Business Idioms 6: Success II

The word "success" written in the sand on a beach

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: 

Can you think of a famous success story? How is "success" defined in that context?


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

  1. ahead of the pack/curve—ahead of your competitors, a trend or a way of thinking.
  2. corner a market—gain control of the market for a commodity.
  3. from the ground up—from the very beginning; starting with the basics; from the foundations.
  4. go through the roof—rise very quickly.
  5. ground-breaking—innovative, pioneering.
A. B.
C. D.

A. Complete the anecdote

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

  1. When Apple released the iPhone, their competitors were still years away from making a competitive product. Apple was well... 
  2. The consultant made a thorough review of the client company structure and reported that the entire business was inefficient. The solution they recommended was that it needed to be completely rebuilt...
  3. The CFO was really worried. The project's budget was tight anyway, and another delay would mean that costs would...
  4. When a company has a monopoly on a product or service, it makes an enormous profit. So if you want to make a lot of money, develop a product and then...
  5. Innovation is one way to create a strong market identity. Brands that offer new, more advanced technology on a regular basis develop a reputation for being...

B. Discussion

Use idioms to discuss the following topics.

  1. Describe the development of a successful start-up.
  2. How can a company achieve and maintain a significant market share?
  3. What products made in your country are the most technologically advanced? 



NASA via Picryl
Kenneth Allen via
Phillip Pessar via Flickr
Neil Cummings via Flickr
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