In this episode of the Sweaty Startup, I want to start off with something you may not want to hear: the average person is soft-willed, out of shape, lazy, addicted, and incredibly insecure. Flip the script, if you avoid all these things, in my experience you are guaranteed success. A partially valid response to this is that there are many highly successful people that are addicted to what they do and that these people are also insecure. It can be argued that, yes, much of this gives them the drive to work and improve.
It is true, no doubt, that many entrepreneurs are addicted to what they do, they work their fingers to the bone to get that sweaty startup off the ground. Many of these entrepreneurs are equally insecure. Although insecurity is present in everyone to some degree or another, as I mentioned in my most recent podcast of the Nick Huber Show, this insecurity and fear often is why most entrepreneurs fail in business and what keeps them from achieving true success.
In the end, it boils down to your definition of success. What is your definition of success? This can change at different times in your life. In some ways, earlier in my life my definition of success was ‘money in the bank’. In some ways, money is a direct reflection of the enterprise value you have added to the world. In my mind one of the main roles of entrepreneurs is trading enterprise value for money. But at the same time, is this how I view success now?
As I have gotten older, I consider success to mean having a happy and balanced life. This means that you aren’t’ just a good successful business professional but you’re a good family member (be it spouse, partner, parent, sibling etc.), you are healthy, you are mentally strong, you have strong relationships with friends, you have hobbies, you are good at time management, etc. Regardless of the many areas in life, they all play into success.
I almost hate to say something so cliché but, as I see it now, there is truth behind the saying ‘money has very little to do with success.’ I look at people like Elon Musk or Steve Jobs, and I don’t view them as successful people the way society wants to deem them. Often business moguls like these live very imbalanced lives where they still feel a lack of fulfillment in their life.
Because of this, I often think to myself about what I want my life to look like when I’m 60 or so years old. For me, I imagine myself in my home surrounded by the people I love: my kids, their spouses, and several grandchildren running around. I want to be able to feel their love and respect for me, not to mention see that they are also succeeding in their life, perhaps living a better life than I lived; this is success to me.
Referring back to the idea that many successful entrepreneurs and business owners are addicted to their work, I beg to differ. If they truly are addicted to one aspect of their work and their business, they are not going to feel that sense of fulfillment I have been talking about. Rarely are these kinds of individuals happy. This is why it is faulty to measure success completely off money––something society commonly does.
I do feel that wealth is one facet of success, but just that, ONE part. Success is also having a healthy body, having a sharp mind, having strong relationships, etc. In my view, those things are not fully attainable if you are addicted and insecure. If you’re soft willed, out of shape, and lazy, you don’t have a chance at earring money either. You may get by in life, but you will never achieve full success.
Flip the script, if you are strong willed, physically fit, sharp in mind, work hard, have balance in your life, and are secure with yourself, you have the potential to be a real powerhouse. All of us have weaknesses and can fall short in one way or another; we all have vices that try to grab ahold or us daily. The key to long term success and happiness in life is being able to avoid those vices, have balance, be strong willed, work hard, and deal with stressful situations.
Success is also being able to embrace pain and suffering, coming out the other end stronger. It is being a positive influence to those around you where they become a better and stronger versions of themselves. That’s my concept of success. My goal in life is to lift up those around me––family, friends, co-workers, etc––to achieve success in their lives. My hope is for everyone that interacts with me to be better because of it.
This is what success means to me. What does success mean to you?
Three Key Takeaways:
- Addiction, insecurity, and fear often is why most entrepreneurs fail in business and what keeps them from achieving true success.
- Success is more than one aspect like wealth, it is also having a healthy body, having a sharp mind, having strong relationships, etc.
- If you are strong willed, physically fit, sharp in mind, work hard, have balance in your life, and are secure with yourself, you have the potential to be a real powerhouse of success.
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