Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Real Truth About Success

Garrison Wynn, in his book, "The Real Truth About Success: What the top 1% do differently, why they won't tell you, and how you can do it anyway!", identifies the difference between the multitude and the masters. What separates the top one percent from everyone else is not intelligence, education, processes or even tenacity. There isn't a font of success from which to draw some secret universal skill or by which to apply a proven formula to guarantee success.

The difference between those that succeed spectacularly and those that attempt valiantly but continue to struggle is a special quality - a unique advantage, right for the time and circumstances, applied in a exceptional way. The application of that unique advantage ultimately differentiates the individual from the masses. High fliers exploit their unique advantage - repeatedly and consistently, to achieve extraordinary results.

Garrison conducted extensive research over 10 years to learn the secret to business success. He interviewed countless top performers from wide ranging fields. During interviews the top performers rattled off success factors like well-worn mantras: hard work, high levels of activity, strong relationships, deliberate preparation, superior research, organized presentations. The top performers knew the conventional-wisdom language of success. It took repeated, and at times painstaking prodding to uncover the real secret - the personal edge, the unique personal advantage that propelled the high achiever to the top. Every high achiever leveraged their personal advantage for astounding results.

Personal advantages range from physical stature to good looks to trustworthiness to family and personal connections to the ability to communicate in a friendly, down to earth way. Regardless of the pedigree or echelon of business acumen an individual had, a unique factor, properly exploited, extended a profound advantage to every high achiever. The individual was not necessarily inclined to admit they had and used a secret weapon, but in all cases Garrison found that a personal advantage was what set the high achiever apart.

Garrison emphasizes that it is hard work to succeed, but not of the kind most people engage in or expect. The challenge to success is the hard work of remaking oneself - of self examination, self criticism and self determination. First you must understand the business world in which you operate, then you must fashion yourself to exploit your personal advantage.

It takes the right person for the job. If you want to succeed spectacularly make yourself into the right person for the right time, place and circumstances. "Don't dismiss how you are designed...An innate advantage is anything that you possess naturally that can help you succeed... what a mistake it is to pretend that we are all the same... Know what you are designed for... A fair fight is for the unprepared...Create an advantage... Let your natural passion or talent and the unique aspects of your personality help you find the right fit."

Garrison offers some practical advice for business success: "Clarity, not intelligence, is the biggest determinant of success... Successful people do very little of what they do badly and a lot of what they do well... " As business is, at its essence, about adding value, recognize the opportunities of the world are available only to those who can combine value with trust. Build trust and add value; and always keep it simple. Recognize human beings are creatures of comfort. We choose what makes us feel secure and valuable and abandon the things that don't.

After explaining the real truth about business success, Garrison finally gets to the biggest obstacle of all. As it's not the smartest people in the world who are in charge - it is those who are willing to take action. Action is the difference between the observer and the participant - the one who makes it happen and the one who wonders: what happened? The achiever must overcome the unwillingness required to take stock of the discomfort of their circumstances and move forward. Heroes and cowards feel the same fear. Making the leap from knowing to doing is less about being willing and more about actually taking the step.

To achieve amongst the top one percent: Seek situations where you have a distinct advantage. Find your "niche of exceptionalness". Leverage your unique ability, circumstance or knowledge to succeed consistently. Tip the scales decidedly to your advantage. Action and flexibility create opportunity. You have a unique advantage, find it or create it, then exploit it. Then do it over and over again to realize unparalleled success.

Copyright © Scott F Paradis

Scott F. Paradis, author of "Promise and Potential: A Life of Wisdom, Courage, Strength and Will" publishes "Insights" available for free at

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