Why are some people so successful?
And some coaching questions to get you thinking about your own idea of success, and what you'd like to achieve across your work/life...
I was sat having a drink with a friend at the weekend and we were talking about how it is that she has climbed the creative career ladder to one of the highest rungs.
It wasn’t a private education, it wasn’t nepotism and it certainly wasn’t fluke.
“It’s that I’ve always believed in my ability,” she said.
She’s intelligent, creative and articulate.
And she’s confident. She exudes it, and it’s an attractive trait.
“Is it that,” I said, “or is it that others believe in your ability?”
After all, to climb within a company requires other people seeing your talent and offering you the next promotion.
“A combination, maybe,” she said, “but it’s so important to believe in yourself.”
I’m not sure that I’ve always believed in my ability, but what I do know about myself is that I have big ambition, huge drive and unwavering determination.
I’m always researching; looking at what my peers are doing and how it’s happened for them.
When I see someone get a book deal, and I want a book deal, I think: if they can do it, so can I - and I go for it.
It’s not that I think I’m more intelligent than anyone else, or more talented - it’s that I know a large part of ‘success’ comes from just doing the bloody thing.
I’m self-employed and have been for my entire career.
Sometimes, I’ve earned a lot of money as a freelancer and business owner; sometimes I’ve earned pittance.
Sometimes, I’ve had back-to-back journalism and book commissions lined up, while at other times, it’s felt very quiet.
But what’s kept me going is the knowledge that as a freelancer, persistence will get you far.
If you give up on the first rejection, or the first time you’re ignored - you will never achieve anything.
Likewise the second, third and fourth. But if you keep going: send the fifth, six, seventh, eight, ninth and tenth pitches… someone might bite.
Once one editor bites, your profile is raised a little. The next one might then have their eye on you.
And on, until commissions are flowing in without you even needing to pitch.
Being interviewed for ghostwriting (and failure)
In the past five months, I’ve had three interviews for ghostwriting jobs.