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Shortcuts To Becoming Successful - Business Insider


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Here are Shane's tools for achieving bigger, faster success:

  1. Forget "paying your dues."
  2. Find your Yoda outside the office.
  3. Watching others fail helps you succeed.
  4. Forget first movers. Be a fast follower.
  5. Want to be more creative? Add constraints.
  6. "It's easier to make something 10 times better than to make something 10% better."

That's a lot to remember. So if you forget everything you just read, what's the one thing you need to keep in mind? I asked Shane that and here's what he said:

The mistake that all of us make is we don't step back enough to ask, " Why are we doing things this way? " In fact, we should first be asking ourselves, "Why are we doing this in the first place?" But certainly ask, "Why are we doing it this way?" Often the answer is, "Because that's the way people have always done it in the past" — and that's a problem if you want to make more rapid progress or if you want to get off the plateau that you're on.

So look around today at the things that are important and ask why you're doing them that way.

Is there a better way? A way that's quicker, more effective, and more fun?

More often than not, I'll bet you there is.

4. Forget first movers. Be a fast follower.

"I had that idea but they beat me to it." Ever said that? Okay, you're now officially a whiner. Because you were dead wrong.

You were actually in the better spot. Research shows the guy who starts second is more likely to win.

Via "Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success":

…Peter Golder and Gerard Tellis of the University of Southern California, published a study in 1993 to see if historical evidence backed the claim that market pioneers were more likely to succeed. They researched what happened to 500 brands in 50 product categories, from toothpaste to video recorders to fax machines to chewing gum. Startlingly, the research showed that 47% of the first movers failed. Only about half the companies that started selling a product first remained the market leader five years later, and only 11% of first movers remained market leaders over the long term. By contrast, early leaders — companies that took control of a product's market share after the first movers pioneered them — had only an 8% failure rate. 53% of the time in the Golder and Teller study, an early leader became the market leader in a category.

When you're first you have to waste a lot of time and energy figuring out best practices. When you're second, you can just play "follow the leader."

Dan Coyle said the two most important words when it comes to getting better are "reach" and "stare."

  • Reach: Keep trying to get better.
  • Stare: Study and emulate those who are better than you.

You're not too late. You're right on time.

(For more on the attitude that produces success, click here.)

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