The Uncomfortable Road to Success

The world is full of books, DVDs, and seminars that tout the “easy” road to success.

The shortcuts.

The backdoors, secret paths, and arcane formulas that will allow us (or so the purveyors of these products propose) to bypass the hard work it takes to achieve success.

It is seductive.

And, unfortunately, most of the time it is untrue.

If you've known me very long at all, you know I am a fan of information products. You know that I have spent lots of money on learning materials, seminars, and the like. And you've heard me say that I have enjoyed improved results because of those products.

So how do I reconcile the fact that success requires work, with the fact that I've enjoyed a shorter route to success thanks to the intelligent use of continuing education products? The answer is surprisingly simple.

Despite what most buyers believe, it has been my experience that sellers of information products usually go out of their way to point out that none of the results from their product will happen without work. Most info product sellers go overboard in stressing the fact that work will be required. Yet… these same individuals are often labeled as purveyors of “get rich quick” material. It boggles my mind. And yet…

People will believe what they want to believe. People buying info products are often looking for a “get rich quick” solution. So even though the products are considering buying is not a “get-rich-quick” product, even though the sales copy on the website clearly states that work will be required to get the illustrated results, even though the copy further states that the results being cited are not typical, that they are in fact outstanding results… the buyer will believe what the buyer wants to believe.

I created and sell a product called The Seminar Profit System. It is a simple audio product that teaches people how to profit by attending seminars. The product itself is all about what actions one needs to take before, during, and after a seminar that will increase one's chances of profiting from having attended the seminar. In other words, the product teaches you how to work. Yet…

Would you be surprised to learn that some buyers of the product are dismayed that they haven't made money by attending a seminar, even though they did little (if any) of the work described in the product? No… I wasn't surprised either.

What does surprise me is people who buy a product like this, steadfastly refuse to take any of the recommended actions in the product, and then self righteously demand some form of refund or apology because their dream of “instant riches” didn't happen. Never mind  that “instant riches without effort” was not what was offered for sale.

Ask them if they took the actions recommended within the product, and you'll get an answer that starts with something like this: “No, but…”

Makes me  think about one of my earliest business mentors, Earl Nightingale, who said “successful people consistently do the things that failures don't like to do”.

These days, that is not a popular point of view. But it is true, nonetheless.

The road to success is rewarding-but it is also frequently uncomfortable.

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at

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