You Have To Be Obsessive To Be Successful

I’ve been reminded lately that in order to be successful you have to be a little obsessive. There are examples like Thomas Edison’s 10,000 failed prototypes for the light bulb (according to the legend) or this story of a family raking in $1,000 in change since 2005 (they blog their daily take) or this story of a guy making a living as a dumpster-diver. OK, so maybe you have to be a lot obsessive.

The point is that success is never easy. You don’t make $1,000 by picking up a few pennies. You have to be obsessed with picking up change. You don’t bankroll your own business ideas by trash picking on the weekend. You have to know what’s worth something and what isn’t, be relentless and methodical, and stick to it even in a Canadian blizzard. In short, you have to be obsessed.

That’s how novels are written, amazing albums created, great works of art brought to life. That’s how professional bloggers make money, how techies build incredible applications, how an evangelist can speak to more people in live audiences than anyone in history. Persistence trumps talent.

My question then becomes am I obsessive enough?

Sometimes I think I’m obsessed with too many different things, I dabble too broadly to truly be obsessively successful. And I guess that’s the hard part. You can’t hedge your bets by dabbling, you have to dive in. It’s kind of scary. And that’s what makes it worthwhile.

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