Smarts and Success
Here’s the problem with success.
A lot of people are not successful because they are not smart.
Yet you meet a lot of successful people who are not smart.
By smart we do not mean IQ, we mean the more general “know what they’re doing” and “aren’t totally delusional head cases.”
It’s obviously hard to draw a clear line around who is what but it’s not an outrageous statement to say that people are often their own worst enemies…many achieve things blissfully unaware of this fact, or on occasion, in spite of it.
This is not so much a paradox as it is the factor of luck (God favors fools, as they say). Or you could call it injustice, I suppose, because sometimes on days where stuff isn’t going well for that rest of us, that’s just how it feels.
But you cannot let this fact of life discourage you. You can never let it be a reason for slacking off or not having your act together. That some idiot might have be rewarded says what, exactly?
That you wish you were more like them? I don’t think so.
Focus on yourself. Attend to the areas where lack of understanding or skills are holding you back. Let the others be “lucky.”
I like how you say “You wish you were more like them?” instead of “you wish you were rewarded instead of them?” The latter is the fantasy I think many people, myself included, have wished, but the former is what is wise, for it is the reality of what we wish for.
You can’t separate the two. It’s the same (bad) wish
Well said. One can increase one’s luck by working hard. It’s not rocket surgery. And jealousy consumes energy and makes one lose focus. Ideally we would all rejoice each others success and stay positive.
I see this in the trading world a lot. You come across some engineer who wants to be a trader, and he knows everything about global finance because he read all the stock market books he could find on ThePirateBay. He can tell you all about how the forex carry trade will impact markets, and why the Federal Reserve is just so damn wrong.
But when it comes to making money, well… no dice.
In fact many of the traders I work with “trade stupid.” They don’t focus on global macro because that’s not their timeframe or their game.
What works well when sounding smart at cocktail parties is not going to be the same bucket of knowledge required to build wealth.
I happen to chance upon a Forbes article of your interview today and was inspired by what you mentioned about growth hack marketing. I am not only a marketer but also a co-founder of a mobile app startup. Reading through the short article had immediately inspired me to come up with a growth hack marketing idea for my app.
I am very interested in getting a copy of your new e-book, Growth Hacker Marketing, but realized it’s not available for purchase on my iBook store (from Singapore) so I’m wondering if you could direct me as to how I may get a copy of your ebook.
Thank you so much in advance! Looking forward to hear from you! (:
I think KOBO should work internationally
Will go check that out. Thanks! (:
When you’re distraught and in this state, it’s important to realize that luck runs out. If you look at the super-successful (most likely your idols), you know that they’re smart and lucky. That’s what you strive for. You can’t control one, so put all you can into the factor that you can control.
Which is the one you can’t control?
Good point. I sometimes find myself getting jealous of others who are extremely successful without a clue as to “how they did it”, but it really doesn’t do me any good to entertain those feelings.
All you can do is focus on yourself and try to analyze whatever they did that they weren’t aware of themselves 🙂
Just read your “What do you do all day” article on thought catalog (didn’t want to comment there as that place is a mad house). It’s just people putting the boot in without raising specific points in the article.
Any news on when your stoicism book is coming out? I’m really looking forward to that.
I guess you mean be like Forest Gump. Dumb Luck did bring him a long way but so did his hard work.