success myth

The Success Myth: Why Luck, Privilege, and Opportunity Have Nothing To Do With It

Consistency is the Key to your success

I want to talk to you about the success myth

People who become super successful are often said to be lucky, to have gotten a hand up, to have gone to a good university, or to have had opportunities handed to them

I want to dispel these myths

My favourite writer and hero is JK Rowling

She's had stunning success with the Harry Potter series and became the first billionaire author

Her story began over 25 years ago when her mother died and she took a teaching job in Portugal where she met her husband

But her marriage was a disaster, so she returned to the UK with her daughter and described that time as one of the darkest in her life

She decided that she would pursue her writing - the only thing she says she cared about aside from raising her daughter

Her writing was a passion that got her through a very dark and difficult time

She pursued it with fervour and with consistency because her writing was a great comfort to her

I can totally relate

That is my comfort zone

When I'm in dark spaces, I go to the keyboard and start writing

JK Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series over several years

She sent it to several agents and was rejected many times, but she didn't give up

Finally, she was published by Bloomsbury after the 13th rejection so there were lots of hard times and rejection, but she kept going

It's a myth that education guarantees success

Just look at JK Rowling again

She took an entrance exam into Oxford but wasn't accepted so she went to Exeter University and graduated with an F in French and the classics

I met a guy a few years ago who is one of the wealthiest people I've ever met

He owned over 50 service stations

We were both getting our cars washed and started chatting

He told me his story of how he emigrated from Poland to the US with just a hundred dollars and a suitcase

He had to work many jobs just to put food on the table for his family, but he pulled himself up and became one of the wealthiest people in LA

So it's a myth that education and openings in corporate will naturally lead to success

The other myth about success is that all you have to do is dream and visualise

This is simply not true - action is required for success, consistent action, whatever that action may be

For example, if you are looking to improve your career, your action could be to engage a career coach

Alternatively, you could deliver more at your place of work to allow your bosses and managers to get to know you as someone who is reliable and always delivers

So when promotions come around, you are front of mind for your bosses because they know you as an action taker

This is what counts for a lot more in creating success in your life, not just dreaming and sitting back waiting for something to happen

The other success myth is that a rejection means you stop?

No, if JK Rowling had stopped at the first rejection or the second rejection or the third rejection, we would not have had the joy and privilege of enjoying the whole Harry Potter series

And I, for one, would be pretty sad

So back to rejection, rejection doesn't mean you stop on the road to success

When applying for jobs, it's often not the first job that you apply for that lands you the job

For some people it is, but for many people, it’s not

Simply getting an interview is a measure of success because sometimes, when you get a chance to interview with a company, even if you're not the right candidate or you're not the best candidate in their eyes for that particular role, many of them keep information and reach out again if another opportunity comes up where you are more suitable

So for me, the three major success myths are thinking that an expensive education guarantees success, that all we have to do is dream and visualise, and success will automatically come, and that rejection means you stop

Only one or two actions never guarantee success and it is rarely an overnight thing

So many people say JK Rowling was lucky to become the first billionaire author, but they only see the tip of the success iceberg that occurred around 1997 when the Harry Potter books blasted onto the scene and became one of the most widely read books of all time

And then obviously, she went on to do the remaining six novels

But underneath, there are years of consistency, struggle, rejection, and perseverance

If I had to say one thing that guarantees success, it is consistency

Consistently getting up when you fall, consistently doing the action that leads to success, even when applying for jobs, the key is consistency