Success defies a universal definition. It is a complex paradigm.
It is always defined both qualitatively and quantitatively. It is unique to individuals, people, groups of people, and populations. Regrettably, success or lack of it, is often dictated by necessity rather than choice.
On a macro basis, definitions of success differ widely, based on a variety of factors: societal, station and chronology in life, ethnicities, economics, geo-political, and more.
Most often, people define success in terms of accumulation of wealth. Or, professional achievement beyond what was likely based on one’s roots and upbringing, social position, education, and both real and perceived accomplishments.
Best be reminded that for many—billions of people, success is in fact having food and shelter. And, tragically, for a large sub-set of those people, success is simple survival!
For me, I have a rather pedestrian definition. The closest I get to defining success, is having options in life. Being able to seek and find satisfaction in life in ways that I want to and am able to pursue, not at the expense of others.
My Pillars Of Success: the Cliff Notes.
1. ADOPT AND LEVERAGE THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT WORD IN LIFE AND BUSINESS. THE EVERPRESENT OPTIONS ARE:
Everybody in advertising has been told by all the uber-brains that FREE is the most important word in advertising. Perhaps when Aaron Montgomery created the first direct mail catalog. And right into the 21st century.
Now … every offer has a “FREE”. When everything is FREE, nothing is FREE! FREE has no value. It is just baked into everything sold. Consider the Rolls Royce buyer who is likely to walk away from the purchase if he or she does not get a FREE tank of gas. Albeit: he or she knows they paid for it.
On balance, I think FREE is just cheap.
You all heard life scientists expound that “NO” is the most important word. Actually, I don’t really know what life-scientist are. I expect those folks are degreed much as basket-weavers.
“NO” – IS MOST OF THE TIME AN ORDINARY, PROVERBIAL COP-OUT
It is YES! The only option for those seeking success and willing to take steps and risks to achieve. It is “YES” people who forge ahead courageously when most seek reasons to say “NO”.
It is “YES” people who know that if you are afraid of wolves, best not be wondering into the forest! The forest of business is inhabited by all manner of wolves.
“YES” people forge ahead into that forest when they see opportunities. Opportunities they can:
– quantify their potential
– and qualify the downside liabilities
Then put on their big girl or boy skirts and pants and walk into the trees toward the ray of light they see – and begin to believe in.
2. NEVER CONSIDER FAILURE AN OPTION
∙ It is brainless to concede defeat.
∙ it is much easier to fail than to succeed.
Understand that all successful people fail at things, often, and, remarkably, repeatedly. What they all have in common is that their failures are never because of lack of effort or convictions.
Rather: something just conceptually out of their grasp.
Churchill had this one on point: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
- HOMEWORK, HOMEWORK, EXHAUSTIVE HOMEWORK
∙ There is no substitute for wisdom on the firing line.
∙ How much homework? Not enough! And when done, do some more!
∙ Being a shameless researcher dovetails exceptionally well with most people’s willingness, even eagerness, to share knowledge and help.
4. OUT-WORK AND OUT-THINK EVERYBODY.
At least, out-work them.
∙ Out-think? That is only rarely if ever possible!
∙ Out-work? That is absolutely possible. That you must do!
The many talks I give, My Pillars Of Success is often over two hours. We will shortly post links to some of those here.
Adding to the aforewritten, my favorite and time-apropos quote on success is: “There is no shortcut to success.” That from the now world-renown philosopher, Tom Brady.
©2022. Steven J. Manning. All rights reserved worldwide. Any reproduction, in part or whole, in any medium whatsoever, is strictly prohibited.