Don’t be a dick who goes around chasing money.
Just don’t chase at all.
Real success isn’t measured by how many cars you own, how hot your startup is, or even how amazing you are at yoga.
Real success can’t be measured, just like happiness or love can’t be measured.
If you are trying to apply a metric to your success you have failed to realize one of the most beautiful reasons we are on this earth.
Build. Produce. Give.
Success to me is what you make. What you give to the world. That your thoughts, and actions and time go to building something that works for others.
Humans have this amazing capacity to create amazing things and that’s really what drives us as a species. We have opposable thumbs for a reason goddamn it, now go and make yours useful.
I’ve been able to make a few things on this earth. One I created an amazing child (well her mom did most of the work) who is smart, aware and ready to tackle the world as she starts high school this week. I spent time teaching her to question the world, I spent time listening to her talk about Justin Beiber, I spent time just listening.
I created a few startups, helped a bunch of other startups, wrote a book, started a few bands, had a restaurant, shared some photography, and learned a whole bunch of new things. I never did any of those things because I wanted to be successful, I did them because I loved doing it. In fact the more I chased “success” the less successful I usually was. But the more I chased doing what I love, success as measured by regular means came naturally.
Invest In People
I’ve made friends that after 24 years, still call me when they come to town. I’ve also made friends last night who can’t wait to have lunch next week. I’ve made friends that when I’m down and out, come kick my ass and get me back in shape.
Overall the amount of time I “invested” in my friendships have had a phenomenal return on value compared to the amount of time I have put in for work.
Money Does Not Equal Success
I made my first million at 33 and lost it all by 36. I scrubbed toilets when I was 18 and joined the booming startup world at 22. I’ve had full time jobs that I hated that payed me well and jobs that payed me shit that I loved (hello restaurant business!). Through it all, my happiness or general well being was rarely affected by money. You can let money own your happiness or you can you let your happiness own your money.
Funny enough Ashton Kutcher said it best, “The sexiest thing you can be is smart”. I may have a nice car or house but do I have a nice brain? Did I upgrade my thoughts? Did I reformat and reset my brain when I made mistakes? Can I have empathy and learn from others?
We’re always measuring by IQ and silly other things but to me, how often I can learn new things is much more important.
What Others Think Of Your Success
Who the fuck cares? Move on.
So next time you are comparing your salary or your twitter followers or your house or your car to someone else’s, just remember, success isn’t what you can see and measure.
Success is the strength of your heart, the power of your mind and giving of your soul.