The Unfair Truth About How Creative People Really Succeed

On Networks, Connections, and Relationships

By Jeff Goins

The other week, I was invited to a dinner hosted by a friend. Those attending included people I’ve admired for years. Halfway through the dinner, I silently asked myself, “How did I get here?”

For years, I heard people talk about their influential friendships and subsequent success, and I would seethe with envy. It seemed unfair. Of course those people were successful. They knew the right people. They were in the right place at the right time. They got lucky.

Years later, I would discover that success is born of luck (I don’t think any honest person can dispute that). But luck, in many ways, can be created — or at very least, improved.

The truth is life is not fair. For creative work to spread, you need more than talent. You have to get exposure to the right networks. And as unfair as that may seem, it’s the way the world has always worked.

The good news, though, is you have more control over this than you realize.

Creativity: A Systems Approach

What makes a person creative? Of course, as human beings we are all endowed with the ability to create. But what is the difference between that kind of “little c” creativity and the world-changing “big C” creativity that changes industries and leaves a legacy for generations to come?

In his decades-long study of creativity, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes what he calls a “systems approach.” Since creative work tends to be subjective, he posits a model that includes three systems. They are:

  • The Domain
  • The Field
  • The Individual

In order for a work to be considered Creative (in the sense that it offers some kind of enduring work the world remembers), it must satisfy all three of these areas. Here’s how it works.

First, an individual must master her craft in a given domain (art, science, mathematics). Then, this person must offer the creative work to a field of influencers in that domain who are trusted experts. Finally, the gatekeepers decide if the work is worth being accepted as authoritative into the domain.

That’s the systems approach to creativity.

And as much as I initially winced at the word “gatekeepers” when considering what makes creative work succeed, once I started reading biographies of famous artists, scientists, and musicians, it made a lot of sense. Talent is only part of the equation. The rest is network.

Hemingway, Paris, and Enduring Work

When he was just a young man in his early twenties, Ernest Hemingway moved from Chicago, Illinois to a poor district in Paris. He had just returned from a short stint of serving with the Red Cross in World War I and wanted to pursue a career in writing. There was just one problem: he didn’t have much exposure to other writers.

Who would teach him?

In Chicago, Hemingway met Sherwood Anderson who encouraged him to move to Paris to meet Gertrude Stein, who led a community of writers, poets, and artists there. Plus, it was cheaper to live in Paris, and Hemingway could live modestly while still having time to travel and write.

In Paris, he met Stein, as well as Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and many others who would shape his work for years to come. This included a connection via F. Scott Fitzgerald to Scribner’s, the publisher that would later publish his novels and change the course of his career forever.

Before that decade in Paris, Hemingway was a writer of some notable talent and a pretty good journalist. But after those years immersed in the creative work of others, he was a household name.

Due to the connections created through that community, Hemingway became one of the most famous writers of the 20th Century. It’s inconceivable such a development could have happened anywhere else. Not because there was something special about the Left Bank at that time, but because without a network, creative work does not endure.

Without a network, creative work does not endure.

In other words, without Paris, there is no Hemingway. But what does that mean for mere mortals like you and me?

Finding Your Own Paris

Are we doomed to failure if we don’t live in the right place at the right time?

Of course not. But networks matter, maybe more than we care to admit. Vincent van Gogh’s work matured much more quickly once he met the French Impressionists. And why wouldn’t it? He now had a field of gatekeepers who both critiqued and validated his work.

Whether we like it or not, we all need some kind of objective standard against which to measure our work. And although van Gogh did not sell much of his work in his lifetime, it was the tenacity of a well-connected sister-in-law who eventually brought his paintings to market. In fact, most of the great art the world has ever seen came about not through a single stroke of genius but by the continual effort of a community.

Great art does not come about through a single stroke of genius, but by the continual effort of a community.

Networks. Partnerships. Creative collaborations. This is where enduring work originates, and, incidentally, is how we get works like The Lord of the Rings and The White Album. Creativity is not a solitary invention but a collaborative creation. And communities create opportunities for creative work to succeed.

But how do you apply this approach if you don’t live some place like Paris, New York, or Rome?

Well, of course, you could move. According to Csikszentmihalyi, it’s better to move somewhere new than it is to will yourself to be more creative. And now, it’s easier than ever to transplant yourself someplace inspiring, even if temporarily. I did this eight years ago, relocating from northern Illinois to Nashville and unknowingly implanted myself into what would become a hub of creativity, technology, and entrepreneurship. I’m glad I did.

