There are many different kinds of success.
What is your idea of success?
How do you measure your own achievements in life?
One person’s idea of success may not be the same as another’s. For some, it might mean fame and fortune; for others, it could mean something more modest like a good job with stability and benefits.
There are also good kinds of success and of course, bad kinds as well. Don’t get me wrong, both kinds good and bad successes pursue the same things: profit, growth etc…but the difference is the who, how and why.
The biggest differentiator is why.
The pursuit of “good” success has been on my mind since 2015-ish because I’ve noticed that there is plenty of bad kind of success out there: where people will pursue money, fame or ___ at the price of anything.
You know, the sort of “I must win at the cost of everything and anything”.
I’ve met business leaders who had told me, that if I work with them, I cannot leave them to be on my own, if not, they will “turn on the faucet to nuke everything and may everyone die.”
It’s the sort that if-you-leave-me-then-you-must-die-because-if-I-cant-have-you-then-I-must-kill-you.
He’s definitely sociopathic.
And another person who turned entire agreements around to say that “such agreements don’t matter even though they signed the agreement because they didn’t read the agreement when they signed it.”
This one is borderline sociopathic, but moreso dumb – but the world seem to love these kind of crazies.
Good few people would consider this to be a good or sustainable form of happiness or achievement in life. I consciously decide not to work with these kind of people and organizations because it’s a different philosopy and consciousness.
Perhaps I am naive for believing in an ideal kind of business and life, where everyone wins. Everyone includes everyone. You know, each other, clients, society, environment. Everyone wins means everyone wins. Not some win some lose.
What if we had the opportunity to choose between two paths: one leading to the pursuit and attainment of “bad” type successes (fame, fortune and recognition) but with a definite end (once the fame is gone or you run out of money, or thinking is okay to cheat and manipulate others to win).
Likewise another example: this business leader who cheated on his wife, and was found out because there is always evidence and witness. She decided to divorce him, and he sent her a legal letter to indicate that the reason of the divorce was “she didn’t fulfill her wifely duties”. She threw his request out and when she met him whilst he was with his team, she openly and publicly berated him – and he could only suck on this thumb as he “had nothing on her to nail her.”
We have much ammo to pursue others, but we consciously choose not to. Simply because it’s a waste of time – we get more of what we give. So those that practice evil, lying etc, may they get 100X more of the anguish they dish out.
See, one is playing this way and another is playing the other way.
Which would we choose?
Which one should we choose?
Each time we look back it becomes increasingly clear that our choices were indeed the right ones. And the rate of us looking back decreases with time, as we continue to look forward to build the kind of good success and good lives that we believe in.
Remember I mentioned that good success and bad success does the same thing: we want to earn more and build better lives. The difference is three things: who, how and why.
Who is who we are and who we work with. Not everyone is worth working or living with. You have to be very specific who you want to be (this includes the values that you wish to subscribe to) and who you work for and allow into your life.
How is how we do things. If I earn $1000 per month doing something, would I want to earn the same $1000 but faster by cheating or cutting corners? I wont. I will improve processes and value to increase earnings but not by black practices.
Why is the purpose of what we do. It is the why we do what we do. Simon Sinek recommends to always start with why, because our why is our reason that brings us from where we are to where we want to be. And it cannot be just money, because everyone wants to earn money – it’s a result but it’s not a why.
It’s akin to comparing: do you want to work with someone who will cheat, manipulate and scam others for quick big money? Versus do you want to be and work with someone who will do things the good and right way, for bigger reasons beyond themselves?
One is like working for the person who will cheat on his wife and tries to accuse her of not doing her wifely duties; or that people who has convenient amnesia to justify that their signature on agreement doesn’t count because they didn’t read or working with that rich company who will nuke you if you don’t do what they say?
What I’m sharing is a very difficult thing to do, and not everyone will be able to do it or subscribe to it. You don’t have to.
The majority of the world today will do whatever it takes to bring them ahead, including doing black practices as long as they can get away with it. This includes individuals and organizations.
Should we do something wrong just because everyone is doing it? You know that doesn’t make that wrong a right. It just means that it’s popular but that doesn’t make it right still.
One is doing things this way, the other is doing things the other way.
