The Road to Excellence

When I was new to internet marketing, I remember coming across some of the books by Harvey Segal. He is a fellow Brit and he runs the ClickBank Success forum. He would often do things a little differently to many of the so-called internet gurus and I immediately liked his style. It is something, in some ways, I have emulated. Not his products or services; but his style. He often creates useful stuff and then simply gives it away and he always manages to find a way to create a win-win deal – that’s what I liked.

But there was one thing in particular that I remember reading, in one of his books, that really struck me at the time. Of course, my memory will be imperfect, but he was talking about the use of rebrandable books and the phrase that so impressed me was ‘that was the turning point for me’. It wasn’t the rebrandable book idea that impressed me; it was the fact that I realised that he had struggled prior to finding something that worked for him.

There is no question that Harvey is a top marketer, but that has not always been the case. Like the rest of us, he didn’t know how to make things work at the beginning. So if you just think about that for a moment or two, you will come to realise that the road to excellence passes through mediocrity. In other words, you have to be average before you can be good; and good before you can be excellent.

The reason this has been on my mind is that I have recently launched a new product, Infomarketing Made Easy, and in writing the sales copy, I began to realise that I can now truly call myself above average. On the basis that 95% of people (possibly more according to some sources) who start out to make a living online actually fail. As you will probably know, just three months ago, I packed in the day job for good, so that now puts me firmly in the 5%.

The process of acquiring wealth necessarily means that you have to start somewhere and arrange things so that wealth accumulates. This means spending less than you earn and reinvesting some of the accumulated wealth. The principles of wealth acquisition are exactly the same whether you are a millionaire or a pauper and if you can master them, by the law of cause and effect, you will become wealthy no matter where you start from; this is equally true for the pauper.

So I wanted to make this post to encourage anyone who has lofty ambitions, whatever they may be. Hopefully you will be striving to be the best at what you do and that is a really laudable goal. But we all need to remember that, if you start out with little or no experience or understanding, you have to acquire it and that means that on your journey to success, for a long while, it may feel like you are failing.

Some years ago, I remember learning how to juggle and I think the business of getting to the stage where you can call yourself a juggler perfectly illustrates the success process at work. For a long time you keep dropping the balls. Sure you manage to make a few throws, but two, three, four or five successive throws and catches doesn’t constitute being able to juggle.

However, there comes a time, when you are able to keep a cascade going for a while. You still keep dropping the balls, but now you are in a different league – you are mediocre. Not even average, just mediocre. Eventually, if you stick with it you can begin to do a few tricks with those balls whilst still keeping the cascade going. Then you graduate to clubs and even knives and torches and before you know it – hey – you are average.

You are still not a good juggler. You wouldn’t get work in the circus, but if anyone asked you if you could juggle, you would say … yes. You may not be a very good juggler, but you are a juggler. Now the people who do work for the circus, who can juggle seven or even nine balls or hoops or clubs (wow), they all at some stage were working with three balls and they were dropping them too, just like you.

Remember that:

  • Someone must have given Mozart his first violin lesson
  • Someone gave Einstein his first science lesson
  • Someone gave Dame Margot Fonteyn her first ballet lesson

They were all mediocre at one stage.

So I hope you feel a little encouraged. Don’t worry about how the score is calculated, how much money you are making or how many balls you can juggle. That’s not the important thing. What matters is: are you making progress toward your major goals. You are not competing against anyone other than the version of yourself in an alternative reality; the person who decided to watch telly rather than pick up the juggling balls, the violin or the dancing shoes.

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