The Blue Kite Blog

The Secret to Success

By | September 14, 2011

The secret to success is that there are no secrets. There might be tricks of the trade or best practices, but what it takes to be successful is definitely not a secret.

The truth is that we all know the answer deep down. We know what we have to do, but we just don’t want to admit it. That’s why we’re always in search for the easier path to the top.

However, the idea of overnight success is a fallacy. People or businesses that seemingly come out of nowhere have likely been toiling for months or years to get where they are today.

The reality is that if you want to be successful at anything, you have to WORK. And often, you have to work hard.

I’m not saying that you have to work 18 hours a day. Nor do I mean that you have to be incredibly efficient (though that helps).

What I mean is that you must be willing to hone your craft, learn new skills, use your creativity and challenge yourself to dig deep and do the tough things.

You have to be willing to be uncomfortable. You must learn that it’s okay to falter. You have to understand that going against the grain may seem impossible, but offers incredible rewards.

If success were easy everyone would have it. Getting to the top is hard work. And, it’s even harder to stay there.

But you can do it.

If you want to be successful, quit looking for the road to quick riches or the shortcut to the top of the mountain.

Instead, do the one thing that many people are unwilling to do.

Set goals. Develop a plan. And then work like hell to make it happen.

That’s the real secret.

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Image credit: Hamed Saber

13 Comments

  • Nice post Laura, I think what you’ve summarized here is determination. Determination is the secret sauce of success. I’ve never seen a determined person fail. 🙂

  • Laura, love this! I hope you won’t mind me reducing my comment to a quote. But it’s one of my favorite, and it says it all:

    ”Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will
    not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius
    will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the
    world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination
    alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will
    solve the problems of the human race.” Calvin Coolidge

  • I would add that one success tip is to be able to work in, for and with a team. No one does it alone, and it’s lonely at the top. Those who recognize their own skills and deficiencies will thrive in a team environment. We who work solo often have more of a challenge doing the team thing (especially the more we’re on our own), yet it’s so beneficial and part of continued growth. No one is too old to grow, learn and innovate. Change comes bearing gifts.

    • So true! That’s why mentors, partners and colleagues are so darn important. That’s why I Skyped with @ericamallison:twitter this morning and have breakfast regularly with some other colleagues in town to brainstorm ideas. It’s good to have a sounding board. It’s a lot harder (and lonelier) without it. 

      Great points!

  • Hi Laura,

    I guess that is why there are more than a few so-called gurus making money hand over fist. Some of them selling secrets, when there are no secrets. I’m sure guilty of buying my fare share of self-help books, and when I was younger, get rich quick books. Look where that got me. No Mercedes yet 🙂

    It’s also funny how some measure success in our society. I guess Kim Kardashian had to work to get where she is 🙂 And, some people would consider her a success. Oh well.

    I just finished that handily little book by Steven Pressfield called “Do The Work” and as he said, fighting the resistance is the hardest part.

    • You make a good point, Craig – success is in the eye of the beholder. We have to determine what success means for US. What is success for you will likely be entirely different for me. You have to know that that looks like before you can plan a way to get there.

      I still need to read “Do the Work”. I hear it’s a good one. 

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Yep, most of the overnight successes did take years.  Diligence is key.

  • […] like most things, to achieve success, you have to do the […]

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