There are successful people everywhere you look.  My life has been blessed to be in the company of many “successful” individuals.  They have shared their time and wisdom and what drives them.

So I ask you:

What does the definition of “success” mean to you?

The dictionary defines it as “The accomplishment of an aim or purpose, the attainment of popularity or profit, a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.”

For me success can be derived from three of my favorite people and their quotes:

Maya Angelou:

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it”

If you don’t like what you are currently doing, why are you doing it?  Some people stay with a job they hate just because it is too difficult to search for something else. Fear of the unknown keeps them stuck. Do yourself and your employer a favor, and move on. You don’t have to like every aspect of what you do, but the basic love has to be there.


I stopped and had lunch at a nice restaurant recently.  My waiter obviously was having a bad day.  Being someone who likes to leave people and things better than when I arrived I tried to cheer him up.  He wasn’t cooperating however.  Finally I just asked him if he was having a bad day and he said indeed he was.  He had been laid off of a job he loved and had to wait tables in order to make ends meet.

Now I couldn’t walk in his shoes, but I did feel his pain.  Sometimes life throws you a curve.  For him, I think he began to feel better just to be able to verbalize to someone how he was feeling.  I tried to share with him that there is always a “silver lining” to every dilemma.  He just needed to dig a bit deeper to find it.


Before I left, we came up with a few ideas he could lean on until another “perfect job” arrived.  For example, he was able to find a replacement job that paid him well and a wonderful work environment.  Not everyone can.  He made nice tips, which he didn’t in his previous job.  Sometimes you do have to dig deep to find the positives out of the negatives.


Winston Churchill:

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm”

Wow, what a powerful statement that is. It’s amazing when I see headlines or hear conversations about “overnight sensations”.  No one I know became successful, wealthy, or a star overnight.

Most people do not know the struggles someone has gone through to be successful- the 100 hour work weeks, the re-writes of the re-writes, days and nights of crying and frustration because something didn’t work the way it was thought it would.

Whenever I meet new entrepreneur or people looking to start their own business, I give them one big piece of advice: read a few biographies of successful people. My favorite biographies, whether you like or hate the subject, are excellent. Check out those of Richard Branson, Barbara Walters and Donald Trump. Their biographies detail their ups and downs, successes and failures.  Not one of them say it was a perfect road, nor did they have accomplishments without the help of many people who believed in them.


Every business owner can look at it in two different ways: they can say they go from failure to failure with moments of success intermingled, OR, they can say they go from success to success with moments of failure intermingled. It is all about the attitude and how they choose to view it.


Sir Richard Branson:

“The more you’re actively and proactively engaged, the more successful you will feel”

This is my favorite because it is true that if you are actively and strategically working your business, you will have positive results and feel good because of it. Most people don’t keep the consistency they need, nor do they stick with it. Don’t give up in the face of adversity. Figure the puzzle out, and keep going!

Most people underestimate the amount of work it takes to decide what type of business they want, how to effectively set it up and then keep it running. In today’s world you can’t be everything. Find out who your strategic partners are and get to know them well.

In the past few years I have worked hard to align myself with people who share the same business fundamentals. These entrepreneurs have different expertise than I, yet each of us wants and needs to see each other succeed and have some small part in their success! This is not an easy task.  There are many out there that DO NOT want to see you succeed.  Be aware of these folks and be nice, but be careful.  Do not allow them to undermine your determination and self-worth.

BE brave, BE strategic and BE involved.

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