When you’re looking at successful people, remember that you’re looking at people who have made a lot of mistakes in their time.
They’ve bought the crap. They’ve bought into the crap.
They’ve gambled. And lost.
They’ve groped in the darkness and stubbed their toes a few times.
They’ve reworked, reiterated, reframed, restarted, and revised.
They’ve fallen into a few holes and spent a good amount of time finding their way out.
They’ve let other people down. And they’ve been let down by other people.
In other words, it’s not just you. That person who perhaps has more success than you also has more failures than you’d care to know about.
Of all the things that person possesses, their financial assets are probably the least valuable.
What’s most valuable is their ability to keep their eyes forward. (Tweet this.)
Through the swamps. On top of the hills. In the parties. In the loneliness. Through confusion. Through absolutely clarity. Whether in fortunate winds or when they’re rowing like hell.
Life is full of choices, decisions, and incoherent data. You’ll choose A when, in retrospect, B was better. You’ll draw the wrong conclusion when someone with more experience may have come to a better conclusion with the same data. And sometimes it’ll suck.
Learn what you need to from the experiences you’re accruing. Sit with them and feel them. You can’t look backwards and forward at the same time, though. When you’re ready to work through whatever you’re going through, plant your feet; eyes forward.
That’s the direction you want to go, right?
How inspiring! I felt like you were talking directly to me.
Thanks a lot for posting!
this is the only reason i know that i’m in the right direction. i fail every day. but i look forward to it 😉
Billy Flynn says
You’re so right! If we can only keep our eyes forward, the confusion would subside, the doubts would fade away and the answers would come to us. I really enjoy your posts, first one I read was about David Goggins – inspirational.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts,
Billy Flynn says
Sorry wrong post, I meant “Epic Shit”
Rex Williams says
Great message, Charlie!
It was nice to meet you at the Seth Godin event.
You’ve given me a lot more good stuff to read, now that I found your site.
My friend Megan M. is always sharing your stuff.
Archan Mehta says
Thank You. Once again, this is another value-added post. Good job.
The reason entrepreneurs “succeed” is because they have “failed” so often.
In fact, entrepreneurs quickly come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as success and failure: there is only the instinct to be a life-long learner and keep on experimenting.
This mindset is what sets an entreprenuer apart from the rest of the crowd, who work for consulting firms, investment banks, and have nice, cushy jobs with a paycheck.
Thomas Edison risked thousands of times before his discoveries were made known to our world. Scientists receive patents only after they have jumped to the wrong conclusions umpteen times. Steve Jobs was broke and had to ask for a free-handout at the Hare Krishna Temple in CA every Sunday before he achieved fame and fortune. It is never easy.
Invariably, entrepreneurs tend to have a thick skin. You have to deal with critics or naysayers, back-stabbers and people who refuse to believe in your ideas or potential.
There is a twist to this tale, however. Once you achieve, everybody and his/her aunt claims to be your lover and/or long-lost friend. The person who did not have a kind word to say about you suddenly emerges out of a rock or a cave and pretends to be your mentor.
It’s human nature to want to piggyback on the “success” of a true entrepreneur.
Makes you wonder about human nature. Have a good one. Cheerio.
Al Pittampalli says
Great post. This is why I’m such a believer in reading biographies. Sometimes when we see highly successful people, we don’t realize the challenges and failures that they’ve had in their past in getting to where they are. But they kept their eyes forward.
Thea | Write Change Grow says
I was feeling miserable last Saturday, until I read this post. I made a bad decision during the week and was beating myself up thinking noone else would have done something so stupid. I was struggling and feeling low. Your post picked me up and reminded me that entrepreneurs and business people make mistakes. It’s not just you – was a relief to read. Now I am getting back on track and looking forward.
Thanks again for the wonderful post.
Law Of Attraction says
I love your poetic way of writing! Very cool:-)
I agree completely with everything you’ve said. I often talk about successful, rich people with my friends and I often hear a lot of comments about their luck or extraordinary abilities, one-in-a-million shots and all the rest of the typical responses. What people fail to realize is that an average entrepreneur that has achieved success had to endure a lot of hard times, mistakes and had to learn a bunch of lessons on the way.
Like Al, I enjoy reading biographies because they really show you that success is a road full of lessons and obstacles that need to be outgrown.
Love your blog!
Andre Blackman says
Great stuff here Charlie – I’ve recently started getting serious about journaling my journey into entrepreneurship. I’ve always been big in writing down memories or whatever you want to call it. I think this will be a great way to look back and see the growth every year.