Most people are looking for the secret to success; the secret to being
a millionaire; the secret to winning at working. To help them find it, currently inventories 1,797 books promising success secrets,
everything from “Mustang Sallies: Success Secrets of Women Who Refuse
to Run With the Herd” to “The 21 Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires.”

So, if you\’re one of those looking, I\’ll save you some time. The bottom
line is this – there is no secret. There\’s no magical formula to
follow; no short-cuts to take or lottery tickets you can purchase.
People who are winning at working know it takes persistence,
determination, commitment, passion, practice, focus and hard work.
There are no secrets to any of that. Just look around.

Take Chester Carlson. Chester became a rich man as the successful
inventor of an electrostatic paper-copying process that later became
the Xerox Corporation, even though twenty corporations rejected his
idea. It took Chester seven years of persistence and determination
before he found one tiny company willing to purchase his invention.

Or take Julia Child. After receiving a contract for a French cookbook,
Julia worked five years, with two collaborators, only to produce a
manuscript that was rejected by the publisher. A year of revisions
produced another rejected manuscript. But Julia refused to give up. It
took eight years and a second publisher for Julia\’s cookbook, which
sold more than a million copies, to find a bookshelf.

If you want to be winning at working, stop looking for some secret “out
there” to bring you success. Instead, turn your sights inward and
you\’ll find everything you need. You see, you\’re the secret to your
success. But if you think you don\’t have what it takes, think again.

Visit any craft fair, hobbyist, volunteer organization or internet
blog. Note poets, musicians, artists, athletes, hackers, spammers and
graffiti artists. Determination, persistence, initiative and hard work
manifests itself in many ways and places, some positive endeavors and
some not so positive. But it\’s the same ingredients. And they\’re inside
you waiting to be tapped.

People work on novels after a full day\’s work. They develop products
intheir garages, then figure out how to manufacture and market them.
They volunteer to coach their daughter\’s soccer team or organize food
drives fortheir community. They put energy into their interests and
passions. They persist against hardships, set-backs and
disappointments, demonstrating with their actions they have what it

Stop looking for success secrets and start realizing you\’re the best
kept secret you have. Like Moliere puts it, “The heart can do
anything.” Find your heart in your work and you can do anything, too.

Nan Russell Columnist, Writer, Instructor

Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. She has held leadership positions in Human Resource Development, Communication, Marketing and line Management. Nan has a B.A. from Stanford University and M.A. from the University of Michigan. Currently working on her first book, Winning at Working: 10 Lessons Shared, Nan is a writer, columnist, and speaker. Her career insights column, Winning at Working ( ) regularly appears on over eighty websites; and her life-reflections column, In the Scheme of Things ( is published in six states and Canada. Her work has been selected to appear in several anthologies. To sign up for Nan's free eColumn(s), or read more about Nan or her work, visit: