The Secret to Success
Nan S. Russell
Most people are looking for the secret to success; the secret
to being a millionaire; the secret to winning at working.
To help them find it, Amazon.com currently inventories 1,797
books promising success secrets, everything from "Mustang
Sallies: Success Secrets of Women Who Refuse to Run With the
Herd" to "The 21 Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires."
So, if you're one of those looking, I'll save you some time.
The bottom line is this - there is no secret. There's no magical
formula to follow; no short-cuts to take or lottery tickets
you can purchase. People who are winning at working know it
takes persistence, determination, commitment, passion, practice,
focus and hard work. There are no secrets to any of that.
Just look around.
Take Chester Carlson. Chester became a rich man as the successful
inventor of an electrostatic paper-copying process that later
became the Xerox Corporation, even though twenty corporations
rejected his idea. It took Chester seven years of persistence
and determination before he found one tiny company willing
to purchase his invention.
Or take Julia Child. After receiving a contract for a French
cookbook, Julia worked five years, with two collaborators,
only to produce a manuscript that was rejected by the publisher.
A year of revisions produced another rejected manuscript.
But Julia refused to give up. It took eight years and a second
publisher for Julia's cookbook, which sold more than a million
copies, to find a bookshelf.
If you want to be winning at working, stop looking for some
secret "out there" to bring you success. Instead, turn your
sights inward and you'll find everything you need. You see,
you're the secret to your success. But if you think you don't
have what it takes, think again.
Visit any craft fair, hobbyist, volunteer organization or
internet blog. Note poets, musicians, artists, athletes, hackers,
spammers and graffiti artists. Determination, persistence,
initiative and hard work manifests itself in many ways and
places, some positive endeavors and some not so positive.
But it's the same ingredients. And they're inside you waiting
to be tapped.
People work on novels after a full day's work. They develop
products in their garages, then figure out how to manufacture
and market them. They volunteer to coach their daughter's
soccer team or organize food drives for their community. They
put energy into their interests and passions. They persist
against hardships, set-backs and disappointments, demonstrating
with their actions they have what it takes.
Stop looking for success secrets and start realizing you're
the best kept secret you have. Like Moliere puts it, "The
heart can do anything." Find your heart in your work and you
can do anything, too.
© 2005 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
Sign up to receive Nan's free biweekly eColumn at www.winningatworking.com.
Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management,
most recently with QVC as a Vice President. She has held leadership
positions in Human Resource Development, Communication, Marketing
and line Management. Nan has a B.A. from Stanford University
and M.A. from the University of Michigan. Currently working
on her first book, Winning at Working: 10 Lessons Shared,
Nan is a columnist, writer and speaker. Visit www.nanrussell.com.
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