Case Study in Success: Craig Venter, PhD


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You may have heard of the Human Genome Project. This was the government funded effort to sequence the human genome. For nine years Craig Venter worked for the Human Genome Project in their effort to sequence the human genome. He learned some lessons along the way about success that I thought I’d share with you.

Success in any field is about taking risks

Venter grew frustrated with the pace of the government controlled project and their reluctance to experiment with new ideas. His novel “shotgun approach” to sequencing the human genome was soundly rejected by the powers that be on the project. So, taking a huge risk, he quit the project and started Celera Genomics in 1998. He invested all the money he had into Celera. Within 9 months, using his “shotgun approach”, Venter was able to sequence a human genome for the first time.

Believe in yourself and don’t let others opinions define you

Venter was consistently admonished by the powers that be on the Human Genome Project that his “shotgun approach” would not work. Venter never wavered in his belief in his novel approach and that belief eventually would prove them wrong, turning genome sequencing on its head.

Success comes from doing something extraordinary with passion and intensity

Venter’s passion for his unique approach to sequencing the human genome endowed him with an inordinate supply of energy, work ethic, persistence and focus. When you pursue something you are passionate about, success traits you never knew you had, bubble up and help drive you forward in realizing your dream. Pursuing a passion, unleashes your inner success traits.

Passion attracts other passionate people

When Venter left the Human Genome Project to start Celera he soon found many apostles to his cause. Success-minded people are attracted to other success-minded people like bugs to a light. Pursue your passion and you will become a magnet for other success-minded people. Since no one succeeds on their own, the ability to find others who believe in your cause is critical to success.


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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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