Why you will fail to have a great career: Larry Smith [VIDEO]

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great career

Great jobs are disappearing, and so you need to look for a great career.

However, there are going to be several reasons why will fail that task.

No matter how many times people tell you that you have to follow your passion you are not going to do it.

You find it too hard; you are too lazy.

You are going to make excuses why you are not looking for your passion. Stop making excuses right now. I will do this after…

NO! You do it now!

Insightful and funny talk by Larry Smith.

One of the excuses is that you have to be lucky to get a great career. So, you will stand around hoping to get lucky.

Act now!

A year from now you will be sorry you didn’t start a year ago.

picasso quote act now

Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso

Too weird?

Get over the fear of being weird. Do whatever needs to be done to get the great results you are dreaming of. Don’t sell yourself short because you are afraid of what others might think. It’s your passion and your way of doing this, and it doesn’t matter what others think.

You are not weird?

Another excuse. I would do this, but I’m not weird. People who follow their passion are obsessive, strange, weird, etc. But I am normal and nice. But I really want a good career. So I’ll just work really, really, really hard and get to have a great career. NOT!

Working hard at average will not get you to great. So, stop for a minute and think what will happen if you continue to work hard at your good career in 30 years. Will it become a great career?


Now you think, oh, I’m interested in this very interesting thing X.


I look at all human activities, and this is it. I’m interested! Sign me up! But there’s a catch; interest does not equal passion. You need dozens of interests, and then one of them might ignite the passion in you.

To find your passion, list the things that you are interested in. Check out this post Make a List of Your Interests. And be sure to check out this video How To Find And Do Work You Love by Scott Dinsmore.

your interests and hobbies

If you settle for merely interesting, you will miss the opportunities to really matter and make a difference.

Create your passion

On the other hand, if you only look at the areas where you already have passion, then you will miss out on some great opportunities.

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There are two sides to passion. First, you love it! Your passion is something that gets you going. Second, you should feel that you are doing great in that area. That’s the catch. There are many more areas where you suck than those where you excel.

Only focusing on the things that you are good at limits your potential. For example, there was a time when I didn’t know how to snowboard. Now I can!

How I built my passion

Years ago, I was so bad at public speaking that it was cringeworthy. But I needed public speaking to build my business.

I started to grind.

I took every opportunity to speak at conferences and teach people in seminars. I did it for free. I spent hours creating my slide decks. I spent even more hours rehearsing the presentations in front of a mirror. I put 30 to 60 minutes of preparation into every minute on stage.

I didn’t even consider that this is my passion.

I figured that there are two types of people: those who are afraid of public speaking, and those who lie.

I started to get more opportunities to speak at events. Mainly because I didn’t suck that much anymore, and because I did it for free.

Every time I had an opportunity to get on the stage, I put countless hours into preparation.

Step by step, event by event, I got better. It was slow as molasses. I mean, I have seen some of my friends develop warp-speed compared to me. But still, I got better.

The progress was incremental, and there were no dramatic breakthroughs.

Today, more than 10 thousand hours of preparation and close 500 events later, I love public speaking.

Of course, I could love it and still suck at it. But I routinely get feedback that is between 90 and 100%.

Now let’s get back to beginning more than 10 years ago.

If someone had told me that teaching and public speaking would be the main source of my income, I wouldn’t have believed it.


Build your passion!

passion quotes Kawasaki

What I lack in talent, I compensate with my willingness to grind it out. That’s the secret of my life. ~ Guy Kawasaki

The intersection of your interests

Another route to success and passion is to combine several interests into one skill. Dilbert’s author Scott Adams came up with an idea how to hack competition. You combine three things where you are in the top 25%. Competition in that intersection of interests is only 1 to 2 percent of what you would see if you competed in just one area.

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For example, Scott Adams was OK-ish cartoonist, who wrote average jokes, and had some insight into the corporate culture. Combining those skills into one made him stand out. You can read his article about career advice here.

What are the three skills you can combine to become the best in the world?

Share this post with friends who would need help figuring out their careers.

More excuses

But even if you find your passion, you can still fail. You invent a new excuse to avoid taking action. You will say that you will not sacrifice your personal life, friends, family at the expense of great accomplishment. Understand that this is an excuse. Do you really want to look at your spouse and your kids and see your jailers? (Read What are the Important Things in Your Life).

You shield yourself with the excuse of human relationships because you are afraid to look ridiculous, you are afraid to try, you are afraid you may fail.

 passion quotes Solo

My confidence comes from the daily grind – training my butt off day in and day out. ~ Hope Solo

And that’s why you are not going to have a great career!


Why you will fail to have a great career: Larry Smith at TEDxUW – YouTube.

Throughout his three-decade career here at the University of Waterloo, Larry Smith has inspired legions of students to take up the mantle of economics with his passionate and homespun tales of economic wizardry. A renowned story-teller, teacher and youth leadership champion, Larry has also coached and mentored countless numbers of students on start-up business management and career development strategies.

Having taught introductory microeconomics, macroeconomics and entrepreneurship classes, he recently celebrated assigning his 29,000th grade earlier this year.

Recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, Larry has also coached several of his former students to help them position and develop their businesses, the most famous of which is Research in Motion (RIM), maker of the revolutionary BlackBerry wireless mobile smartphone. Larry also sits on the advisory panels of start-ups to provide his guidance on financing and negotiation with investors and venture capitalists.


Photo credit: jamjar

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Priit Kallas

Founder of FixWillpower.com. I created FixWillpower to help you reach your goals. I have struggled my entire life to be consistent and avoid procrastination. The goal is to have a good life, do the things you love and get your results with minimum effort. FixWillpower website is about how I create motivation and productivity in my life. I write about the tools and techniques, best books, scientific research, and everything else that helps you move faster and stay on track. Minimum effort doesn’t mean slacking off. Minimum effort is about effectiveness and productivity. If there is a way to reach a goal in a shorter time or with less exertion, then you should use that. I will help you be smarter and reach goals faster. About FixWillpower

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