Passion, focus and hard work. Sounds like a recipe for success, right?
Think again. In fact, when it comes to achieving real, runaway greatness, the well-versed trope isn't even the half of it.
That's according to wealth expert and best-selling author Robert Frank. In his almost two decades studying the world's wealthy entrepreneurs, most recently as CNBC's wealth editor, Frank said he's identified the three traits that actually unite top founders like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk — and they're a far cry from the old cliches.
So what are the traits and how can you replicate them?
First up, top founders are blindly ignorant to the problem they're seeking to solve, said Frank. That means they think outside of the box and are undeterred by the failings of those who have tried before them.
"The reason that Jeff Bezos reinvented retailing is because he didn't start out at Macy's. The reason that Elon Musk has reinvented cars is because he didn't start out at GM (General Motors)," said Frank.
"All these guys tell me the best thing they brought to reinventing their industry and starting a brand new disruptor was (that) they didn't know what couldn't be done in that industry," he added.
Next, they are obsessed with their idea — regardless of what others say.
"When you have an idea and you see the vision for that idea, everyone will tell you that it's the wrong idea. If they tell you the opposite, you know it's not going to be a winning idea," explained Frank.
But it's that absolute dedication amid adversity that keeps them focused and enables them to reach the end goal, he said.
"These guys," said Frank, referring to famous founders, "are almost obsessive compulsive personalities: When they get onto something, they just can't let it go."
3) Desire to do things differently
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they absolutely want to do things differently, said Frank.
"A lot of these people, everything they look at they try to figure out how you could do it differently," he continued. "Whether it's a coffee cup or whatever they're doing, they're always looking for a different way to do it."
That's not necessarily something that can be learned or practiced, he said.
"There are just some people who are naturally like that," Frank noted. "They're like: 'How else could you do this?'"