Why you should not believe in success factors derived from success stories

Two years ago a man in Australia found a 5 kilo gold nugget worth some 238.000 Euro. If asked how this happened he may have answered something like «first I went away from the city, then I passed by a forest after which I crossed a meadow before I got to a river». Now imagine you would try to find a huge gold nugget. Would you follow the same pattern and try to find a forest away from a city after which you can cross a meadow? Of course not!

However, when we hear success stories and believe in the success factors we are given by the storytellers, we do exactly the same. We assume that important events along their road contributed to their success and thus they must be success factors.

When we hear success stories we want to believe them because they seem to give us guidance and easy solutions.

We should rather question them critically, try to better understand what really was important and only then draw our own conclusions. But that is the harder way. «It’s a long way to the top if you wanna Rock’n’Roll»…

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