A great many of us on LinkedIn are small business owners, entrepreneurs … or simply looking for alternatives.

And… given the odds of succeeding the way we planned on … in the beginning… we’re doing something wrong.

Face it… if we were betting on our company succeeding we would do far better betting against ourselves… than with us.

But we’re optimists aren’t we?

And sometimes that works against us.

And we waffle between optimism and pessimism because … most of the time we are seeking the “easy way” or the “guaranteed” way to succeed.

Everywhere we go we see “the answer” that we seek… the one that will shoot us to the very top of the mountain and ensure success.

Damn, those copywriters are good, aren’t they?

They know all of the hot buttons to push and… even though we know the odds are against what they say… we buy anyway.

Because human nature is to take the easy road out.

Reality?   No one like to work hard… everyone wants success given to them by pushing “the magic button” that is presented to them everywhere we look.

But we all know that it doesn’t REALLY exist… but we keep hoping that it does.

I want to tell you a story…

My greatest success in business came after I retired… and it came when I had no real expectations.   Sure, I worked hard… but I didn’t have much money and I simply did what I thought I should… little by little.


Maybe, but it worked. And it was in a market that I knew nothing about … and I really knew … deep down… that my chances of succeeding were almost nil.   But I kept on putting on foot in front of the other, plodding along, doing a little more every day and basically doing “what I thought was the right thing.”   And it worked… better than I could have dreamed.

I didn’t buy from copywriters of people selling “guaranteed success”… and most of all… I didn’t have huge expectations.

Another story… our daughter stayed in Costa Rica AFTER we left the country and returned to Minnesota.   She had gotten divorced and had custody of her two children.   But she had no job and we had always supported her… until then… and we were unable to.

We didn’t know what she would do… and neither did she. She had no marketable skills and … in high school… was “voted most likely to party.”

But she put one foot in front of the other too.   She spoke both Spanish and English and was VERY fluent in both.   She started offering her services to Costa Ricans who wanted to learn English and saw it as a way to gain status and “get ahead”.   And she built her own business little by little.

Because she saw no other alternatives…

She put one foot in front of the other too… hoping that things would turn out… but simply going out each day and doing the best that she could.

She succeeded.

She’s not rich but she pays her bills, supports her children and even came back to Minnesota to visit last year.   And this is better than nearly all people living in Costa Rica.   And we’re proud of her.

Where am I going with this?

Simply put… we have all been sold the American dream and told that we can succeed if we work hard enough and “find our way.”

And every day we see more and more advertisements, videos, sales pages and testimonials for the “magic buttons and systems that the authors GUARANTEE will work”…

And after a while… we start to believe them… even though we remember what our parents said about “if it sounds too good to be true… “

Of course there are systems and methods that work… but they don’t happen overnight … despite claims to the contrary.

We need to remember the proverbial “one step at a time” and start there.   There are many ways to get to our goals…

And they seem to happen when we do what we KNOW we have to.   Or we listen to someone who has literally “been there and done that”.

Stop looking for the magic bullet… and don’t expect the easy way out.

Sorry to disappoint you… but most of you knew it anyway.

Sometimes what we need to hear is what we don’t want to hear.

Ask the people you know that have “made it”… and see what they say about “taking things one step at a time.”

Nearly all of them did.