How to Think About Success

I’ve been having lots of conversations lately with clients around the idea of how you achieve success, and one person specifically asked me, “How are you successful?”

Rather than answering right away, I chose to think about it for a while. While the question was still rolling around in my mind, I attended a conference on investing. The instructor, Phil Town, was a Green Beret during the Vietnam War. He didn’t set out to be an investor, but once he decided to become one, he couldn’t fail to bring his real-life experience into his chosen profession. He challenged us to think about our level of willingness to really learn and to think about what committing to really learning means.

Phil told a poignant story about his special forces training during which the challenge was to keep going long after you thought you couldn’t. His conclusion was that success is the result of getting up and continuing on. In addition to taking the first step, you have to keep taking more steps and get up after you’ve been knocked down. This reminded me of the work I’ve done with professional athletes where the real challenge isn’t so much always being in the flow as it is to bounce back from mistakes.

More than once I’ve told clients that being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart, and I think that what I’ve heard from Phil reiterates that idea. I know that more than once I considered going back to a J-O-B, especially when I was struggling with fear—fear that I wouldn’t be able to make enough money, fear that my efforts would not achieve success. I really believe that what ultimately made me successful was the willingness to continue getting up.

I’m laughing at myself because I want to inject an NLP presupposition now, such as “If what you’re doing doesn’t work, do something different,” and one of my personal favorites, “There is no failure, only feedback.” Ultimately, however, my success—and your success—depends on a willingness to continue getting up and to take yet another step forward.

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About Terry: Terry Hickey, M.S., is a Certified NLP Professional Coach, Business Trainer and Consultant, a Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the co-owner of NLP Advantage Group. Originator of the Belief Breakthrough Method™, Terry specializes in teaching coaches and entrepreneurs how to rapidly resolve limiting beliefs about wealth and success. His tips and strategies can help you launch yourself into the future you want… NOW.


  1. Pamelah says:

    Terry, so happy to be part of the CBN and watch you step into ownership of your talent, skill and abilities.

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