Are you successful?

Today, rather than tooting his own horn, Seth Godin asks some very thought-provoking questions.


“Are you successful?”


“Is your brand or your organization?”


“How do you know?”


You can read the rest of his post here.

I won’t comment until you do.

4 thoughts on “Are you successful?

  1. I’m a wee bit troubled by Seth’s post. If success is about keeping your promises, and happiness is somewhat tied to your success, it seems there would be a natural incentive for people to set low goals and not make any difficult promises. Of course, I’m not advocating not keeping your promises (that would be stupid), but what’s the incentive to take risk then?

  2. Goals are personal.  We all have different gifts, abilities, and talents.  Set goals based on your standards and not others.  In order to grow, one must risk failure willingly.  Self efficacy is the ability to meet challenges as they arise.  If you continue to challenge yourself, you will gain experience.  Experience allows us to grow and accept new challenges.  Your ability to reach higher goals and make promises based on those goals is not so risky anymore.  Role models can provide motivation for your success.  Helping others to reach their goals by sharing experiences will help you to reflect upon your successes and failures.  If you have a group of people that share your philosophy, you will all grow faster, reach loftier goals, and experience success beyond your original dreams.  Some call this the philosophy of Givers Gain.The joy is in the journey.  Personal reflection defines ones success and guides the next step.  Money is a common measurement of success.  Remember, time is not controllable.  Luckily, you do get to control how you experience time.  Be careful that you do not worship at the wrong alter. 

  3. Now this is interesting! When I read Seth’s post, I guess I didn’t think in terms of personal goals. As a matter of fact, I concentrated on the first three questions that Seth asked? Am I successful? Is my brand or organization? How do I know? I am successful because my clients tell me so. Why? Because they ask me to do stuff and I agree (promise). I know that my collection practice isn’t the biggest in the world, but I know that I have some very loyal clients. These clients will sometimes ask us to do things that stretch our capabilities and we usually take the challenge, but if we foresee any potentially insurmountable obstacles, we make our client aware that we are accepting the challenge but may need to revise “our promise” should these obstacles occur. Delivering on difficult promises is how we make our reputation, so it’s better to promise “probably” and deliver definitely if everything goes smoothly than to promise “definitely” and disappoint a customer. About 450BC, Euripides is credited with saying,“Along with success comes a reputation for wisdom.” I hope my development clients chime in here, because I do make promises to each of them and I think they’ll say that the promises aren’t necessarily “slam dunks”, but they are attainable given the parameters that we placed on them.Now, with regard to goals, Chris Mott teaches a module on charting your course. At the end of the module the student typically realizes that they’ve been setting their goals too low and still missing them because they didn’t have a well thought out plan. What is a well thought out plan? It starts with a goal and make it a big one. Take your three year goal and make it a one year goal. Now, figure out what you’ll have to do monthly, weekly, and daily to get it. Done? Not yet. Now, make a list of all the potential obstacles. Now write the solution to each potential obstacle. Now decide if you want to accept the challenge. You know what you need to do daily. You know what the obstacles are. You know what you’re gonna need to do for each obstacle. Given all that, will you take the challenge? Will you commit to the goal? Will you make the promise?That, I believe, is how you set yourself up for success. By making well thought out promises to yourself, your loved ones, your associates, and your clients and customers.

  4. One of the reasons Seth’s line seems to have resonated with a number of people is because it can be interpreted in a number of different ways–keeping our promises to ourselves (our personal goals), keeping our promises to others (our explicit agreements), and living up to the promise inherent in our “brands,” personal and otherwise (our implicit agreements.) Ed

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