Recently I was asked to run a workshop for a group of GP trainees at a local hospital. We looked at topics like stress management, building resilience and working as part of a team. I had a blast doing this (and I think the delegates did as well) because I love investing in people and helping them become more and increase their effectiveness. There was some good feedback with phrases like, ‘this was just what I needed at this stage of my life’, and ‘that has really been very helpful’. I was humbled by the fact that just two and half hours spent looking at a relatively small aspect of lives could lead to such sentiments. Simply amazing.

But in over twenty-five years of working with people have come to realise that any progress that is made in our effectiveness or performance (and therefore results) takes time.

It is simply not true that you can build the business of your dreams or become the person you want to be by putting a few actions in the ‘microwave’ of life and get the finished, perfectly made result out after a few minutes.

Or hours. Or days. Or even months. Sometimes it takes years.

In order to jump far, you have to take a long run. Athletes know this. Musicians know this. Entrepreneurs worth their salt know this as well. They spend time training and preparing, knowing that the great results they desire cannot be achieved without hard work and perseverance.

I don’t know if you have noticed this but it would seem that our social media is full of people promising that you can build a hugely successful business or organisation with just a few magic steps in no time at all.

It’s just not true. Success takes time and effort. A lot of time and effort. Now that’s not bad news, because if it didn’t take both, then everyone would have it. And it would be so commonplace that there would be no value whatsoever to it.

Speak to any ‘real life’ entrepreneur that has made it. They will tell you the same. I have come across a quote that says this: ‘there is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.’ Yes you may have the odd lucky break – being in the right place at the right time with the right people. But have you noticed that the harder you work the luckier you become?

No matter what anyone promises you, the ingredients for success have always been and still are:

  • Hard work
  • Perseverance (or grit)
  • A willingness to try new things and be flexible
  • A network of supportive and inspiring people
  • More hard work
  • All this put together over time is almost certainly a guarantee that you will succeed (great news becomes it means we all have the chance to succeed.)


Anyone who tells you otherwise is just not telling you the truth.