Although Jesper Mortensen provided a great answer, I thought I would provide some additional input from Seth Godin's blog post, Every successful case is a special case.
It's easy to dismiss strategies or
plans or people who succeed by
pointing out how they have something
special, something irreproducible,
some sort of advantage that makes
their success special.
Special as in, "not available to me."
They went to Harvard, they're public,
they're not public, they have a great
fundraising team, they have a powerful
partner, they didn't go to Harvard,
they already have a reputation, they
have no reputation to risk...
This is silly, as all success is
special. That's what makes it success.
We don't consider breathing a success,
since, fortunately, we all can
The trick is learning about what the
special cases have in common, in
understanding how maybe, just maybe,
you have some of the very same
attributes that others have used in a