This post was originally published on February 7, 2011 on andyellwood.com.
I'm fascinated by the path people take to achieve success. There are few things I love more than learning through the eyes of another and gleaning some wisdom from their story. I recently had lunch with two gentlemen I respect a great deal. Their conversation was in a pretty rarefied air, but since I had arranged the lunch, I was fortunate to be there soaking it all in.
As one of the gentlemen described a couple of his former business partners, he said something to the effect of:
"There are three types of people that become successful in life: those that are smarter than everyone else, those that are luckier than everyone else, and those that have to work harder than everyone else. Always assume you're the third."
It's so true. I feel like I can segment each of my successful friends into one of those three categories. I have friends that, from a very early age, had the ability to quickly learn and rarely found themselves challenged by their studies. Then I have friends that have been extremely good at being in the right place at the right time AND knowing what to do when they got there. And of course, there's the group that I've been a card-carrying member of since my first lemonade stand... those that hustle.
This third group is less about knowing what card you have up your sleeve and more about always being proud that you were dealt into the hand. The group that always has the best stories about how they've achieved the success that they have. This is the group that, in the long run especially, I'm excited to be lined up with.