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Success Doesn’t Happen by Accident


The best athletes in the world do not happen by accident. They have access to and make use of the best nutritionists, the best position coaches, and the best strength coaches available in the world. But all people, in every field, even the best athletes in the world, are inherently lazy—they have to be driven. They have to push through boundaries, just like everyone else.

To be the best at anything, even to be a world class athlete, you must learn the fundamental techniques: how to tackle, how to block, how to catch, how to read a defense. Business is no different. There is a technique to running a successful business, just as there is a technique to running a successful team. Motivation doesn’t work. Gimmicky sales techniques don’t work. We must always be looking for ways to get smarter and reinvent ourselves. We must work, learn, and push ourselves every day, and we need good coaches who can help us. Silver bullets don’t work.

Most of us have learned the hard way that fad diets don’t work. We know what we have to do. We have to put in the real work. We have to walk 5 miles a day. We have to eat right and exercise. It is the same in business. We know what the techniques are and what the best strategies are, and we know we need to execute them. But it won’t come to us. We have got to go and get it. We have to keep on pushing and break down the walls!

Everybody wants to give up at some time. It is the people who resist quitting, the ones who run that one more lap, the ones who make that one more phone call, who talk to one more customer—those are the ones who win. The ones who win are the people who create a sense of desperation every single day of their lives.

No matter how experienced you are, no matter how old you are, if you are not getting pushed, if you are not getting coached, if you are not being challenged every single day, you won’t get better. Success does not happen by accident. It happens because of constant effort and strong fundamentals.

Published: December 19, 2012

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Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton is an entrepreneur and NFL Hall of Famer, and the founder of Tarkenton Companies. Successfully starting and running more than 20 companies spanning a wide range of industries, Fran is a passionate advocate for small business owners and entrepreneurs. The product of all of Fran’s experiences is Tarkenton, which has partnered with major enterprises for more than two decades, bringing a combination of strategic thinking, operational excellence, and fast-paced action to complex business problems. Fran is the driving force between GoSmallBiz.com, Tarkenton Financial, and Tarkenton Private Capital.

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