“Nothing is easy”
Donald J Trump US President
As much as I object to Trump’s mindless self- promotion and gigantic ego, his statement above rings true for those of us who strive to improve our businesses and careers. Unfortunately today with instant electronic communication, we hear stories of “overnight success” that implies it’s easy to be successful. Poor research (may be its no research) light weight and lazy journalism and the perceived need for ‘instant’ gratification or success spread this expectation. Most of these overnight success stories are the result of hard work and sacrifice. Think of JK Rowling the writer of the Harry Potter books who as a single mother on social security benefits, spent years writing, often in an Edinburgh café before her first novel was accepted.
The only example of instant success, apart from winning a massive lottery draw I can think of is the story set in 1960s about Sir Frank Packer, millionaire media owner and father of Kerry Packer. The story goes that Sir Frank, in finding himself in an elevator of his Sydney office building along with a shabbily-dressed man, is outraged. Packer tells the man he’s a disgrace to his firm, fires him, and hands him $1,000 to buy a new suit. The ‘fired’ man just grins — he’s actually a freelance photographer who stopped by to visit a friend who worked in the building.
Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers: The Story of Success introduces the idea practice (or hardwork) which he calls the 10,000 hour rule, makes perfect, and success is not due to the random distribution of genetic gifts or luck. He uses examples of The Beatles and Bill Gates whose success he attributes to the 10,000 hour rule of music and computer practice combined to a much lesser extent with opportunity.
Think of successful people around you, whether in business or in society. Almost always their success is the result of hard work and focus over many years.
I can remember doing post-graduate studies, working a 12 hour day in a demanding job with a 3 children under 5 years old and wondering whether it was worth the sacrifice for my wife and I. It was. It led onto lecturing at university, being head hunted for a job and ultimately into our own successful business.
As Donald Trump said “who wants nothing”…………….
As I tell my children………….the only place where reward comes before work is in the dictionary.