There’s a Forbes magazine women’s group named ‘Self Made.’ Complete with caps, t-shirts, and other outwardly visible products proclaiming its members as self-made. If asked to join, which is unlikely, I’d have to refuse. I have never met, and probably will never meet, anyone who acquired health, happiness, or success without help from someone else.
Forbes proudly lists America’s richest self-made women. I’m also proud of these women. However, chances are if you asked any one of them who helped them along the way their lists would be long. The old saying ‘everybody needs somebody’ is true – unless you are a hermit dedicated to isolation.
Webster’s definition of self-made: People who have become successful and rich through their own efforts, especially if they started life without money, education, or high social status
Debating the dictionary is one of my favorite pastimes. In this case I disagree one must be rich to be successful. Success is not measured by your financial assets. Real success is measured by the effect of the personal treasures you share – among them time, help, hope.
Who helped you along the way; and what did they do? I could fill pages with those who helped me. The parents who said NO without apology. The teacher who encouraged your potential. The friend who listened. The spouse or partner who cheered you on. The wise ones who made mistakes become lessons. The banker who took a chance on you. (Yes, they do exist.) The help we receive, sometimes without recognizing it as help, is what motivates us to both succeed - and pay it forward.
Education, hard work, resilience, skills, attitude are all important attributes. The most important ingredients for success appear to be the combination of people who have entered our lives at just the right time.
Without apology to Forbes. Self-Made is a myth.
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