Again, the question is, what is the kind of good success for you? Will you attempt to get rich quick by following rich individuals and organizations who has no qualms on corrupt practices?
I know someone, I’ve mentioned before, called “smellies” – who hang around rich but corrupt organizations because they smell the money there. And I’ve to admit – there is a lot of money there. But they are at the beck and call of them, and have to dance to the tune of the joker bosses who will make you do black practices so that their own name wont be tarnished.
Anything bad happens, they can just throw you under the bus. Convenient.
Here’s the reason why it’s not a good idea – if they can cheat and manipulate others, they will do it to you too. You may think “I can just stay here X years” and by then I have enough to exit the game.
Do you think they will let you go?
Imagine this – after 10+ years, they will have enough dirt on you to keep you working. Of course they will also have enough information on you to keep dangling just-out-of-reach-carrots to keep you working.
The last person I know has been waiting for a company to go public and it’s been more than 10 years, and from what we can tell, due to their corrupt practices, it’s gonna be a really looooooooooooooooong moon shot to even smell the chance of going public listed (going IPO has a lot of audit requirements – bad books will be found out, and when that happens, there goes the chance of going IPO).
Once they realize, it may be too late – such people may hang around for years and decades, being robbed of their youth and best productivity years of their lives for a dream of becoming rich that may never materialize.
Because of this simple reason: they want to get rich fast, and they think that by working with any rich individuals or organizations will get them to their goals quickly.
Alas, it doesn’t work that way.
These individuals and organizations do not work that way – they are incentivized to manipulate and use individuals to the max intensity and duration, hence they will create forever-hamster-wheels for everyone, including those who want to get rich fast.
It’s the classic long con.
The good kind of success that I believe in? My dream is to create businesses that are transparent, sincere, loving and places people over profits. Where everyone can see who we are doing and what we subscribe to. Where everyone is on the same kind of agreements where we front load as much as possible so as to never need to negotiate for higher salary (we just max it from the beginning).
So that people who want to work with us, is because they want to. Even if they’re more than well to do financially, they choose to work with us because they want to. No need to play political games to earn more etc.
Where I openly apologize if I did wrong, and admit where I’ve no strengths, and where I have clear strengths, I lead the way. Everyone profits together.
That is the good kind of business success and life that I dream for and believe in.
Everyone’s zigging that way, I’m zagging another way – it’s not trying to be different for different sake. I truly believe in good success, good business and the good life where everyone wins, and it’s an open, loving, transparent and good game.
I’m playing the long game of good success and life.
Simon Sinek calls this the Infinite Game – he brilliantly defines and explains what my dream and desire in an ideal business is.
Over time, my people have told me through casual conversations where the individual who “left because they didnt read the agreement” had tried to poach them too, offering high amount. But they didn’t take it, because they could see through her character.
People aren’t dumb. Well maybe most aren’t. I believe that most people are smart and desire to do good and do well.
The promised shortcut to get rich quick is usually a scam and con. The long game of playing it right and good is the short cut to get rich quick.
If you’ve reached the point where your success is only defined by what other people think (or where a large group on individuals cheer and root for you), then it’s not worth considering anymore because this kind of “success” will always be short-lived and unsustainable for yourself in ways that matter to us too much.”
Because mob doesn’t mean right. It may mean might (strength), but it’s doesn’t mean right.
Question everything that you’re doing, thinking and where you’re working.
It’s important to remember that you’re in charge of your own success and happiness – no one else can do it for us.
I’m the founder and writer here at NigelChua.com; as well as serial entrepreneur, therapy business entrepreneur, digital entrepreneur, investor and also happy husband, father and Christian.
I love good success and freedom and learned early in life on importance of making more and entrepreneurship. Started and sold off a business for 7-figures; built another 7-figure one and growing it further, as well as building/investing into other businesses and investments as well as advisory works.
I help motivate and/or bring clarity to people as to building their lives based on what matters most to them – this could be earning more with entrepreneurship or a side hustle; or scaling back their expenses (or kill their mindless spending and keeping up with the Joneses’); improving communications, relationships, problem-solving and other growth-related matters.
All for one main purpose: to help readers become happier by build their lives according to what matters most to them.
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