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5 factors that influence success more than talent

Jul 20, 2022

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When trying to determine what makes someone successful there are a million different factors.

As I thought through the question “what separates the successful from the unsuccessful?” I came to a few conclusions:

  1. Talent is marginally important, but not a main decider

  2. This is a really hard question to answer

First, let’s talk about talent.

Back in 2007, I heard about a young golfer, Anthony Kim.

Tiger Woods had broken out on the PGA Tour and everyone was looking for the next big thing.

Anthony was thought to be IT.

But today, we know different. Anthony hasn’t played in a professional tournament since 2012. So what happened

While there is a lot of speculation, we do have one prominent rumor that points to what happened in 2012, Anthony Kim chose to cash out an insurance policy instead of returning from injury.

All during Anthony’s short career, there were rumors of partying and lack of focus on golf. So, while he had all the talent in the world, it was clear that there was just a little something missing.

I can’t speculate what that something was, and I don’t want to denigrate Anthony. But, we can say for certain: taking the insurance policy in your mid-20s in a sport you can typically play to an old age tells us one of two things: either he thought he’d never be able to play again or he didn’t have a desire to continue the grind.

No matter your level of talent, desire and passion is required to succeed at a high level. That leads us to ask “what are those factors?”

Here are 6 factors I think play an outsized role in success (however you define it):

Have you started?

It’s so easy to come up with excuses on why you haven’t started.

The reality is, it most likely goes back to fear. But, without facing your fear, your fear will continue to grow. Instead, look for reasons to start.

Small steps into the fear repeated consistently create momentum.

You’ll notice the next step, how, is out of order of what most people do. They research, research, research, then maybe start. To create success, you have to have a bias to action. That bias to action only happens when you make starting a habit.

Figure out a small step you can take, before doing any research, and do it.

Schedule the meeting with the expert.

Sign up for a class.

Register your LLC.

Write our 6-month plan.

Call 10 random potential clients.

Just. Do. Something.

How did you start?

Most start with this step. They seek out books or resources that will help them “learn.” While I disagree with the line that I’ve seen going around that learning without application is pointless… learning instead of starting is procrastination.

So, in my view:

Learning to learn is fine. It’s part of the process. I’ll publish more on this in the future.

But learning to avoid starting is not.

I think, in general, we know when we’re doing that.

I have a tendency to like to do a lot of research. It’s a strength and a weakness. It’s a strength because it allows me to gain a lot of insight and knowledge on topics, but a weakness when it turns to procrastination.

Think in terms of these factors:

  • Environment

  • Resources

  • People

Have you stuck with it?

It’s a cliche that it seems nothing is happening, then success comes all at once.

But it’s accurate.



When it comes to business finance (and personal finance for that matter), there is a lot of jargon and insider language.

Because of this, it’s really easy for people to not understand what’s being talked about, but also being too afraid to ask.

This is why I’m doing my cohort, to provide business owners and leaders a place to learn and ask the questions they’ve always wanted to ask. If you’re interested, I’m accepting applications for Cohort 2 starting August 22nd. You can apply here.

If you don’t need the cohort but still would like to learn terms, I wrote a thread this week attempting to demystify some of the language. You can say it really resonated with people:



5 Factors in Success More Important than Talent

Sure, having talent is nice, but it's not the most important factor. Shoot, not even one of the top factors.

In this episode, I explore the 5 factors I think contribute more to your success than talent.


Thank you for reading--see you again next week.

If you're interested in learning more, here are 3 ways I can help:

  1. Purchase the Financial Statements Decoded eBook.

  2. Join my cohort Financial Statements Decoded. #2 starts August 22nd!

  3. Work with me 1-on-1 to optimize your financial statements and accounting processes (3 clients max).


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