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8 Steps to Sure Success: Step Six - Earn it | By: Joe Mager

“My life changed the day I moved beyond just wishing for things and I started earning them. That is the day I learned that we don’t get what we wish for, we get what we work for.”
- Steve Maraboli

Along the road to success, you will likely find yourself questioning why you’re pushing so hard? So let me ask you, “why are you pushing so hard?” Over the course of this multi-part series, we’ve talked about “sure success.” What do I mean by that? My point is that success is not just an achievement or the number of dollar bills one has accrued. Success isn’t merely a nicer office or driving a bigger, more expensive automobile.

My mentor once told me a (true) story about a famous American pop music singer/songwriter who confided in him his story of pursuing his teenage music ambition. This musician/songwriter had written music for Elvis Presley and others, but later decided that he wanted his own band and stardom. This man sold millions of his own albums and by every measurement of the world’s standards, he was certainly a success. But he later confided in my mentor that despite his success, he was still unhappy with his life and his achievements! His words were, “I sacrificed and hurt my wife, my children and my parents and family to get to where I was. In truth, I felt like a total failure.” He went on to say, “I thought if a man could make enough money to do what he wanted to do and go where he wanted to go, he would be a success and be happy. But I wasn’t.”

I also recall a quote from popular NFL football coach after taking the reigns of a very prominent NFL team. His words have never left me. He boldly stated, “I told my family that I want a Super Bowl ring more than I want anything and I’m gonna get it….even if it means losing you.” Well, he got his Super Bowl ring and along the way, lost his family! But I’ve often wondered how his (now) ex-wife and children felt when he made that statement. Was he successful? Sure, he got his Super Bowl ring. He attained his goal and he’s arguably one of the best NFL coaches in recent history. But is the price he paid for a ring, fame, and publicity really worth it?! I cannot imagine how I would feel if my father made those statements! I am not of he opinion that you have to choose one or the other in life. But if you do have to make a decision such as family or fame, I plead with you to choose the more noble path to sure success! You see, some people attain success without having earned it; others, have earned it but have yet to attain it. My desire is that you both earn it and attain it, but if you must choose, choose to earn it and deserve it rather than hurting someone you love in order to attain it. No success is worthy of injuring those you love throughout the journey. If success for you doesn’t include caring for those you love in the process, then you certainly haven’t learned what sure success is!

Earning success means owning it. It’s YOURS. It belongs to YOU! Take responsibility not only for your shortcomings and failures, but for your successes! You’re not renting success like you rent a car. You are buying it with your blood, sweat, and tears. Let’s not forget about your employees. The people you hire for your team are valuable human resources who deserve a leader that takes responsibility for them. Don’t treat them like rented assets you’re using to get to the top of the profit-ladder. They are members of your team and should be treated like family and appreciated. Share the success and the rewards that come with it and you’ll have loyal team members who will stick with you through good times and bad.

In closing, I recall an old but famous advertisement for Smith Barney Investment Bank. The statesman actor John Houseman stated in his thick, English brogue, “Smith Barney makes money the old-fashioned way – they EARN it.”

Go and do thou likewise!!!


Andrew Cordle-Blog  (Rio Grande Valley Real Estate Investors Club) does not give legal, tax, economic, or investment advice. RGVREIA disclaims all liability for the action or inaction taken or not taken as a result of communications from or to its members, officers, directors, employees and contractors. Each person should consult their own counsel, accountant and other advisors as to legal, tax, economic, investment, and related matters concerning Real Estate and other investments.   

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