An easy way to define strategy would be to consider it as "the route that leads you to your goals". In other words, by applying a successful strategy you should be able to get from point A (the current situation) to point B which represents the desired state of things, where you'll have reached your goals. So, what are the characteristics of a successful strategy?
a) A successful strategy is one that works! If something does not work, change it! In fact, this is more easily said than done. Companies, professionals, people often get stuck in unsuccessful, lousy strategies and practices, because they are reluctant to try out something new. Being flexible is important!
b) A successful strategy should be relatively simple and easy! Complicated things rarely work. People want simple things that require a minimum effort. You should be able to describe your main business strategy in no more than 150 words; follow the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Short and Simple) principle.
c) It doesn't have to be difficult! We have a general belief (acquired from our life learnings) that good things are difficult to be achieved. Yes, it is true that serious effort and method are required in every endeavor. Yet, it does not necessarily have to be that difficult! As Deepak Chopra said "flowers do not struggle to blossom, they just do it", "the sun does not make an effort to rise...". Things in nature are happening naturally, obeying to the principle of cause-and-effect. Therefore, if you follow the right steps, success will come!
d) It has to be clever! A clever strategy takes into account human needs, customers' preferences, and environmental factors as well (macroeconomics, competition, technical, legal, political limitations etc). In other words, a clever strategy should offer something of value to people while taking into account the "rules of the game" and respecting them. Therefore, the first question to address would be "how is my product satisfying peoples' needs?", "to what extent?", "how clients are going to be benefited?".
e) A clever strategy should have an element of uniqueness. Although, one should acknowledge the principles of marketing, consumer behavior and follow appropriate accounting practices, this is not enough! To skyrocket your business you have to think deeper and come up with an idea, solution, method, product, services, style, message or marketing tactic that makes a difference!
f) A successful strategy must follow the evolutionary rules of (Darwin's) natural selection: what you are doing should have a unique trait that helps others survive their "struggle for existence". Hence, your product or service should be valuable to the society as a whole, not only a money making mechanism aimed to satisfy your own needs!
g) A successful strategy should be "love based". It may sound too sentimental or romantic, but if you take some time to reflect on the idea of love, you will discover its power! Your products will be nothing more than mere "devices' and your services useless, if love is not instilled in them. If you talk to your customers showing no interest, empathy and understanding they will sense it, thus being reluctant to purchase. Remember: what clients actually buy is the positive energy your product or service accommodates.
h) Add a personal element! A successful strategy should be an expression of your talents, unique gifts, strengths, and experience. It should be based on the bright side of your personality: your positive self combining knowledge and expertise along with passion and creativity.