Merrian-webster defines success as the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame. I believe this should be the definition of ambition/drive. Most of us unfortunately have been conditioned to not only accept this perverse view, but we are forced to base our lives and existence on this. We gauge success totally on materialistic possessions and attained power gotten from influence. I prefer the other definition of success which simply puts it as the accomplishment of an aim and purpose.
I’ve been blessed to have met a lot of highly successful individuals in my life, but unfortunately, most aren’t as happy as one would presume. They are either too busy to appreciate their accomplishments, too worried about losing all they have attained, too focused on living the pretend life just to appease the fake friends they hope would somehow bring business their way, or have built their business on their back and cannot put it down for a second for fear that it would fail without excessive micromanagement.
A short story a close friend (victor lofinmakin) once told me has stuck in my head and been one of the bedrocks for formulating my guiding principles:
A Sailor and an Island Fisherman: Upon arriving on the island of Guam, one of his Naval Officers struck a conversation with an island fisherman. He said to the fisherman: You lazy man, why do you only work half a day? If you applied yourself, you could go out there and build a gigantic fishing company. The fisherman now asked his friend, what would you propose I do after I build this massive fishing company. His friend said, then you can retire to living by the ocean and enjoying your success with your friends and family. The Fisherman now said, but I already do that.
If we truly want to find happiness, we have to really understand that it is not an excuse to be lazy, but we just have to clearly acknowledge the reason why we want to achieve success.
Follow these 7 guiding principles:
1. Be forever grateful: Work extremely hard, strategize wisely, but above all else, be content. Even if you don’t succeed, appreciate the opportunity given and the lessons learned.
2. Take the time to learn something new: We are never too old to learn something new every day. Being inquisitive makes you appreciate this complex enigma we call Earth and it brings us closer to our maker.
3. You should be able to separate your business from you: This is one of the major problems with successful business men and women. They are overly attached to their businesses and cannot detach without the fear that the business will collapse. The only way to achieving this is to train your employees to efficiently run things and put proper controls in place to have your structure run automated. Don’t be afraid that your employee will leave after you train them, you should be more afraid that your employee will choose to stay with you without growing or improving.
4. Celebrate every milestone: You should be able to take yourself out to a nice dinner every once in a while for no reason, you don’t need to have a reason to treat yourself. Once you reach a benchmark, you should definitely appreciate and celebrate it.
5. Build your emergency fund: During this difficult time, we should all have learned the importance of having liquidity. I strongly believe we must have a parachute account that is different from our savings or current account. This account should have money that can pay all your monthly expenses for 3 months and it should be accumulating a compound interest with automatic rollover.
6. Build A Residual Income Business Or Investments: Investing in a business or investments like Rental Real Estate (commercial or residential) or dividend producing Stocks is the true path to achieving success and easing the burden of attaining financial independence.
7. Allow your employees go on vacation: Everyone needs rest and time to recoup energy and motivation. I remember growing up, thanks to NEPA, I knew how to operate any kind of generator as a 5 yr old kid. One night, mosquitoes decided to not just bite me, but sing in my ear and disturb my soul. I begged my dad to put on the generator again for the night, he told me that the gen had been on for some time and needed to rest so that it could last us a long time. I begged him to risk spoiling the gen by overworking it, and replacing it when it collapses, but he vehemently refused and said every equipment had a lifecycle and the only way to maximize its utility is by scheduling breaks and allowing the motors to cool down. In Nigeria, taking vacation is seen as laziness or lack of commitment to the company. Mark Douglas, CEO of a marketing and advertising company called Steelhouse actually pays each of his 250 employees $2,000 a year to go on vacation anywhere in the world and try something new. Virtually, he has zero turnover and extremely loyal and productive employees with the most positive attitudes.
I would like to use this medium to thank each and everyone that read my last article. I sincerely appreciate it and happily welcome your feedback. Please, forward this to as many friends and associates as possible.
The best compliment you can give me is a referral. If you or anyone you know is interested in real estate and project management opportunities, do not hesitate to call me for free consultation. As always, I look forward to working with you.