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Here’s your bill for success

Article written by Gavin Sharples

Here’s the thing!

It seems we get bills for everything. Electricity bills, water bills, rent bills, car bills, food bills, tax bills. Hell, every time I pull up at a traffic light there’s a person standing with a board reminding me of my social conscience bill. I hear people talk about the price of success. The cost of Fame. The personal and financial commitment to a successful marriage and family. So, when I was recently asked what is the price of success, it got me thinking. A lot of people talk about wanting to be rich and successful but very few people understand the cost, the investment that it takes to have a successful business, practice or relationship. In fact, the cost is sometimes so high that a lot of people aren’t willing to pay the price or invest the time and sacrifice.  In the movie Fame, the head dance teacher delivers a famous line. “If you want to be famous, fame costs, and you start paying here.”  I’m paraphrasing of course, but like buying a car or a house I think it’s important to understand all of the costs of being successful.

Most people don’t do a proper due diligence, and just like their financial lives they jump in only to find that the water is too deep. They don’t have a flotation device or rescue plan and their business folds, their career tanks and their relationships drown. This month I am going to be a success auditor and present you with a quote or estimate, a cost account if you will – for success.

The reward

Knowing the cost of something allows you to prepare so you will not be shocked or surprised when you get the bill.

When you know the price of something you can decide whether it’s worth it or not and whether you are going to invest in it or not.

The how to

Your Bill

INVOICE 1: Dedication – some think that if they dabble in an area for a while they may get lucky and strike it rich. Dedication is not a “sometimes” thing; it is a total commitment to the project at hand. A dedicated person is an unstoppable force because they refuse to split their time, interest or activities with anyone or anything that is not moving towards their goal. Because of this dedication they are labelled anti-social, greedy, selfish, and stubborn. It is because of this dedication they are able to pay the second item on the success account.

INVOICE 2: Sacrifice – this means often turning down drinks, cocktail parties, functions, events and even holidays. Some of the biggest sacrifices one will have to make in order to be successful is sleep and quality time at home. Hours, days, months even years of home study, innovation, experimentation and effort will result in you growing and perhaps even becoming a new person. Not a popular person, especially with your friends and family, a lonely person perhaps, but it’s an invoice you are going to have to settle.

INVOICE 3: Change – the death of the “old you”. The success journey will require you to give up, change, adapt and renew old limiting beliefs and attitudes. Many limiting beliefs have been with you since childhood. Learning the new is tough but it doesn’t come close to the price of having to unlearn and un-habit. Until you realise that the success journey requires the old to pass away to make place for the new, true growth is impossible. Just like the seasons everything must die in winter in order for there to be new, progressive life. And as you go through these changes you will receive probably your biggest account, and one that most are not prepared to pay.

INVOICE 4: Judgement – The laughter, scorn, and opinions of others. It is sad and true that many people pay homage to the false god called “OOP’s”.  Opinions of Other People. It amazes me how some people never try to improve their circumstances for fear of what others might say and think.

It is impossible to live a full life, the one you were destined to live, if you continuously worry what other people will think and say. Try and remember this little saying when you next find yourself immobilized by Oops: “If your friends and your enemies are not talking about you, you’re doing something wrong”.

INVOICE 5: Fear – of the unknown. This is probably what stops us not even trying to pay the price. We have become creatures of habit and comfort, and not knowing what the future holds is frightening. As a result of this we rush out and demand basic salaries, insurance, medical aids, unemployment funds, job descriptions, fixed annual leave, set hours and as much predictability as possible.

The future is only unpredictable to those who seek security and who have no plans of their own. Someone once said “If you don’t have a plan for your life someone else has got a plan for your life”.

TOTAL INVOICE: Let’s try and get to a total – rejection, failure, stress, hard work, cancelled orders, delivery problems, nasty people, corporate politics, office politics, back stabbing, lies, deceit, power plays, faulty products, delays, incompetence, betrayal, disappointment, school fees (these have nothing to do with school), court cases, legal fees, lost friends, broken promises, frustration, tears, tantrums, anger, apathy and brick walls. Oh, and that will be due monthly until … well let’s just say the bills stop when you throw in the towel.

Trouble shooting

So, is it worth it? Is the price worth the rewards?

You decide – it’s your call! If you are a successful person, in any field, then the above invoices will make you smile as you look back on every account that you paid personally. A lot of you might be smiling and thinking, if you knew then what you know now you probably would have stayed single, never had kids, got a 9 to 5 job, and spent all of your money on drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a good thing you didn’t know because you would have missed out on the ride of all rides that got you to a place where you could look at yourself in the mirror and be proud. When you can look at the relationships you have built, the things you have achieved, the places you have gone, the friends that you have made and the family that is priceless. Is it worth it? Ask any “successful” person who has the freedom, power, love and recognition they’ve worked for, if they would have it any other way.

Wisdom

Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you are willing to pay the price.” – Vince Lombardi

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Gavin Sharples is proudly associated with the NSBC.