But you could also let go of your excuses and realize there’s a network available to you right now, wherever you are. This may come in the form of an online mastermind group or a series of events you attend, maybe even one you organize yourself. The truth is there are connections everywhere and always more resources available to those willing to look.

A Seat at the Table

Five years ago, I decided to do something radical — well, radical for me at least. I let go of my cynicism and began reaching out to influential bloggers and authors, people I had watched for years and wanted to know. I asked them to meet me for coffee. And here’s the crazy part: most of them said yes.

Even though I was a shy person, I met these heroes of mine and followed up with them, doing everything I could think of to help them. In some cases, it just meant buying their coffee. In others, I would interview them for my tiny blog, realizing that even the most influential people don’t mind talking about themselves.

I tried to be the kind of person these people would want to invest in — following every piece of advice they gave, doing everything they told me to do, and not questioning a single word of it. And at some point, I got lucky.

It’s naive to say success doesn’t involve luck. Of course, it does. Crazy stuff happens all the time, stuff we can’t control that sometimes works in our favor. At the same time, luck is not completely out of your control. Luck can be planned, anticipated. Although I can’t tell when or where luck is going to come from, I do know the more you put yourself in the company of greatness, the more likely some of that greatness will rub off on you.

So if you want a seat at the table, the process might look something like this:

  1. Find a gatekeeper. For Hemingway, this was Sherwood Anderson and eventually Gertrude Stein. These were the people who held the keys to the kingdom, and every domain has at least one. Find someone who is connected to the people you want to know, and be strategic in reaching out, tenacious in staying in touch, and intentional in demonstrating your competency.
  2. Connect with other people in the network. Stein introduced Hemingway to other writers in Paris who could help him, but he was also relentless about meeting with them. He used to spar with Ezra Pound on a regular basis, boxing him and learning how to write terse prose in the process. If you show the gatekeeper you’re willing to learn, he or she will likely introduce you to others and keep investing in you.
  3. Help as many people as possible. This is crucial. It’s not just who you know, it’s who you help. People remember what you do for them a lot more than they remember how clever you were. In spite of his reputation as an alpha male, Hemingway did this, too — helping Stein get her work published, encouraging Fitzgerald when he suffered from creative blocks, and bringing attention to the work of the Left Bank.

Of course, every person’s journey is their own. But what I am now more certain of than ever before is that success in any creative field is contingent on the networks you are a part of. The question is, will you embrace the power of networks, or will you keep thinking those people are just lucky?

Luck comes to us all. But those who recognize it are the ones who succeed. Every story of success is really a story of community, and the way you find yours is by reaching out and taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves — whether that’s in Paris, Chicago, or your own hometown.

A version of this article originally appeared on To read the “sequel” to this post, check out: The Art of Designing Your Own Apprenticeship.

Want more articles like this on creativity and success? Sign up for my free email newsletter.

Jeff Goins is the author of four books, including the national bestseller The Art of Work. For more thoughts on writing and creativity, get his free weekly newsletter.

You may distribute, reprint, or republish this article as long as you attribute the author and do not sell it.

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3 Shortcuts to Success Every High Achiever Uses (That You Don’t)

Yes, there is a shortcut to success, and it’s not working harder — it’s working smarter.

The other day, someone commented on a Facebook post of mine in which I promised them a “shortcut” to success. They said, there’s no such thing. That made me wonder.

Really? There are no shortcuts in life? Only the hardest working people in the world win? It’s a popular belief, which should be reason enough to question its validity. But let’s explore this idea.

Let’s say there are no shortcuts and everyone is as successful as they absolutely deserve to be. Does that mean Bill Gates, who makes about $11 billion per year (or $1.3 million per hour!) works 54,000 times harder than the average American worker who earns $50,000 per year?

How is that even possible?

Look. We all want to believe hard work pays off. And it does. But at a certain point, you can’t work any harder. You have no more time than anyone else. So what do you do? You have to learn how to work smarter. And that means learning from someone who’s already been there.

1. Don’t Go It Alone — Get a Guide

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin

For years as a writer, I struggled to get noticed. I blogged and nobody cared, tried to write books no one would read, and failed to motivate myself to work. I wanted a publisher but didn’t know anyone in the industry and didn’t have any readers to show for my work. I was stuck.

