What Are The Secrets To Success?

secrets to success

Written by Volker Ballueder

When being asked to write about success, I often answer ‘which bit’? It might sound arrogant, but success is a very wide topic which I have researched for many years.

I never did a PhD, but I didn’t give up learning after university, and I decided to do my own research projects over the years. One of them was about Principles for Success.

It all started when I had enough of writing my blog for over 10 years that I thought, why not interview successful people, and entrepreneurs in particular? My goal was to understand what success is all about. I started in 2018 and launched my podcast ‘Stories of Success’ and to date I have interviewed close to 100 people. On the back of it I also wrote a book summarising the key Principles of Success. This book is easy to read, bite sized, for anyone wanting to know more about the secrets of success.

Whenever we talk about success, one of the most common things associated with it is money. I write a whole chapter about money and success, as I think they go hand in hand. Yet no podcast guest ever admitted saying ‘I am doing it for the money’, and I believe that money is more of a by-product than the ultimate goal of success.


The Secrets To Success


What many underestimate is that, similar to your own success, if you want to build a company, you need to have a purpose for the company. The fundamental ‘why’ question of why you are doing anything. And as you build a business, you must be quite clear that it is a journey. Even Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is success. 

Often businesses and people that have the wider purpose of making a difference, improving the world we live in are more successful than others. It’s the purpose and reasoning behind it that makes them stand out and be more supported.



I often remind the businesses I consult with that the majority of start-ups fail, and that for success, you need a good handful of luck. Whether you meet the right investor, position it the right way, or spot the correct trend. Without a bit of luck, there isn’t much success.

I also look at soft skills essential to being successful. Whether that is the growth mindset of the entrepreneur or leader, EQ (Emotional Intelligence), or whether you learn from failure or surround yourself with the right people that push you forward. The right mentors and team members are crucial to make your journey and business successful.



We spoke about how important people and teams are, and one thing that came up over and over again is the trust you build with the team, amongst your employees, and across your leadership team in particular. Not only is diversity key to a good team, but the understanding of where you go, and how, and what the end goal is for the business or yourself. 


secrets to success


Automate Where You Can

All this goes hand in hand with principles important for your day to day - as a business or individual - and those are hard work, discipline and routines and habits. I have written about routines and habits before and the key is really to automate as much as you can, freeing up your head to think about the important things. However, there is a fine balance to also stay mindful of your success, as you don’t want to go on autopilot, missing the smaller details that can matter.



As anything in life, success is about balance. Whether that is work-life balance, avoiding burn-out, or having enough thinking time vs. doing time. Being able to review your actions regularly, and to be able to accept that sometimes you need to shut the door or go for a walk in order to decompress the information input, and process all of it.

Often businesses and people that have the wider purpose of making a difference, improving the world we live in are more successful than others. It’s the purpose and reasoning behind it that makes them stand out and be more supported.



We spoke about team and values earlier on. Values are not only essential for the entrepreneur themselves, but also for the team, resulting in the culture of success. The authentic leader, the one that is able to visualise success, and incorporates that in a daily routine, getting their team on board of their vision, that’s the one that will more likely succeed.

Yet when I say succeed, it comes down to you to decide what that looks like. Is it money, is it happiness, or what makes you go to bed at night and decide that you were successful. Whilst a lot of people think it’s the big car, the big house or the expensive watch, most entrepreneurs are driven to succeed by non monetary values of wanting to build something and make a difference in this world. Very simple and humble. 

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