Clone Success, NOT

by Ouida on April 20, 2010

This blog post was inspired by Lee of Lee’s Shizzle

You ever wonder how one guy hits it out of the park and everyone wants to know how he did it.  I mean EXACTLY how he did it?  If cloning success were that easy everyone would be successful.  Alas it isn’t that simple.  Lee was trying to encourage folks to use their own creativity on the road to success.  He remarked how crazy it is that when you are out fishing and one guy seems to be catching the fish, all the other fisherpeople crowd around the same hole as the successful guy as if catching fish is as simple as fishing in the same hole.

I fly fish and that analogy screamed volumes to me.  At the tail water fishery on the San Juan where the fish are very selective, you come to understand that it takes more than fishing in the same hole as the successful guy to net the big fish.  It takes the right fly, heck the right combination of flies, the right fishing line and the right presentation. And at the end of the day the fish just may not like how you smell.  This same principle, that success depends on a whole lot of variables applies in the world of personal finance.

There are two principles to wealth and they are that you should 1) live below your means and 2) save your money.  Once you have mastered those two principles, then you can add two more: 1) invest your money wisely and 2) create other income streams so that you can live below your means, save your money and invest your money wisely.

Now the 20 year old new to the personal finance game would have very different results than the 50 year old who is new to the personal finance game.  Why?  Because in addition to those principles is another factor that lurks in the background;  it is one you cannot duplicate and it is one that cannot be cheated.  This factor is time.  In general the 20 year old has more of it than the 50 year old and these two bedrock financial principles take time to come to fruition.  Two different people at two different ages, using the same financial principles cannot clone success.  The 50 year old would have to save more per month than the 20 year old to produce the same results.  The 50 year old might decide that he is so behind the 8 ball that he has to take risks to boost his yields and make sure he stays on track.

One sales professional may come to a new job with more training and more real world experience than his colleague.  His results, therefore, will be different than his colleague’s even if the company they both work for also offers sales training.

There is no way around it. The awful truth is that it is impossible to duplicate success across the spectrum of variabilities.  We just want to pretend that it isn’t.  Then we don’t have to factor in the role that our life experience, temperament and creativity may play in our overall outcomes.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

lees shizzle April 21, 2010 at 6:24 am

HI Ouida
I enjoyed this article.
Thanks for the mention. So glad the post inspired you. It comes off as a little bit firey so to speak as well as yesterdays short article. But really they both encourage using your own creativity, spend your time wisely for yourself.

Yes reach out but ultimately be yourself. “Success does not equal hard work, but hard work can equal success!”


Ouida April 21, 2010 at 6:32 am

Hey Thanks! I’m beginning to understand that I will never get ahead being anyone other than myself.


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