How To Succeed In Business

Success in business is not vague or abstract. It is measurable and absolute. What’s the process then?  I’ve experienced and seen three things hold people back from starting and succeeding in business; fear, money, and lack of knowledge. We have discovered how to overcome fear and lack of money. Let’s move forward and understand the knowledge component of how to succeed in business.


Of the three obstacles, lack of knowledge is the hardest. In my own experience and in the process of coaching others, I am certain that stumbling into creative non-traditional or innovative skills is impossible. In my specialty of homebuilding, it was essential for me to gain mastery of dealing in real estate, evaluating business opportunities, managing employees and investing. So, how do you gain knowledge?

Begin with an understanding of what it takes! Outliers: The Story Of Success by Malcolm Gladwell talks about the “10,000-Hour Rule.”  Success is the result of practicing specific tasks for 10,000 hours. Gladwell references sociologist Robert Merton who calls this the Mathew Effect, in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.

Matthew 25:29

Gladwell calls it “accumulated advantage”. Outliers tells how NHL stars, Bill Gates, and The Beatles all took 10,000 hours of practice to succeed. Gladwell quotes psychologist K. Anders Ericsson study of amateur and professional pianists. “People at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder”. Sustained hard work is a precondition for success in almost any endeavor.

Are you one who will persevere? Most think it’s luck or that there are shortcuts. What’s at stake is if you are not aware of this principle? You may give up to soon.

Think about it! The average person works 2,000 hours/ year. It may take 5 years to master a talent. Once you realize this, it becomes easier to understand, most of us will end up working for someone else for a few years, as we apprentice, before we master our craft and start out on our own.  Want to succeed in business? Learn and practice. A lot!

The earlier you start the better.  If it’s a hobby it may easily take 10 years. But it is worth it. This book will inspire you to keep on practicing. It helps you see the world in a whole new way. 2-minute video explanation by Gladwell, click here.

It was 10 years before I felt comfortable and started to achieve the success for which we are known. I moved through the 10,000 hours starting as a laborer, then bricklayer, superintendent, first business and then Land Ark Homes. It took a lot of learning by doing!

If you’re starting out head in the right direction CNN/PayScales list of top 100 Careers. Or for why skilled trades may make more sense for many, see Dirty Jobs Mike Rowe on the High Cost of College.


Prepare to be inspired by Outliers and the success stories.


Attitude: Do you think success will be easy?

Action: Order Outliers to inspire you to put in the practice to gain knowledge.

Question: Are you willing to invest the time to gain knowledge?

Resource:  Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

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