You and you alone are in control of your future. Never let anyone ever tell you differently. No one is keeping you down. Never allow yourself to be fooled in to this kind of inferior thinking. Commitment, courage and personal drive can and will win the day for you.
With the above statement made, it seems that recently there has been an ever escalating assault on wealth being evil and that the lack of wealth is the reason why one can not be successful. We have seen the various knee jerk reporting on inequality, which really is a poorly disguised attempt to pander for votes in the upcoming presidential election. We need real solutions and not rhetoric. Now there is a movement afoot trying to tribute success deriving from those who herald from a wealthily background. I fervently believe that we do not need to create any more self imposed roadblocks to limit one’s success. We do not need other people putting negative ideas in our heads that one can not be successful. We need more people knowing they can be successful and that the determining factor will be themselves. After all, it is you that decides to get educated, to put in the work to get good grades and to develop as an individual. It is the choices that you make. Granted the environment you are surrounded by has an impact but use your experiences as incentive and encouragement to do whatever it takes to better yourself.
As it relates to wealth, I know plenty of affluent families who’s offspring have decided that their lives are better served living off a trust fund. I have also seen many get educated and do a lot of good for the world. We do not need to blame others for blocking our journey. That is not what the American dream was founded on. We should not allow people to placiate us by selling us the dream that we deserve to be successful if we are not getting ourselves educated and don’t have a drive for future success. The idea that we can be lazy and end up rich should not be one we should allow ourselves to believe. The real truth is that you and you alone are in control of your own destiny and success. Even suggesting that one needs money to be successful will limit 3/4 of the world’s potential. There is a better narrative.
I can tell you that my story is not one of a silver spoon. I am sure that having a wealthy family or network can help but I would state that most inventors, creators and business makers are driven by their ideas. I know that was the case with me. It was a passion that drove me to learn and in my case to find a way out of a very unhealthy environment.
Clearly, everyone is different but the friends and acquaintances I have made in my career came from working and middle class backgrounds in the majority and were again driven by their will to succeed.
From my perspective there are several key, determining traits that drive success and trump coming from money.
First up, I may be different than most but growing up I was in a terrible environment at home and heading down multiple wrong paths at the same time. All were going to lead me nowhere but trouble. For me, being a food operator was my driving idea and passion. However, it is not just passion for owning your company it could be joining a company that can teach you the ropes of management and leadership and prepare you for your venture later. Success comes in many guises.
Literally being possessed by having an unquenchable passion for bringing your idea to life overcomes the lack of wealth every time. I can not tell you how many nights I could not sleep and used my bed as simply another work station. Actually, this caused me dating issues with my now wife when she insisted that the laptop can not stay in the bedroom. Goodbye bed laptop. However, the energy placed on creating every element of the idea was all consuming. It built within me the drive to make my dreams come true.
Another trait that trumps poverty in being successful is having courage to keep going when things get tough. Inevitably there will be tough times. Courage to push down your fears and rush in to the fray to win is something that money can not buy you. Winston Churchill stated it best “when going through hell, just keep going”. You have to have the courage to create markets and products that others question and launch services and solutions that may appear before their time. Selling this in to the various stakeholders be it yourself, board or other investors is also essential. With your idea you never accept no.Don’t let roadblocks discourage you. Have faith in yourself and your abilities.
Boiling the ocean is an unsurmountable task. I have found that in business that boiling too many ideas at once is a recipe for failure. So getting focused and thinking of ways of making your idea, bigger and better is another factor that trumps coming from wealth. Focus and flawless execution is a requirement. Money again is not a determining factor. Don’t get off track by trying to do too much at one time.
The last key trait is to operate with partial amnesia, not complacency. Operate with a positive disposition. Failure will occur. You need to possess the ability to shake of the losses and chalk them up to valuable learning experiences. This is a trait that has served me well. With my first business venture I had just renovated an old caravan in to a food truck and was on route to the fair. I had stocked up on foods to sell and actually borrowed a friend’s car to make the journey. I was driving to the fair and actually crashed and the business and friends car were destroyed. I was broke again but somehow partial amnesia kicked in and I battled through the adversity to be where I am today.
In summary, my journey, while different did not start with wealth. In fact, it played no role and actually forced me to careful about each and every move made. I know that many of my friends started their ventures humbly. Let’s not allow the lack of wealth to become a future crutch for others to use as a disability to be a successful entrepreneur. Never forget that you and you alone are the driving force behind your success. As always, thanks for listening.
You can reach me at deshague.com if you have any thoughts or suggestions.
* 1st published on LinkedIn