Unusually successful gurus in MLM and Internet Marketing will explain the 95% “failures” by pointing out that most wannabes don’t, or won’t, do what it takes. They quit way too soon, they say, and never master the basic skill set, much less become remarkable. And yes, we all know this is true.
However, there are some who work steadily over the years, have done the things, done them well, and had some success. But not the nutty big success of my friend Frank, or of a top MLM recruiter, or of a wildly successful film maker.
What is the story? Why are there so few big successes, given the masses who aspire to success?
Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Outliers, offers a compelling answer to this unhappy puzzle.
“We vastly underestimate the extent to which success happens because of things the individual has nothing to do with.” See here.
All big success, from hockey players to movie makers, happens to “people who are talented and work hard but who also benefit from the weird and largely unexamined and peculiar ways in which their world is organized.”
Moral? Do what you love and get really good at it. Keep right on plodding until you become remarkable. THAT you can control. And maybe, somewhere along the way, some of these weird things you have nothing (obvious) to do with, will help lift you to that miracle place.
Remember the $22 million dollar weekend?
P.S. The other side of the success puzzle is believing that what one guy did to make it big can be packaged, sold and predict the next person’s success. Not so, says the silent evidence. Not now, not for centuries. Of course the evidence is not so silent today. That’s what explains the new FTC regs against using big income testimonials. We are all discovering how really rare those results are, no matter how much comparable effort others put in.
Last season, Sam Bradford of the Oklahoma Sooners came out of nowhere to win the Heisman Trophy as college football's best player.
This year on the 8th play of his first game of the season, he was sacked and fell on his right shoulder, his throwing shoulder. He is now having season-ending surgery on it, with a recuperation period of at least six months.
Bradford is still a very good quarterback. However, last year he had a veteran offensive line and several experienced receivers. They have since graduated.
Now Bradford's professional career is somewhat in jeopardy.
The things that have happened to Sam Bradford this season were totally out of his control.
And also another reason why they say football is a team sport.
Eat Well. Live Well.
Outliers is an excellent read, both entertaining and educational. I highly recommend it.
The message is mixed for network marketers. On the one hand, as Kim points out, there are many different factors outside our control that lead to smashing success.
On the other, those who are successful almost always share the same common element: 10,000 hours of working at it.
Natural talent is far over-rated. (This has been shown with world class musicians.) The best just practice more.
So . . . practice more. 🙂
Walter Reade (from Wisconsin)
Slight Edge Sponsoring
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Outliers is an excellently read. Relevant to Walter's comment, so are Talent is Overrated and The Talent Code. They speak of "deliberate practice" and "deep practice", respectively. The point of both is that the people we think are just naturally gifted at something have actually worked their butts off for a long time and have had great mentors to guide them.
As Kim said, "Keep right on plodding until you become remarkable." AMEN!