In Career

The #1 Personality Trait that’s the Key to Success: Conscientiousness

I’ve always been interested in learning what makes other people successful, and what makes them tick.

I hear a lot of words being thrown around to describe these people:





….but it never really fits every successful person to their core. There are some who are fearless and risk-taking, and others who abhorred risk.

Then I read: How children succeed by Paul Tough:

…where Tough states that the #1 personality trait present in successful people is being conscientious.

That means you are efficient, organized, neat and systematic.

I should also mention that people who are really conscientious even as kids, may only succeed in such rigid school systems that deem you are a success based on your grades for instance.

That said, there are other outliers who succeed outside of such educational systems (some not ever having been able to hack it), but they are always conscientious about their work — which was their passion.

Being conscientious doesn’t have to only apply to a school setting.

Anyway, when I read that, I groaned because I am not 100% any of those things, even though I try my hardest. It may SEEM like I am on the outside, but if I were to really judge myself honestly, I’d be about at the level of 75%.

I’ve always thought that I had at least 25% more left to improve in that area.

Someone whom I consider extremely conscientious is BF. He could have been born a German, he is so stereotypically so in personality!

Then it hit me — the one thing he does admit is a failing of his, is that he cannot be creative and imaginative, and that, is my missing 25%.

I can’t be 100% efficient because I have a few loose screws that help my creativity and imagination. I’m not rigid in my thought or my process, and that’s how I sometimes find those unorthodox solutions to the tough problems.

With that, I’m happy with my mix.

Conscientious or Imaginative? What percentage would you like of each?

Share Tweet Pin It +1

Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

You may also like

Nobody works as a team any more..

Posted on December 18, 2018

Previous PostCoco (Gabrielle) Chanel - Widly Successful and Financially Independent
Next PostFreelancers should treat themselves like a business


  1. MelD

    Although interesting, I think there are too many variables.
    And anyway, being a little pedantic, I wonder how “success” is defined… that can vary immensely, too! Money, status? Personally, I find those sad, but give me someone who lives life to the full whatever (or despite) their income… We all define it differently, don’t we?

    My husband has always prided himself on his ability to multitask and see all kinds of angles at the same time – now he has heard about ADD/ADHD, he figures that may well have been his “problem” as a child, and yet it was to his advantage in the business world over the straight thinkers. It rather depends on what spin you put on a particular characteristic.

    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      How brilliant of him to use what is considered to us a “disability” to his advantage. It made him more creative, perhaps! He embraced it rather than letting it rule his life and forcing it under “control” with drugs.

  2. maria@moneyprinciple

    I am on the imaginative side, I have to say. To cope with the lack of discipline and the fact that I am nearly hopeless finisher, I had to develop routines and trick myself in following them. Anchoring helped. But yes, a lot of research shows that to succeed one ought to continue trying.

    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Your method of tricking yourself is a sign of conscientiousness I think. It means you’re aware that you can’t really finish tasks, so you lie to yourself to get it done.

  3. cj

    I am absolutely shocked, given this article’s info and the people I have met, that there aren’t far fewer successful people in this world. Perhaps there are far fewer than I perceive and then this article makes perfect sense. Have a nifty one, Mochimac!!!


Leave a Reply

In a nutshell…

Save. Spend. Splurge.
[ wealth. style. minimalism. ]


MOST DEBT: cleared $60K in 18 months

MONEY: Hit $1M personal net worth At 36

NEW GOAL: $1M in invested assets


HATES: being late & lazy people

SOCIAL: Instagram @saverspender

DRINKS: homemade matcha lattes

SLEEPS: on a 100% cotton U.S.-made futon

WRITES: Books (also available on Amazon).

BEAUTY: swears by Paula’s Choice


…but you can read more about me , browse my index of posts, or get in touch with me, talk to me directly on Instagram, and of course, ask me anything here.

$35 The Wealth Building Tool

Like a Boss Library (Sherry’s Books)

Referral Codes

Free Money Surveys
[ Use this link ]

[ saverspender ]

Shopping Cashback
[ Use this link ]

Clothing Resale


Private Lending
[ 7b03f0 ]

No-Fee Banking
[ 32726976S1 ]

Discount Brokerage
[ o0soehds ]

Social media scheduler
[ saverspender ]

Blog Ad Network
[ Use this link ]


Save. Spend. Splurge. uses affiliate links from Shopstyle, and Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to or ShopStyle. In addition to these, any referrals on the page will result in revenue if used such as BlueHost.

In English: If you click on a link, I could get a small commission, typically a few cents. And if you use a referral code, I could get anywhere from $10 – $70 for it. Thank you for your kind support!

Also, I am not a professional investment advisor or money manager by any means.

I am just a woman who loves money, talking about money, and making money.

All opinions expressed on this blog are personal and for entertainment value. Take them with a grain of salt and always consult a professional when in doubt.