A colleague of mine showed me a flier that Mike Greene had used to promote his book – Failure Breeds Success – and I thought that his book looked like a useful modern version of Think and Grow Rich, the iconic self-help book from Napoleon Hill.
Greene is well known in the news and convenience industry through his leadership of consultancy him! Starting out working as a paperboy for a newsagent, he went on to become a Martin McColl manager before stints at Spar, Cirkle K, Shell and Jet.
I have heard Mike speak and been in the same room as him often but we have never spoken. However, I had a hunch that his self-help book might appeal to business-minded retailers working in our trade right here and right now.
My hunch was right. Failure Breeds Success is an accessible version of Think and Grow Rich. It is steeped in Mike’s personal journey, which is through the news and convenience trade to millionaire status. He gives you a road map to success – a map you can hand to any taxi driver.
You have to start the book at the start and work through it to get the maximum benefit. Greene tells you that you have to read books to learn. And he tells you that you have to write down your goals to be successful.
However, chapter six is a gem on the subject of not confusing activity with accomplishment. This is aimed at all of you who say that you work 24-7 and yet feel like you are going backwards.
“A great deal of the problem comes down to the fact that we’ve all been conditioned to believe that success always comes with hard work. Therefore the train of thought develops that the harder we work the more successful we will become. Well, that is the cast to a certain extent, but the truth obviously goes further than that,” Greene writes.
“A scattergun approach to goals never works. If you want to transform your life and reach your goals, you have to take aim at the target and remain focussed at all times.”
He cites the example of an acquaintance who ran five coffee shops, several pharmacies, two online stores and a host of other on-line businesses. “He literally worked every waking moment and always had his mobile phone glued to his ear.” Then he contracted a virus that almost killed him and he had to change his lifestyle. He then decided to only do the important things and what he discovered was “that his businesses can still run without him being in control of every detail. In fact, as he discovered for himself, the measure of a great leader is how well their business runs when they are not there all the time!”
Chapter two on not accepting labels is equally strong. “If you believe you are not good enough, then you won’t be good enough,” Greene writes.
Believing you are going to be a success, adding in a bit of effort and action behind that self-confidence, will increase your chances exponentially. The moment when you accept that it is “not someone else’s responsibility to support your endeavours…is the moment that the world is your oyster”.
The brilliant thing about Greene’s book is that he not only talks the talk but he shows you how to walk the walk. This book is a great investment in your future.