“Action speaks louder than words,” said Mark Twain. “But not nearly as often.”
Twain was a brilliant writer about the obvious. “Clothes make the man. Naked people have very little influence on society.” Also, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Brilliant, but obvious.
The concept of “secrets to success” has been around for ages, with countless books, seminars, videos, movies, and articles written on the subject. Yet, many in our society feel that real success is shrouded in mystery for the benefit and profit of wizards or only those with a special “success” ingredient they don’t possess: luck, a willingness to take advantage of others, a skill or talent you were born with.
Truth be told, this is all nonsense. It’s a lame excuse people use for their failure to achieve and get ahead in whatever their chosen endeavor is. Over and over again, as I interact with, interview, and study successful people, like this month’s cover story on Magic Johnson, I’m again reminded how mundane, ordinary, and obvious the path to success in anything truly is.
Of course some people have advantages in certain ways. It certainly helps that Magic Johnson was tall, but that in itself doesn’t guarantee he would be the stellar basketball player, athlete, and entrepreneur that he became. In the same way, it helps that I like to write, but it doesn’t guarantee I’d build a multimillion-dollar business and media company from scratch, having the ability to write sales materials (campaigns) that have produced millions.
One of the most unpopular ideas in our society to utter is that some people deserve the miserable conditions they get. They refuse to work hard, study, read, and apply themselves. No, not everyone has what it takes to be a Magic Johnson, but everyone certainly can do things to make their life, health, relationships, and finances better, but do they?
I’ve been in the “success” industry for over 30 years, 20 in the specific endeavor of helping MSPs with marketing, and here’s what I can tell you. My biggest challenge is coming up with new “wrappers” or ways of discussing, presenting, and teaching OLD core principles of success. The truth is that there aren’t that many “new” ways to succeed. New businesses? Yes. New innovations? Of course. But the core principles of marketing, selling, time management, leading a team, and providing service and value are all the SAME. This is why so many people jump from guru to guru and success book to success book seeking the path, but simply end up jumping around like a grasshopper with hemorrhoids getting nowhere fast.
If you want to achieve more in any area, have a look in the mirror. If you’re jealous of others’ success because you feel it was undeserved or that life has been unfair and held you back, be ashamed. Stop looking for a hack, a trick, or an easy path — get to work on you, doing the fundamentals, and you’ll be shocked at the ‘Magic’.