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Success is a staircase, not a doorway.

Most new business owners ask me questions like “If I follow my passion, am determined to make serious money, and do all of the work required, will my business succeed?

And, of course I have to tell them “No.

Because they are asking the wrong question. And it’s the quality of your questions that determines the quality of results. (Not to mention making business decisions based on one’s passion is just about the worst thing you could do. Ever.)

Determination and hard work are not without value. Our culture celebrates both. But they don’t guarantee success. They are only qualities that might keep you in the game when, for all intents and purposes, you are losing. Badly.

They are essential for going the distance. However, they are just the bare minimum requirements.

We’re working in an industry where only 1% succeed. Many in the other 99% are equally determined and working just as hard as we are. Everyone struggles to survive, to finally get it right, to prevail in a competitive environment while dealing with challenging circumstances.

Still, many fail in spite of all that, others because of themselves. They fall for useless advice to focus on what they want.

When success requires you to be curious about what the world wants and needs.

Success needs you to know your strengths and what you uniquely have to offer.

Success requires that you put the two together and work toward identifying and developing the potential that exists within the combination. That means you must master a certain way of thinking and being in the world.

You don’t earn success, you create it. And you live it. There is no blueprint or roadmap you can buy to get there.

Sorry. There just isn’t. You are wasting your money if you buy into that concept.

It’s only when you’ve produced something the world perceives to be of equal or greater value than what you charge for it that the money follows. When you are a catalyst for transformation, when you tell a better or new story, and when you make a positive difference in the lives of others… that is when you are most likely to experience success.

The better investment of your money, time, and energy? Ask me how you can hone your listening, observing, creative, critical thinking, and decision-making skills. You need to be a master of all of them to succeed.

And the more success you create, the more you’ll need them.

More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.

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