Doesn’t Matter How Much You “Need” It

One of my favorite books of all time is A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert PeckIn 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.

2 thoughts on “Doesn’t Matter How Much You “Need” It

  1. Aimee Gusky says:

    Thanks Greg for your thoughtful post. It took me a moment to realize what I think you’re trying to say. We “want” success in the worst way, and we work so hard to achieve it but it is so often illusive. However, though I don’t plan on giving up on my dreams, that is not the way to “live.” I once took a spirituality course and one assignment was that we had to write our own obituary – 20, 30 or more years in the future. I struggled to think of what I wanted my children and friends to say about my entrepreneurial and financial success (which I still haven’t reached), when I realized I didn’t care about that. I wanted my them to say how much I did for them, how I was their strength when times were tough and how I was always there for them. I also realized I needed to start living that way now. Success, money, it doesn’t matter in the end.

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