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The 2 Most Important Steps for Success in Anything

Success is simple. Not easy. Hard, actually. But simple.

In my own experience, here’s what it takes:

  1. Be the best.
  2. Find a “sneezer”.

1. Becoming the best has nothing to do with actually being the best at something. It’s got to do with a philosophy of being the most committed to something.

If you get hired to mow a lawn, you’d better mow the fuck out of that lawn. Make sure that, even if it’s raining, the lawn is mown as perfectly as you can, given your resources and environment.

And if your resources are limited, work at improving them as fast as you can while still delivering at a very high commitment level.

I’ve got a confession to make…

I’m not the best coder out there. But I’m a lot more committed to my client’s projects than most other coders. And I’m a lot more committed to solving their business problems than nearly every other coder out there.

And that makes it easy for me to command high prices for my work.

Now I don’t just commit to their work. I also make sure they know how committed I am. If I encounter problems, I explain the problems and I also explain how I fixed it. I explain these things in clear terms, no jargon. And I make sure it’s clear that it took time and genius and commitment.

Genius doesn’t exist to be honest. Well not in the work I do. But commitment does and that commitment leads to awesome solutions to problems that others couldn’t solve.

You see, most people just give up too soon. If you commit, you win.

2. Finding a “sneezer” is something that happened on purpose with my guitar forum and by mistake in my programming career.

I’d read an article by Seth Godin that talked about “sneezers” and how they can explode the engagement with a new idea or business. Sneezers are people that are well-known and well-regarded in your industry. If they suggest something, people follow. It’s like having a flu and sneezing on someone. You spread it. Same idea.

So when I started my guitar forum — now the largest guitar forum in South Africa — I set out to find sneezers and I asked them to join my forum. I eventually found one who was willing to check it out and contribute. He promised to stick around if it was any good.

It was the best guitar forum in the country (see point 1) because I was committed to making it the best. I had one major rule, which was that you had to “be nice”.

It was the best forum and I had a sneezer. Soon he started referring people to the forum through his interactions online and offline and he was regularly contributing to the forum. Whammo! Success.

Same thing happened with my coding career as The Tech Assassin

After coding for years and years and years, I had become pretty good. I was also stubbornly committed to fixing things and delivering great results. Sometimes it lead to me spending FAR too long on a project than I should have. But I was committed. That’s what committed people do.

I found a sneezer (Jason Henderson) and bartered with him. Soon he was singing my praises and I had even more sneezers. And it’s just kept snowballing from there.

Right now, some big names in the Internet Marketing scene know my name and sneeze it all over the place.

Why? Because I’m committed and I found my first sneezers.

Are there other paths to success? Sure. But I find this to be the easiest.

Being the best isn’t hard. It just takes a good work ethic. If you don’t have that, then find something new to do until having a good work ethic is easy for you.

Finding a sneezer… okay that part is definitely hard. Most sneezers don’t give a rat’s ass about you. So you’d better have something to offer them that they need. Start with a small barter. Then grow it a bit. Ask your sneezers to post a testimonial in a group you’re both in. From there… just rinse and repeat.

Success is simple. Not easy. Hard, actually. But simple.

About the author

Norio De Sousa

Norio is a Tech Assassin on a journey to becoming a Word Assassin.