Work From Home: Can You Copy Success?

Dr. Purushothaman
December 10, 2013

Are you striving to improve yourself, your job, or profession? Copying an expert is a marvelous way to master the detailed ins and outs of any new job or profession. And who better to model yourself after than someone with proven success?

What's the most reliable way to learn a sport? Why not mimic somebody who's good at that sport? Want to be a terrific golfer? Mimic Tiger Woods. Think about what good athletic coaches do. They show students how to perform. They point out successful movements and strategies used by other successful athletes. Can you imagine learning to play golf without first watching somebody swing such an awkward-looking club at that tiny ball?

How did you learn to walk, talk, or eat with utensils instead of with your fingers? You watched your parents. Right? You observed older brothers or sisters. Without a great deal of thought, you copied what they did. And it worked. It always does. I mean, think about it. How many people did you know in high school who hadn't yet learned to walk or talk or eat with a knife and fork? And some of them probably weren't all that bright to begin with. So, if you're looking for a sure way to learn something new, doesn't it make sense to copy somebody who's already successful at whatever you want to learn?

You may not care for Donald Trump or his hairstyle-a matter of personal taste. But you must admit that his TV show, THE APPRENTICE, is very popular. Why do you suppose so many contestants want so desperately to work alongside The Donald? They want to learn his professional secrets. How does he make all that money? Exactly what does he do in a business deal in order to come out a winner so often? How and where does he find the deals? How does he negotiate? The contestants want a chance to observe Mr. Trump in action because they intend to copy his moves to a "t"-literally. Why? Because they want to become as expert in their business worlds as Trump is in his.

I grew up in a small town in the mountains of East Tennessee, where I witnessed significant poverty and suffering. I felt driven early in life to help people-to try to ease some of their suffering. As Napoleon Hill suggested in THINK AND GROW RICH, I developed a burning desire. My desire was to study medicine, even though nobody in my family had ever done so. Early in my medical training I realized that I had a gift for performing surgery. I also realized that a surgeon can certainly help relieve suffering. But I knew that before taking on such huge responsibilities, I'd need to be as expert at my profession as possible. I decided to specialize in a particularly challenging branch of surgery.

A 12-month internship in a top Philadelphia university hospital exposed me to various specialties of medicine and surgery, and helped me choose the specialty that intrigued me. I then searched out residency programs worldwide where I could be mentored by the most highly respected surgeons in that field. During my residency training in New York City, I observed those surgeons day in and day out. I watched their every move and copied exactly what they did-their system of delivering surgical care. After several more years of training, I was nearly as expert as these top surgeons. Equally important, I knew that I was good at what I did. Very good.

"Mindset" is crucial in any endeavor. You must believe that you can deliver the goods-the products or services of your profession. Copying someone with proven success helps instill the confidence needed to become successful. Just knowing that you've learned from "the best" makes you feel capable.

The combination of 1) strong desire, 2) ability, 3) specialized knowledge, 4) experience, and 5) self confidence is a winning formula in any game.

This formula works in every job or profession. Yes, you can learn from reading books or listening to recordings. You can also jump into water with no training or experience, and hope to rise to the top on your own. But the most reliable way to gain experience and confidence is to perform hands-on work at the side of an accomplished mentor. My recommendation to the student of any business of profession is this: when you have a burning desire to be successful, search out a successful mentor in the field you've chosen, and then copy exactly what he or she does. Mimic their moves and thoughts and actions-how they deliver their goods. Practice until you're really good at what they do. And then share what you've learned with somebody else.

There are many types of suffering-physical, emotional, and financial. We all need help, especially at the beginning of our careers. In my experience, nothing feels better than helping someone else succeed. It truly helps ease their suffering, too. Also, coaching someone else makes you even better at whatever you do.

I've heard that if you want exactly what someone else has--then do exactly what that person does. Do you want to be successful? The solution is relatively simple. Just copy someone who's already doing whatever you want.

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