Being the Best or Being Successful?

Do you have to choose between being the best at what you do or being successful?jamespattersoninc I don't think so.

Yet does being the best at what you do mean you'll be successful?

No it doesn't.

Mega-author James Patterson understands this very well.

He outsells other critically acclaimed, best-selling authors like Stephen King, Dan Brown and John Grisham . "According to Nielson BookScan, Grisham's, King's and Brown's combined U.S. sales in recent years still don't match Patterson's."

Why is that? Is he the best writer out there?

No, it's not that he's a better writer. In fact Stephen King pokes fun of him along with many other more literary focused writers. His critics highlight his simple sentence structures and heavy on the action story-telling as some kind of fault. And yet Mr. Patterson knows he's not the best prose writer.

So why is he the most successful fiction writer in his genre?

Here's what he did:

He identified a group of people that were not being served with traditional literary-styled books: those who were never big readers because they found it intimidating, elitest and hard to get through. And so he wrote engaging stories that made reading fun, captivating and real page turners (ie - short chapters). And then he set up business and marketing systems to be consistent at repeating his successes.

This strategy only came about after trying to do what every other author attempts: Write the great American novel that would win awards, prestige and recognition. He wanted to write books that mirrored his own high-brow tastes for literature, such as "To Kill a Mockingbird." The problem was, he said, "I always knew I could write a reasonable literary novel, but not a great one."

Over time, he started reading more commercially acclaimed book to see what all the fuss was about. Books like "The Day of the Jackal" and "The Exorcist." And that's when it hit him: "I can do this. I understand this. And I like it." And he started writing evenings and weekends after his day job at an ad agency. The rest is history, including a few ups and downs, until he figured out his "formula" for success, joy and realizing his passion for getting people to become readers.

His formula for success can be adapted to any industry - be it wellness, selling gadgets or publishing books.

Find a group of people who want something and is willing to pay for it, make a good solution for them (read: doesn't have to be the best), stay in touch with them and let them know you're listening, pay attention to their needs and wants and keep serving this group with more good solutions that replicate what's already worked.

What most wellness pros do is have an idea and try to sell that idea to everyone. (Oh boy! I've made that mistake myself!)

And most wellness pros are trying so hard to be their best, that they find themselves in constant "waiting" mode. Waiting to know enough, waiting to finish the next credential, waiting until they worked with 100 or 1000 clients before they write a book, waiting until their website is 'perfect' and so on.

How many times have I been out with a  wellness pro friend and they pointed to a popular health or nutrition book in the bookstore and said "I could do that." But they don't. They're still trying to write the "War and Peace" of nutrition.

You as a wellness pro must take your already good ideas (please read that again: your ideas are already good enough), find a group of people that want what you have to offer and package your good ideas and services in a way that they would inspire them to say YES. That may take reworking titles and putting a different "book cover" or "spin" on your ideas so that it appeals to people outside of the wellness field. That's okay. Be flexible. You're not trying to write "War and Peace." You're just trying to share your good ideas.

The point is: Good ideas are good enough.

Forget about critical acclaim or winning admiration in the eyes of your colleagues. I know plenty of wellness pros who are seen as  successful and really up to something and they're actually struggling to pay the rent and are seriously overworked.

What's more important is acclaim and recognition from the tribe that you serve. They are the ones that are hiring you, showing up for your presentations and buying your info products. They are the ones that count. Literally.

So consider borrowing a few ideas from James Patterson who chose to laser focus on realizing his greatest passion: getting people to become readers. Yes, continue to invest some of your time studying your modality to become better at what you do. But make no mistake, that is not what's going to get people healthier. (And very often, because you're always learning new things in your modality, it makes you feel like there is so much to learn and perpetually locks you into the "newbie" state of mind, fueling the fears of not knowing enough).

Instead, consider that mastering the formulas that create success is what builds the bridge between you and your tribe.  And this "bridge" is the key make a great living while making a difference.   

To your success,


Want to learn how to do build the bridge to your clients? Check out my NEW Fast Start to Clients Program beginning January 27th. It's a simple, easy-to-understand 8 week program to jumpstart your practice success FAST. Get the details here: