We’re measuring success the wrong way

September 24th, 2011 § 0

Like many of us that spend way too much time on Hacker News I have recently begun to feel a bit of concern for how success is viewed.

Today so many people talk less about the small successes like Patio11’s bingo card creator in favor of those founders who hit home runs or who sold a company.

As someone who sold a company, let me just tell you. You are measuring success the wrong way.

I’m 24 and I made something happen once. Does this make me a superhero? Nope. Many people are surprised to hear that I do not think I am even a particularly good programmer. Chance and Circumstance are the two words I would use to describe an exit for most people.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I suck at my job or that everyone who sells something is incompetent. What I am saying is simply this.

Winning (in code) should not only be measured by those who do something huge. It’s the small victories that allow great things to be born. And many of those things come from something with much smaller ambitions. Having a sucessful app that pays your bills and allows you to chase your dreams is just as powerful as an exit.

You may not drive a Lamborghini or dine in the finest Restaurants in NYC but make no mistake about it. You ARE a success.

Lately when I talk to people they always seem to think I should feel like some sort of greater being or that I should cast myself as a mentor or someone to look up to. In reality, I look up to those that are trying to create something just as much as they think they should look up to me.

It’s HARD to go out on your own take a risk and put yourself on the line when that’s all you’ve got.

I’ve been at hard places in life, I have chosen between toilet paper and toothpaste (seriously, and dont ask)

And I know what it’s like to be in their shoes. Those guys are a success story.

Failing is what all entrepreneurs do before they succeed. The guys you’ve never heard of know that you only haven’t heard of them YET.

So here’s to you and your success story! Be proud of yourself and what you’re doing. Chase your dreams and live a little. Life is short, if starting a company or having something all your own is something you’ve always dreamed of make that jump.

One way or another you will become your own success story. The truth is those of us that have failed can tell you that we learned a lot more from our failures than our successes.

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