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Goals work great for simple situations. But the world is rarely simple these days. You don't know what your career will look like in a year. You don't know what the economy will be doing, or which new technologies will hit the scene. Your personal life is just as unpredictable. The future is a big ball of complexity if you look out far enough. And that means your odds of picking the one best goal for you are slim, and the odds of achieving it are even slimmer, because everything is a moving target.

So instead of goals, try systems that improve your odds of success (however you define success) over time. Choose projects that improve your personal value no matter how the project itself does. Find systems for diet and fitness that replace willpower with simple knowledge. It's easy to do.

And while you're at it, stop worrying about whether you have enough passion for success. Passion comes from success; success doesn't come from passion. Passion is bull$#!$. You need energy, not passion. And you can increase your energy by using systems.

See this quick slideshow on why goals are for losers, systems are for winners, and passion is bull#$!%. For a more complete explanation see my book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big.


[Note 1: This is a test to see if selected content from the book taken out of context is more compelling than the book cover and title. I am also running some Adword tests to see which keywords bring people to the free Slideshare preview of the book. Yeah, I know it isn't scientific.]

[Note 2: I know you're sick of reading about the book. But I find the process of dissecting its lack of sales performance to be immensely educational. This is an example of making myself more valuable over time (a system) despite surface-level failure. I'm taking you along for the ride. I hope some of this discussion makes you more valuable too.]

 
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Feb 7, 2014
I'm currently reading the book. You're welcome. Got it from the library. Sorry. Reading about systems vs. goals happens to coincide with my Deputy Director deciding we need a vision and mission with supporting goals. Your book got me wondering if my organization (I.T. dept) could replace specific goals with a system. My sense is that a system would work better since; priorities change, technology changes, interruptions delay or derail specific goals, and all the other things that disrupt technology projects.

I don't know if I'll be able to sell this to my boss, but if I can, I think it would do a lot to change the culture of the department. Something a new set of goals will not.

I'm hoping the book has more on systems vs. goals. I'd like to have a deeper grasp of how to apply the concept to an organization.
 
 
Jan 24, 2014
I finally got around to checking it out, and I think the slide show is BRILLIANT.

It's funny (the graphics are comedic genius) and gets the point across and seems more like a TED talk than a commercial (of course, with a plug at the end, but consumers are used to that). It's the sort of thing that could go viral.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 23, 2014
I liked this slideshow while it was a wry and astute critique, and then the systems bit suddenly felt like you were selling a book by Anthony Robbins or Scott Adams or someone... Actually that encapsulates my resistance to your product. I feel coerced or at least sized up and so resist being manipulated on this site. But if you're sizing me up I don't mind reassuring you it likely is my type - generally when someone moves into consultancy or counselling based on their successes I do expect to get just a little ripped off - rather than necessarily the reality. Feedback here anyway.
 
 
Jan 22, 2014
>>>>I'll make you a deal - if you come to Edmonton Alberta on a speaking tour, I will come, bring 3 friends, and buy your book. You can thank me in person.

>>While you are heading in our direction, how about stopping in Eureka, Montana?

I think the goal is to sell books, not to get eaten by a bear. Though that is nice country, I have an uncle (on my wife's side) who lives in Kalispell.
 
 
Jan 22, 2014
You need to improve slide 33. Making customers happy is a goal.

And reduce the number of fake quotes. They throw the balance toward "read this for a good laugh" and away from "read this to make your life better."
 
 
Jan 22, 2014
You seem to have a goal of getting a lot of people to buy your book.

Doubtless someone has already alerted you to the irony.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 22, 2014
Devils advocate: You're obviously passionate about this, and its driving your efforts to get to the bottom of this. So maybe passion _isn't_ !$%*!$%*! you're just uncomfortable being passionate about something and have rationalized your way out of it. And now you've got confirmation bias and are asking us to contribute to it.
 
 
Jan 21, 2014
[I actually get a lot of email from people thanking me for inspiring them to some sort of success or other. I stopped being surprised by it and wrote the book to leverage the impact. But I've never thought to save any of the emails thanking me. I will take your advice (this one time only) and save any future success stories that can be tied to the book. -- Scott]

Well why didnt you say so before? I was wondering where a cartoonist would get the idea from that he could be a success guru. Still not sure how seriously to take your advice but at least now it makes sense that you at least would take yourself seriously in this capacity.
 
 
Jan 21, 2014
I'm with Kingfisher. Try an extended tour. Mark Twain did it.

You merely have to give a talk to rival the greatest humor writer the world has ever known. Hop to it, Monkey Brain!
 
 
Jan 21, 2014
I access the internet primarily on my phone these days (as do many people in the demographic you're seeking); the slideshow did not look great on my Android. And there's a reason Google and Facebook have white backgrounds - it's an easier visual experience for most people.
 
 
Jan 21, 2014
I'd still like to know how 'bad' the book sales are, and how you (or your publisher) came up with your anticipated sales volume.

But aside from that - how many of you are familiar with the concept of 'line extension?' It's a marketing theory that, simplified, says you can't successfully carry a brand from one business to another. Xerox makes great copiers; so much so that 'xerox' became both a noun and a verb that meant either a copy or making a copy.

