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Sunday Question – How Far Will You Go To Be Successful?

Posted by on Apr 4, 2010

First, I hope everyone who’s celebrating whichever holiday you believe in has a good one.

I have two friends I’d like to talk a little bit about today. Both are very successful people, both are millionaires a few times over.

My one friend is a really interesting case. He has a Ph.D. in Nursing. He owns a hotel, two restaurants, two buildings, two houses in the same city, another house in Mexico, and two other businesses. He might have another house somewhere; I’ve never asked. He works hard and he plays hard. He travels all over the country and lives in hotels most of the time. When he goes on vacation, it’s not to resort cities like Cozumel for relaxation. He vacations hard; he takes 3 week trips and goes to places like the jungles of Costa Rica and Vietnam, or rides rickety trains like the Orient Express into places like Mongolia and many of the former USSR countries. He’s a very engaging guy, very knowledgeable, but sometimes doesn’t know how to turn it off and just relax and talk about other things.

My other friend is actually more interesting, if that’s possible. She was born in another country whose name is no longer known by most people, and came to America with little money and a couple of little kids. She’s had two businesses that made her wealthy, and is now in real estate, where, despite all the troubles the industry had last year, she actually made out very well and had a multimillion dollar year. She has houses in multiple states as well, and is another person who puts in tons of hours working. She also pays for a life coach, very big dollars, who she talks to every day because he holds her accountable for everything she does. And for the most part her work day, every day, runs from 6AM to 9PM.

These two people are driven, that’s for sure. I like both of them; I just don’t know that I could be like both of them. Sure, I want to be rich, but I also kind of want to do it on my own terms. I don’t mind hard work, but I’ve found that, after many years of working a lot of hours for others, that I need a bit more work/life balance. Both of these people are exhilarated by what they do, but I have to tell you the truth; just thinking about it makes me tired.

It begs the question I asked in the title; how far are you willing to go to be successful? In a weird way, I guess I should talk. I’ve been working for myself since 2001, and there are days when I put in 18 hours on the computer. In January and February of 2009, I was working on a project that consumed 20 hours a day, and in one stretch I didn’t go to bed for two days, trying to complete the project on time. I got paid well for that, but I knew that wasn’t a pace I’d ever be able to keep up for long periods of time.

At the same time, there are also some major compromises that one sometimes has to give up to be that kind of successful. I’m not one who genuflects well; I need the same kind of respect that I’m giving, or else I’m out of there. After all, I’m an incorporated business; I’m legitimately the CEO of my company, which has multiple divisions. No, I’m nowhere close to millionaire status, but by title and by having given my own version of sweat and blood to the cause, I feel that I’m at least the equal of anyone else I meet, financial background notwithstanding.

Now to you; how do you answer this question on this Sunday that’s so special for so many, while also being the 42nd year of the assassination of Dr. King?

The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King JR.

The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King JR.








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13 Comments »

mel:

How far will I go to be successful? That depends on how you define success.
If successful means wealthy, then not very far.

I’ve raised to healthy, happy daughters. I’ve been married 24 years. I have a healthy, happy grandchild. I have a job that I love doing. I have people in my life who make me laugh.

I have success, and it only took me my entire life. ­čÖé
.-= mel┬┤s last blog ..Last wishes! =-.

April 4th, 2010 | 6:39 PM
Mitch:

Hi Mel,

I have to admit that I think of success in terms of monetary standards, as I have no children, and monetary success is harder to achieve in my mind. Still, everyone does see success differently, and you’re happy, and that’s the most important thing overall.

April 5th, 2010 | 12:31 AM

Not very far Mitch. I am quite content where I am and with what I have achieved. I have no new mountains to climb. My days of Sisyphus-ism are over.
.-= Rummuser┬┤s last blog ..Bananas Or Clean Living? =-.

April 5th, 2010 | 11:05 AM
Mitch:

Wow, I hadn’t heard the name Sisyphus in such a long time I had to go research it to remember why I knew it to begin with; great reference! I still have many mountains to climb, but in my mind, I have to find those mountains first. ­čÖé

April 5th, 2010 | 11:19 AM
Dennis Edell:

Whatever it takes man, as long as its true (legal/ethical, etc) and i do.

