Thoughts from 33,000 feet today.
I just finished listening to the audiobook “Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur” by Sir Richard Branson. The audiobook is largely a series of reflections on his life in business, read by the author. In the last chapter, Branson contemplates how we tend to define success. Too often that involves how much money we make or how much celebrity we gain. Sir Richard Branson certainly has both, but persuasively suggests that those are the wrong measures of success. He writes:
“Indeed, when we talk about success what are we really talking about? Are we talking about money? I’m rich! There I said it. It’s quite an American thing to talk about wealth. In Britain we’re still slightly embarrassed about it, and I think that’s, actually, a good thing…. If money is a poor guide to success in life, celebrity is worse…. Success for me is whether you’ve created something you can be really proud of, where you’ve made a real difference to other people’s lives.”
In my view, he is correct. So, how do you define success?