What I needed was someone to show me another path. It didn’t have to be a shortcut. I was just tired of the long road to success — because it was leading nowhere — desperately wanted to know what was missing.

In any great story, there is a point in the journey when the hero meets an obstacle he cannot overcome. This is the moment when the guide arrives. This is the essence of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey: you cannot succeed without someone wiser to show you the way. Frodo needed Gandalf. Luke needed Obi-wan. And you and I need a mentor.

Sure enough, in my own journey, that’s what happened. I met a handful of people who acted as guides in helping me become an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. My dream became a reality within a matter of 18 months. But this wasn’t because I hustled — it’s because I found a guide.

“I didn’t succeed because I hustled any harder. I succeeded because I found a guide.”

And you know what? I didn’t work any harder in those 18 months than I did in the previous seven years. But I did work smarter — not because I was any smarter, but because someone showed me a better way. I met the right people, connected with the right networks, and practiced my craft in the right way. In other words, I found a shortcut.

But maybe you don’t like thinking of success this way. I certainly don’t. It’s embarrassing to admit I got a little lucky, that I was in the right place at the right time, that it wasn’t just about the hustle. But that’s the truth. And I think we need to acknowledge this reality.

2. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel — Learn from Others’ Experiences

“True education does not consist merely in the acquiring of a few facts of science, history, literature, or art, but in the development of character.” ―David O. McKay

How do you find a guide, or in today’s terms, a mentor? It’s not as easy as we’d like.

First of all, mentors tend to be busy people. So getting in front of one will take work. People move around so much these days, and so many things, including our careers, are constantly changing. It stands to reason, then, that your mentor will not just be one person, but a team of people.

In my book, The Art of Work, I call this an “accidental apprenticeship.” The idea here is that if you pay attention to your life and the people who are in it, you will find there are those around you right now whom you can learn from. In that sense, the best mentor is the one that’s right in front of you.

“The best mentor is the one that’s right in front of you.”

Still, you’ll want to be intentional about getting into relationship with this person. So there are a few steps I recommend following that have worked well for me and that I’ve seen others emulate, as well:

Make your first ask a small one. In other words, don’t lead with, “Will you mentor me?” Instead, ask for a few minutes of their time, offer to buy them lunch/coffee/whatever.

Make it all about them. Ask them to tell their story. Ask specific questions about choices they made in their own success journey and why. In other words, flatter them to death. Nobody is immune to this kind of treatment, and it certainly beats the awkward alternative. Come prepared with questions, and try to talk as little as possible. If you show up informed and interested, you will be both engaging and memorable.

Take notes. When you meet with this person, write down everything they say. Honor their wisdom by capturing as much of it as possible. I recommend using a notebook and pen over a phone, just so that it’s clear you’re not checking your email or texting your buddies.

Follow up. This is perhaps the most important and most often overlooked secret to getting into relationship with influencers who can eventually become part of your team of mentors. I meet with a lot of people and even tell them how important this is and still see on average about 80% of people never follow up. What I mean by this is a simple thank-you email for the person’s time, or even better: a copy of the notes you took to show that you really did listen and take to heart their wisdom.

Become a case study. Hands down, this is the best thing you can do to earn the attention of an influencer. And if you do this consistently over time, you will get people interested in mentoring you. Take some piece of advice this person has given you (or published in a book, blog post, etc.) and apply it. Demonstrate that this stuff works and tell the world about it. The reason this works is fairly obvious: you’re making the mentor look good.

Again, this goes back to making it about them. Don’t offer empty flattery; just show that you’re someone worth investing in. Do this enough times, and people will be lining up to give you their time, attention, and ideas. Because the truth is nearly everyone wants to help someone who is going places, so they can feel responsible for that person’s success.

For more on this, check out this article: How to Find a Mentor in 10 Not-so-easy Steps.

3. Don’t Succumb to Scarcity — Embrace Abundance

“True success is overcoming the fear of being unsuccessful.” — Paul Sweeney

My friend Mary told me when she was first starting out as a writer, she asked an author out to lunch. “How do you get published?” she asked. The person wouldn’t tell her. She said those were her secrets and that Mary would have to find out for herself.

