The Story of Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody

Now that I’m finished blogging abou the career advice in my book, Success Tweets: 140 Bits of Common Sense Career Success Advice, All in 140 Characters or Less, I’m back to blogging about life and career success in general.  And I have some good stuff to share that I’ve collected over the past 28 weeks.

The Go For It! Institute is my non profit partner.  Go For It! is a great organization.  You can check out their website here.

David McMurtry is one of the program people at Go For It!  Every week he sends some words of wisdom to people on his email list.  Monday of last week, David sent this little gem…

That’s Not My Job
 
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.  There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.  Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.  Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job.  Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.  It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

You’ve probably see this one before, but behind the play on words, there is some great career advice.  David’s email reminded me once again of the importance of taking personal responsibility for your career success

If you want to create the life and career success you want, don’t be like Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.  Be true to yourself.  Take responsibility for your life and career success.  Don’t let Everybody, Somebody,  Anybody or Nobody stop you from doing what you need to do to create the life and career success you want and deserve.

Take personal responsibility for defining what life and career success means to you.  Take personal responsibility for building your self confidence.  Take personal responsibility for developing the career success competencies you need to succeed.  Take personal responsibility for building and nurturing relationships that will help you create your career success.

As Tweet 141 in Success Tweets says, “Knowing is not enough.  Successful people will read the advice in these tweets.  And they will act on it.  Be a successful person.” 

Committing to taking personal responsibility for your life and career success involves action.  You have to do the work if you want the career success

I know that action can be scary.  When you act, you run the risk of failing.  But as Tweet 48 in Success Tweets says, “Procrastination is the physical manifestation of fear and is a confidence killer.  Act; especially when you’re afraid.” 

Action is great career advice, and it gets at the heart of the little message from David McMurtry at the beginning of this post.  Everybody, Somebody and Anybody could have acted and got the job done.  Nobody did.  Don’t be a nobody.  Do what you need to do to create the life and career success you want and deserve.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Successful people take personal responsibility for their life and career success.  They don’t procrastinate.  They act.  They set high goals and then do whatever it takes to achieve them.  Take responsibility for your life and career success.  As the story of Everyboyd, Somebody, anybody and nobody points out, you have to act.  Do what you need to do to become the career success you want to be and deserve to be.

That’s my take on the story of Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.  What’s yours?  What will you do to make sure you are not a nobody?  Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading.

Bud

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Comments

  1. Very good idea. I hope a lot of people will yield to your advice, including me =)

  2. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post!
    It is the little changes that will make the most important changes.

    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  3. Glad you like this little story Alphonse
    Unfortunately, it is too often a fact of life in many organizations.
    Bud

  4. I love this story. I found your article by searching for this story. Great article! I’m currently facing some decisions to be made regarding pursuing my career or continuing down the path of employment. There’s a difference. However, I frequently wonder: WHAT causes a person to procrastinate & not accept personal responsibility for their career success? Why do some seem so motivated while others ho-hum their way through?

  5. AJ, thanks for your comment. I think people procrastinate because they are afraid of failing. I think people don’t take personal responsibility for their success because they want others to do the work for them.

    What are your thoughts on this?

  6. J. Beatie says:

    Mr. Bilanich,

    Thank you for your interpretation of this classic anecdote. I have also found this tale helpful in developing as a leader. One of my most common mistakes as a mid-level manager is asking “somebody” from my team to solve a particular problem. Generally, the solution to the problem requires skills possessed by “everybody” on my team, leaving me believing that “anybody” could solve the problem. But, unless I have asked for the solution to come from a specific team member, “nobody” completes the job. As a leader, personal accountability means acting by assigning tasks and accountability to team members and following up on assigned jobs.

  7. Great insight, John.

  8. Terry Petty says:

    I once worked under a low-level “working” supervisor that would search 15 minutes or more to find someone to do an easy, one minute job. No, she was not successful.

  9. Thank you! I am using this in my Career Development seminar. Thank you!

  10. Daniel Villard says:

    This is so true what the article stated. Thank you for writing this article.

  11. Daniel Villard says:

    Be true! Be you!

  12. Akintayo Babatunde says:

    Nice job, keep it up! What a wonderful piece of writing!!

  13. Ogundiran Odunayo says:

    Wonderful food for thougtht.This will affect many people,including me, positively.Keep it up.

  14. very nice article. something we fail to do most often is to take our success in our hands. we always for others to help us. Procrastination is a killer.

  15. As I always say, “Procrastination is the physical manifestation of fear.” It will kill your chances of success.

  16. I found this searching for the story and it. Is. Awesome!

  17. William Tranter says:

    I’ve heard this tale many times during my working years, and read it in a completely different way. I am successfully retired now, but was a Nobody for most of my life.
    If we take the premise that these are actual people, and Nobody did Everybody’s job, then the job DID get done.
    My take is that there are millions of Nobodies out there (like me) working their butts of and getting no credit.

  18. Sorry to hear that you had such an unpleasant career William.
    I hope that your retirement years will be better.
    All the best,
    Bud

  19. “don’t be like Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. Be true to yourself. Take responsibility for your life and career success. Don’t let Everybody, Somebody, Anybody or Nobody stop you from doing what you need to do to create the life and career success you want and deserve.”
    “Action is great career advice, and it gets at the heart of the little message from David McMurtry at the beginning of this post. Everybody, Somebody and Anybody could have acted and got the job done. Nobody did. Don’t be a nobody. Do what you need to do to create the life and career success you want and deserve.”

    I think you’re wrong here and most people don’t seem to get the idea in that story. Like William said “If we take the premise that these are actual people” (and we should since the story says: “This is a story about FOUR PEOPLE named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.”) then we should be Nobody. Nobody was the one that took action even when it wasn’t his job. Nobody was the one that took responsibility. Nobody didn’t blame anyone and Nobody didn’t expect others to do the job because he knew Everybody wouldn’t do it. We should strive to be Nobody.

    Most people have been taught to think that being a Nobody is a bad thing. Everybody wants to be Somebody and Everybody is being told they can be Anybody. You said: “When you act, you run the risk of failing.” This is why you shouldn’t strive to be Somebody because striving to be Somebody creates the fear of failing. You can’t be Somebody if you’ve failed. But if you’re Nobody you don’t have that fear. When you are Nobody you have unlimited confidence.

  20. Thanks for the comment. But in my opinion, you’ve missed the point in your overly semantic discussion here.
    Bud

  21. Greetings!

    The story was brief and concise. It really conveys the real scenario of today’s society.
    After reading this, and the comments especially, I realize that we should neither wait to Everybody nor Somebody nor even Anybody to push you to success cause Nobody would care.

    Thank you…..

  22. Ferdinand says:

    im apriciate you man

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