That got your attention.
We see these suggestions all the time… “5 ways in which you can be successful”, “15 ways to be the next billionaire”. Fantastic… I have so many ideas about how I can be the next Warren Buffett it is incredible. However, whilst I am living the dream I am, alas not Mr Buffett Mk 2 (in reality nor would I want to be, but that is another story…). My personal favourite is how to be successful like Richard Branson (or any other great entrepreneur of our time).
If you stop and think about it, a number of things spring to mind. Firstly, the next time I am in 1972 and want to set up a record business, armed with this advice I am very clear how I am going to be able to emulate Mr Branson’s achievements. Of course we know this isn’t going to happen as only one person had this opportunity at a point in time (lets ignore the time travel aspect for now). We extrapolate forward and tell ourselves that this advice is going to be invaluable. Maybe it will. But, maybe this should be BUT, what makes us think that the unique set of circumstances that transpired which allowed him to take path D to riches and fame, being in the right place at the right time, is going to come again or even that the advice will work next time? The world moves on, society is different, business is different. Yet we really love those success in business tips.
It is somewhat of a truism that self-help books don’t help. Whilst many people gain valuable and life changing insight from self-directed learning, the self-help market is burgeoning. If a self-help book worked, there would not be any more of them on the bookshelves. So what is going on? Pick a few lists and look at the similarities. They all boil down to the same key things. (1) That goals without action are just dreams. (2) Whilst you are sitting there, someone else will get their foot in the door. (3) You will fail, but character and success is defined by people who persist – Old Chinese proverb; fall down 9 times, stand 10.
So in the end, it is not rocket science. “How to conquer the world in 7 easy steps” may give you a game plan, but its not the game. Lets not over criticise either, as these lists serve a purpose – they remind us that time waits for no man. I have seen many lists about emulating the success of Richard Branson, Alan Sugar etc. However I never saw one that they wrote in person. Perhaps they want to keep the magic to themselves, perhaps the magic is actually to get out there and DO?
Do you have dreams that are not being fulfilled or are you struggling to get out there and DO? Do you know someone who is having these issues. As a coach, I have a lot of experience in helping clients overcome these sorts of issues. I you think I can help, give me a call.