It’s 5:11 AM and I’m about to make a left hand turn onto I-270 and head to the airport. I have a 6:35 flight (yes, I know I’m cutting it a little close) to Phoenix. There is a car facing me at the light, and I wait for it to pass before I make my turn. It is a golden yellow Ferrari F430. This car is sleek and beautiful. It is flying down the road even when it is sitting at a red light. Forget about practicality. This car is a true car lovers dream. We’re talking about a $175,000 car! You don’t even test drive this car unless you’ve achieved serious success.
As the car went by and disappeared into the darkness I made my left turn and realized a couple of things.
1. You don’t acquire a car like this by sleeping in. The sun was not up and this person was on their way to work. Obviously they knew what it took to create success.
Many times we want to achieve greatness but we have three false ideals about how that should happen.
We want to achieve success quickly. Success doesn’t happen quickly. It takes time. Success is the result of planning and patience. We see people who seemingly came out of nowhere. They are an “overnight success” we think. In reality they probably spend years working in obscurity before all of a sudden showing up on some list of the most successful people or the fastest growing companies.
We want success to be easy. Well it isn’t. Sometimes you have to fail over and over and over again before coming up with the right idea or right formula to achieve personal and professional success. Even the simplest of concepts usually isn’t easy to implement successfully.
We want success on “our terms.” In other words, we want the system to work around us, our hours, our schedules. If you want to achieve success faster, then sometimes you have to mold your terms to what is happening in the real world. Be willing to put in the long hours, make the phone calls, have the uncomfortable conversations. Learn something new if that’s what it takes, but figure how you need to adapt and then do it.
2. When you achieve the success you are seeking don’t forget what got you there. Keep doing what works.
It is so easy to create a mindset of entitlement. Just because you can afford to do something doesn’t mean you should. If you change your philosophy about what effort you are willing to put into your success then others around you might do so as well. You should continue to do what you need to keep moving forward and also to set an example for those around you.
Yes, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. Just don’t lose the ideals and values that helped you achieve what you have.
And, it’s not just about buying an expensive car. Your financial success can help you pay off your home, max out your retirement plans, or allow you to pick up the tab for that college education you want for your four children!
But if it is an incredible car you desire, then by having a better understanding of what it takes to create success, I’m sure I’ll see you out on the road the next time I’m headed out of town on that early flight because — you will be on the road to building a better biz.