A self-described average guy who found success doing what he loved, Richard St. John spent more than a decade researching the lessons of success — and distilling them into 8 words, 3 minutes and one successful book.

Why you should listen

Richard St. John was on his way to the TED conference when a girl on the plane asked him, "What really leads to success?" Even though he had achieved some success, he couldn't explain how he did it. So he spent the next ten years researching success and asking over 500 extraordinarily successful people in many fields what helped them succeed. After analyzing, sorting, and correlating millions of words of research, and building one of the most organized databases on the subject of success, he discovered "The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common" and wrote the bestseller 8 To Be Great.

In his books and talks,he shares a wealth of wisdom from the world's most successful people -- knowledge that can help others succeed in their own way, whether it's escaping poverty, building a business, raising a family, or changing the world.

What others say

“It's so great. It's such a boost of confidence. This book really gives you a lot of self-esteem about who you are, and that you really can be somebody.” — Thomas Fischer, Habitat for Humanity

More news and ideas from Richard St. John

Live from TED

Creative ignition: A recap of Session 7 of TED2015

March 18, 2015

Bill T. Jones performs a collaborative improv with music from cellist Joshua Roman and vocalist Somi, at TED2015: Truth and Dare, Session 7. Photo: Bret Hartman/TED Where does creativity come from? In Session 7 of TED2015, we explore its bounds in design, art, dance, music, data visualizations and urban planning. Stay beginners. “As humans, we get used […]

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"Success is a continuous journey": Richard St. John on TED.com

June 12, 2009

In his typically candid style, Richard St. John reminds us that success is not a one-way street. He uses the story of his business’ rise and fall to illustrate a valuable lesson — when we stop trying, we fail. (Recorded at TED U 2009, February 2009, in Long Beach, California. Duration: 3:58) Watch Richard St. […]

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Top 10 people I should talk to at TED

February 6, 2009

We don’t know what’s in the secret sauce of the “top 10 people you should talk to at TED” algorithm, but attendee Richard St. John knows it’s something good. He writes: “I almost fell off my chair when I saw the list of the “Top 10 People I should talk to at TED.” The TED […]

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