I was finishing my book, “I Can and I Will,” when we were discussing how to promote the book. Some wanted to aggrandize the self-help category, but I saw it as a “success” story. I was born poor, raised in a mobile home until I was 10 years old, and from there we moved into a one-bedroom, one-bath home. I wanted to succeed, and frankly, would do anything it took.
By the time I was in my early 30s, I was a millionaire. I was not happy, and all the money in the world wouldn’t have satisfied me. The problem was that my success did not have a strong foundation. That bedrock of wisdom garnered by God was missing. So, as a result, I lost everything. I had $19.70 to my name and no home.
We clawed our way out of homelessness by working hard. We educated ourselves, formulated a plan, prayed … and it worked. We mowed yards, walked dogs and cleaned houses, and then we took that money and created another business. The business did great! We were not rich, but we had all we needed.
I told a very successful person whom I admired tremendously about my idea of the book being a success story. He told me that I could not promote this book as a success story because I had not yet achieved success.
I agreed with him and started contemplating another strategy and it was like God literally slapped me, reminding me how far my family had come.
Don’t let anyone define your success. Most equate money with success. Don’t make that mistake.
I’ve been a millionaire. I’ve been broke. I’m somewhere in the middle now financially but my only advisor is God. FYI, I’m happier now than I’ve ever been before in my life. Am I successful? I think so! And I owe it all to God.
Rick Stanfield is a syndicated columnist, motivational speaker and author. His latest book is “I Can and I Will.” For more information, visit his website at www.rickstanfield.com