Most “Advice for Success” self-help books/articles are pretty useless, but I found this article to be insightful and practical when I first read it 3 years ago.
If you want to boil down his advice it is:
1. Don’t give up in the face of failure. Not in the sappy, cliche sense but in the sense that the longer you try, the better your odds of striking gold.
2. Layer your skills. You might not be the world’s best in any particular thing. But, you might be decent at a number of different skills. If you can intelligently match and “layer” those skills, then you have a much better chance at being the best in the world for that specific combination.
3. Passion is not as useful as energy. Passion can easily die out as most people are naturally fickle. But if you are an energetic person, you will be able to get through boredom and failure to get to the next project or next effort. See #1.