#123 The Unasked Question: What Do The non-Millionaires Do

There are a zillion books, blog posts, articles, and podcasts on the topic of how to be successful.

And most of them claim their advice is backed by data. Here’s an example from Entrepreneur magazine. The article says…

“That’s why the most successful people in the world spend their free time learning.
It’s not exactly breaking news. During his five-year study of more than 200 self-made millionaires, Thomas Corley found that they don’t watch TV. Instead, an impressive 86 percent claimed they read -- but not just for fun. What’s more, 63 percent indicated they listened to audiobooks during their morning commute.”

Great news! If you want to be a millionaire all you need is a library card and an audiobook subscription.

Or maybe not.


We can't know if the advice from this study is valuable until we know the answer to this question.

Did the researchers also study non self-made millionaires?

Because if there are a whole bunch of non-millionaires out there also reading books and listening to audiobooks - then we have a CAUSATION problem. Meaning the reading and listening didn't CAUSE the millionaires success. It's just something that lots of people, rich and less rich, tend to do. Which means we should ignore the study.


I'm hitting this topic again (see links to past articles on this topic at the bottom of this post) because we're being bombarded by this kind of garbage.

Every success system has amazing brain science behind it.
Every supplier has a study that proves they’re the best.
Every diet has amazing research backing it up.

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And to make things even more confusing, most of the claims are directly contradicted by competitors equally amazing research claims. And the people who publish this garbage are laughing all the way to the bank. They could care less whether the research is valid. All they care about is getting your eyeballs on their site so they can bombard you with advertising.

So consumer beware. Any time someone claims to have rock solid proof that “winners do this”, make sure to ask them whether they took the time to check whether “non-winners” also did the same stuff. If they can’t answer that question, then it's time to hit the mute button on their audiobook.

Past Posts That Covered This Topic...
#19 Half Truths: Be On The Lookout For Sketchy Research

#57 Fake News In Your Presentation: Be Careful Who and What You Quote

#57A Fake News Supplement: Too Many Studies Can't Be Replicated

#99 Sketchy Claims: What The Heck Is P-Hacking


#122 Little Things Aren't Little: Growth Comes In Small Packages

I’m a broken record when it comes to my focus on growth.

You must focus on growth for everyone in your organization.
Building businesses where both people and profits grow.
Growth is an intrinsic need.
Blah, blah, blah…

But I haven’t said enough about package size.


We all want to do big stuff. Make big leaps. Have big breakthroughs.

But, have you ever done something big, nailed a major goal, overcome a complex challenge, in one huge amazing stroke of brilliance?


These kinds of victories take time. Fits and starts. Triumphs and setbacks. Until, eventually, you get to where you want to be.

Kind of sucks that it has to be this way, but the harsh reality is that growth almost always comes in small, slightly painful, packages.

And I’m going to rely on some random guy from Mexico to say this in a more personal way. He was interviewed on the site/app Humans of New York and he said this…

"I think all the pressure that I put on myself has been paralyzing. When I graduated from high school, a lot of people wrote in my yearbook: 'You're going to do great things…
I realized recently that with all the time I spent trying to figure out what my 'big thing' was going to be, I passed over a lot of small things that could have really added up.
The moment I became content with taking small steps, I started moving forward again."

Bingo. Having the mindset that you only do ‘big things’ is like laying down in glue. Real progress, real growth is incremental and iterative. Painfully slow at times, but worth the effort if you stick with it.

When I present I use these images to make this point…

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So chill out just a bit and get to work on some small piece of your big challenge. Nail a few of those bite-size chunks every day, week, month and you might just be amazed where you end up.