The Key to Success in 8 Words

This is the holy grail for entrepreneurs and employees. How to be successful.

I have thought long about the key to success and I have been asked often about what makes people successful. I have my own credo (maybe for another post) but I found this video to be pretty close to what I believe the keys to succes are. A video well worth spending 4 minutes watching.

Seth Godin blogged about the same topic this week . malcom Gladwell wrote about 10,000 hours of effort being the magic number for being successful. Seth disagrees.

“You win when you become the best in the world, however ‘best’ and ‘world’ are defined by your market. In many mature markets, it takes 10,000 hours of preparation to win because most people give up after 5,000 hours. That’s the only magic thing about 10k… it’s a hard number to reach, so most people bail.

Yo Yo Ma isn’t perfect… he’s just better than everyone else. He pushed through the Dip that others chose not to. I’m guessing that there are endeavors (like being CEO of a Fortune 500 company or partner at a big law firm) where the rewards are so huge that the number is closer to 20,000 hours or more to get through the Dip.

But, ready for this? The Dip is much closer in niche areas, new areas, unexplored areas. You can get through the Dip in an online network or with a new kind of music because being seen as the best in that area is easier (at least for now). You can get through the Dip as a real estate broker in a new, growing town a lot quicker than someone in midtown Manhattan. The competition is thinner and probably less motivated. “

It’s been a couple years since I posted this and I thought I should update with three words that I really like.

Fire, Focus and Faith

Fire is passion and drive. You either have it or you don’t. It’s what pushes you to work hard and to persist.

Focus is the wisdom to know what you want and to eliminate distractions. It’s especially hard in today’s world.

Faith is ethics, principles, the need to transcend, to help others, to do something meaningful.


– Time is our most precious resource. Use it wisely. Live each day to its fullest.

– The most important thing is that the most important thing remains the most important thing.

– Most people think money will make them happy, waste their life trying to get more money then they find it is not.

– Vices give you instant pleasure, meaning all the goodness is gone after it.

– Doing things for others gives you perpetual happiness that remains in you forever.