Cliche and misleading advice I often see on life, business, and writing

Alexei Sorokin
3 min readMay 24
  1. Go-all-in. Having Plan B is bad because you’re allowing for the possibility of failure. Watch this video by Arnold Schwarzenegger. I disagree. I failed a few times and think you should have plan B. You should assume failure. In fact, in some circumstances, your Plan B should be your most dominant plan while you’re working on Plan A. And this whole Plan A/Plan B/go-all-in is oversimplifying things anyway. Every set of circumstances is different. Arnold’s mindset can work in some situations, but not others.
  2. Don’t give up. Similar. Sometimes persevering over an obsession is like not sealing your wound and stopping the bleeding. Of course, behind many successes, there is a story of perseverance. However, behind many failures, there is a story of not stopping soon enough.
  3. Set goals. Goals are overrated. I write a lot about running. I improved dramatically because of my consistency. I achieved marathon results I couldn’t imagine a few years ago or when I was much younger. It was all because of consistency. Great results are outcomes of consistency and sticking to a process, not goal setting. In fact, goal setting can be a distraction and even a barrier.
  4. Have a niche. To each his own. You can have a niche, or you can be very versatile in your content creation. Both approaches can work.
  5. Listen to your readers. Absolutely not. Build it they will come. I greatly respect my readers, but I would never create to please someone or catch a trend. I write what’s on my mind and in my heart. Not that I am anyone successful in the space of creation, but I think great artists and writers wrote their best pieces not out of the goal of pleasing their audience.
  6. Life is short. No, life is long, unless you die young tragically.
  7. It’s all for the best or some variation of it (everything happens for a reason, for example). When shit happens, we move on. Our instinct is to survive — what other choice do we have? If there is success or happiness later, yes, you can look at your “rock bottom” and glamorize it. However, you don’t often reach that much brighter destination. You recover and move on. But there was no need to hit that rock bottom in the first place. Some scars hurt too much. Some mistakes are just stupid mistakes.
  8. Patience is a virtue. Life’s complicated. Indeed, sometimes through patience, you can achieve a better outcome. But you can…
Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day. More here: