The One Quality that Separates Doers from Dreamers


What separates the people who are very successful in reaching their goals from the people who aren’t? In my experience, it comes down to one quality: being relentless in the pursuit of excellence. 

For me, this means both producing amazing quality work and working really hard to get ahead. I’m not alone in thinking this—many of the greats have reflected on how these qualities have contributed to their success. My girl Oprah, for example, often talks about how her own hard work and pursuit of excellence is what got her to where she is today.

Last year, I had a dark and difficult moment when I was in the thick of writing my book. I was writing while continuing to run my business full-time—I was still managing my team of employees and travelling the world for speaking engagements. I squeezed writing into every free moment I had (on planes, during evenings and weekends) and I even gave up sleep to pull all-nighters on a few occasions. I was exhausted, sleep deprived, and emotionally spent.

It was during one of these all-nighters that I had a revelation. It was 3am, and I was sitting in my kitchen, slogging my way through what felt like the millionth round of edits on my manuscript. I was feeling sorry for myself, feeling like my life sucked, and I started crying. In that moment, I really wanted to give up.

But instead, I took several deep breaths, and I gave myself a pep talk, which included a whole bunch of “You can do this!” Towards the end of the pep talk, I told myself something really insightful: “You know what? A lot of people want to write a book—but right now, those people are sleeping! And you’re not—you’re up writing your book. You will be rewarded, and the Universe will provide. So keep writing!”

It took all I had in me to stay awake and continue working—but I did it. That’s relentlessness. And eventually, (after a few more all-nighters and a ton of hard work) I was rewarded with a bestselling book that I know is helping thousands of people to live more authentically.

I have worked really hard to achieve all that I have earned in my life so far. Very little was handed to me on a silver platter—and in fact, as a woman of color, that silver platter continues to be perpetually out of reach.

This has meant that, because I deeply believe in my personal mission to create a more empowered and inclusive world, I don’t have the option to take my foot off the gas pedal if I want to make an impact. I’m constantly working at it.

Not everyone needs to pull all-nighters to get ahead, but if you want to reach your goals, you must do whatever it takes. If you want something, you have to work your ass off to make it happen. And if you get a no, you switch directions and you keep going.

My advice to you? Keep trying, keep reaching, keep working, and never give up.