So I dunno about you, maybe its the Philly in me, but I hate being referred to as “successful” or a “winner”, I hate it for 3 reasons:
1 - I strive on being the underdog
My motivations often are driven from being the best. In order to strive to be the best it means you have to not think you are the best. How can you climb a mountain when you think you are at the peak already?
I need the perpetual finish line, every time I get close, it moves back even further.
I have to feel like I have never crossed the “success finish line” as I believe in trying to get a little bit better every day I wake up, meaning there is always something I should be striving for that I have not done.
If you think I’m successful, you should see me try to swim or ride my longboard, its a hot mess.
When people ask you how you became “successful” - if you answer that question you already think you are a “success”, which is fine. For me when I get asked that question I answer it the same way… we haven’t done shit yet. I can never allow
That is what I believe, I believe the the future for SEER is so bright that any time I think about my “legacy” or “success” is less time I am spending working. On what matters most.
And guess what, congratulating one’s self has never created a successful company. If anything while you spend time doing that, the underdogs are coming for you.
2 - You are ignoring all the people who help me every day on this journey
Saying I am successful means you are ignoring the people who shaped me, like my mom, my first bosses, my wife who puts up with this, my mentors, and the team who I surround myself with.
Without them “I” wouldn’t have been successful, who won business person of the year me or SEER? My answer, SEER has won business person of the year, not me. If I am given a chance to speak at that award ceremony, I am bringing them up on stage with me, not literally but in my words, my ex-bosses, my wife, my dog, my team, they are all a part of the success here.
3 - My real successes happen in private
My yardstick for success is atypical for most CEOs, I guess. Its mostly time, where do I spend my time, and do I make adequate time for my loved ones. But no one can truly know if I am being successful because the things that make me feel successful most people can not be there to witness since they happen in private.
Success is watching my team members grow, watching my leadership team run parts of this business in ways I never could, writing thank you cards and always being a thankful person, spending time volunteering, I could go on and on, but its never my bank account.
Growth at SEER is important for me to feel like I am on a successful path, I LOVE growing, but its not the finish line for me.