John's Keys to Success
John is an incredibly accomplished and successful businessman. As such, he is quite popular as a mentor. He enjoys showing young professionals the ropes. The first thing he says is that his career has certainly not always been smooth sailing. In fact, he learned a number of lessons along the way. "First and foremost," John said "don't believe that success is ever mana from heaven." He said that everyone he had met had a similar rags to riches story, and that a lot of hard work had gone into the success.
John believes in hard work, but also in recognizing the right opportunities. "It's absolutely essential to never spread yourself too thin" John advised. "If you have too many irons in the fire, you'll certainly miss out on real opportunity" he continued. "I've seen people as busy as a bee who never really seem to do anything" he pointed out. The more I thought about this advice, the more I understood what he was saying.
If you put on your thinking cap, you'll realize that it's impossible to really concentrate if you have to worry about fifty different things. Another important lesson was that it's important to know which side your bread is buttered on and make sure to give that activity your full attention. In other words, you need to ride the gravy train.
Don't start looking for new challenges if everything is working out for the best!
John stressed that the most important ability of any successful entrepreneur was to have the presence of mind to not only take advantage of an opportunity, but also to keep your eye on the ball. Some people are quick on the uptake, but then they get bored. It's important to be consistent, but not spread yourself too thin. Finally, make sure to never show your hand to your opponents. In any case, that's how to be successful according to John.
Idioms Used in the Story
smooth sailing = an easy life with no problems
know which side one's bread is buttered on = to understand what is most important for oneself
ride the gravy train = to make money by doing something that is already proven to be successful
keep one's eye on the ball = to concentrate and conti
mana from heaven = surprise riches
from rags to riches = from poor to rich
show someone the ropes = to explain and show by example how something is done properly
as busy as a bee = very busy (also busy as a beaver)
非常忙碌（也说busy as a beaver）
work out for the best = to end with the best possible result
quick on the uptake = to understand very quickly
have the presence of mind to do something = to be aware and able to grasp an opportunity
show one's hand = to show others what advantages you have in a situation
put on one's thinking cap = to concentrate
spread oneself too thin = to do too many things
have too many irons in the fire = to do too many things
1. My friend is as ________________ these days. He never gets time to relax.
2. We've been lucky in life. It's been _____________ since the very beginning.
3. I'm sure the situation will improve. It will _________________.
4. You need to ____________________ for this problem. It requires a lot of concentration.
5. Alan ___________________ during the negotiations for the business deal.
6. Franklin went from ________________ in his life. He started with nothing and ended up a very rich person.
7. Some artists are lucky and have a huge hit early in life. Then they ______________________ for many years afterwards.
8. My boss _________ me ______________ at work because it was my first week.
1. busy as a bee
2. smooth sailing
3. work out for the best
4. put on your thinking cap
5. showed his hand
6. rags to riches
7. ride the gravy train
8. showed me the ropes