Are we over-selling success?

Does exclusive focus on rewards bring out the worst in us?

Every business opportunity sells one thing – the dream. Specifically, the rewards, the fruits of the effort.

Here’s how they hook us: the persuaders parade out an unlikely person who went from food stamps to a mansion, in a short time. That’s the proof that anyone can do it, even gasp, you.

However, the actions required – those skills you’re required to perfect and perform to attain success – that’s never part of what’s sold.

Here’s why that matters.

Most people (90%+) do not attain financial success (in any field, from acting to Internet marketing to MLM). And it is not because of lack of effort. Many success seekers are totally focused on doing whatever they’re being told, to get the rewards they were sold.

After months of honest effort and thousands of dollars spent pursuing the rewards, (almost) no one gets even close to the rewards of the guru (has anyone of Frank Kern’s [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][you name the top gun] students earned anything like he has?) But, because that (rare) success story is told over and over to inspire the seekers, many become very unhappy comparing their non-results to the guru’s. And unhappy people do bad things.

Two extreme cases.

New York attorney Marc Dreier, 59
Mr. Dreier stole some $46 million from his client accounts over the last 7 years.

In his pre-sentencing letter to the judge, Mr. Dreier explained his actions so: his colleagues and clients were doing “better financially and seemingly enjoying more status,” and he felt “crushed by a sense of underachievement.”

“I can’t remember or imagine why I didn’t stop myself. It all seems so obviously deplorable now.

“I recall only that I was desperate for some measure of the success that I felt had eluded me,” he wrote, adding: “I lost my perspective and my moral grounding, and really, in a sense, I just lost my mind.” – Marc Dreier, a once high-flying New York lawyer speaking to the judge before beginning to serve a 20-year sentence for bilking investors out of $700 million.

George Sordini, 48
He murdered five innocent women and then killed himself.

Mr. Sordini was frustrated he could not achieve and acquire what he desired in his life – a relationship like other guys. Over the past few years, he got so worked up about it he shot and killed five women and injured ten more at a gym before shooting himself to death. Here’s what he’d written online just went on his rampage:

“The biggest problem of all is not being able to achieve and acquire what I desire…” -George Sodini, murderer (From Ad Busters mag)

Exclusive focus on the fruits or results of your actions usually leads to bad things.

“She (or he) who is always brooding over results often loses nerve in the performance of his duty. He becomes impatient and then gives vent to anger and begins to do unworthy things: he jumps from action to action, never remaining faithful to any. She who broods over results…is always distracted, she says good-bye to all scruples, everything is right in her estimation, and she therefore resorts to means fair and foul to attain her end.” – M Gandhi

Who here doesn’t know this intimately?

Moral: Consider focusing on getting really really good at what you are doing first. Develop a phenomenally good skill set. Then let the rewards fall where they may. Brooding over your results compared to someone else – whose results are so atypical they have to put it in the disclaimer – leads right into doing bad things, a little at a time.

P.S. Gandhi made it a point NOT to take any rewards beyond the bare minimum to live, for the work he did to bring about the independence of India. It made him credible even to his political enemies. Notice his Armani suit there on the right. :)[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Hi Kim
    Soo true..hits the nail right on the least for me!!
    Going from thing to thing… WITHOUT the focus needed to get really really good at any one thing.
    Staying with it to the finish and giving it(and me!)a fair chance of succeeding.
    And never truer than now in this overloaded and good-sounding Information Age..even when hypey?

    I seem to need constant reminding of the need to FOCUS and let the other go…
    I still spend waaaay too much time, sorting, reading, and putting in a folder marked LATER the ones which promise they are IT. Even though I don't buy?

    Can anyone tell me WHY.. when I am intelligent .. not dumb..been around the block a coupla times and HAVE been successful in a number of things,(but not IM) but seem to need a variety of gimmicky things going on to look at and read?
    Just need the excitement of the newest whatever?

    Thank Kim…
    You seem to read my mind just when I need it most.. and act accordingly.
    Mary Nolan

  • Wonderful post Kim and a great reminder for us to focus – stop trying the, Here today – gone tomorrow approach.

    I'm pleased for others good results but I don't worry about it or compare. My goal is to be credible, and not jump from one thing to another (though I have been guilty of this).

    Coconut Oil Burns Fat

  • This ring so true. When the whole internet started, I use to love to read about creating website and HTML…etc.. I remember my first website with great fondness. One day calling my late father he exclaimed 'everybody is getting rich with this internet thing why don't you', I said to him that if it were that easy everybody would do it and that i just enjoyed the learning process beside one day it will become useful. And it did as I use this skill for my own satisfaction when creating new blogs for my paper crafting passion. So Dad, I'm not a millionaire but I'm so happy and feel very fortunate that people are approaching me (still can't believe it now) to create samples for their products…I still have to pinch myself when that happens…and that's worth millions in my book !

  • Hi Kim,

    Thank you for your wonderful research evidenced in this great blog post.

    I endeavor to live by the wisdom of The Bible as much as I can. As you know, Jesus used parables to teach. In one he spoke about different individuals producing varied results; some 30, some 60, some 100 fold. The top producer in my company is a really really good story teller. She can hold a packed house on the edge of their seats for her entire presentation. I have never met her equal, let alone one better.

    She got better and better at telling her story through the years. I have heard it evolve for over 14 years. She didn't use technology, social media, or any of the things we tend to consider essential to success in present days.

    It is encouraging to me to realize that although this lady is the company's poster child; she got there by doing exactly what you perscribed.

    Wishing you Plenty To Live,

    Tom Doiron

  • Thankyou Kim,
    This is another manifestation of the lack of a spiritual or even a primary ethical component. The media drives the greed factor, which is not one of the higher qualities of man, and anyone of us can fall for it, if we do not consistently fire up own own interal uplifter principle.
    And your take on it, your how-to- use-this-to-move-my-life-forward, is absolutely inspirational. Thankyou,
    Sarah Louise Philips,
    Fort Lauderdale

  • I love this post.

    I have to always remind myself to stick to what I love because then whether the results are good or bad, at least I'm having enough fun during the process to not quit.

    I only used to get very mad when I was just after the money.

    Now, I realize that I can't control results. All I can control is my activity and after while, if my results are not satisfactory then I can possibly tweak my activities.

    But either way, since I love what I'm doing, I'll never quit.

    It took me 4 years and thousands of dollar to really understand this.

    I need it reinforced a lot so thanks for this post!

  • As Zig Ziglar said, "You can get everything you want in life if you help enough others get everything they want."

    And to serve enough others effectively, to get very good at it, you must love what you're doing.

    What I hear you saying, Kim, is that "It's the journey that's important, not the destination."

    According to the Law of Compensation, this business model (MLM)still gives us an opportunity to obtain better-than-average compensation in return for our success at helping many others through the duplication of our efforts by our recruits.

    In today's world, we need this leverage to stay ahead of inflation. We can't be much help to anyone if we're financially strapped, expending our best energy working for some corporation.

    What I hear you saying is that networking is a good vehicle by which to help others, and helping others is where we need to keep our attention.

    Do it for love — and with love — and the money will follow.

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