No-one makes it alone.
I've said before I've come a long way professionally in the last eleven years. Did I get this far all by myself? Hell no.
My life has been a series of lucky breaks. Hard work, yes, but hard work alone isn't enough. Far too many winners pretend like they did it all themselves. We look at winners and see only their individual narratives: the plucky hero battling adversity. We don’t see the myriad factors that tipped the playing field before the game even began. Pre-set conditions conspired to help them achieve their successes. No-one makes it alone. One-in-a-million chances happen every day. A lot also don’t. The nature of the world makes it overwhelmingly difficult for individuals to prosper without favourable conditions already being in place.
Random chance combines with events unknown to propel some forward, and to pull others back. It works both ways: we don’t see the chance encounter that we missed because we waited for thirty extra seconds crossing the street which would have made us a millionaire in five years. Then again - that opportunity may have also given me a nervous breakdown. There’s no way to tell. The journalist Malcolm Gladwell paints this picture wonderfully in his book, Outliers.
So I accept what I’ve done is at best only partly responsible for where I am today. The rest is a complex arrangement of factors that conspired, some before I was even born, to lead me to each opportunity I’ve been presented. But if I hadn't acted the way I have, how many of the breaks I’ve encountered would have passed me by? Again - impossible to tell.
No-one makes it alone. They need some luck, and they need the courage to act. One piece of advice I'll give is you must put yourself first - ahead of what you think might be in other people’s, or a company’s, “best interest”. Companies and corporations are made by people, but they are intangible, blind monsters that consume everything and hypnotize their prey. We believe they have paternal motives. We get suckered into feeling we owe them something. But they don't return this loyalty. When someone is seen to act alone, we’re conditioned to view them as arrogant, immature or selfish. But such assertiveness isn’t immoral; success isn’t a zero-sum game. You can enjoy success and good fortune without denying it from others; in fact, you owe it to those you care for to be as successful as possible, so you can support them and yourself. Being selfish isn’t just necessary; it’s moral.
So I offer no guarantee for any advice that follows. All I can say is that - partially at least - it worked for me. If you think it would for you too, then I invite you to read what’s coming next.
Finally, if you'd like to chat one-to-one with me about your career, please get in touch. I'm on Facebook and LinkedIn.