Why The Most Successful People Work Hard Even After They’ve “Made It”

Isn’t the goal of financial success to be able to live the Caribbean life?

Then why do we see so many millionaires working like sled dogs?

The answer: Success has a unique taste (it’s similar to ice cream). It tastes so good that it makes you want to stuff yourself and try all the flavors.

Girls and Ice Cream
Women and ice cream – what more could you ask for?  Sprinkles.

If logic had its way, you would work harder as you needed more money, right?  From what I see, the opposite is true. People rely on unemployment checks and medicaid to support them as they watch TV. Meanwhile, the rich are still working 12 hour days.  This is insanity!  Why are the people who already have money working harder than those who need it most?

The cop-out answer is “that’s why they’re successful.”  I’m not content to stop there. I want to know why some people work harder than others.

Note: I’m not talking about the success mindset here, but the traditional way that success is defined – accomplishments.

A Compelling Reason To Work

For every action or inaction, there is a motive.  When we think about the motive of a millionaire or billionaire to keep working hard, what are the broad possibilities?

  1. Make more money – Hmm…maybe millionaires might still want more, but billionaires? There must be something else.
  2. Gain more power/influence – this is a possibility.  I’m still not convinced though.  What could be the common factor?
  3. They enjoy it? Bingo.

“A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God” ~ Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2:24

If you’re not familiar with Ecclesiastes, throughout it, the author speaks of the vanity and pointlessness of “everything under the sun.” Our time on this sphere is so short that it is hard to argue with him.  We will all be forgotten.

If you have enough money to retire, move to paradise, and relax but you’re still working, you MUST love the work you do.  When you’re seeing a great deal of validation (i.e. success) coming from your work , work can be a true joy.  But is success itself enough to satisfy us?  I think not!

Passion Is Traction

Success is much easier to achieve if you enjoy the journey to reach it. Passion is a slow-burning fuel that can last a lifetime.  Greed and the desire to be rich is a quick-burning lust that fades as the burden of work saps your life force.

Productive business woman
Is she playing tic tac toe over the phone?  

Do you know of anyone who “suffers” through jobs they hate on the path to wealth? I can’t say this for sure, but I believe many of them find themselves empty inside when they “reach the top.” They realize that they just made $100 million, but they wasted 30 miserable years of their life to get it.

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.”  ~ David Frost

Back To Success

In the beginning I talked about the taste of success.  I mentioned that success has such a wonderful taste that you want to try all of the flavors.  I say that because I’ve tasted it – just a tiny sample of it – and it is potently delicious!

I started this blog in mid-March. One night in my apartment in Charlottesville, I received an email from Problogger saying that my submitted guest post was accepted. I started running around the apartment (in circles) saying words that don’t exist yet (I am weird, but it makes life fun). Problogger is one of the biggest blogs in the world!

The more you taste success, the more you want it.  It’s like blood in the water for a shark, but not as dangerous for swimmers.

This was my first taste of success. It was my first taste of success doing something that I loved to do (career-wise). It gave me a bit of validation that I could write well – and when the post was very well received – I had validation that I could write content that people wanted to read. I can see how people become workaholics. The realization of tangible progress towards achieving your dreams is exhilarating.

This positive energy improves your creativity (I will write about this sometime), boosts your confidence, and gives you the drive to taste more success. Don’t believe me? You should, because I’ve been featured on Problogger four times now. If the first one didn’t happen, neither would the rest.

This “taste of success” has been very important to me in the times when I’m disappointed in my subscriber numbers or traffic (which are both decent for my young blog, but could be better).

You Can Taste Success In Four Difficult, Worthwhile Steps

  1. Set aside time for a deep thinking session.  In this session, you will determine what you are passionate about – look at how you spend free time, what excites you about life, and what abilities give you the greatest satisfaction in using.
  2. Figure out a way to get paid for your passion – consulting, blogging, working for a company, creating products, etc.
  3. Focus on ONE milestone that would mean a lot to you.  Is it guest posting on a huge blog? Is it getting a job for a certain type of company? Is it to finish creating a product? Is it getting your first client?  Don’t make the milestone big – make it small.  You’re just getting a sample of the success ice cream – not the large.
  4. Pour your soul into this mission.  Fail several times. Get up again and work 80 hours a week. Chase it. Tackle it.

I’ve tasted success a few times. Right now I’m looking forward to the satisfaction of completing an ebook I’m working on. It’s going to be free, by the way, to prove to you that I can write a book worth buying before trying to sell you anything.

I’ll be taking my own advice with the ebook. I’m going to work on it until I get carpel tunnel syndrome.  Then I’ll have to wear one of those fashionable wrist braces.

Once you taste it – you should dwell on your success.  Reward yourself. Failure is to be learned from. We all know that. But success is to be celebrated and recycled. Success has a way of replicating itself if you know how to leverage your first taste of it.

The challenge is in the beginning. Deep down, we all know we’re capable of doing great things – but we still have to prove it to ourselves. I knew I could write fairly well and that I had some good ideas – but I couldn’t really believe it until I saw myself doing it.

Get started today.  Chip away at that intimidating project by focusing on the first success milestone. Once you get it – and you WILL – you’ll see that nothing can stop you if you’re focused, persistent, and passionate about what you’re doing.

Do you have an example of tasting success that created more success for you? I’d love to hear about it.

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