Starting is the secret

Are you still waiting for the secret of success, productivity, happiness? A significant – and significantly profitable – section of the publishing industry is given over to books promising to make us better versions of ourselves. I’ve now interviewed several of the authors in The Extraordinary Business Book Club. And what’s astonished me is how consistent they are in what they say: basically, there is no secret. Several of them have confessed to a sense of embarrassment that what they’re saying in their book is actually so self-evident. 

The secret is: there is no secret. 

If you want to be more successful, more productive, happier, you simply have to decide to do it and take consistent action. 

David Taylor, author of The Naked Leader and guest in this week’s podcast episode, is just one of many authors to express his frustration that people still don’t seem to get it, even after reading the book in which he sets it out as simply and clearly as humanly possible. 

Total number of people who’ve emailed me since that book was published to tell me they’re going to write a book: 256 (I keep a record). Total number of people who’ve emailed me saying, “I’ve written a book,”: one.

The intention, even the decision, to write is an essential but not a sufficient condition. What takes you from here to there is the action. 

I say to anyone out there who wants to write a book, start writing it because the moment you write your first words, you are now writing a book, you are not ‘going to write a book’, you are now writing a book. 

Starting changes everything. Start today, no matter how imperfectly. And keep going.