The Most Dangerous Word in The English Language is Very Scary


There are certain little words people use that I find very revealing. Some of these little colloquialisms are the subject for another day. But one word in particular deserves its own entry in this blog.

Everyday, whether I’m speaking to audiences, counseling companies, traveling on airplanes, or meeting new people in network environments, I frequently hear people use the most dangerous word in the English language. It is really a scary little phrase. They use the little phrase, “I wish.”

When I hear somebody say “I wish.”, it tells me that the person’s level of commitment attached to the accomplishment of the wish is very low. When somebody wishes that they could be a millionaire, it conjures up an image of a person sitting around on a couch, wishing that something would happen, as if there were a magical lantern that they could rub, and the money would show up on their porch. What could be a more dangerous threat to personal success and accomplishment than wishing that somebody would do something extraordinary for you?

Most entrepreneurs I meet who are looking for capital seem to wish that somebody would drop a bag of money on their porch with no questions asked and no strings attached.

Raising money is tough, and it never ever works out because you wish for it. Success comes because you work hard for it. You can use the “W” word, but the right “W” word is work, not wish. Don’t confuse the two. If you find yourself confused between wishing and working, then you’re not going to get what you want.

Similarly in sales, I see people who “wish” that prospects and customers would just “roll over” and give them a break – making a hard job easy. Lets make the prospects job easy. Lets give them the solution to their problem in a way that makes it easy for them to say “yes” to your proposition.

In order to succeed, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes. When you’re willing to do whatever it takes, at whatever cost, at whatever personal sacrifice, for however long, then there’s a really good chance that you’re going to succeed. I only work with these types of people in my advisory practice because the likelihood of success for both of us skyrockets when this level of willingness is present. When I help these types of people to craft a strategy and a plan, they can embrace it with a fiery resolve.

I can promise you that Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate didn’t rely on wishing as their strategy to get into a playoff for this weekend’s U.S. Open golf tournament. Instead, they both want it so badly that they are willing to work as hard as necessary to win.

In general, when people hear you talk about “wanting” instead of “wishing,” you become the kind of person who those people want to bet on. Let others know that you are “willing” to work to make the “want” come to fruition. Imagine how much sooner your dream will come true. The irony is that your wish will come true when you become willing to do the work that’s necessary to make it happen, whatever it is that you dream of.

It turns out that wanting, willing and working are the WWW of success.

So, as you are working hard every day to build your company, or as you’re building your career, make sure that you look at the W words that you’re using. Stop saying “I wish.” Start saying “I want.” Start saying “I’m willing.” Start saying “I’ll work.” Those are W words that really will make a difference in your life.

Often dubbed a Growth Architect by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker, advisor and faculty member of the iLearningGlobal community.