Okay I confess: I’m a hopeless romantic. Used to choke up on Casey Kasem’s long distance dedications. Cried during The Bridges of Madison County. And yes, I saw all the Twilight movies.
But that doesn’t mean you have to romanticize everything. Especially reaching success and creating wealth…
So many people dream of winning the lotto or getting a big inheritance. They want to watch The Secret and have their Bentley materialize in the driveway.
Maybe it’s not romantic to say it, but success takes work. Determination, persistence, sweat, effort, and guts. You’ll face setbacks and go through disappointments. But the people who learn from and grow from those setbacks are the ones that have breakthroughs. That’s the romance.
Likewise, it’s fun to dream of getting Silicon Valley venture capitalists to invest in your new startup and then take it public and become a billionaire. But that’s not how most success stories play out…
The formula for creating wealth may not sound romantic, but it’s fairly simple: add value or solve problems. Every day there are people becoming wealthy because they add value or solve problems. You don’t hear about most of them and their not on the cover of INC magazine. But they are building their dreams and getting rich doing it.
If you have a brilliant tech innovation that will make you a VC darling, by all means go for it. But just know that fortunes will be created over the next ten years in payment processing, manufacturing, delivery, education, logistics and thousands of other “not romantic” fields. When you add value or solve problems, people will joyfully, lovingly, gratefully crawl naked over broken glass and throw money at you.
So don’t over romanticize success. Get to work and take a step closer to your dream every day. But don’t be a skeptic either. Or as Casey would say, "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."