Three Pillars of Success: First is Work Hard

The first in a three part series.

I was recently asked to speak to a group of high school seniors. They have so many opportunities and choices right now that it would seem the world is their oyster. That is true but it also a terrifying time because of the multitude of choices. What if they make wrong choice?

I was there to let them know that there is no wrong path because life is a journey and you might go down one path and decide to change that path but you’re going to learn something from that path that you’re going to take to the next one. So each journey down a path is not wasted time or effort.

I started telling them a bit about my career path. Oh my goodness it’s been all over the place. I graduated with an English literature degree with no idea what I was going to do. My first job was finding expert witnesses for court cases. It was an interesting job because I got to talk to such a wide variety of people ranging from brain surgeons to trash collectors. I ended up quitting eventually because the works conditions so then I was unemployed for a bit. Then I worked for a company that provided temporary staffing. I learned so much in that job because I was the assistant for one of the owners and the company was on a fast track to become a an international multi-billion dollar company. Then I sold real estate and wrote technical manuals for large equipment. Eventually I started a software engineering company. So that career path did not make a lot of sense but it DID work because I learned something from each position.

I think I was a success. But what defines success? For me the definition is being happy where you end up and in that sense I think I was successful.

So what gets you to that successful finish line? The first one for me is to Work Hard.

It is such a simple one but it’s something that doesn’t always happen. All of us are given gifts — maybe you are extraordinarily smart, maybe you can speak well or network with people, maybe you can solve problems that others cannot. What you do with that gift is what really matters and that’s where the work hard comes in and there is no substitute for it.

When I started my company, I worked a LOT of hours. There were times where I slept on the floor because I was working so many hours — maybe that wasn’t the smartest thing for my health — but it was necessary to get the company going. You can be given many extraordinary gifts but if you do not work hard, you will waste them. Whether you’re trying to start a business or whether you are starting your career, or cleaning your house, there certainly is no substitute for working hard.

So that is the first pillar of success. We will chat about the next one in the next posting.

This series is a synopsis of three sunrise chats I did as part of my Tuesday sunrise chat series. You can find them on Facebook and YouTube if you prefer to watch rather than read. Tune in LIVE each Tuesday at sunrise or catch them on the replay on Facebook or YouTube.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: