leveraging other social sites.

      I’ll think about the finding clients post… The problem with this post topic is that there is no one answer. Maybe a list post could work.

  22. nice blog b!tch……tell us something we don’t already know



  23. Richard St. John :

    Hi Neil
    Laura mentioned my book ΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ…β€œ8 To Be Great.ΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ‚Β Congrats on reaching some success. The 8 things you mentioned may have helped you in small ways but I can tell you they’re not the big drivers for success. How do I know? Because I spent 10 years interviewing over 500 of the world’s most successful people in all fields (the Google Founders, Simpson’s creator Matt Groening, DNA discoverer James Watson, actor Russell Crowe, etc.) and then analyzed all the data to figure out what really leads to success. To see the top 8 success factors go to www.richardstjohn.com.

    I’m not saying some of the things you mention didn’t help you in little ways, but they’re not the big things that lead to success. For example, a high proportion of successful people come from small towns and out-of-the-way places that are not centrally located. Warren Buffett became the world’s richest man by living in Omaha, not exactly a world center. Small towns have fewer distractions so it’s easier to focus ΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ’β‚¬Ε“ and focus is one of the really big success factors. Hope this helps. Here’s to your success!

    Richard St. John

  24. I would sumarize this post almost by the last section: The key to success is taking risks, you can have the best connections inthe world or be the best speaker but if you don’t take risks you will never run the extra mile you need to be successful.

    Also there are other good places to be apart from Orange County πŸ™‚

    • Nice summary! There are so many people that are talented, but if they would just run that extra mile, they would be successful.

  25. olaito,oluyinka :

    Location is important, but I do believe blogging that is authoritative does more than others. Although, the age advantage can not be ignored.

  26. CCNA Training Videos :

    Telling it like it is will always be an admirable trait, as long as it’s tempered with tact. You can tell it like it is without offending people, which leads to another rule for attraction. People like to feel good about themselves (ego stroked as you mention).

    If people feel better when they’re around you than when they’re not, they’ll want to be around you… you’ll attract people rather than repel them, and it’s just logical to assume some of the people you attract will help you directly and indirectly.

    • Networking is a big part of my success. Not only should you meet new people on a regular basis, but you want them to want to be around you.

  27. this guy needs to move out of his house before he gives any advice on being successfull,u sound like a kid and u are one. you are a dummie, dont give advice. this is number 6 of your advice

    • I respect your opinion, but I feel that a lot of people have learned from my experiences. In many cases, what they learned has helped them become successful.

  28. I think I just found my new favorite quote: I have very little to lose, so I take risks whenever I can.

    I just realized that I stopped taking a lot of risks and that my growth has stalled. Not sure when I stopped, but I’m planning on starting to take risks again.

    • Best of luck on your risk taking. Keep in mind that it is a numbers game. The more risks you take, the greater chance that you will be successful.

  29. Programmer Developer :

    ALL good points there

    I would like to add some more/.. Spreading your knowledge is a very good thing. But you should not take the fun out of doing something of your own. So a little bit of advise is all that is required rather than elaborate step by step directions.

  30. I like the ideas.
    One that stuck out to me was your last point. I totally agree that taking risks is a bid part of the process.

    Good work.

  31. Hey, it is nice to see people like you who got success so early in life, not just because of plain luck but from real hard work. Only 3 factors(location,age & risk taking at early age) can be suitable to you only, People who are not like you, can apply your other 6 factors in their life and get success. Even I am not so successful in life, so i am going to bookmark this page and read it whenever i get time or need some motivation

    • I do think luck had a lot to do with it, but the main thing that lead to my success was that I never gave up.

  32. Motorcycles for sale :

    I think its very imp where you live, where u r surrounded by people and business.. You want to work with people who are smarter than you, so you can learn.
    N Nice 2 see people like you who got success so early in life, not just because of luck but from real hard work..:)

  33. John Harris :

    What a prick!

  34. ma halim chy :


    i am not success like you.i am doing blogging last one year.but i feel i learn more about internet which i can not learn last 20 years.blogging is very interesting way to learn different, different topic.and know many people in the world what they are doing.i need your advice.so keep it up.

  35. Lapis lazuli :

    Network is a big part of success.

  36. Guy McLaren :

    Pride comes to a fall, Arrogance is never pretty, Is this antagonistic enough you young whippersnapper. I have been successful and I have been a failure and kissing arse is never my idea of a pleasant time.

    PS Success is a lot nicer than failure

  37. Not all, just the ones in the richer areas. There are many sections of the OC that aren’t filled with plastic.

  38. Speaking the Truth is so Good. Makes my heart go lighter.

    The age part is what seems to lie with me. Well most of the times, being the youngest is helpful and the greatest advantage you have is that being young would get others advice you, you like it or not. And of those advices, you are surely going to benefit from few.

    • It’s really just a misconception…. age doesn’t have anything to do with it. Most millionaires become that after 40…obviously it applies to billionaires more so.

  39. I totally agree with what you said about taking risks. I am 21 and live at home while starting a business and working for a company in Mountain View. It’s hard telling people at work who have apartments in the city and a car, but knowing I can pay for college myself and save up the money for a down payment on a house (and never have to pay a landlord after that) is totally worth it. Furthermore, I’ve felt old my entire life and one day realized that NOW is the time to take risks. You’re dead on with this post! Thank you.

    Why not go out on a limb – isn’t that where all the fruit is?

