So you’re an author. And?

Just in case anyone was wondering why their talents aren’t attracting the successes they imagined. It’s a topic I’ve often considered myself, and I had a theory, which in the last few years I’ve managed to validate.

In essence, success — be it financial, commercial, or fame, or a rich mixture of the three combined — relies on three things:

  1. an array of influential family, friends, and colleagues;
  2. extreme good fortune, or at least the ability to act upon fortuitousness moments, and;
  3. talent.

No, talent alone really isn’t going to cut it, I’m afraid. How do I know this? I’m a business owner of some thirteen years, and I have a propensity to observe. What successes I’ve had are wrought from many years of hard work, mostly not in the glare but the shadow of friends and fortune.

And if I were to have presented the aforementioned three ingredients proportionally, the third would be visualised as some tiny speck, while first and second would have planetary proportions.

Ah, the one-hit-wonder

Consider the endless succession of one-hit-wonders in art, literature, and business. Clearly they had little talent, or they would have enjoyed more than one hit, surely? But since they’re no longer around, we can assume — with some degree of latitude —that they didn’t have the necessary talent to ride the initial wave and keep their success going.

The amount of times I’ve read some autobiographical comment by some previously lionised entrepreneur, singer, writer — whatever or whoever — discussing their ascension to success, only for them to just drop in the fact that some relative or friend or colleague happened to mention what they were doing to someone of an unparalleled and unrivalled connection to the very thing that would thrust them forward like a rocket sled.

Know thyself!

Most of the time, these people don’t even realise the deeply serendipitous nature of their success, or how that without both friends and / or chance, they would be toiling away to this day, just like the rest of us.

Talent take-away

So what can we learn from this?

  1. Firstly, don’t allow the reality of your predicament to undermine your faith.
  2. Surround yourself with influential people and be useful to them in some way without being sycophant.
  3. Adopt a mercenary attitude towards chance and be both predatory and opportunistic.

Anything else and you really are leaving your fortunes (such that they are) to chance.