Check out my interview with Neil C. Hughes, all about achieving your success and using it to help others.
I had a fantastic conversation with some folks last week around the idea of “success.” One gentleman said something to the effect of, “I’m fine where I’m at. I make enough. I don’t need success, and I frankly don’t want the rat race that goes along with it.” I thought it was an especially pithy comment, but I disagreed. In the end, I brought him around to a different perspective.
I do agree that the rate race sucks. I agree that “growth for the sake of growth” sucks. When Greg Shields and I owned Concentrated Technology together, we were both working really hard, almost all the time. That’s not a complaint: we made good money, we could take the time we wanted to take for vacations and such, and we enjoyed the lifestyle the company let us live. People would occasionally ask us, “when are you guys going to hire someone?” We’d ask why we should, and they’d say, “well, it’s probably the only way you can grow, right?”
Sure. Except we didn’t want to grow. We were fine right where we were, and we didn’t see the point in growing just for the sake of growth.
You see, growth ≠ success.
Promotion ≠ success. Payraise ≠ success. Job title ≠ success.
I know what growth means. I know what promotion means, and payraise and job title. What I can’t define is “success.” At least, I can’t create some universal definition of success that everyone will agree on. Sure, our culture pushes us toward a better job, a bigger paycheck, and so on. People who are “passengers” in their lives will often take those, much as you might tae a free upgrade on a plane. But the upgrade isn’t necessarily getting you anyplace. Drivers look at promotion opportunities and ask themselves, “how is this getting me a step closer to my success?”
Key word: my.
Only you can decide what “success” means for you. In the case of the gent I was speaking with, he’d already achieved much of what he needed to be successful. He was making as much as he needed, he was getting the time he wanted with his friends and family, and he wasn’t “paying” any more in job stress than he was okay with. He’d never actually written those things down, though, so he was still thinking of “success” as some thing he hadn’t reached and didn’t want, when in reality, he’d already come really close to it.
So define your success. It’s the first step in The Grind™ for a reason. And if you don’t know what that means, I’ve got a book you should download.
The first books I wrote were 800-page monstrosities. When I was given my first recurring 800-word magazine column, my editor said something wonderful: “It’ll make you a better writer.” He was correct, and that was never demonstrated better than at a bar I went to last month.[Read more…] about A Long Lesson in Storytelling, Which Includes a Story
I’ve recently been in several discussions about Microsoft’s MVP Program – with a podcast episode on it publishing 17-March – and it’s gotten me thinking a lot.[Read more…] about OPINIONRANT: The Microsoft MVP Award Program and the PowerShell Community
Be sure to read Part 4 (and the preceding parts) if you’re not caught up.
In the last installment, I focused on some takeaways that business leaders can consider for making learning a more “production-like” part of a tech environment. This time, I want to wrap-up with some takeaways for learners.[Read more…] about “Leading to Learning,” Part 5: Advice for Learners
On the heels of yesterday’s lament about why writing tech books is so hard, I thought I’d lay out the typical process that an author has to go through to get a book published. Now mind, this is kind of an “archetype” process; I’ve worked with a half-dozen publishers in my career, and they all have slight variations on this.[Read more…] about The Process of Writing a Traditionally Published Tech Book