Success is never going to be…
… something which is handed to you on a plate.
Or in a book, for that matter.
But that doesn’t mean you should stop reading about the subject.
A few years’ ago, when I was passing through the Canary Wharf financial district of London on my way to an event in Greenwich, I overheard two City guys talking on their way back to their office.
I heard one of them say dismissively: “You don’t learn anything from books.”
What I took him to mean (and I could be wrong in my assumption) was that in the financial markets it’s about how you read and interpret the numbers, how you spot opportunities, how you manage your risk and how you deal that counts most.
But he’s wrong to dismiss books as unhelpful in other walks of life.
Take the title of the one illustrated.
It’s not a book where the author is screaming out “Read Me and You Will Be A Success – Guaranteed”.
No. It’s just a collection of tips, techniques, stories and approaches to provide some encouragement, inspiration and motivation.
To be a success requires action.
Otherwise it’s just a plan (however masterful) in your mind. Nothing more.
But it would be wrong to say reading cannot help you achieve great things. Or even help you along the way.
When I was learning shorthand as part of my journalism training, reading shorthand helped to improve my writing of shorthand – and my speed.
When I was trying (with unremarkable results) to learn the Italian language, reading some Italian helped me to write an essay.
When I first started out as a copywriter, I found reading about copywriting and the world of advertising useful in shaping and sharpening my craft.
Books can be a wonderful source of information, research and inspiration.
So, too, can other media…
They are useful and fascinating sources for the enquiring mind.
Anyone in a creative field should be open to keeping their eyes and ears open. To observing the world around them. To making notes and storing ideas.
For me, it’s a way for me to always have something to write about.
I can take a news story of the day and turn that into content for an email, blog article or newsletter.
I can see a storyline in a TV show and relate it to business, a specific market or target audience.
I can rummage through the junk mail and find an idea which might work in a different market – perhaps one of interest to one or more of my clients.
If you had to write a monthly newsletter, a weekly blog or a daily email to your list… could you do that with ease?
Or would you struggle to come up with something of interest to say each time?
Could you write your own book on Success?
Or would you not know where to even begin?
Let’s face it, some people just find writing difficult.
People can set out with the best of intentions but may not realise just how much of an art goes into setting down words which really say something.
They start then – a bit like going to the gym after New Year – quit.
They write rubbish just to get something down – and hope it will do (it won’t).
They stare at their computer screen and it stays blank for ages – a bit like their mind.
When you know how, it’s easy, of course.
It’s no different in sport or other areas of life. The professionals, the top players, the entrepreneurs enjoying big success – they just make it look so simple and effortless.
The same with writing.
If you’re responsible for your marketing or the copy, it’s worth understanding the craft – or getting in someone else who does.
It can help to get you clear about you and your business.
It can help you get your message across to your market.
It can help you say something different and more interesting than what the rest of the competition is doing.
There is a structure and a process for it.
If you’d like to know how that could work for you, simply send me a message and let’s talk.