That day, Mary vowed that if she ever made it as a writer, she’d share everything she learned with other aspiring authors. A few years later, I called her asking for advice, and she made good on her promise.

Shawn Coyne, long-time New York editor, told me a similar story. Back in the day, nobody in publishing shared anything. There were no guidebooks on how to be an editor. He had to figure it out all on his own. Once he did, instead of hoarding his knowledge, he decided to share it in a book, blog, and podcast.

This refusal to succumb to the scarcity mindset changes everything. When we let go of our perceived scarcity and embrace our actual abundance, it changes so many things:

  • Scarcity kills our creativity. Abundance expands it.
  • Scarcity makes us afraid. Abundance makes us brave.
  • Scarcity pushes people away. Abundance attracts.

It can feel a little risky to embrace this mindset, this idea that there are guides out there who will help you and opportunities for success yet to be uncovered. But it is a much better way to live than to assume the alternative, that everyone is out to get you and there is no way you’ll succeed.

Once you do experience this abundance, you will have an opportunity to help others, which is one of the greatest rewards of success.

This is why I feel so responsible for helping other writers make their own journey towards getting published. Of course, I tell them it will take hard work. But I also teach them the rules of the game and how to improve their chances of success.

You can’t just work harder. You have to work smarter. Stop trying to manage your time, as my friend Rory Vaden says, and instead learn how to multiply it. Finding the right guides to help you is an integral part of that process.

“Don’t manage time. Multiply it.” — Rory Vaden

Is This Really How It Works?

I realize this may come off as manipulative or even sound a little unsavory. So allow me to address a few potential objections:

Objection #1: Don’t influencers just want to help people out of the kindness of their hearts?

Well, maybe. But they’re busy. And so when push comes to shove, they’re going to invest in people with promise, not takers who seem to make everything about themselves. Your best bet is to be remembered as the ambitious person with lots of questions who was eager to learn, not the know-it-all who was more interested in herself than the person with experience.

Objection #2: Are mentors so egotistical that the whole thing has to be about them?

No, they’re probably not all ego. But we all love to feel important and valued once in a while. And when seeking someone’s help or advice, appeal to this side of them, not their more noble generous side. As you earn their trust, you will see more of this side. But in the beginning, assume they are only interested in helping themselves. And make it worth their while. I’m sure many influencers are very kind and generous people. But it’s better to lead with humility than arrogance.

Objection #3: Do I have to be so strategic?

Can relationship be an end in itself, and not a means to get something out of people? Of course, relationship can be an end in itself. But the truth is most of us, whether we admit it or not, want something out of a relationship. And that something could just be love or acceptance or maybe even guidance. Just because you want something from someone doesn’t necessarily cheapen how you approach them.

In that regard, yes, I do think you have to be strategic. Many of us are extremely busy. So if you don’t make intentional space for people to guide you, then you will likely drift through life, disappointed and disillusioned as you watch others succeed in things you wish you could achieve.

My advice? Don’t be so strategic it stifles the relationship. But be intentional with your time and focus it on those who will give you a return on your investment. I guarantee you this is how your would-be mentors are thinking.

Here’s What It All Boils Down to

“Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.” — Arnold H. Glasow

So how does this work? Well, let’s recap the above in a few important lessons to remember:

Lesson #1: You can get where you want faster if you follow in someone else’s footsteps.

Find a guide or mentor you can learn from and emulate, even from afar. This is the difference between those who continuously struggle and those who find a faster way to succeed. Humble yourself and trust that there are those out there who want to help you.

Lesson #2: Learn from other people’s experiences to grow your own capacity.

In other words, don’t waste years trying to figure things out. Instead, sacrifice time and money to accelerate your learning. Invest in opportunities that allow you to learn from the successes and failures of others. That might mean taking a course, hiring a coach, or working for free for a certain period of time in exchange for experience.

Lesson #3: When opportunity seems limited, change your mind.

It might mean moving across town to a co-working space. It might mean ponying up to go to an industry conference where all your peers are. Or it might just mean realizing there are plenty of chances for success right where you are.

Geography matters, but mindset matters more. And chances are, there’s an opportunity closer than you realize. You just might have to move towards it before it will come closer to you.

“You have to move towards opportunity before it will come closer to you.”

Do these things, and you will see your luck increase. I promise. You can’t just sit around and wait for things to happen — for mentors to come find you and for opportunities to fall in your lap. Luck, of course does happen on occasion, but it’s better to look for luck than wait for it.

