I was having a chat with a friend the other day, and we got on to the topic of success and money.
“People keep telling me I’m successful, but I don’t think I am” he said.
When I pointed out some of his frankly amazing track record, his successes, his huge skills, and suggested there was a strong indication of success there, he dropped the killer line – “But I’ve not got much money. If I was successful, I’d have a lot more money by now.”
Which is something which I’m sure a lot of us have thought at one point or another – indeed, far too many of us to allow our seeming lack of money to tell us we are not successful.
You see, we are generally conditioned to believe that success = money, and that money = success.
So, of course, if we don’t see money coming in, we assume this must mean we are not successful.
This can even, in too many cases, lead us to abandon our chosen path – which is a sure-fire way to guarantee the absence of success and the absence of money!
The reality is that it’s not success = money, rather it is success first, money later.
Think about it for a moment.
Imagine you are looking for a job.
You look through the papers, the online job boards, visit company websites etc, and find a job to apply for. Success! You found a job to apply for! Do yogurt paid at this point? No. Oh…
You apply for the jobs you found, and one of them invites you for an interview. Success! Do you get paid now? No? Oh…
You turn up for the interview, and do well and get through to the final round. Success! Money? Nope, not yet. Oh…
Good news, you were successful every step of the way, and you get offered the job. Definite success! Money now? No? What?! Oh…
You turn up on the morning of your first day. Success indeed, but STILL no money! Oh…
Finally it’s payday, having worked there for a few weeks (depending upon how often they pay their staff), working hard, establishing your worth, and finally you get paid. Money at last!
Does this mean you were not successful until payday?
Absolutely not – you were successful every single step of the way. You can be sure, though, that if you’d decided “No money so far, so I’m not successful, let’s give this up” then you woudl have never got the job and never started receiving your salary.
Success first, money later.
You have to demonstrate a consistent track record of growing successes in order to reach the point at which you become of sufficient interest to those who are prepared to pay.
Whether that’s an employer, or clients, it’s the same thing.
People will pay, when they perceive it is worth it to them.
And you prove your worth by consistently building up that sustained track record of successes.
It’s the dedication to one’s craft, the constantly growing and refining and honing one’s stills, increasing one’s experience, establishing a track record, all of which are a string of individual successes which ultimately combine to make your offering financially attractive to those who are prepared to pay.
You can’t miss out the steps, and every step is, whether we can see it at the time or not, taking us ever closer to the financial rewear for our sustained success.
So next time you are beating yourself up about not being successful because you don’t currently have money coming it, remember it’s success first, money later. The money will follow the success, once you have established a proven track record.
Keep on keeping on!
Award-winning coach, international speaker, multi-time best-selling author, hypnotist, occasional magician, and writer of this post, Keith spent his first 40 years suffering from several phobias including being terrified of speaking with strangers. After one incident too many, he started studying and training in NLP & hypnosis to conquer his own issues, found he was rather good at it, and changed careers (aided by redundancy at just the right moment after 20 years in IT). He helps people transform their deepest fears into their greatest strengths, and having helped over 5,000 people across 5 continents, he is the UK’s #1 Fear Strategist.