The Success Divide: Fact or Fallacy?

Apr 14, 2010 by

“Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right.” -Henry Ford

In many ways the world is naturally segregated, both socially and ethnically.  And within each divide, there is a perceived class that everyone fits into in one capacity or another.  One of the sad byproducts of this phenomenon is the fact that it generally congregates all of the successful people into one class and leaves everyone else on the outside looking in, only to hopelessly ponder the seemingly uncrackable code of how to get a slice of the pie known as ‘The Good Life’ for themselves.

success, business


And, while this paradigm of society has held true since the beginning of civilized man, the imaginary barriers between the Haves and the Have-Nots is eroding at an mind-blowing rate.  And the fact is, as Gary Vaynerchuk once stated matter-of-factly, there’s plenty of room at the top.

The separation of the successful from the semi-successful and unsuccessful people is not an accident.  It is human nature for like-minded individuals to gravitate to one another.  There isn’t a concocted plan to squeeze out the little people – the reason successful people wind up in the same circles is simple: they purge negative influences and toxic people from their lives.

Think of it this way: Have you ever bounced an idea off of someone and had them give you a dozen reasons as to why it won’t work?  Who was this person?  Was this someone who’s achieved great things for themselves?  Probably not.  Chances are pretty good that this person was a failure at many things themselves.  And, if there’s one thing an unsuccessful person loathes, it’s the success of other people – because it serves as a reminder to them of what a loser they are (whether this is actually true or not is irrelevant).

If you have people like this in your life, you need to let them go.  They are holding you back.  Everyone who you allow into your circles must wish you nothing but the greatest success.  It doesn’t matter what they’ve achieved in their own lives.  Considerations for the way that people will react when you succeed is a symptom of the fear of success.  You have to proceed knowing that you need to leave those negative people behind.

The greatest myth is the fallacy that the upper echelon of high-achieving people are deliberately trying to wall the lower class people out.  Not only is this almost universally untrue, many of these perceived ‘successful people’ will actually be more than willing to help you achieve your dreams, and happy to do so*.

The wall between you and the success you want to achieve isn’t made out of 1″ bulletproof glass; nor is it made out of reinforced concrete.  And, there’s no barbed wire at the top and there are no angry man-eating Rottweilers on the other side, either.  The wall is in your head.  And the sooner you realize that the only thing holding you back from achieving the things you want to accomplish and living the lifestyle that success has to offer is you, you’ll see that the walls you’ve imagined into existence can be torn down as easily as they were built up in the first place.

*A nice resource for interviews with successful individuals from a variety of business mediums is David Siteman Garland’s site: The Rise to the Top.


  1. Great point about negativity. I’ve noticed that to be consistently true. Positive people are successful and they get rid of negative influences. It doesn’t happen overnight, but is an ongoing process.

    Also, thanks for the shout out. Much appreciated and made my day.

  2. FALLACY: It’s really simple. Every action produces a result. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is the actions they take. If someone who is unsuccessful is looking for the key to success they simply need to mirror the actions of successful people.

    I’m not saying mirroring the actions is what causes the success, but by continuously taking the same actions successful people take, will eventually help the person seeking success gain the belief that they can succeed.

    You cannot be successful without believing that you can.

  3. Thanks for the comments, guys.

    @Pete – Great point – The mirroring of the practices of those you respect and admire will teach the proper mindsets and habits that are required to be successful. Better to learn from the mistakes of others.