The Secret of the Self Made Man or Woman
The term "Self-Made" is often used to describe someone who built a business or a fortune from the ground up. The term usually describes a man or woman who began without inheriting a business or money and was able to reach a high level of success. A self-made man or woman is typically thought of as "doing it on their own."
These self-made individuals do whatever they can to maintain a singular vision that focuses on attaining a specific goal. They are self-reliant and often cast aside anything that may distract them from this goal. Self-made men or woman are often thought of as driven and willing to exert whatever effort is necessary to succeed. Some describe these men and women as unaided and singularly responsible for their success. This is where I disagree.
Setting aside the fact that we all need help when trying to achieve anything of merit, it is highly unlikely that anyone builds a business or a fortune entirely on their own. Businessmen and women need employees and advisors. Investors need something to invest in as well as competent people to help manage their wealth as it grows. This is not to say that I think no one deserves to be portrayed as self-made, on the contrary, the ability to assemble a team that can help you become successful is a skill that is not possessed by everyone.
Who else helps along the way? A myriad of vendors, suppliers, contractors, office staff, and more all have a hand in the success and or failure of a business, or the growth of an investment. It seems there may be others that assist in the ascent of any self-made individual. The hidden creators that correct economies, build or destroy businesses, direct investments, and without knowing, manipulate markets. These not so "silent partners" have a major impact on every self-made man or woman.
You may have guessed that I am describing customers. Without customers, there is no business. Without business, there is very little to invest in. Although self-made is an apt description for these entrepreneurs, it does not include the hundreds, thousands, or even millions of customers that make up the very core of what they have worked so hard to build.
Many people have tried to capture the skill set that allows these otherwise ordinary people to succeed in the face of everyday adversity. Articles and books have been written that claim to provide a roadmap to achieving what these self-made moguls have achieved. Over the years, publishers and producers have had varying degrees of success while trying to convey the secret they themselves lack. No one to date has been able to prescribe a foolproof method that allows anyone willing to listen the ability to attain self-made success.
Maybe we are looking for something that can't be quantified? The ability to create and build something from nothing may be an art that cannot be copied like the talent of Rembrandt or DaVinci. Perhaps the talent possessed by these self-made individuals is simply the imagination that allows them to see and the ability to provide what other people want.