A success story is just that, a story.

It’s the new thing. You read it on LinkedIn, you watch it told on YouTube. It’s everywhere. It’s an inspirational sugar rush that sets you up for false hope. It doesn’t last, it doesn’t work and it shouldn’t be perpetuated.

The success story always starts at the end. You never hear the heart-ache before it, the ugly side. To tell it you’ll need to dilute your ego and doing so you’ll be telling a story that we can all connect and learn from.


In his 20’s, he was a carpenter. Tired of crappy, small paying jobs he used wood work as a primary income to supplement his love of acting. He was first hired to build cabinets in George Lucus’ house when, 6 years later, Harrison Ford was hired as an actor taking the role of Han Solo.


Dropping out of school at 15 years old, his first comic stand-up was a failure, being humiliated and heckled off stage. Later auditioning for Saturday Night Live, he failed to land any part with the producers comments “…not funny enough”. Finally, around 1994, Jim Carey landed the role in Dumb and Dumber, attracting his first payment of $10,000,000.

The success story always starts at the end and sets you up for false hope. Instead, keep moving forward, never give up. You can always fail at something you don't like, so why not try the things you love?

She was a gospel singer. Taking cues from her born-again-Christian parents, she dropped out of school and in 2001 she released her first gospel album. A complete failure; only 200 copies sold. In 2003 she switched to pop music and scored 2 contracts, both being terminated early. Finally in 2006, after 3 failed contracts, Katy Perry released her first hit single “I Kissed a Girl”. In 2005, she is earning double that of Taylor Swift (~$130 million).


At the age of 14 she got pregnant. After loosing the baby, she started living with her father in Tennessee who helped her focus on schooling. Eventually she graduated from university majoring in communications. Scoring a television job with the local news, she was later fired with the producers statement “…she was unfit for television”. With a few jobs here and there on radio stations and other televisions networks, it was only until a few years later Opera Winfrey found her own television show People are Talking. Her net worth is over 3 billion dollars.


So what should we do? Follow your own failures and in those, learn from your success. Little failure by little failure, you’ll find out what succeeds, what works. Thats the true story you need to keep ears out for.

Don’t fall for the allure of someones success story. To become successful is a road filled with failure, heart-ache and struggle. But like these guys they persisted, kept going, and now have a success story of their own.

Leave a Reply