Saturday, 20 July 2013

Campaign for Real Success Stories

A red door with a streak of white paint splashed across
I find few things more demoralising than motivational speakers.  Every time I hear another story of a dropout who left school with an NVQ in bird feeding*, a heart full of dreams, and a great idea, I cringe.  When I then learn that the great idea took root, grew and blossomed into a worldwide business empire, I just want to give up. 

Such people are exceptional.  Some are exceptionally talented, others are exceptionally lucky.  Either way, I would question the value of lessons based on exceptions.  It is highly unlikely that our business will turn us into billionaires.

[A chorus of motivational speakers addresses my inner ear:  You gotta belieeeeve Brother!  Believe the dream!  Cast out negative thoughts.  You too can make millions.  You just gotta belieeeeve!  Banish the doubt!  Stamp it out!  Know you can do whatever you want!]

Anyone setting up a business wants it to succeed but few people enjoy the staggering success of some of the examples routinely mentioned in business talks.  Examples based on more modest, less exceptional success would be less discouraging.

*OK - cheap shot.  NVQs are easy targets and not always fairly so.  I found my NVQ level 3 surprisingly challenging.