There are a lot of business books out there. They tell you how to be more successful. They tell you how to be less unsuccessful. They tell you about the roadblocks that lay between where you are and where you want to be, and at some point they turned into repetitive drivel. Not trying to be unduly mean here, but it’s absolutely true. At some point, these business success books turned into one big pile of BS with a hundred different people shoveling it out and selling it for a premium. They have less in common with successful companies and more in common with those people who sell a cardboard box on Amazon that contains instructions on how to get rich selling cardboard boxes on Amazon.
They’re getting old, is what I’m trying to say.
If you’re looking for a book that has actual advice and will move you beyond just worrying about the firmness and length of your handshake, then you should read “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” by the amazing Steven Presfield.
The book is about how to succeed, but not in the traditional, beaten-to-death sense. Presfield posits the idea that most people have the desire to create, be it art or a business. These same people, by and large, have the talent required to succeed in their chosen field. What gets in the way, the “resistance” is the unconscious part of all of us that acts against our conscious desires and, without us even truly realizing it, sabotages our work. The overarching theme is that creating something is WORK, and should be respected as such. Having lofty dreams and a great attitude will only get you so far, the same is true for your plans and connections.
At some point, you need to go to war. And you need to be sure your ready for it when the battle comes.
From the book:
“Another way of thinking of it is this: We’re not born with unlimited choices. We can’t be anything we want to be. We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle, and we’re stuck with it. Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it. If we were born to paint, it’s our job to become a painter. If we were born to raise and nurture children, it’s our job to become a mother. If we were born to overthrow the order of ignorance and injustice of the world, it’s our job to realize it and get down to business.”