One of my favorite books of all time is A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck. In that short novel is a wealth of real life wisdom. It is a shame that there are other things in the book that are controversial, and I get why parents would not want their kids to read it. If there was a way to clean it up a bit and if I had my way, it would be required reading for every child under 18.
The setting of the book is a poor farm during the Great Depression when every day was a struggle. There is a place in the book where the father is about to butcher the family pet (a pig) and is talking to his distraught son when he drops this nugget of pure wisdom:
Need is a weak word; has nothing to do with what people get. Ain’t what you need that matters. It’s what you do.
I like to watch some of those singing talent shows on TV. I often hear singers asked why they should win and they say something like this: “I want it more than anyone else.” When I hear them talk, I think of Peck’s quote.
I was watching Shark Tank last night and I saw a college graduate burst into tears because he was told that his business idea was horrible. He couldn’t accept that because he wanted it to succeed so much and had worked so hard on it. When I saw him blubbering, I thought of Peck’s quote.
The truth is there is a cancerous thought that creeps into the minds of people that are trying to do something with their life. They start thinking that they are owed success because they need it or want it or have worked hard to get it.
That mindset is rubbish…
Here is a tough Peck-style business lesson for you: you are not owed success because you want it badly or “need” it. To be even more blunt, you are not owed success because you have worked hard.
What matters is what you do. Success comes to the people that do the right things.
Forget about what you want or need. Those things have nothing to do with what your life will look like in a year. Just get out there and do the right things as much as you can. This is a fundamental, critical thing you need to understand about business.