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February 20, 2019

The secret of business success lies in principles

A simple approach to strategy for SMEs./FILE
A simple approach to strategy for SMEs./FILE

Tools of Titans is Tim Ferriss’ new book. He’s the New York Times bestselling author of: The 4-Hour Workweek. His latest work is about “the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers”. One more book on how the successful make it happen.

Bookstores are full of such titles. These books aim at unveiling ‘secrets’. It makes me wonder: if we have thousands of success-secret-revealing books, are the secrets still secrets? Similar principles of success have been repackaged in various forms over time and each time, we’re told we now have the ‘secrets of success’ in our hands. Furthermore, these secrets are all over the web and anyone can access them through their mobile device.

In my opinion, the real secret to success is that: there are no secrets. So discovering a ‘secret’ doesn’t really give you an upper hand. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the principles. I just think they’re no longer hidden. If so, what gives the successful the edge over the other success ‘secret’ knowers?

It’s the difference between knowing and what you do with what you know – the discipline of doing. This simple principle sets apart the successful from the unsuccessful. Like I said, everyone can know. But not everyone has the courage and discipline to do what they know. So you have a bestselling book that’s been read by a million people and only a few actually get it, do the principles and become successful.

In essence, doing is the key. But could there be more to it? With knowledge so common and easily accessible, what makes many know and few do? For one, it depends on our various levels of understanding of these principles. Meaning: when you hear or read about a success principle, are you energised enough to act on it?

Generally, we call it the: ‘Aha’ moment. That magical moment when the scales fall off our eyes and we finally ‘see’ it – we get it. We may have heard the same principles a thousand times, but now it’s different. We’re ready to apply it. At this point, the energy for disciplined action is available.

Until then, the widely known, easily accessible ‘success secrets’ remain secrets. In other words, it’s a secret until you wake up to it, see or get it. Perhaps, these secrets are more of blind-spots than unknown ideas. This New Year, what blind spots pose a challenge? Wake up to them and be awesome.


Twitter: @SamuelMpamugo


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