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5 success secrets of celebrities

Updated: Sep 13, 2011 02:15 PM EDT
Celebs work hard: stars like Courteney Cox often put in 18-hour days shooting their TV shows. (©PRNewsFoto/PBS KIDS Sprout, Andreas Branch/Patrick McMullan Company) Celebs work hard: stars like Courteney Cox often put in 18-hour days shooting their TV shows. (©PRNewsFoto/PBS KIDS Sprout, Andreas Branch/Patrick McMullan Company)


By Anne Marie O'Connor

From Bright Smile Beautiful You 

Yes, stars look great. Yes, they're charming. And yes, they have talent. But it takes a lot more than that to have a successful career and life in Hollywood. Our experts evaluate five famous faces and what they did to achieve their goals.

Celebrities Have a Dream

Beyonce had always wanted to be a performer. That dream has governed her life, from helping her form her first group at just 9 years old to releasing her first solo album in 2003 and her most recent one, 4. "Successful people are driven, which allows them to make a total commitment to their dreams," says Marc Fenton, a life coach at Empire Life Coaching in New York.

Fortunately, there's no expiration date on aspirations, so you can follow yours no matter what your age. But you do need to set a specific goal and plot out the steps needed to achieve it. If you're having trouble sticking to the plan, try networking -- both online and in person. A mentor can give you advice, guidance and feedback.

Celebrities Work Hard

Despite their glamorous lifestyles, celebs actually toil at their craft a lot. "Many of them have workaholic tendencies," says Andrea Syrtash, a life coach and advice columnist in New York. Television stars like Courteney Cox often put in 18-hour days shooting. "But even pretty faces can't just show up," says Fenton. You have to be driven and willing to work hard to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals, he says. If you love what you're doing, as most celebrities do, it won't really seem like work and therefore it will be easier to invest the time.

Celebrities Create Their Own Opportunities

Smart people pounce on opportunity, even if it's not a traditional path to success, says Fenton. Elisabeth Hasselback wasn't experienced in broadcast journalism but managed to land a chair on "The View" after a stint on "Survivor." Bethenny Frankel parlayed her role on "The Real Housewives of New York City" into best-selling books and a line of pre-mixed cocktails, as well as her own series, Bethenny Ever After.

We can learn from their examples. "Two women in Vermont made simple brownies that are a global sensation," says Fenton. Shawna Lidsky and Katherine Hayward, co-founders of Vermont Brownie Co., may never have had a chance to be pastry chefs at a four-star restaurant (a more typical aspiration), but they found a way to create their own success.

Celebrities Make Their Health a Priority

Sure, the main reason celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow eat their veggies and hit the gym is so they look great on the big screen or the red carpet. But Paltrow also knows that eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising help her stay healthy overall, a quest she chronicles on her website, Goop.com. "Like all mothers, Paltrow has a lot of juggling to do," says Syrtash. "But eating well, sleeping well and exercising contributes to your mental health and helps you have the physical and emotional stamina to keep going."

Celebrities Build Support Systems

To find strength and confidence, it's important to have someone in your life who makes you feel like your best self, not who you look good with. Julia Roberts, like many stars, dated a string of celebrities but only found lasting love when she started dating an unknown cameraman, Danny Moder. "She has said in interviews that they have great communication and that they're growing together," observes Andrea Syrtash, who has also written He's Just Not Your Type.

In contrast, some women date men who have big personalities. They like attention, they're flirtatious, but they may not be focused on the woman's needs. 

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Anne Marie O'Connor has been a writer and editor for 12 years, during which time she has covered a variety of topics, including health, beauty, fashion and general lifestyle. She has contributed to Shape, Fitness, InStyle, Allure and Glamour among other national titles.

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