How To Get "There

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Q: I often read success stories of many businesses and businesspeople but not many about people trying to get “there.” I am the author of two novels and a book of poetry. I have also written three commercials that I am trying to sell to ESPN, in addition to ad slogans targeted for MADD and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. In my spare time, I operate a small business that offers a line of greeting cards, T-shirts, designer teddy bears, gift baskets, etc. Now, having said all that, I am still trying to get “there.” I have read this book and that. Made the right contacts. Been ripped off, disappointed, etc. What advice can you offer?
A. Bracy, Portsmouth, Virginia

A: Where is “there?”
What is your vision of success? You are a novelist, an advertising copywriter, and a small business owner. Which of these — if any — are you truly passionate about? If you try to do too many things, it is hard to do any of them well enough to be truly pleased with the results. First, you need to decide where you want to go. Second, you need to visualize that goal in your mind. Then, you need to organize your life around achieving that objective, which may mean giving up unrelated uses of your time to devote more attention and energy to your main goal.

Until you clearly define where “there” is for you, it will be hard for you to make use of the advice and success stories of others. Directions are not useful unless you know where you want to go, and you can’t choose worthy role models if you are not clear about who and what you want to be.