Business Idioms 1: Success I

This lesson will focus on using a variety of expressions related to success.


This lesson will help you use these idioms describing success. You will also get a chance to talk about your own experiences.

Warm Up: 

What is your greatest professional achievement to date?


Please consider each expression and match them to the images. Your instructor has an example and a question regarding each one. 

  1. in the black—have money in the bank and not be in debt.
  2. keep your eye on the ball—give your attention to what you are doing at the time.
  3. gain ground—become more popular or successful.
  4. a win-win situation—a situation that is good for everyone who is involved.
  5. be on a roll—be experiencing a period of success or good luck.
  6. the sky’s the limit—there is no limit to what can be gained or achieved. 
A. B.
C. D.
E. F.

A. Complete the anecdote

Read each section and choose an appropriate idiom from the list above.

  1. Janice worked very hard on her investment portfolio and made a profit 10 months in a row. She was really...
  2. Luigi’s company introduced a unique new product 18 months ago. They finally started making profits and managed to repay their loans. Now the company is once again...
  3. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many companies asked their staff to work from home. As a result, companies avoid a lot of daily expenses and staff save time by not commuting. It’s really... 
  4. Ahmal's company was slow to market with a key product, so their competitor had first-mover advantage. However, they just recently came to market with a superior product, so they are now gradually…
  5. Hakim was fired from his accounting position because he consistently made small, careless mistakes. He wouldn’t have lost his job if he had…
  6. The day she started work at Google, Cora’s new boss told her there was nothing she couldn’t achieve with the company. He said: “If you’re prepared to work hard,…

B. Discussion

Use idioms to discuss the following topics.

  1. What advice would you give to someone who wants to be successful?
  2. What are the characteristics of a successful CEO?
  3. Which areas of industry will be the most successful in the future?



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