For example, if I aspired to the long-shot career of sportswriter, I'd:
- identify the 20 sportswriters I most admire. For each, I'd read five or ten of their most recent articles, taking notes on what I most wanted to emulate.
- then write to each of them, explaining how much I admired them, and would include the aforementioned examples. I'd ask if they would offer me career advice and/or feedback on articles I've written.
- send profuse thanks and a new article of mine to any sportswriters that responded. Eventually, I'd ask for leads and a letter of recommendation for a job or internship.
- read the useful articles on the websites of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, Baseball Writers Association of America, Football Writers Association of America, and U.S. Basketball Writers Association. I'd network and get advice at their national conferences and local chapter meetings. And I'd keep writing a lot, ever incorporating the useful feedback I was getting.
Even in mundane fields, relentlessness is the most potent way to ensure your success. If you wait for good things to happen, or you tackle things in drips and drabs, unless you're brilliant or lucky, you'll likely be waiting for Godot.