The Paradox of Success

James Walpole/ March 3, 2020

There is a paradox to success.

If you want to be successful, you must be viewed (to some extent) as successful. Status does matter. A person of high status and reputation for excellence will tend to attract more of the things that make life worth living: more friends, more clients, more potential partners, etc.

At the same time, a person who wants to be successful in more than one domain must also be willing to learn constantly. That means starting over in new domains where you don’t have status. Not having status OR knowledge sometimes means looking like a loser, at least in relative terms.

How can you balance these two? I’m still trying to figure that out.

Maybe it helps to keep the games separate: retain your winner status in one, embrace your beginner status in the others. You need to be able to go into your beginner games with the confidence that you are a winner in others. And you need to be able to go into your winning game knowing you are a beginner in others.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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