  40. Hey Neil, this might seem like a really stupid question but could you give some tips on effective networking. For some reason I just cant find people who will help me. Sometimes people give me their cards and then thats the end of it, i e-mail them and never hear anything back. This one guy I made friends with and he said that he would help me get a job in the place he worked, but havent heard anything. I am a pretty confident guy, its just that I know I am doing something wrong. What are the dos and donts of networking. Please go into details if you can, pretend like I am a retard, lol

    • You can’t go around trying to get help from people… You need to change your approach. Find out what you can do for them… why are you valuable enough for them to help you?

      Answer that question and take on a new approach.

  41. great post, honesty is too important, people will respect you when they can tell you are for real

  42. Wow, you base your successfulness upon how much you talk and where you live. I sincerely hope you realise that it is not all about being young and talking ‘shit.’ It is people like you whose words have no intellectual content. It isn’t just about being young and about blogging. It is also about knowledge, intellect and wisdom and clearly, from your post, you have none.
    Never blog again, fool

    • Sorry you feel that. I didn’t mean to offend you and I hope that people can learn something from my experiences.


  43. Well, the only way you tuny indians can succeed in life is behind a computer, and sucking a lot of dick. Great post, very truthful

  44. i go for networking and speaking, because most of the people are creating business or friends network, also it helps to share the things.

  45. Yeah that’s why sometimes you should just look into buying older stuff so it wouldn’t take as long.

  46. I appreciate the way you have formatted your comments as well as the comments themselves. They are very good 8 reasons why you are successful and I am still learning to be successful, then again success can mean many things in different ways for everyone.
    Many people measure success by how much money they can earn and money in the bank while others determine success by the amount of joy and happiness they bring to others.
    For example holding a dieing persons hand at their bedside can mean a lot to the dieing person. Mentoring a young adult to make correct decisions in their lives.
    I appreciate number 2 because of my ability to persuade someone to action using analogys and possiblities.

    Networking and blogging seems to be an attraction for me to express myself to others but mainly to discover the inner qualities of others I come in contact with.
    I enjoy listening more than talking during a conversation.
    I’m a fan of Dale Carnegie material.

    • Sounds like you are on the right track. Networking and blogging are definitely vital tools in terms of long term success. Listening is also a vital tool, sounds like you are headed for success..if you haven’t attained it already!

    • Malignant Hypertension :

      I second that Richard.

  47. @ Neil,

    Speaking and Risk are the basic funda to became a sucessful man. If you are polite then everyone try to talk with you. And risk is in every business.

  48. Thanks Neil! im just starting to read your articles and somehow rather, i like the way you say things…no matter how!

  49. Malignant Hypertension :

    Hey Neil,

    today I visited this blog for the first time and It’s been over an hour and I’m still here.

    Your story and posts are just so much inspiring for a 19 year old like me.

    Thanks a lot of starting up quick sprout.

    and yeah you’re totally right about the ratio of successful people to that of unsuccessful..this is just because success takes hard work, smart work and a bit of luck.

    • Glad you enjoyed it.
      It’s good you are still young. It will allow for you to have more time to learn as much as you can before starting your own path.
      It’s all about trying, if you put yourself out there it is possible for you to succeed, and even if you fail it will allow for you to learn form your mistakes and start over again.
      This time with the knowledge of what works and what didn’t.

  50. Nilesh,

    I think you are fukin genius. I just came across your website today and am reading about you. I really admire you man. I wish I had your brains.


  51. Jameica Scott :

    Thank you for having this kind of link on the internet. I do enjoy reading this article and it helps me more to have an idea on how to become successful in life.

  52. marriage blog :

    i pretty much agree with you that if you are located in a a good location your business can grow manifolds as compared to a business located in a place which has no easy connectivity and approach for customers

  53. Online Mastering :

    yea success is obviously all about hard work. and when it comes to SEO, living at home can really help, since you can spend literally ALL of your time marketing.

  54. Nice post Neil. I think you hit the nail on the head with all tghese. Especially the part about blogging. The one reason people like this blog so much is because you keep it real.

  55. Jignesh Rathod :

    LOL I loved the title!

    But this title is just runner up– after this evergreen winner “An Open Challenge to Jason Calacanis”!! πŸ™‚

    Love you Neil.

  56. Hi Niel,

    I am a SEO- Executive in a company. Mujhe apki life ki ye biogarphy read karke bhut motivation mila h. Recentely our company ne 10 employees niklaal diye h β€œye bolkar ki hum off-page task close kr rhe h”. Sabhi bhut depration me h. Maine apki ye biography unke sath share ki h..So they are motivated now.

    If you have any suggestion for us for the future planning. Please share with us. Kya ab off-page ka futurre finish ho gya h???

    Kind Regards,
    Avtar Singh

  57. Cameron Hooper (@hbhcoaching) :

    Hey Neil, just letting you know that the end of this article contains visible code.

    P.S. Want to be more successful? click here.

    I know I love when people point out issues on my blog because that means they can be fixed so I figured I would do the same for you!

    But great article. I am in a similar situation in regards to the risks. I have very little to lose at this point so I have no excuse to take as many (calculated) risks as I can to hopefully get some degree of success to put a dent in those pesky student loans.

  58. You are great .You have ideas do that you can plan what you want to do . It also take time and patience to execute the ideas . I’m lacking in this field , I just wanted to get rich quick , but after trying some freelancing I got to know that there is no scheme like that And money not come easy way .
    thanks Neil You inspired me to create ideas which can work to bring online business to top .

    • Getting rich quick usually never works out the way you imagine it. It’s possible for you to achieve the success you desire faster than you think, but you’ll need to become clear about what you want.

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