Saturday, October 21, 2006

Success by means of short-cuts?

To begin, someone once quoted this about Mr. Charlie Munger: "You live in the centre of the field, you don't take corners." Many people mistake luck for success and success for luck. First of all, what is true success? It should be something that is both sustainable and growing.
Sustainable means being able to withstand the test of time. Growing means having long term growth. In many cases of so-called success, it is not the case. To name a few, Worldcom, Enron, Citiraya, Creative, US Airways and so on. They have their success stories in a limited way. These businesses achieved success but they are not sustainable or growing, a few are long-gone. Some went through restructuring, some are struggling. They may have enjoyed success for a short time but that is not what success is all about. There are so many businesses that do not grow after some time and then they decline. Are these real success? But then no business probably can really grow forever but it is also important that the business must be able to sustain market share and main its strength to survive. But many do not.
True success are companies that can stand the test of time, for example, Berkshire Hathaway, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Wringley, Wal-mart, businesses where they hold the key and moot.
Then many times, people mistake potential growth as a means for success - think of those tech biz in the 90s-, thinking it will give them the short cut needed for success. Yes, it may give them success in a quick way but it just isn't sustainable. Then when things fall apart, the stack of cards too give way. But that's the nature of things, the temptation of short-cuts are way too much. Then if you think about it, the time taken to find short-cuts in life will cost much more than others who do it the right way. Worst still, many of these people never manage to find any ways to the success by the means of short-cuts.

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