The Definition of Success #441

Posted by frank April - 11 - 2011 - Monday

I was at a meeting yesterday morning. The purpose of the meeting was for our host, a major manufacturer, to thank those of us who represent their equipment and to give us a sense of the marketplace from their prospective.

The meeting moved along well and I thought it was pretty good as far as those things go. Afterward I spoke with one of my competitors who is widely known as the most recalcitrant person in our business. As I am fond of saying,
“If by some miracle God let him in to heaven the first thing he would do is complain about the wings on his back.”

He criticized the speakers and denounced the policies. He doubted the veracity of the numbers presented and wondered aloud if they, the manufacturer, thought we were a bunch of idiots.

He went on to tell me how he met with the top guy from this company and how the game is changing and he, my complaining friend, is losing a lot of business because of the policy changes of the manufacturer.

When I left him I began to wonder. By all accounts this guy runs a pretty successful business yet, to a person, everyone I have ever had a conversation with about him, clients, employees, and manufacturers roll their eyes and talk about what a nasty guy he is. So how is it he runs a successful business?

Then I got to thinking more. He actually runs a business that makes money which does not necessarily make it successful. For him, it seems that the definition of success is only money and by his standard he is successful. But for me to look and see a business that makes money and deem it successful is wrong. Success to me is more than that. I don’t claim to know him well enough to know if his success is deeper than what I see I am only commenting on how we sometimes see success come to people who are seemingly undeserving. In each and every occasion the “success” we point out is really money.

Yes, crappy people sometimes come in to money. So what? Is that the only definition of success?

I recently gave a class in which I asked the participants to write their definition of success. I have given this class many, many times. In this one just like in all of the classes that preceded it, no one said “My definition of success is to be really rich!”

Zig Zigler says it well, “I want to have a lot of the things money can buy and ALL of the things money can’t buy”

What do you think? What is success?

Be the change you want to see.  A good life is always inside out

4 Responses to “The Definition of Success #441”

  1. A few months ago I was watching an interesting piece on public television which led me to research more about the individual being highlighted in the production. I now use a quote from Peter Cooper to reflect what I have been doing for the past 30 plus years…
    ” I have always recognized that the object of business is to make money in an honorable manner. I have endeavored to remember that the object of life is to do good” To quote Frank… ” A good life is always inside out”.

  2. Christine Somma says:

    The Notorious BIG said, “Mo money, mo problems…” hee hee
    I know it sounds simple, but happiness is success to me. You have to be happy in how you spend your time, what you to do for a living and who you are at the end of the day when you lay your head on the pillow. Most of our time is spent working and sleeping! You better be happy going to your job and resting your head! Success is being able to hold you head up in pride for the person you CHOOSE to be everyday and how you CHOOSE to conduct yourself.

  3. frank says:

    Well said darling. I only hope we can all heed your message

  4. Ann Somma says:

    Mr. Potter. All I can think of is it’s a Wonderful Life and Mr. Potter. I’d rather be George Bailey.

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