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The 6 Traits that Make You a Smart Person

Listen to Best in Wealth Podcast Episode 199

What are the 6 traits that make you a smart person? Why is it important to exhibit these traits? “Smart” used to mean having access to information or memorizing endless facts and figures. That is an outdated belief. I believe that smart, ambitious, and hard-working people focus on soft skills. In this episode of Best in Wealth, I will share the 6 traits I think define a smart person. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:10] Surround yourself with smart people
  • [2:58] What does it mean to be smart?
  • [5:48] Trait #1: The ability to read the room
  • [8:25] Trait #2: Fast decision-making
  • [10:59] Trait #3: Learn to save time
  • [14:35] Trait #4: The power of self-awareness
  • [16:22] Trait #5: Personal responsibility 
  • [18:15] Trait #6: Remove ego from leadership
  • [20:21] Memorization and access to information

Trait #1: The ability to read the room

Can you tell if someone loves you OR cannot stand you? The ability to read a room and assess how individuals are acting around you is paramount. If you can read a room, it allows you to better develop relationships and avoid conflict. 

The best part is that this is an acquired skill that anyone can learn. Learning to read body language and facial expressions helps you know where you stand. I have seen too many college-aged kids who act like they know everything but if they could read the room they were in, they would not be so confident. They would be better served spending more time building relationships. 

Trait #2: How to make decisions quickly 

The average person is a slow-moving dinosaur. If you ask them to make a decision, they hesitate, get overwhelmed, call their husband or wife, and need days or weeks to think something over. It is a slow process in an unforgivingly fast-paced world.

If you cannot make a decision quickly, someone else will make it for you. Tim Ferriss uses a pros/cons list to make every decision. Write down your options then use logic, your gut, and courage to make a decision. Remember, not making a decision is still a decision. 

You cannot be afraid to make decisions quickly and make mistakes. Why? In the book, “Creativity, Inc.” Ed Catmull talks about failing fast and early.  Make mistakes now so you get better with decision-making as time goes on. 

Trait #3: Learn to save time

No one has the time to spend on everything they need to do and know. Thanks to technology, people who can save us time are valuable. It’s why we buy online courses. They bring information together in an easily digestible format so you can take it in quickly. You can dig deep and find the scattered information and bring it together—but it costs you time. There are apps, courses, and systems for organizing and doing. Leverage them to your advantage. 

Trait #4: The power of self-awareness

Reflect on your strengths, flaws, and everything in-between. Knowing yourself lays the foundation to build these traits. People, books, and courses can help you get there. My go-to resource is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” How do you become more self-aware? Write down your beliefs. Write down your values. Spend time auditing yourself against your standards and be truthful.

Trait #5: Personal responsibility 

Own your responsibility and do not place the blame on others. The victim mentality is epidemic. Institutions and governments have taught us all to be victims and think we have been oppressed based on petty human traits. And when you live as a victim, you blame all of your problems on someone else. You live without accountability. You will never be strong if everything is someone else’s fault. 

But there is always something you can do. Stop outsourcing your happiness to excuses. If you own your problems—even if you did not create them—you unlock personal power and reach a level of success in life that most normal people could not dream of. 

Trait #6: Remove ego from leadership

You have to be proactive and responsible. You have to care for and serve your subordinates, customers, readers, and family. People celebrate mediocrity. They want to be seen doing the right thing but do not follow through. They give fake compliments. They obsess over status and job titles. People brag about how much money they are making. The so-called “desirable traits” defined by modern leadership exist to feed your ego and make you feel special. What is real leadership? Listen to hear my thoughts. 

Resources Mentioned

Connect With Scott Wellens

Podcast Disclaimer:

The Best In Wealth Podcast is hosted by Scott Wellens. Scott Wellens is the principal at Fortress Planning Group. Fortress Planning Group is a registered investment advisory firm regulated by the Securities Act of Wisconsin in accordance and compliance with securities laws and regulations. Fortress Planning Group does not render or offer to render personalized investment or tax advice through the Best In Wealth Podcast. The information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, tax, investment or legal advice.