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  3 Controversial Traits You Need to Succeed

Jul 23rd

3 Controversial Traits You Need to Succeed

Personal, Productivity, Success

Through my achievements in headhunting and real estate investing, I quit the corporate rat race to start my coaching business, Dandan Global. Many of my colleagues, friends, and followers ask me what has propelled me to success. My advice is not what you'll hear in most cookie-cutter articles.

Based on my personal experience, here are 3 Controversial Traits You Need to Succeed. This has been what's worked for me, and it may work for you.

1. Be as aggressive as you aren't comfortable with. Constantly, candidates, clients, strangers, friends, and family call me "aggressive", "pushy", "bossy". I also get called "go-getter", "powerwoman", "someone who's going places". What one person sees as a negative trait, others find exciting and different. If I weren't as aggressive in every aspect of my life, I would not be where I am today. For the most part, my aggressiveness and quick reaction time, NOT my technical knowledge, made things happen. 

TIP: No one will garner success for you the way your aggressive side will. If you prefer to take the "highroad", sit in the back of the classroom/boardroom to let others have a better view, and "stay above it", don't be upset when someone else snatches opportunities from right under your nose, because they will. You snooze, you lose. As you get older, the only difference is that your opportunity costs increase because your time to accomplish something is decreasing at a faster rate. The stakes are higher than ever. It sounds scary, but it's utterly true. Aggression is how the go-getters get the deals you sat out on. 

2. Cultivate Arrogance and Self-promotion. Woah, woah, woah, but humility is virtue! WRONG! Not in today's world and I don't believe it worked in the past either. There is an abundance of people and information in today's hyper-connected ecosystem. You can SHOUT and still be ignored, buried under others shouting harder. According to Google, here's one definition of arrogant.

Is "having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance/abilities" evil, wrong, or "bad"? No! In fact, some would argue, that definition applies to the word, Marketing! If you're an expert in your field, I'd expect you to be arrogant about your capabilities compared to others. If you couldn't sell me on why you're different or special, why in the world should I hire you or work with you?

Every time you meet someone you deem "arrogant", a little part of you is probably jealous that they have such an inflated sense of themselves almost to a point of delusion. Well, that's what success needs to thrive! Look at all the great entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and business people from past to present. Even the greatest philosophers/pacifists are arrogant and believe their voice deserves to be heard!

Arrogance is another word for "extreme confidence". If I wasn't arrogant, I would not have succeeded in creating an executive search practice where I recruited and negotiated offers for C-level executives, most of whom were almost double my age! Convince yourself to believe in your power, charisma, and value as a thought-leader and high-performer in your field. People who recognize your potential will treat you like an equal. I guarantee you will see the results of your arrogance!

TIP: Likability is the key to successful arrogance. We like confident people, and they inspire us. I admire likable people who are accomplished and they know it.

True arrogance is an internal frame of mind where you believe in yourself completely. Most importantly, DELIVER. If you had the guts to say it, now make it come true.

3. Have your own opinion - your personal beliefs trumps advice from anyone else. In our childhood, peer pressure sucked. It has even more dire consequences once you become an adult. When all your friends are getting married, you start feeling the pressure to join them. When people all start buying houses, even if it's a real estate bubble, you still will sign-up for a mortgage that exceeds the maximum rental value of your home. Bubbles exist based on herd mentality, and those on the tail end always bear the brunt of it. 


If everyone is scared of investing in certain geographies, it means there are deals to be had. Every time I hear about violence and riots, I'm always the first to start looking into those markets. It's always the first-mid adopters/innovators that accumulate most of the profits. Always go against the current. We can choose our own destiny separate from the herd.

TIP: Seek advice, and question people with knowledge across all fields. However, at the end of the day, make your ultimate decision based on your meticulous research, factual evidence, market response, and personal experience. 

Subscribe to the DAILY DANDAN Podcast for more free tips on job search!

For more professional and personal branding advice, read: 

3 Mental Hacks to Approach Job Search

3 Networking Hacks

3 Ways to Achieve Life-Work Alignment

3 Ways to Improve Your Online Etiquette

3 Steps to Describe Yourself Effectively in 30 Seconds (Or Less!)

3 Common Abuses of LinkedIn

3 Ways to Cope With People Who Let You Down

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