Don’t read any success stories…or read loads of them!

Most of us are brought up with the idea that you can have success* if you just work hard enough. Or if you follow some kind of recipe, as if success can be cooked up like a good meal. In my opinion, it can’t. There is no doubt that dedication, passion and hard work can help you along in building a successful business or in launching your career; but people who don’t admit that there was at least the tiniest bit of luck involved in their story of success shouldn’t be listened to. Because they lie; or at least keep quiet about the whole issue of luck. (They probably think it would diminish their own efforts in the eyes of their admirers, which I don’t think is the case. At all. Because if you admit to your bits and pieces of luck throughout your journey, it makes you look more humble and thankful.)


“Hey, want to become rich and famous? Buy my book with seven easy steps to success.” Picture courtesy of Sesame Street Trademark

Anyhow, you very possibly won’t become the next Steve Jobs or the next J.J Abrams just because you read their biography and set off to do what they did. You cannot replicate their story, even if you tried. Loads of people certainly already have tried and failed, but the thing is: Nobody wants to read books about people who failed! So we don’t know how many people try the same thing at the same time, out of which some succeed and some don’t. There is always, always a bit of luck or coincidence involved – which you most of the time can detect, if you reads loads of success stories. Usually indicated by a paragraph starting with something like “I got invited to this party where I was introduced to _____, who happened to work for a big magazine/company/XY where they were looking for fresh ideas.” or “I overslept one day, so I had to take a later train to work which was so crammed that I got to sit next to this guy who was reading the same book as me. We got into a little chat about this and that and this guy turned out to be the son of the cousin of the CEO of company X…”

You get the gist.

Your story is your story, so don’t try to repeat somebody elses, it is simply not possible. Put in your best work, put in dedication, time and effort – by all means do that. Go out and meet people, build connections, relationships and you’ll raise the probability of meeting someone who will be significant to your very own success. But don’t think you can follow the same route as anyone else – their shoes won’t fit you, unless you cut off some of your toes.

*success defined as loads of monies in the bank, loads of fame and maybe meeting the US-president or The Queen one day