The Master Secret of Success

How many times have you heard self-help or business gurus talk about how they ‘uncovered’ the ‘real secrets’ of success? Hundreds? Thousands?

Right. Me too.

Well, let me save you some money and time. Forget the gurus for a moment.

Here is the real, true, ‘Master Secret of Success’:

Just get started!

Don’t laugh.

The problem most business people, entrepreneurs, and companies have is that they spend far too much time coming up with new buzzwords and management systems — and almost zero time just getting down to the work that needs to be done.

For the individual or entrepreneur, I offer this tactic that will help you ‘get started’ on something that will generate new revenue…

Think carefully about your answer to this question: If you could only do one thing to generate revenue immediately, what would that one thing be?

I really want you to think about this.

If it was a “must” – for instance, if it meant being able to pay the mortgage on your house this month – what one thing
would you do right now? Some possible examples:

  • Write a letter and mail it.
  • Make a phone call.
  • Send an email.
  • Drive to see a prospect in person.
  • Complete and deliver a proposal.

Okay, do you have your “one thing”? Great. Write it down. Then…


When it’s done, do the whole exercise over again.

I know that right about now you’re thinking, ‘Ray, this is the most elementary, simple, stupid thing I’ve heard all week.’

That’s okay. Try it anyway – and after you have tried it, I’d love to hear from you with your success story.

And remember, you heard the Master Key To Success right here. In case you forgot already, it’s this:

Just get started!

Instant Everything

Things that are not improved by being made “instant”:

  1. Coffee
  2. Oatmeal
  3. Relationships
  4. Websites
  5. Success

That last one hangs people up. Many people want instant success, but few want the years of preparation that lead up to it.

While we may prefer the “microwave” solution, some things only reach their potential when they “marinate” instead.

As RT Kendall once wrote, “The worst thing that can happen to a person is that they succeed before they are ready.”

Laid Off? Start a Business!

Maybe getting “laid off” is not a tragedy. Maybe it’s a signal. A signal that now is finally the time to do something about that “great idea” you have. A signal to go ahead and do what you love and find out if the money really will follow. A signal to dare to attempt something great.

And yes, it’s possible that you’ll “try” and it might not work out.

But that’s already happened, if you’ve been laid off. The job didn’t work out.

So now, you have nothing to lose.

If what you need is permission: consider this your official permission to try something outrageously great.

To quote one of my radio mentors, voiceover legend Mark Driscoll: “Go light a signal fire. We’ll find you.”

Shut Off Your Laptop, Boost Creativity

Creativity doesn’t usually occur while you’re screen-sucking.

To boost your number of creative ideas, you might consider getting away from your computer and introducing your brain to some new stimuli every now and then.

7 ways that work for me:

  1. Enjoy coffee at a cafe (without iPhone, iPad, or laptop).
  2. Take a walk outside.
  3. Play ball with my dogs.
  4. Listen to music.
  5. Read fiction.
  6. Talk with another human about Stuff That Matters.
  7. Take a nap.

Those are some of my ways of boosting creativity. You will have your own. Just try to do something  that doesn’t involve the Internet.

To quote John Cleese: “We don’t know where we get our ideas from. We do know that we do not get them from our laptops.”

The One-Item To-Do List

Try this as a stress-reduction technique: only one thing on your to-do list each day.

I know it sounds crazy. I’m not suggesting you only do one thing each day. But make yourself a list at the beginning of the day with one item on it that “must” be done.

The thing that, if you only did one thing today, this would be it. Consider anything else you do a bonus.

Now: make your One Thing the first thing.

Trust me – this is a stress-buster that works. It is also a great tool for releasing you from bondage to Insanely Unrealistic To-Do Lists.