What’s Your Definition of Success?
Everyone seems to want more of it, yet we all have a different definition of what “success” really is.
Or do we?
If you’re like most people, you probably want more money, better health, more meaningful relationships and a stronger Spiritual life.
I spent an entire day with Rudy Ruettiger, the real guy that the hugely popular sports movie RUDY was about. Rudy had a dream to not only attend Notre Dame, but to play football there. You probably know the story – he wasn’t smart enough to get into Notre Dame, and was too small and too slow to play college football.
Against all odds he not only got into Notre Dame, but somehow made the football team. But he didn’t get to play until the last game of his senior year. With the game well in hand, legend has it that the players began to solicit the coach to put Rudy in.
They began to chant “Ru-dy, Ru-dy, Ru-dy…” Then the fans joined in. “Ru-dy, Ru-dy, Ru-dy…” Coach had to put him in. He played the last two plays of the game and sacked the quarterback.
The crowd roared.
Success! He not only attended Notre Dame, and not only played football, but had this unexpected, heroic end to the four-year journey.
After the Notre Dame experience, Rudy began to dream about making a movie one day. He faced many tough battles, but after much perseverance Rudy succeeded.
As we sat in Zig Ziglar’s recording studio that day, I began to see that Rudy wasn’t going to give up his philosophy easily. I pressed him on success and its meaning. The more I dug, the more explanations emerged.
The audio turned out to be very moving and meaningful, but I felt like I was tussling with an eight hundred pound gorilla! Every time I asked him what I thought was an obvious question, he diverted to another story or illustration.
I wanted to know whether there was a “bottom line” of success. Is there a simple definition? Is there a way to state the essence of success in one sentence? Is there a way to simplify the “secrets” of success?
As it turns out, there is. But I had to prod and pry for over twenty years to settle the issue for myself.
That is what this book is about. Simplifying success in a way that can be understood and accomplished by anyone. Of course this book is specifically pertaining to small business success, but these lessons can benefit anyone with a will to succeed.
Over the past two decades I’ve been able to spend time with some of the world’s top experts on business and success. I’ve studied them, spent time with them, observed their relationships, and even been blessed enough to be mentored by a few of them.
And of course I’ve had my own experiences.
From being raised on welfare, moving to Houston with nothing but 25 cents to my name, building successful businesses, becoming an international business coach, and enjoying the blessings of life. I’ve had a phenomenal journey of success myself, to say the least
Here’s one thing I’ve learned…
Success is simple.
But it’s not easy.
Over the past thirty-two years of building my own businesses and twenty years of leading small business owners, I’ve sought to condense the complex subject of “success” into simple systems that, like I said earlier, anyone with the desire to succeed can implement.
By doing that, many small business owners – some featured in this book, have become more successful in not only their business, but most importantly, in their life.
The one and only reason your business exists is to be a vehicle to help you achieve your life goals. As my good friend David Frey likes to say, “No amount of business success can compensate for failure at home.”
In the first couple of chapters, I’m going to lay out a simple success system that will bring you more success when followed. Next, we’ll look at The One Thing that will determine whether those simple steps will actually be taken.
The result of implementing these simple systems is many phenomenal success stories. And that’s the rest of this book… Phenomenal Success Stories.
Since my team and I began helping small business owners around the world, we’ve received an overwhelming number of success stories. Every day we get feedback from our coaching members, sharing how their life and business is changing before their very eyes. You’ll learn a handful of those stories in this book.
True success stories inspire us and validate the facts for us. These stories are not just theory or opinion, but actual experience from real business owners that have faced the same obstacles you face every day. People that have the same desires and path as you.
I’ve also included the latest version of my own story. You may have heard my story before, but this time you’ll learn a bit more. Hopefully, hearing it again or learning the extra details I’ve included will inspire you to stay the course in your own success journey.
I hope these stories will inspire you to do the things you need to do, so you can become the person you need to be, so you can have the things you want to have in life and business.
Let me say that again…
To inspire you…
So you can become the person you need to become…
So you can do the things you need to do…
So you can have the things you want in life and business…
Please understand that success is just the beginning. More meaningful than success is significance. Being significant means making a difference in the lives of others. The good news is that regardless of where you are right now – whether you’re in survival mode, relatively successful, or phenomenally successful, you can be more significant right now.
You can make a difference in other people’s lives right now.
You don’t have to be “successful” to be significant, but if you want to make a difference in other people’s lives, being more successful can help you make an immense difference.
For example, if you’re broke and in debt, how are you going to help others with their financial needs? What about health? The more energy you have, the more you can help others. And relationships? If you get better at connecting with others, doesn’t it make sense that you might be able to influence them for the better?
Conventional wisdom seems to believe the more successful you are, the less you’ll help others. I don’t believe that. Success doesn’t make the person, it reveals the person. It’s like a magnifying glass.
People sometimes use the term “filthy rich,” which means “ill-gotten” gain. The assumption is that if someone is very successful financially, they must have done something immoral or illegal to get it. Where did that assumption come from? It’s the way we’ve been conditioned by society.
What if a person becomes very successful financially through honorable means (like building a profitable business)? That person can help a lot of people. It’s all a matter of the heart.
Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons people seek not to be successful. This mindset isn’t even a conscious thought. Most people want more success in their life. But subconsciously, many people suffer from “fear of success.” Subconsciously, they think they will have to be someone they’re not.
How people handle success stems from their own internal values rather than external forces. Someone wins the lottery, only to be broke again. Their internal values are revealed. The good news is that people can change. When the spotlight reveals the defect in our character, we can adopt new values and learn new skills.
We can change.
For example, the person who wins the lottery usually loses it all because they don’t have values that support their new financial position. But that person can adopt new values around money, and therefore learn new skills to better manage that money.
Why is it that an immigrant that comes to the U.S. with nothing becomes a multi-millionaire, while people who grew up in the States struggle to pay their bills?
It’s because the immigrant learned the simple systems of being successful financially, and was willing to live by those systems, while the person that grew up in abundance took them for granted and didn’t practice the same systems as the immigrant.
If you truly care about people, you’ll be generous when you’re successful. If you don’t care about people, you’ll use success to feed your own ego. Perhaps being more successful may reveal some things in your life you would like to change. For example, if you instantly became famous, would you still care about those that helped you when you were struggling?
My contention is the more successful you become, the more you can use your resources, talents, and newly acquired skills to help others. That is fulfilling.
You may think the more successful you become, the more demands there will be on your life. Although that may be true, the trade-off is probably worth it.
Perhaps people will want a bigger piece of you, and maybe they will even expect that you’ll share the wealth with them (even though they haven’t done anything to deserve it).
It’s true that the more people that seek you out, the more demand there is on your time, but it also puts you in a tremendous place of influence where you can help a lot of people. I’ve seen it first hand being around people like Zig Ziglar and John Maxwell. In fact, I’m one of those people that wanted to get close to them and get a bigger piece of them!
Nevertheless, I’ve always tried to add value to them. I support those I want more of through my finances, service, encouragement, promotion, and any other way I can think of.
If people want a piece of you, give it to them if you can. Help them be more successful, because that is what life is all about. As my good friend John Maxwell says, “Once you get a taste of significance, success will never satisfy.” I have a plaque on my desk that says, “Success is making a difference in the lives of others. Happiness is watching them grow because of it.” That’s significance. The best part is, you can start becoming more successful and significant right now.
This is a small piece of my NEW book “Phenomenal Success Stories” get in now here!