10 obvious ideas for spectacular success

They say, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” And it must be true. Because there’s no end to people who think there are shortcuts to success.

There aren’t. Sorry.

The keys to success are the same today as in years past. The most important being “have something people want.” (Which ironically includes get rich quick schemes. Am I evil for thinking that’s funny?)

Obvious? Sure. So are all the other keys to success. Like “be persistent.” Or “don’t be afraid to fail.”

I got to thinking about this recently when I read a list of 10 ways to get ink at 37signals, which provides basic ideas for getting people to notice you or your product. It’s a nice little list of things to do if you want to be successful.

Why are such obvious ideas so often ignored? I have a few ideas about this, but I’m curious about what you think. Why do people seek the miraculous when the obvious is right in front of them?

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6 Responses to “10 obvious ideas for spectacular success”

  1. James Chartrand - Web Content Writer Tips on January 4th, 2008 7:11 am

    Ahh… What a good question. Because people are lazy. Because people want immediate change. Because people dream of better, not of hard work. Because people think bigger, better, more is the way to go. Simple just seems too… well, simple.

  2. Shama Hyder on January 4th, 2008 1:22 pm

    Be REALLY good at what you do and be in it for the long haul. Definitely two solid points.

    I believe people are more scared than lazy. Scared that they couldn’t possibly be bigger/better.

  3. Dean Rieck on January 4th, 2008 1:51 pm

    “Scared that they couldn’t possibly be bigger/better.”

    Or scared that they could. Fear of success is as potent as fear of failure.

  4. Chad on January 4th, 2008 1:56 pm

    Fear of committing to the unusual. We’re taught and encouraged to live the 9-5, anything else is considered too risky.

  5. Yoav on January 4th, 2008 6:14 pm

    True, most people are either scared or lazy, but…

    I think the biggest barrier to success is the mental image people have of a “successful person”…

    A “successful person” is perceived as an individual that succeeds easily, without much effort. And so when people try to write a good copy and fail or…

    When they try to build links or create a link bait and fail, they say…

    “This guy must know something I don’t” or … “I am not good enough” when the reality is :

    Most successful people are not born geniuses in SEO, copywriting, marketing etc’, they are masters of hard work…which in time makes them successful in their chosen field.

    (see if you can find the Naruto reference in this way-too-long comment).

  6. Ted Grigg on January 7th, 2008 8:57 pm

    Well said Dean.

    I continue to marvel at control packages that rely on the tried and true.

    Dull and often ugly packages continue to beat innovative and beautiful direct mail execution.

    Could it be that we get bored rather than the customer who is more interested in the product than the creative work?

    Yes. Fabulous creative to the creative team often gets in the way of the selling message from the customer’s perspective.

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