Are These 2 Verbs the Key to Success?

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It often seems to me that the world is made up of two kinds of people: the half who are looking for the key to success, and the half who have found the key and are willing to sell it to the first half for four easy payments of just $297 each.

Now, I’m certainly not opposed to anyone making a profit from selling information. I’m especially not opposed to it when that “anyone” is me. That said, I’ve spent years studying the “secrets” of people who have achieved unusual success, and who have produced breakthrough results, and I’ve found something interesting.

These “secrets” aren’t secrets at all.

They’re actually quite readily available to anyone. And, more often than not, they come down to just two words, both of them verbs.

Motivational Speaker Bill Stainton


Most people tend to be like a butterfly: they flitter and flutter from one thing to another, never sticking with one long enough to really make a difference. “This is a pretty flower, I think I’ll stay here for…oh! look at that nice red one over there! let’s just see what that one’s like and…wait! I almost missed that delightful little yellow one! better make some time for…hey, look!” Which is fine if you’re a butterfly, and the world needs butterflies.

But the people who achieve unusual success don’t flitter and flutter. They have a laser-like focus on the outcome. They are driven by their goal. They don’t allow distractions to sidetrack them. There’s a quotation that I heard several years ago: “Beware of distractions disguised as opportunities.” When you have a crystal-clear focus on what it is you’re trying to achieve, it makes it easier to discern true opportunities from mere distractions. The true opportunities are those that are perfectly aligned with your goal. And the clearer you are on that goal—the more focused you are—the more those opportunities will present themselves.

Which brings us to the second verb:


This is really a natural by-product of focusing. Not only do high achievers focus on their goal and what it will take to reach it, they simplify their lives by eliminating things that don’t align with that focus. High achievers outsource lots of work! (And if you want to see an example of outsourcing taken to the extreme, read Tim Ferriss’s The 4 Hour Workweek.) But before they outsource, they eliminate as much as they can. They ask the question, “Based on where I want to go and what I want to achieve, does this particular task really need to be done at all?” If the answer is no, they eliminate it. If the answer is yes, they then ask, “Can I outsource it?”

It’s all about simplifying.

You see, the entire reason that high achievers are able to focus so clearly on their goal is because they’ve simplified things. They hire assistants, they outsource projects, they set up (or have an assistant set up) systems and procedures—preferably automated. They are fanatical about taking things off their plate. As Warren Buffett (who knows a little something about success) once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.”

These 2 verbs are your key to success: focus and simplify. #producingresults Share on X

The core principles behind success (and leadership, and wealth) really aren’t that complicated. Granted, the execution might not always be easy. But the core principles?

Pretty simple. If you stay focused


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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