Being successful (It’s not the same as being a success)

 One has to do with accomplishment and the other with the ongoing will to improve continuously.  One looks back at what was completed and the other looks forward to what is needed to stay vibrant.

A success is old news!

There is a strong correlation with getting up in the morning and getting up in the world. And nothing that good happens after 10 p.m., anyway.  Or maybe I’m just a morning person.  Much of success is state of mind. In the early ‘90’s, when I entered the business world, I half-jokingly told my parents and family I was one of the best financial advisors in the world. They would look at me and laugh. One of them would say, “Matt you hardly have any clients. You’re just starting out and I know darn well know you are not the best financial advisor in the world.” I would pause and say, “Those are simply my circumstances, but I’m doing everything to be one of the best financial advisors in the world.”

Part of being successful is luck.  Think of Christopher Columbus. Fairly successful, right? Discovered the new world and all, despite the fact that he didn’t know where he was going when he started, when he got there he didn’t know where he was, and when he got back he didn’t know where he had been. Today, he’s a hero.

But luck is also the residue of design. Not to downplay luck, but, successful people develop a plan.  That’s the first step. Here are a few more steps down the path:

  • Develop a 5-year plan for your personal and professional life (and update it annually!).
  • Have a positive attitude.  Ask yourself  “What’s the most powerful force in the world?” My favorite answer is, “Your attitude”.  That stuck with me. 
  • Have a commitment – you will do that which you are committed to.  I think I have always been committed to seeing that clients have a suitable, individual plan in place for reaching their goals.
  • Write down 100 things you want to do in your life before you die.
  • Join a nonprofit group that you believe in.  Get involved in something greater than yourself.
  • Write personal notes to friends, family, and clients whenever possible.
  • Find very intelligent people in your life and spend time with them, especially if you don’t always agree with them.
  • Take up meditation: Seriously. I love the quote, "Only in quiet water do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world." Hans Margolius

If you want to be successful, you can wait for luck or you can start to design your plan. I say work hard, have an insatiable focus, never stop learning and growing, and learn from the best mentors. 

Any opinions are those of Matthew Chope, CFP(r) and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.