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The Secret of Success or Snake Oil?

Clark Stanley's Snake Oil Liniment. Before 1920.
Clark Stanley’s Snake Oil Liniment. Before 1920. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Secret of Success is offered on many pages across the Internet.  They’re almost all snake oil salesmen trying to part you from your money with the temptation of an easy win. The real secret of success is nothing of the sort.

Secret of Success

I think that there are four elements to being successful. Here is the secret of success as I see it.

  • work hard
  • learn from failures
  • perseverance
  • get lucky

Why should you believe me? You’ve never heard of me as a big shot. Well that would be fair. In my chosen career, as a public servant, I’m moderately successful. I’m in the top 2% of UK civil servants.  Not big enough for you have heard of, but successful enough to have worked out how the system works. I’ve also been studying leadership as part of a business studies degree. So I’ve spent some time looking at successful and unsuccessful people and companies.

What counts as success?

Frankly what you count as a success is up to you. Personally I count success as having a happy and fulfilled life. Money and the trappings of wealth or fame don’t come into it. If you read about the people the paparazzi follow you’ll find many of them are unhappy in some way.

So think what your goals are and then work to get them. Another secret of success is that it is what you make it yourself.

Seven Habits

You might be aware of the seven habits of highly successful people. These pretty much work as another form of the secret to success.

The Secret of Success explained

You can only succeed by doing things. Opportunity knocks all the time, just very faintly. You need to work hard to make your own opportunities and then play them for all you can.

When they don’t work out don’t be disheartened.  Reflect on what you can learn from the experience. Apply that insight to the next opportunity you’ve made. That is the secret of success. Hard work and perseverance along with the humility to learn from your mistakes.

2 Replies to “The Secret of Success or Snake Oil?”

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