Because luck is often hiding in the hard-to-reach places that most people are too timid to approach.

“It’s better to look for luck than wait for it.”

Who knows? Maybe as you scan the horizon for the right opportunities, you just might see a shortcut.

Next Steps

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Nobody’s Heard of You and That’s Okay

3 Advantages of Anonymity in a World Obsessed with Fame

When F. Scott Fitzgerald finished The Great Gatsby and sent it to his friends, fellow authors, and literary critics for feedback, he received one of two responses. Neither was particularly encouraging.

One group said it wasn’t any good. In fact, this was the majority opinion of the work, which didn’t sell that well in Fitzgerald’s lifetime. H.L. Mencken called it “no more than a glorified anecdote” and referred to the author as “this clown.” A bit more bluntly, Ruth Snyder wrote, “We are quite convinced after reading The Great Gatsby that Mr. Fitzgerald is not one of the great American writers of today.”

To be sure, this kind of criticism must have been hard to hear. But the second group was even worse — they liked the book. And that was a problem. Everyone in this group wondered what Fitzgerald would do next, and they were disappointed with the response.

After Gatsby, Fitzgerald’s life and career descended into an abyss from which he would never escape. As a prominent writer of the 1920s who quickly rose to fame and success, making ten times the average income of his peers, he was just as soon forgotten. Some would say he continued to write worthwhile fiction, but this was not the opinion of his contemporaries.

By all accounts, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was a sensitive soul who didn’t cope well with rejection. So when the world did not receive his greatest novel with the acclaim he or his publisher expected, his confidence wilted. His personal life fell apart, too. His wife Zelda was admitted to a mental hospital, and he was left to raise their daughter. In need of money, he moved to Hollywood to write screenplays and struggled with alcoholism until his untimely death at the age of 44.

No matter how you look at it, it’s is a sad story. But what I can’t help but wonder is if the pressure to write something even better than Gatsby was what caused Fitzgerald’s short-lived career, and for that matter, his life. This is conjecture, of course, but I think there’s a decent case to be made here.

In a world obsessed with fame, there is a problem we often don’t acknowledge: success can sometimes hurt more than it helps. So why do we continue to strive for it?

Success: It’s a Trap!

As a writer, I sometimes imagine what it would be like to be more successful: to have more people read my books or to have another decade of experience under my belt. I regret wasting so much time before getting started and worry I’ll never “catch up.” To what, I’m not sure.

We writers don’t like to admit we think about such petty things, but we do. As an online teacher, I hear from others who share similar regrets and longings:

  • “Yeah, I’d love to write, but who would read it?”
  • “Is it too late for me to start now? If only I would have started earlier…”
  • “It doesn’t matter how you good I am or how hard I try. Nobody knows who I am.”

Occasionally, I regret how I began my writing career and wonder what it would have been like to publish my first book to universal acclaim, as Fitzgerald seemingly did. We all love the idea of getting what we want now without acknowledging the negative implications of success. The truth is being an early bloomer is overrated.

“We all love the idea of getting what we want now without realizing the negative implications of success.”

The Gift of Being Invisible

As it turns out, there are hidden opportunities to the invisibility and irrelevance we all fear. When you embrace those opportunities, I believe you end up creating better work, but only if you embrace them.

Here are three advantages of anonymity:

When you’re anonymous, you can try new things.

Fame brings pressure to perform, which can lead to playing it safe and not taking the kind of risks that make for interesting work. But when nobody knows who you are, you can experiment without expectation.

When you’re anonymous, you can fail quietly.

This means you can attempt projects that may not work and learn from them without public shaming. You can iterate more easily and less conspicuously.

When you’re anonymous, you can get better faster.

Because you’re not worried about what people will think or trying to live up to your last success, you can use all that energy to practice. It’s often easier to grow your craft in the shadows than in the spotlight.

Granted, we all want our work to succeed, but we forget there’s a shadow side to sudden success: it usually doesn’t last. Fast fame is the quickest to fade. And so perhaps, what we should want more than sudden success is the opportunity to create enduring work.

“Fast fame is the quickest to fade.”

Failure Is a Friend Dressed Up Like an Enemy

Scott Fitzgerald’s last royalty check before he died was for $13.

