The endless sales pitch: Successful people don’t need to tell you about it.

1 Pisgah national forest
Why would they bother? Since wealth in fact is a limited resource like any other, why would those who struggled and scraped to the point of earning some of it WANT to give you a leg up into it as well? There’s a loopy Jehova’s Witness aspect to it. Biblically speaking there’s a limited number of them (JWs) who will be “assumed” in the rapture (again, according to scriptures), and yet they are out there converting more—why? Well in the case of the JW’s it’s a matter of the righteous necessity of proselytizing. But in the case of business, there’s only one reason – to get you to buy something. The process is simply about improving their lucrative upswing. And no one should have to be told this. If you’re a fisherman you accept that the magazines and online media are basically advertisements wrapped around some enjoyable fishing stories. If you’re a guitar player you know that the magazines and other media are sales pitches for gear you don’t have (usually the newest that no one has) wrapped around simple lessons or interviews with celebrity guitar players. We know this! We don’t have to even think about it. But when it comes to career or creative advice, especially advice about making more money, we somehow shut off our skepticism and plunge into the depths of carnival confidence-game hell.
Why would a successful person need to explain to you their method of success (from in-the-mirror self pep talks to walking across the coals at the management retreat)? The answer is because they are being paid to.
I get some writing magazines, mainly because of the contests and marketplace in the back for places to submit writing to. I’ve never found any of their articles helpful. They are 99% about actually writing. It is about equivalent to creating an artist’s painting magazine about the creative inspiration of producing an artwork. It can be amusing and fun to read about the personal habits of some famous writers, but it is entirely silly business to imagine that that has anything to do with you or I successfully publishing a book. What we need to know is how to market, and that is always occluded in a fog of mystery. Because it’s a Ouija board of mystery (or fakery!) we instead have to have endless articles about the artistry of famous books. As if because Herman Hesse wrote in a particularly obtuse style you too can have success doing that. OR because Thomas Pynchon used a lot of technical terms you too could make good money selling a book with a lot of technical terms. OR because Rachel Ray sold millions of cookbooks about making incredibly fattening Italian food, you should turn your attention to something already popularly done, as if jumping on the Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey bandwagon were somehow a cryptic solution, no one ever imagined, to being recognized. It’s like thinking millions of people are right now walking past a free bag of money laying on the sidewalk, but because you are somehow special you’ll be able to rush over there and pick it up (start walking!).
Wake up people! If you haven’t already written novels, poems, or piles of short stories you’re not a writer. Imagining you’re going to become a writer when you find the writing outlet to fill is a little like thinking a space at the art museum is opening up (they’re throwing out an old musty painting) and you’re gonna rush over there and fill it with a grand painting you’ll produce—for the first time—tomorrow.
One last sucker’s dream to be put to death. Stop thinking people will pay you for your ideas. No one pays for ideas—you know why? Because ideas cost nothing and are produced by the billions by everyone. This is not to say that ideas married to expertise are not valuable. They are, but in that case it’s the expertise that was fought for and hard won that makes the value. Loons produce ideas, and few want them. It’s the doing of excellent work not the talking about it that matters.
Yes, every year Mary Kay (and I hope you can hear the tone with which I say that name) can trot out that outlier who managed to make good money selling their products. We can also find lifetime chain-smokers who lived to ripe old ages, and loopy guys with no teeth who grab snapping-turtles by their asses who made it big. This does not mean you’re going to mine success out of these stories.
In our world, developing great skill(s) doesn’t mean you’ll survive. Everything is about the sham. It is all about the sales pitch, and most of this is because we as humans are perfectly lazy and habitual. We end up “learning” from commercials, and imagining our dreams are answered by commercials. It’s hard for us to see it otherwise as we’ve been raised in it. It’s a version of Plato’s Cave analogy. When one song is being blasted at you it’s hard to sing another.