In 1974 I graduated from dental school knowing just enough dentistry to get me and my patient in trouble if I did anything more complex than a filling. I knew absolutely nothing about life outside of dentistry because I spent the last eight years of my life concentrating on either gaining admission to dental school or graduating from it. Creating and living a successful personal life and professional career were foreign subjects.
I entered my residency program with the intention of refining my clinical skills. Luckily my teachers had greater plans for me. Not only had these faculty established successful dental practices, but used the rewards of their profitable practices to enrich their personal lives. Fortunately for me, they were willing to not only share their clinical knowledge but also the secrets to their success.
Their advice is very simple...
"The secret to success is to study and copy success."
It was as simple as that. Study successful people and copy them. You don’t need degrees in psychology, business or theology. There was no need to beat your head trying to discover the secret of success when there were others who already did that. There was no need to reinvent the wheel if the wheel was already invented.
All that is needed to build a wheel is take the basic form and shape that others successfully used for centuries, make minor changes to meet specific needs and use it. What do all wheels have in common? They are round. Square or triangular wheels never caught on. But all wheels are round. Some wheels are big. Some are small. Some are made out of steel, wood or rubber. But they all have one thing in common. They are round.
The same is true of success. Successful people share similar traits and philosophies. They just put their own little twist on them to achieve success.
They may have different goals or dreams. They may come from different religious or ethnic backgrounds. They may differ in their level of education and financial resources. However, they all share some specific traits and follow common steps to achieve success. They use the same basic techniques but adapt them to fulfill their specific dreams and goals.
Where do you find successful people to emulate? You can start by reading biographies of people you feel achieved success. Speak to successful individuals in your social and professional circle: physicians, dentists, teachers, storeowners, restaurant owners, etc.