by Jacob McMillen
Success Magazine June 14, 2016
Most of the success advice you read is crap because it mistakes correlation for causation.
“Eighty percent of successful CEOs wake up at 5 a.m.—follow their example!” Waking up at 5 a.m. doesn’t make you successful. The type of personalities that tend to achieve major success also happen to be the type that like to wake up at 5 a.m. and can sleep far less than the rest of us. But if you don’t already function like this, the only thing waking up at 5 a.m. will do is eliminate your nightlife. Success advice also mistakes good fortune for proven business models. “I’ve made millions in e-commerce. Buy my course to make your own millions.” This guy sold a worthless company for $2 million at the height of the internet bubble. That guy made millions in black-hat SEO back when you could cheat your way into Google search rankings. The only thing their students know how to do is pay them money. Success advice defaults to meaningless motivational jargon. Yeah, OK. Having the right mindset is important, but parroting vague motivational jargon is grade-D advice. I’m not a success guru, but I do know how to look at success and divide the repeatable from the uniquely circumstantial. And I want to give you some real advice; I want to offer some universal principles that have always been true and will always be true. Do with them what you will.
- Find the capital.