At the time, The Great Gatsby was practically out of print and couldn’t be found anywhere. What copies had been bought were apparently by Fitzgerald himself. A once-promising writer who was writing movie scripts to survive now considered himself a failure.
These days, we love to glamorize failure. But we forget how painful and demotivating it can be, how it sometimes demoralizes a person from ever attempting anything again.

There is, however, a secret side to failure: we can choose to see it as a friend, not an enemy. We can learn from it.

Fitzgerald didn’t have to consider himself a failure — he wasn’t. He’d already published This Side of Paradise to literary and popular acclaim. He didn’t have to make enemies with himself. He could have kept working, kept writing, and maybe lived to see the success of his greatest work. Things, however, did not work out that way. The pressure Fitzgerald placed on himself after achieving early success was too much. The author who introduced us to the man who chased the green light was, sadly, the same whose early fame led to his undoing. But did it have to be this way?

One thing I learned after interviewing hundreds of people who found their life’s calling (for my book The Art of Work) is that those who found meaning in their work had a unique perspective on failure. These successful people failed just as much, if not more, than the unsuccessful ones. But instead of letting their failures define them, they learned from them.

“Successful people fail just as much as unsuccessful people. The difference is in how they interpret failure.”

Failure isn’t fun, and it can even be painful, but it’s also an opportunity. I wonder if Fitzgerald had reinterpreted the “failure” of Gatsby maybe things could have been different:

  • Maybe he would not have lived so extravagantly that he was later forced to take undesirable gigs just to pay the bills.
  • Maybe he wouldn’t have given up writing novels for screenplays, because people stopped reading his novels.
  • Maybe he would have been able to endure the criticism long enough to see people to recognize Gatsby’s genius.

It’s convenient to judge the past with the perspective of the present. But I don’t judge Fitzgerald — I empathize with him. His struggle to produce something great and the disappointment of people who misunderstood it is a battle we all face. This encourages me, though, when I sometimes wish I were a bigger deal than I am. There is a gift in being largely invisible to most people, and popularity can be more of a burden than a blessing.

One way we can honor Fitzgerald’s memory is by making the choices he did not, and perhaps could not, have made. We can embrace our lack of early success and let failure teach us without letting it define us. Because what determines a person’s success far more than any talent or potential is the perspective they choose in any given moment.

The Three Advantages of Anonymity

What does this mean for those of us who aren’t great American novelists? It’s a cautionary tale to not chase fame too quickly. Let success come when it wants to. In the meantime, place your focus elsewhere.

Who cares if you’re a “nobody” right now? Use that to your advantage. Your invisibility to the world means you can move more deftly than Fitzgerald could. It means you can create better, more interesting work before the pressure to perform is full on. And that is an opportunity worth embracing.

When you grasp these hidden advantages anonymity, you can play a different game. Here are three takeaways worth remembering:

1. Nobody’s heard of you and that’s okay — you can get better faster when the world isn’t watching.

Embrace the gift of invisibility and use it to your advantage. Try bold things. Practice without the pressure of having to perform. It will make you better.

2. Don’t disparage being the underdog — it’s your greatest opportunity to grow.

There’s an advantage to being the person nobody expects anything from: many people will want to help you. Embrace this place and let them. Once you reach the top, the same people who helped you get there will now want to tear you down. That’s a hard place to be and an even harder place to stay. So don’t rush it.

3. Enjoy your failures — and quietly learn from them.

Success brings with it a lot of expectation, and that generally doesn’t make for great creative work. So enjoy the opportunity Fitzgerald missed out on. Fall on your face without anybody talking about it, and learn from it. There will soon come a time when such experimentation will not go unnoticed. Use this time to prepare for that pressure.
Most of all, remember that there are special privileges reserved for the unlikely and overlooked that we tend to forget. This is natural, of course, because we all want the success we see other people having. But let’s not forget that there are disadvantages to that, too. So instead of pining for more success or fame, why not use this time?

“There are special privileges reserved for the unlikely and overlooked.”

Here are three steps you can take today if you aren’t as famous as you’d like:

  • Don’t avoid the spotlight, but don’t race towards it, either.
  • Build your craft slowly, and let the fanfare come when it does.
  • Be intentional, but not anxious.

Remember: All great work gets its due, eventually.

Jeff Goins is a writer who lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his family. He is the author of the national best seller The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do. Follow him on Twitter at @JeffGoins.

Originally published on

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