I have no family aside from parents (and brother I don’t speak too), so it’s an open field. ­čśë
.-= Dennis Edell┬┤s last blog ..Comment Contest and Bonus Winners ÔÇô March! =-.

April 5th, 2010 | 1:39 PM

In my case I see success in 2 different terms. You are talking financial but its important not to lose sight of that work life balance thing. For example I have 3 boisterous young kids all below the age of 5 – one of the things I am involved in is Internet Marketing. If I was to do all the things that need to be done to become succesful I would never see them, I might have a shed load of money in the bank but if I didnt see them grow up what would be the point? Based on this I believe one should measure success on all aspects of their life work and personal…….

That doesn’t mean to say I dont intend making big bucks in this game far from it
.-= Peter Davies┬┤s last blog ..Internet Marketing Or Internet Selling? =-.

April 5th, 2010 | 4:10 PM
Mitch:

Good point, Peter. By not having children, I kind of see things from a more direct view. For instance, it’s my opinion usually that if someone raised their kids correctly, that was their job to do because they had kids in the first place. Lots of people have jobs, but only those who really grow beyond that expectation are the ones I consider successful. So, I see the two things much differently than a parent might.

Of course, I’ll add that a person is also successful if they’ve attained exactly what they wanted to attain. For instance, my dad was successful because he always wanted to be a master sargeant in the military. For me, though, I’m nowhere close, but working towards it every day.

April 5th, 2010 | 4:41 PM

I agree with some of the other commenters that success isn’t just about money. After all, you can die stinking rich, but if people won’t miss you or say a good word about you when you’re gone, what’s the point? Money doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness (although I won’t pretend I wouldn’t like a bit more myself!)
.-= Rod@solar panel electricity┬┤s last blog ..Solar Power Economics: the costs and benefits of residential solar power – part 2 =-.

April 6th, 2010 | 1:39 PM
Mitch:

I would say that success may not be just about money, Rod, but money has a great deal to do with it. For instance, if you’re always worried about paying bills and feeding your family, you certainly couldn’t say you were successful, even if you loved your family and were happy for having a family. Also, money buys a lot of happiness, or at least contentment and security, which means more money gives you more of each.

I just don’t want folks getting into the mode of “money doesn’t mean anything”, because it does, otherwise no one would be working, no one would have any material goods at all, and those folks wouldn’t be on the computer in the first place. Money is a big deal; more money means you can do more things. It’s not the end-all be-all, but it’s certainly a lot more significant than some folks want to let on to.

Having said that, I still wouldn’t go to some of the extremes of my friends here.

April 6th, 2010 | 3:18 PM

Mitch, I think we more or less agree actually: money is not unimportant, but it shouldn’t dominate our lives either. Ironically, I’ve tended to be more obsessed about it at times when I’ve had less, and less worried about it in times of plenty.

I know it’s a cliche, but “everything in moderation” certainly applies here. Having loads of money can also be a cause of stress: which investment do I choose, do my friends really like me or do they just want something, etc.
.-= Rod@solar panel electricity┬┤s last blog ..How does solar power work? =-.

April 7th, 2010 | 1:53 AM
Mitch:

I’ll take that kind of stress, Rod! lol When compared to wondering if you’ll have enough money to eat, have a place to live, and many other things, I’d take that any day. I will agree, though, on the thing about not allowing thoughts of money to dominate our lives, which is why I wrote this post to begin with. It takes a lot of work to make money, but also takes a lot of work to not make that your entire life.

April 7th, 2010 | 4:45 PM

Wow, it’s interesting that those of us with kids seem to be on the same page. Maybe after all my kids are grown and moved out I’d be willing to work 16 – 20 hour days for the financial success. But for now, having time to spend with my family is the priority.

In my occupation I work with some very wealthy people. I’ve noticed some of them are working in very demanding, time-consuming fields, often with quite a bit of business travel. Some don’t get to spend much time relaxing at home. While I would enjoy to have their bank accounts, I would not want to have their lifestyles.

Hopefully in my rambling on, I answered the question :0
.-= Aaron┬┤s last blog ..Does sex Matter? =-.

April 9th, 2010 | 2:57 AM
Mitch:

You did answer it, Aaron, and it’s an interesting point about living other people’s lifestyles. I don’t think it means we don’t want to be as successful as some of these people, but how far are we willing to go to get there?

April 9th, 2010 | 7:41 PM