Why You Don’t Have to Be the Best to Be Successful

There are already so many other people doing what you want to do, so why the hell would you succeed if you gave it a shot?

The people who have already started their businesses and are making a success of it… those people are the best! They’re well established. People have heard of them. They do such a great job, nobody will hire you when they can hire that spiffy guy over there.

Well, I’m here to tell you – you’ve got it all wrong

The thing you’ve got to remember is that people don’t buy based on who’s the best – which, by the way, is completely subjective anyway. So don’t use ‘not being the best’ as a reason to not start your business. Because it’s bullshit. Here’s why.

‘The Best’ Means Different Things to Different People

Different people think different ways of doing things are better. The world would be pretty effin’ boring if that wasn’t the case, right?

Take me. I think a liberal dose of the word ‘fuck’ is a good thing. It conveys passion, it’s expressive, it adds emphasis – it also gives people (other fuckers) something to relate to. But this guy I once sent a marketing email to left a very public, very patronising (well, he tried, bless ‘im) message on my Facebook page because of a fuck-filled image I posted. He essentially said nobody would ever hire me because this was incredibly unprofessional and blah blah blah. Whatever. Needless to say, I shot him down and he deleted his message. In fact, my retort to him expresses what I’m trying to say, so here it is:


Just remember: if you’re getting a reaction, even if it’s a negative one, you’re doing something right. And there’s no definitive version of ‘the best’, so just do things the way that feels right to you, and don’t worry about it. Just keep going.

Success Means Different Things to Different People

What does success even mean to you? If you’re thinking, ‘Oh, I need to be as popular as so-and-so to be successful,’ you’re doing it wrong. Why do you give a crap how well they’re doing? It has absolutely zero bearing on what you’re doing.

So think about what you’re doing instead. What would success look like to you? Being able to quit your job? Being able to afford weekends away with your sexy-ass lover once a month? Doing work you actually fucking care about? Fuck yes. Go after that. Don’t worry about all that other stuff that sounds like success but doesn’t put a sly smile on your face.

I’ll tell you my own personal version of success: never having to pour another sodding pint of beer for a swaying, leering man at the bar (or, you know, refuse to serve him, which is even more of a pain in the ass). Being able to decide to jet off to Berlin for the weekend to meet a couple of my good internet friends for the first time (hi guys!). Not having to think, ‘Oh, I really shouldn’t buy this coffee, I need to watch my money.’ Being able to work from anywhere in the world. ANYWHERE.

My version of success doesn’t involve Ferraris (are Ferraris still cool? I have no idea) or mansions or um… yachts. Maybe yours does. It doesn’t really matter. Just so long as it’s what you want.

Not Everyone Wants to Hire the Best Anyway

A lot of people want to hire the person they like the most. Or the one they’ve actually heard of. The one their friend recommended. The one who lives in the same town as them. The one who has the same views on a topic they’re passionate about. The one who stands for something.

You Will Improve As You Go Along

But you won’t improve at all if you never start. So maybe you’re thinking you need to learn absolutely everything about your craft before you get started. Listen, I’m a writer, and I have to look up the definition of about a bajillion words every week. If you looked at my search history, you’d think I was a total moron, because I look up things like ‘foray meaning’, ‘hovel meaning’, and, my personal favourite, ‘what ho! meaning’.

Sometimes people expect me to know ALL THE WORDS. I totally don’t. Oftentimes I’ll think I know the meaning, but when I look it up it means something completely different. (This happens a lot.) The point is, I don’t let it stop me. I just learn as I go along. I only recently learned how to spell ‘necessary’ on the first shot, and that’s because my friend was like, ‘Dude, it’s one Collar two Sleeves’.

Something not a lot of people will admit to is that they’re just making it up as they go along. I am. Everyone else is too. No one starts off knowing everything. And no one ends up that way either. So just start with what you do know, and take it from there. Figure it out as you go along. You’ll get there.