The Secret Known to All Successful People

sucess-secretMany books and articles have been published about people who have achieved success in various walks of life. Biographies and autobiographies published delve into successful people’s success secrets, beliefs and philosophies. In fact, what all these books and researches are trying to showcase are the ‘factors which have guided these people to victory in their area of expertise’. And, one thing that is evident from all the research and information available is that in most of the cases formal education has not played a major role in the successes of these people. Bill Gates, Sam Walton, Henry Ford, Dhirubai Ambani and many others never received any professional degrees and most of them have not even received a formal college education. However, one thing that stands clear is their perspective about life, the way they looked at it which is evident from the way they saw things. And, the same vision is reflected in their words and actions. Henry Ford had once quoted: ‘You don’t need all the talent to become a millionaire; you need to have people who are talented, and you need to have a vision to keep them motivated.’

Bill Gates, when asked about the reason for success, said:

‘I was in the right business at the right time, I had a vision and I put in massive action.’

As a consultant and success coach, during the last one decade, I have had the opportunity to work with thousands of successful entrepreneurs and self-employees. Though I could share many thoughts with them, which could have helped them in re-engineering their business, I believe I am the one who has benefited the most from these interactions. I could learn a lot from their real-time experiences. I could find some answers for questions like, ‘what makes some people so successful?’, or ‘given the same opportunity and environment why do some people have more success, though they haven’t put in as much hard work as the others?’ Most of my observations of these real-time successful people were, however, contradictory to what I had learn in motivational books and classes. One such finding is that ‘hard work is not the most important factor which decides one’s success.’ The irony is there to be seen everywhere. The most successful dentist in the city may not be the best dentist and the architect who gains name and fame may not be the best in the business.

There are many businessmen in this world who have encountered the same feeling or thought at some point in their life that ‘even after working so hard for the last ten years I couldn’t achieve anything in life!’ In fact, whenever I have tried to analyze and look at their problem rationally, I realized that most of them were not in the right business. Many people were in business because of legacy, a family business which had been started by their father or grandfather and eventually they too got emotionally attached to it and were working hard to keep it going, without even realizing that the business has become obsolete over the period and they are not in the right profession. Past 2000, we are in the Information Age and the business our parents or grandparents operated were in the Industrial Age.

The concepts, which worked in the Industrial Age may not work or be applicable now. Moreover, the changes which used to take fifty years to happen in the Industrial Age is happening in just five years in the Information Age.


Majority of the businessmen have no idea about what they really want in their life and why they are in a particular business and
what they want to accomplish.
Once, while I was addressing an elite group of premium customers of a leading national bank, I had asked: ‘Why are you doing this business; what do you want to accomplish through this?’ No one answered. Then I specifically directed the question to an intelligent-looking veteran businessman. He said in a feeble voice, ‘primarily to pay off the bank loans!’ I answered him, ‘In a way you should thank banks for keeping you in business as the banks will offer more freebies and incentives or less percent cut just when one is coming out of the debt; this way they keep you engaged!’

Even after being in the right business at the right time, many businessmen are getting burnt-out because they are running without having an idea about where they are heading. More concerning is another category of people, who know what they want in their life and are putting in the requisite hard work also, and yet are unable to achieve success. You can see many such people around. When we see them and talk to them, at times we may even wonder whether all the motivational theories in the world are wrong as they seem to have attended all motivational seminars and have also read many motivational books. They know the importance of having a dream and goal in life and they spend hours writing down their dreams and goals. They put in hard work but seldom reach their destination. Though they have the dedication and determination to achieve their goals, some factors keep success out of their reach. As they do not get the desired results even after working hard and attending motivational trainings, they slump into depression. They start finding the world the most unfriendly place. They lose their belief and assume that all these training workshops and motivational books are scrap. The depression virus creates new philosophies and they begin to believe that ‘more than hard work or dedication, mere luck determines success. And hence, spending money on motivational books and training programs are all a sheer waste.’ The virus does not stop with them and it spreads all around propagating the philosophy that ‘this world is designed only for lucky people and there is no point in putting in hard work’. They discourage anyone who tries to do anything in his life and hence they become a social evil. In any business or profession, five to six percentage of people embrace success, about 30 to 40 percent gain average success and almost 50 percent quit the business after trying it out for some time. Out of this 50 percent who quit, approximately 20 percent must have tried their best, while the other 30 percent must have quit even before they got started! We should not be worried about this 30 percent, because they are quitters. But we should be concerned about the other 20 percent who decided to quit after putting in years of hard work and also about the people who are getting average success. Both these categories are putting in their effort and are willing to change, but some factors are stopping them from reaching the top. This book is written for these people; people who have dreams and goals in life and have the willingness to work hard towards their goals with absolute dedication but for some reason are not able to derive the desired success and are now wandering with many unanswered questions in their mind.

Sajeev Nair


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