Wednesday, 23 June 2010

David Wong

Business: Success = Meeting the Right People

All of those successful people you see around town, with their convertibles and huge televisions? Approximately 100 percent of them got where they are because they had three things. All three are absolutely essential, but one of them is almost never mentioned. They are:

* Talent
* Hard Work
* Randomly Meeting the Right People and Not Pissing Them Off

The autobiographies of famous people will do everything they can to downplay that third part, because it has the element of sheer luck. People get offended when you mention it, because they think it somehow undermines the first two. But remember, we said you need all three.

For instance, let's take maybe the most successful movie actor of all time, Harrison Ford. He farted around Hollywood for nine years, taking bit parts without anything major ever coming his way. Clearly talented, very hard-working. Yet not once did anybody look at him and say, "This guy will sell several billion dollars' worth of tickets and action figures some day!" He was just another ambitious, pretty face, in a city full of them. He got so fed up, he quit acting and became a carpenter. There's a parallel world without this man as Han Solo, and I don't want to live there.

Then one day he got hired to install cabinets in the home of a guy named George Lucas. They became friends. That got him the role of Han Solo a few years later. That's a true story.

Decades earlier another Ford, Henry, was just one of many engineers screwing around with early car engine designs until he became friends with a wealthy businessman named Alexander Malcomson who forked over the money to get Ford Motor Company started. This also works for guys not named Ford; Justin Bieber was one of several hundred thousand teenagers singing on YouTube videos before a former record exec named Scooter Braun clicked on one of his videos by accident and got him a record deal.But everyone already knew he was an accident.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have guys like Edgar Allan Poe, whose legendary poem "The Raven" earned him... nine dollars. He burned so many bridges he wound up basically begging the public for money before dying at 40. At some point Poe probably met his George Lucas, but made such a horrible impression on him the guy wouldn't return his calls. "Oh, shit, honey, he's at the door! Pretend we're not home! Did he see me?"

Chapters include:

I. First Impressions are Really Important;
II. Subsequent Impressions Are Also Important;
III. No, You're Not Terrell Owens (aka Why Acting Like a Douchebag is a Bad Investment).

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