How do you measure success? For many people, the answer will be something simplistic, like how much money you have in the bank, or the material possessions that you own. These are superficial things though. These things can’t satisfy you in the long term; if your only reason to accumulate them is that you associate their accumulation with success.
Indeed some of the wealthiest individuals in history never truly found satisfaction in their wealth until they began to give it away. This action gave meaning to their wealth in a way that merely hoarding it could not have done.
Does this mean that in order to be successful you should go out right now and start giving away all your money? Definitely not. Contrary to what some fanatics preach, there is nothing inherently wrong with having money, even if you spend most of it on yourself.
Recently I have been making a concentrated study of highly successful individuals. One that has really caught my attention is Reuben Singh. The thing that makes him stand out is that he stands out.
Most of us learn in school that standing out and being different is detrimental to our social standing. Some of use, despite having acquired this knowledge, persist in our individuality regardless. This is the root cause of bullying, because there are people who see the non-conformist as a threat.
Despite their publicly stated anti-bullying stance, schools actually contribute to the problem. “Little Johnny is not making much progress and is having a difficult time fitting in.” What does it mean when you don’t fit in? It means you don’t line up neatly with all the other squares!
So the case of Reuben Singh I find particularly intriguing because he has gone completely his own way in terms of how he handles his approach to business. Naturally enough, like all who don’t conform to expected norms, he has attracted critics and media bullies who have set out to discredit his achievements. And like all highly successful people, Singh has ignored them, and simply kept on doing things his own way.
This sensible approach has rewarded him very well. He now shares his success with others through his many online articles and blog sites, as well as his venture capital firm (Isher Captial), and an innovative outsourcing business known as AlldayPA.
Perhaps that is the true mark of success—the ability to not only make one’s way in the world, but to encourage and support others to do so. This is probably that elusive quality of success that has eluded many of the wealthiest, also turning them into the most miserable.
Just think how many very wealthy people you have heard of who suffer from all kinds of problems like chronic alcoholism, drug abuse, and family break-downs.
So what is this quality that helps bona fide successful entrepreneurs such as Reuben Singh, Sir Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, and others avoid those problems that often come with great wealth? I believe it can be found in the letting go of selfishness.
By aspiring to give more value to the world than they receive from it, the truly great entrepreneurs create success that can be measured well beyond their material wealth and possessions.