Do you know anyone who is “self-made”? How would you describe them? Do you know what that means to you? Let’s look at this subject today, and keep in mind your definition of “self-made” while you read.
From time to time, we hear someone describe him- or herself as “self-made.” What they usually mean is that their success wasn’t because they were born to wealthy, successful parents who set them up in life and work. Typically, they managed to succeed in spite of great odds. This is a generally accepted definition of self-made.
A few years back, when Lou Tice, Co-Founder of The Pacific Institute, was giving a talk to a group of businesspeople, he asked all the “self-made” folks to stand up. About 25 percent of the audience stood. Lou told them that every one of them should have been on their feet. You see, in the final analysis, all of us are self-made. Sure, some of us get off to an easier start, and some of us are fortunate enough to have had parents or others who helped us recognize and use our talents.
But success is not a matter of luck, or talent, or of being gifted. More than anything else, success is a matter of belief and persistence. If you don’t believe you can succeed, no amount of talent or money or good parenting will help you. (How many second-generation “family” businesses have you seen fail?) If you do believe you can succeed and refuse to give up no matter how hard the struggle, no obstacle, setback, or disadvantage will stop you anyway.
George Bernard Shaw said it perfectly: “People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. But the people who get on in this world are those who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.”
So, has your definition of “self-made” changed in these last few minutes? Do you want to start making the circumstances you want? Alright then. Begin to take charge of your life by taking accountability for being who you are! And if you don’t like what you see, you do have the power within you to change it.