By Anne Marie O’Connor for I love my kids & Completely You
Yes, stars look great. Yes, they’re charming. And yes, they have talent. But it takes a lot more than that to have a successful career and life in Hollywood. Our experts evaluate five famous faces and the secrets of success they applied to achieve their goals.
Success Secret No. 1: Celebrities have a dream.
Beyonce had always wanted to be a performer. That dream has governed her life, from helping her form her first group at just 9 years old to releasing her first solo album in 2003. “Successful people are driven, which allows them to make a total commitment to their dreams,” says Marc Fenton, a life coach at Empire Life Coaching in New York City.
Fortunately, there’s no expiration date on aspirations, so you can follow yours no matter what your age. But you do need to set a specific goal and plot out the steps you need to take to achieve success. If you’re having trouble sticking to the plan, try networking — both online and in person. A mentor can give you advice, guidance and feedback.
Success Secret No. 2: Celebrities work hard.
Despite their glamorous lifestyles, celebrities actually toil at their craft a lot. “Many of them have workaholic tendencies,” says Andrea Syrtash, a life coach and advice columnist in New York City. Television stars like Courteney Cox often put in 18-hour days shooting. “But even pretty faces can’t just show up,” says Fenton. You have to be driven and willing to work hard to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals, he says. If you love what you’re doing, as most celebrities do, it won’t really seem like work and therefore it will be easier to invest the time and find success.
Success Secret No. 3: Celebrities create their own opportunities.
Smart people pounce on opportunity, even if it’s not a traditional path to success, says Fenton. Elisabeth Hasselbeck wasn’t experienced in broadcast journalism but managed to land a chair on “The View” after a stint on “Survivor.” Bethenny Frankel parlayed her role on “The Real Housewives of New York City” into best-selling books and a line of premixed cocktails, as well as her own series, “Bethenny Ever After.”
We can learn from these examples. “Two women in Vermont made simple brownies that are a global sensation,” says Fenton. Shawna Lidsky and Katherine Hayward, co-founders of Vermont Brownie Co., may never have had a chance to be pastry chefs at a four-star restaurant (a more typical aspiration), but they found a way to create their own success.
Success Secret No. 4: Celebrities make their health a priority.
Sure, the main reason celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow eat their veggies and hit the gym is so they look great on the big screen or the red carpet. But Paltrow also knows that eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising help her stay healthy overall, a quest she chronicles on her website, Goop.com. “Like all mothers, Paltrow has a lot of juggling to do,” says Syrtash. “But eating well, sleeping well and exercising contributes to your mental health and helps you have the physical and emotional stamina to keep going.”
Success Secret No. 5: Celebrities build support systems.
To find strength and confidence, it’s important to have someone in your life who makes you feel like your best self, not who you look good with. Julia Roberts, like many stars, dated a string of celebrities but only found lasting love when she started dating an unknown cameraman, Danny Moder. “She has said in interviews that they have great communication and that they’re growing together,” observes Syrtash, who has also written He’s Just Not Your Type. In contrast, some women date men who have big personalities. These men like attention, they’re flirtatious, but they may not be focused on the woman’s needs.
Share your biggest secrets of success below