So if Xerox goes into the food business and creates, say, Xerox Burritos, are they going to be an instant success? Probably not. And the name doesn't help sales, because Xerox means copiers, not burritos. The name arguably (but probably) hurts sales, because it makes people ask themselves, 'what the heck does a copier company know about making burritos?'

So it is, sadly, with the Scott Adams brand. Cartoonist extraordinaire. Sage of the many follies that are corporate America. Wry commenter on the irony that infuses most of our day-to-day business lives.

But self-help guru? Not so much. Why not, you ask? Because the proof, as they say, is in the pudding, and there's no pudding here.

Allow me to explain. Take a look at the last slide in Scott's slide show. There are four glowing recommendations for Scott's book. But what's missing?

Someone who says, "Scott Adams made me the success I am today." Here's what Scott's brand is lacking:

"I am now a millionaire thanks to the advice Scott Adams gave me."

"Adam's book is the culmination of a decade of successfully teaching people how to become rich and famous."

"Move over, Tony Robbins! I have seen my bank account explode thanks to following Scott Adams' 'System vs. Goals' methodology!"

I don't know how many noticed, but there are some comments below Scott's slide show. One of them says, in part, "I was getting kind of excited about the concepts in the slideshow, but then I saw it was just an ad for some book by 'the Dilbert guy.' Seriously?. . ."

I certainly could be wrong about all this. Most likely I am. But if I'm even a little bit correct, then Scott needs to convert this methodology into a seminar series and get some success stories under his belt. Scott truly believes that his methodology can help people become successful. I shudder to think he may be passionate about it, because as we all now know, that will surely lead to failure.

But if this is truly what Scott wants to do now, then my opinion is that he needs to devote considerable time and effort into spreading the Gospel According To Adams. I truly wish him success in his quest.

When I first commented in this blog after reading Scott's book, I talked about "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. It was first published in 1937, and is still in print today, more than 75 years later. It's one of the most successful self-help books of all time. It is based upon Hill's research of more than 20 years into the lives and works of people who became very rich.

I only hope that in the year 2090, Scott's book will still be held in such high esteem. My guess is that this is a long-haul book whose acceptance, and sales volume, will grow over time. It's not an instant best-seller, and Scott may being unfair to himself by expecting it to be one. But again, I may be wrong, and I hope I am. I do think it's a good book.

[I actually get a lot of email from people thanking me for inspiring them to some sort of success or other. I stopped being surprised by it and wrote the book to leverage the impact. But I've never thought to save any of the emails thanking me. I will take your advice (this one time only) and save any future success stories that can be tied to the book. -- Scott]
 
 
Jan 21, 2014
Don't take my previous comment as a jab (or troll). The service has promise. But in the big scheme of things, the book will likely outlive this technology. Eventually, it may serve to date the book.
 
 
Jan 21, 2014
FWIW, I like the book's cover art and the title.
And I REALLY like the slideshow. (The Internet loves this kind of thing.)

...and the book commercial in the slideshow doesn't bother near as much as the CalendarTree commercial in the book.

 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 21, 2014
>>I'll make you a deal - if you come to Edmonton Alberta on a speaking tour, I will come, bring 3 friends, and buy your book. You can thank me in person.

While you are heading in our direction, how about stopping in Eureka, Montana?
 
 
Jan 21, 2014
Scott, After going through your slideshow, I think I know how you can make your book a bestseller. You go on a tour, or hire charismatic presenters to go on multiple tours, and give presentations just like this, with a good dose of Dilbert Humour, and sell your book through those channels.

People don't trust cartoonists to give life advice, but they will go see a comedian speak. I'll bet you would do an excellent job at tricking people into thinking that they are paying for a night of laughs (and if you do it right they won't be disappointed). Once they are there, you can do things like your slideshow, and then say "By the way - buy my book" And people will buy it.

I'll make you a deal - if you come to Edmonton Alberta on a speaking tour, I will come, bring 3 friends, and buy your book. You can thank me in person.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 21, 2014
Sent slideshow to the Wife, she replied:

"I want to read it, and this just added to it!"

So, I'd say it did it's job.
 
 
Jan 21, 2014
I think you're being shortsighted about the book sales. If the book is as great as you think it is, then eventually, via good reviews and word-of-mouth, sales will pick up. If your book is really great, it will one day be a classic. Lots of books and movies start slow and grow to be something huge.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 21, 2014
Good slideshow. I bought the book. I prob would have eventually anyway, but the slideshow made me want to read more.
 
 
Jan 21, 2014
Based on the trend in numbers of votes and comments to your posts nowadays, it seems your current process is designed to squander the goodwill of formerly loyal blog readers.
 
 
Jan 21, 2014
I like the slideshow. It has a really good design quality to it. Out of curiosity did you do it yourself or do you have collaborators, graphic artists, etc. for these projects?

I think you could push a bit more content into it and do a TED talk on the subject which would have a good chance of going viral and indirectly generating book sales.

If you got an influential school like Harvard to give it to all their incoming freshman that would get a lot of parents to buy it for their kids.
 
 
 
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