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The Odds are Totally Stacked Against You

Yesterday I came across a post on Kristen Lamb's Blog that said something that hit me pretty hard. I'll let her say it in her own words: "Statistically, only 5% of the population is capable of sustained change. This means of ALL the people who want to run marathons, 5% will. Of ALL the people who join a martial arts class, only 5% will ever reach black belt. Of ALL the people who have a dream of being a career author, only about 5% will ever reach that goal and maintain it. It’s been said that as much as 75% of the literate population would love to one day write a book. Out of hundreds of millions of possible authors, how many do you think actually take the idea seriously? 5% And of the tens of millions left over, how many sit down and write and finish a first draft? 5% Of the millions remaining, how many actually read craft books, get critique and keep revising that first draft until they have a polished draft? 5% Of those who finish that first novel then realize they have a train wreck and not a novel, how many suck it up and start over to write a better book that’s more likely to engage with readers? 5% Of those who finally write a decent book, how many take time to also build a brand and platform? How many learn to blog effectively in ways that reach and cultivate readers? 5% How many get in the regular habit of writing, researching and revising? They don’t just stop with the one book and keep on writing more books? 5% Of those who publish the first book and don’t instantly become zillionaires, how many keep writing and improving? 5% This profession is really hard. Toss a few hundred million people with a dream into one large funnel and most will not shake out at the end. Yet, if we look at the individual pieces of becoming “successful” it is astonishing how much we control." Take a look at that, do the math, and you'll realize just how FEW people actually succeed in our line of work (authors)--but also in any line of work. To become a successful author, the odds are completely stacked against you. Add all of those 5%'s of 5%'s together, and you end up with 0.00000000078% of people actually succeeding in the industry of being an author. Pretty staggering odds, right? What's the takeaway of all this? Simple: if you're going to be one of that 5% that succeeds, it's going to take every shred of willpower, determination, and grit you've got. There are millions of other people struggling to be in that same 5% of success, and many of them are going to succeed because they are luckier, harder working, and better than you. If you are going to make it into that niche of "success", you're going to have to give it everything you've got--and then some!