The Cocktail for Success

Predicting success is incredibly difficult. Think about the NFL. The top draft picks often don’t turn into the stars of the league. How is it possible that a majority of those who follow football and are considered “smart” choose a group of players they believe will be stars and get it almost dead wrong. How do these experts miss it on Dak Prescott, Tom Brady or even Aaron Rodgers? Were there really better players?

This dilemma happens in business too. For instance, many who are hired into training programs at large financial firms are hired because of their potential to succeed. Hundreds of thousands of dollars later, less than 15% of them survive past 3 years.

Perhaps the problem is in part the raw talent. The raw talent is easy to see and may actually be a blinding factor giving false hope. What if one of the big problems with predicting success is the ability to predict someone’s ability to overcome challenges?

However, I don’t believe it is simply one thing that predicts success. It would be easy if it were just talent or the ability to overcome challenges. In fact, I believe that successful salespeople, professionals and yes, athletes, may result from a fully mixed cocktail of combinations. From watching some wildly successful and unrelenting professionals, it seems success comes from a mix of raw talent, the passion to win, the proven mental toughness to get through difficult situations, instinctual decision-making, and mentoring. What do you think?


Dr. Maribeth Kuzmeski is President of the consulting firm, Red Zone Marketing founded in 1994. Maribeth and her firm personally consult with some of the nation’s top financial professionals managing from $300 million to over $1 billion in client assets. Maribeth got her start in the financial services industry as the 5th client in her firm happened to be a financial advisor. This advisor had only $10 million in money under management that Maribeth helped grow into $200 million in under 5 years through niche-based marketing strategies. Today the firm is fully focused on the financial services industry. Maribeth has written 7 books including the bestseller The Connectors. She is an international keynote speaker rated as a Top 25 C-Suite Speaker by Meetings & Conventions Magazine, has spoken at The Million Dollar Round Table, and is a regular presenter at Barron’s Top Producer conferences. Maribeth is a media contributor appearing on Fox News, USA Today, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes and hosts a popular podcast featuring inspiring businesswomen. Maribeth also has her own charitable foundation supporting women in business, The Red Zone Leadership Foundation.