There Are No Silver Bullets

One of the sad truths of life is that people are always looking for the quick answer. I think of them as silver bullets. We want it to be true that there is an easy answer to every problem—sure, I have a problem, but I just have to do this one thing and it will magically go away!

Here’s the truth: there are no silver bullets in life. There are no silver bullets in sports. There are no silver bullets in business.

I’ve seen too many people throw away time, money, and energy chasing after things that just aren’t real, because they sound so good. We’re all looking for the “secret to success.” Whatever Bill Gates did, whatever Mark Zuckerberg did, whatever (fill in the blank) did, all I have to do is duplicate it, and I’ll be successful. In business, we have people presenting get-rich-quick schemes and other silver bullets all the time: “Join my deal, use my system, follow my rules and I’ll make you a millionaire overnight!”

None of it is real.

It goes on all the time, and it’s an obstacle to real success, distracting people from doing what they really have to do—work harder, work smarter, and keep learning every day. It’s not an overnight transformation; it’s an ongoing process. The great quarterbacks become great because they put in more work, they do more study, and look for innovative ways to make their team better. Business owners become successful because they work hard, they’re transparent, and they think every day about how to provide more value to their customers.

Whether it’s in business or any other part of life—relationships, politics, or anything—there are no silver bullets. The problems we face, our challenges, are complex issues. Building a business, playing quarterback, maintaining a relationship—it’s not easy. Anybody who gives you a silver bullet solution is selling you something.

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Tony C
6 years ago

As a student of personal development training, it is amazing how many people are chasing after the shiny object whether it be money, love or the latest success strategy. “Think and Grow Rich,” has nothing on, “Work smart while thinking about growing rich.” The concept of working hard for a future reward has been replaced with rub this lamp, (shiny object) and you can have riches just by thinking about it.
Great piece Fran and I hope to hear more from you in the future.

6 years ago

The President and his advisers (or puppeteers) should read this article for some insight they have ignored since birth.

Ivan Berry
6 years ago

Silver bullets, Hail Marys, whatever, they still fail more often than not. Good job, Fran.

Rick B.
6 years ago

I’ve just taken up fly fishing since my retirement in March. There is no “silver bullet” for this sport, just plenty of practice and learning from those who were once in your rookie shoes. I’m looking forward to many wonderful fishing trips on the trout streams of Western NC, but know there will always be lessons to learn along the way. Nothing worth having comes easily.

6 years ago

What a timely, well thought out article from Mr. Tarkenton. Perhaps all those who are looking at an Article V Convention of States as their “silver bullet” could read and learn something from Mr. Tarkenton’s advice and wonder why such a COS is being pushed so hard to AMAC members. Just a thought. .

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