This is my first post of 2017 and I can guarantee you that this year is going to be a blast! Maybe, I’m a bit late for my New Year’s Resolutions but one thing is for sure: not only I’m going to achieve everything I am, but I will also inspire every single one of you to go out there and do whatever you want to do before you grow old.
As college hasn’t started yet in Albania due to the weather conditions, I’ve been reading and preparing a bit for my exams. I was just finishing the last chapter of Research Methods for Business Students when I came across this piece, written 10 years ago and published on The Financial Times.
I hope you find this inspirational as much as I did. Enjoy 🙂
‘How I did it’ books give me a sinking feeling
The poolside is twice as pleasurable this year because swimming is so much more enjoyable. The credit goes to pioneers of new methods of swimming instruction, Steven Shaw and Terry Laughlin. In my experience, most swimming lessons are delivered by charming young Australians, excellent swimmers who have been at home in the water since they were young children. They regard those who flounder in the water with incomprehension. They say ‘watch me’ as they vanish towards the other end of the pool. But what bad swimmers need is to be taught to do the things good swimmers do naturally. Bad swimmers must overcome their fear of water and learn to balance and float.
The skills of being good at something and being good at teaching others to do it are completely different.
That lesson seems relevant to the pile of bad books by my deckchair. I have been skimming the clutch of recent guides to entrepreneurship. Most are spin-offs from television programmes. The message of all is that anyone can do it, which is indeed the title of two of these books. I do not know whether skill or luck was the more important contributor to the development of Coffee Republic, the success of mobile phone magnate Peter Jones, or of publisher Felix Dennis or the coups of property speculator Duncan Bannatyne. Nor do these authors know. But whether you are successful because you are skillful, like swimmer Mark Spitz, or successful because you are lucky, like a lottery winner, you can easily, and mistakenly, convince yourself that your own experience shows that anyone can do it. After all, anyone who is Mark Spitz can be an Olympic swimming champion, and anyone can be a lottery winner if they buy the right ticket. There is nothing to be learnt from memorising the banal tips provided by these books – aim to succeed, show determination, have a good idea, work hard.
© John Kay
We are different. And that’s what makes us special. Unique!
So, find something you are good at and go after it. That’s the only way you can do it. Not by “how to” books, but by practising.
I’ll see you soon 🙂
Lots of love,