Success: What Price Will You Pay? by Bob Bly

Posted March 23rd, 2013 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Uncategorized

The question that has always vexed me most is when a subscriber writes and asks:

“Should I become a freelance copywriter?”

“Should I start an Internet marketing business?”

“Should I [fill in the blank here]?”

Now, if you ask me HOW to do these things, I can give you some solid guidance.

But if someone asked me SHOULD they do this or that, I used to throw up my hands and say – “How can I tell you that? It’s entirely up to you!”

However, when I was reading the New York Review of Books (3/7/13, p. 46) last week, I came across a quote in an article by the late Isaiah Berlin that I think gives a useful answer to the question of “Should I?”

Berlin wrote: “One chooses as one chooses because (1) one knows what one wants, and (2) is ready to pay the price.” (I added the numbers.)

As for the first reason, (1) choosing because “one knows what one wants”, I would argue that you already know what you want or you wouldn’t be asking me if you should do it.

Conversely, if you have spent years thinking about a thing and have taken no forward action, you probably don’t want it that badly.

It reminds me of a story about Mozart.

Supposedly a young man in his late teens or so approached Mozart and said “Maestro! I want to write a symphony! Please, please teach me how to write a symphony!”

Mozart looked him over and said, “You’re too young to write a symphony.”

“But Maestro Mozart, you wrote a symphony when you were 12 years old,” the teen pointed out.

“Yes, but I didn’t have to ask how!” Mozart replied.

If you really want to do a thing, you will pursue it and do it. If not, then not. You won’t have to ask me or anyone else whether you should.

The second part of Berlin’s statement says that you will choose something if you are (2) “ready to pay the price”.

This price may be:

** Long years of education, practice, or apprenticeship before attaining your wish.

** Facing the possibility that, after all that time and effort and investment, you may not succeed.

** Taking a financial gamble as you invest in your new venture or dream

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