If you give me to the end of the paragraph, I’ll tell you the secret to success. Ready? Are you sure? OK, good. Here you go: Quit reading. There’s no such thing.
Think I’m kidding? No way. I’m totally serious. In fact, if I could be sure that each and every one of you would quit wasting your precious time searching for solutions to nonexistent problems, I would gladly give up writing about this stuff and consider my mission accomplished. No kidding.
The problem is I know you won’t, so the writing must go on. C’est la vie.
Now listen very carefully while I explain something to you.
Whatever advice you chronically search for on entrepreneurship, leadership, personal branding, productivity, performance, positive psychology, growth hacking, emotional intelligence, investing, content marketing – whatever – if you would just stop doing it, that would immeasurably improve your chances of becoming successful.
Wait, it gets better. If you would quit social media, the blogosphere, the seminars, the coaching, and all the dopy business books entirely – not just consuming all that useless content but generating it, as well – you’ve actually got a decent chance of making something of yourself.
You heard me right. I just saved you, what, maybe two or three hours a day? Maybe more.
I’ll even throw in some free advice on what you should do with all that found time. Do what everyone who’s ever had a successful career has done since day one: Get a degree in an in-demand field, get a good job with a good company, gain experience, figure out what you love to do, develop your skills, meet lots of great people, gain exposure to new opportunities, and advance your career. Rinse and repeat.
Just keep that up until you achieve happiness, fulfillment, and success. Booyah!
Wait, there’s a catch. You can’t do any of that online. You’ve got to do it all in the real world because that’s the only legitimate way to do great work, have a great career you can be proud of, and achieve your goals in life. No kidding.
Let me be straight with you. You’ve all been sold a bill of goods. In case you’re not familiar with the expression, it means you’ve been had. It means that most of the people you follow online are clueless. It means that the vast majority of content on all those popular topics through all those media channels is nonsense.
That’s because none of those people know any more about any of that stuff – or anything else, for that matter – than you do. After all, they don’t call it user-generated content for nothing. They’re all just users trying to make a buck, and not doing a very good job of it, I should add.
Meanwhile the only folks who are killing it out there are the ones who are doing exactly what I’m telling you to do: quit with all the useless fluff, get out in the real world, get to work, gain experience, gain exposure, and quit searching for answers to questions that don’t exist.
Related: The 7 Rules of Personal Productivity
You see, I’ve spent the last few decades working with hundreds of successful entrepreneurs and executives in Silicon Valley and beyond and none of those people wasted a nanosecond on any of that nonsense. How can they? They’re all too busy working. They’re all too busy innovating. They’re all too busy working on great products that customers love.
Now, before we wrap this up and call it a day, here’s the only caveat. Of course there are folks who BS their way to success. More than I like to think, actually. They all claim to have some secret or a gimmick – all you’ve got to do is follow them, read their blog, buy their book, attend their seminar, and you, too, can achieve your hopes and dreams.
The only problem is this: The only thing they’re good at is getting people to cough up their money. They never did an honest day’s work in their lives. They’re just shysters. Posers. Fakers. BS artists. Their only products are themselves. I don’t know how they live with themselves, but if that’s how you want to make a living, be my guest.
If, on the other hand, you’re searching for a great career full of passion, purpose and achievements you can be proud of, now you know how to find it. You can quit searching now.
If you liked this article, you'll love Steve’s new book, Real Leaders Don’t Follow: Being Extraordinary in the Age of the Entrepreneur, available everywhere.