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How to Win

Becoming Somebody

“You’re a doer, because you’re prepared to make the necessary 
effort to translate your dream into action.” — 
Paul McCabe,  from “Feed the Good Dog” 

Are you everybody or somebody?

Vikas Swarup is a somebody today because his novel Q & A turned into Oscar-winning film “SlumDog Millionaire.”

“I got an idea and I thought, ‘Let me develop it.’ I gave a challenge to myself,” Swarup said in a 2005 interview.

Those two sentences separate everybodys from somebodys. Here’s why:

Everybody gets great ideas. Maybe it’s an idea for an invention. Maybe it’s an idea to change careers. But ideas all by themselves mean nothing. Remember, everybody gets them.

In order to become somebody, you must act on your ideas. Swarup did. He wrote four and a half chapters, then began looking for an agent. He reached out to 11 people. One of them called back the next day.

The feedback on the early chapters was good, so Swarup finished. Last night, the movie based on his novel won the award for Best Picture. But if any of the links in the chain — challenging himself to write, beginning to write, finding an agent and then finishing the book — were not there, some other picture would have won the award.

So to be a somebody, whether as a coach or an athlete, you must act on your ideas and see them through to completion. If that sounds difficult, you’re right, it can be difficult. But that’s why your chances of success are so great. While you’re finishing, so many everybodys will be giving up!


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