Al Pacino, Martha Stewart, and Babe Ruth are all superstars.  They came from humble beginnings and faced ennumerable tribulations.

Yet all 3 reached the pinnacle of excellence in their careers.  So what did they do that others don’t?  Surprisingly it has very little to do with their god given talents.  Say What?

The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of people walking this planet with godlike talents that amount to shit.  One of the baddest ass wrestlers in the country, Joe Curry (went to high school together), ended up a bartender.  My old friend Aaron Fluck, one of the best people-persons you’ll ever meet, ended up managing a local Panera Bread.  These guys should have gone on to the Olympics and high levels of Politics, respectively.

There are 3 factors that seperate superstars from the rest of society:

1.  Overcoming The Fear of Failure

Babe Ruth is one of the great hitters of all time, with a career record of 714 home runs.  What many people don’t know about Babe Ruth is that he struck out a lot. That’s because Babe always swung for home runs, not singles or doubles.  Babe either hit it big or struck out – there were no in-betweens!

The fear of failure is a SERIOUS impediment to success. Most people never go all out because there’s a lurking fear holding them back. “What if I get in trouble?” “What if someone is offended?”  What if, what if, what if.

Look, the only “what if” that you should worry about is if you keep getting stifled by “what if’s,” by the time you figure it all out it’ll be too late.  Someone else will come in and capitalize on the opportunity.

Don’t get stifled by overanalyzing a project.  Do your due diligence and make a decision.  Then pick up your skirt, grab your balls, and make it happen.  Make fear your mortal enemy and choose to never lose.

2.  Focusing On 1 Core Strength

Become the master of 1 trade.  What are you best at in this world?   Hone in on that talent exclusively and discover ways to monetize it.  Need to learn how to do this?  Study others that have mastered this talent and copy what they did.

Then surround yourself with masters of trades that you are not a master at.  They will compliment your weaknesses and make you appear as if you are a master of all trades.

i.e. For DirectResponse.net I retained UBD (the creators of the Nike and Yahoo blogs) to develop a unique template design.  Ron Gamble, one of the best graphic designers in the world, created the avatar.  These masters complimented my programming and design weaknesses.  They allowed me to focus on my core strength – project management and systemization.

3.  Developing An Unwavering Belief In Yourself

Envy and jealousy are woven into human nature.  People love to see people fail.  That’s why tabloids exist.

Remember all the people that were hating on Martha Stewart a few years back.  God damn man, take a close look at what Martha was accused of doing – selling stock based upon her financial adviser’s advice.  He called her while she flying and said the stock was about to go bust!  She sold the stock based on his advice.   WTF would you have done?

Then some overly ambitious Federal Prosecutors decided to make a name for themselves.   They brought charges for insider trading.  Martha got slammed by the media and the courts.  She lost her most important asset – her good name.  People were hating on her non-stop.  And at the end of the day, Martha went to prison!

Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Martha exemplified the meaning of having an unwavering belief in herself.  She walked out of prison and hit the ground running.  Today Martha Stewart is killing it.  She’s making more money than ever before.

In business and life we will all face naysayers. Ignore them. Stay steadfast in your resolve and you will always persevere.