- He chose a profession that used his innate skills and interests. He always has been a "science geek" which helped spur him towards a career in medicine. What are your skills, aptitudes, and interests? If you spend your career chasing a goal that you have no natural ability or passion for, it will be an uphill battle and you will probably end up miserable.
- He decided on a goal (becoming a doctor) and stuck with it until it was achieved. Many people have plans and goals but most don't stick with them until they are reached. Do you have clear goals that you work towards diligently until they are reached?
- He chose a profession that is necessary and in demand. Many professions are subject to the whim of the economy (car manufacturing, construction, stock trading) and are not critically necessary, while others (doctors, lawyers, nurses) are both in demand and necessary no matter what the economy is doing. People can skip the restaurant and cook at home but they can't perform surgery or dental work on themselves. Is your profession both necessary and in demand?
- He chose a profession that requires specialized knowledge, skills, and training. The difference between a burger flipper and a surgeon is the knowledge, skills, and training that are required to be successful. Generally a job that requires a couple of months of training is much less valuable than a job that requires a decade of training. Do you have specialized knowledge, skills, and training that separates you from the masses?
- He has multiple sources of income. There are many ways to spin a profession off into different types of money-making opportunities including doing, teaching, and writing. If you are a plumber, you could do actual plumbing but you could also write articles or books on the subject, teach classes on the subject, and maybe even have a TV show on the HG network.
- He works. Hard. I know a range of very successful people and they are always doing something. Most watch little if any TV, they don't spend all day doing useless things on the computer, and they don't spend the day attached to their Wii. What they spend their time doing includes reading, increasing their skills and knowledge through classes and conferences, and sharing knowledge with others.
- He has made many sacrifices. The successful people I know have sacrificed sleep, college parties, money (in the early years), fun (wild spring break vacations usually aren't even on the radar), a social life, and many other things to reach their goals.
- He makes time for other important things in his life such as family, vacations, golf, and learning the latest tech. All work and no play, you know...
Anyway, you get the idea. This isn't to say that everyone can or even should strive for the heights of wealth and acclaim that certain careers provide. I thoroughly appreciate my postman, car mechanic, and the lady that serves coffee at church, however if this is something you seek, there is no "secret" that you need to be let in on. Common sense, a clear path, hard work, and some thought towards the needs of the market place will take you as far as you want to go.