When I talk or write about it, I always add the caveat that success means different things to different people. For some, money is the true sign of success, while others just want fulfillment.
For me, it’s a combination of the two because I feel like fulfillment will come when my needs and wants are met with the right amount of money. I don’t need to be a billionaire, and the chances of that ever happening this late in my life are slim. But I would like my family and me to be comfortable, knowing we aren’t living check to check anymore.
Along with money, there is a part of me that wants recognition. Do I need to be famous? No, but I would like to be known as a great writer. I would like to have a popular YouTube channel and be known as a good creator.
Is that necessary? No, being known is a want and not a need, but on my Wishlist, those two things would be high up in the rankings.
There are times when I feel like I am spinning my wheels. I’ve been a full-time writer on Medium and elsewhere since 2018, so the fact that I haven’t broken through yet sometimes upsets me. 4 years of hustling and grinding and I feel like something should have happened by now.
But then I think about other writers and creators. How long did Stephen King write continuously until he made it? Carrie got 30 rejections before it was published by Doubleday. Mr. Beast wasn’t an overnight success on YouTube — he struggled and obsessed for 10 years before he made it to the top. In Variety, he said, “I’ve been making videos since I was 11 years old. This number [100 million subscribers] in a way represents everything I’ve ever done in my life and I’m so grateful to everyone who’s ever watched a video. I hope to do YouTube until the day I die.”
What did they have in common? Mr. Beast has said, “All I want is to make the best videos possible and help as many people as I can while doing it.” For him, it was an obsession. He worked every day since he was 11 years old — living and breathing the YouTube algorithm until he found the secret and made it to the top. And do you think King would have kept going after 30 rejections if he wasn’t obsessed with writing and being the best?
So when I feel like quitting, I think about them and know if I keep up with own obsession, and keep hustling, I will find success and fulfillment.
How many times do you feel like quitting? What keeps you going?
For me, it’s a healthy dose of obsession that puts my butt in the chair creating. When I feel like it’s all not worth it, I think about what I want in the end and realize that all this work will make me a success.
When my family can survive without running out of money by the end of the month, I know I will be happy. I know when I am well-known, I will feel some sense of accomplishment that will drive me to keep going.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to stop thinking about how long it is taking to get there and start thinking about the end goal. What is success for you? What are your needs and wants?
The more you think about getting what you want and need in the end the less you will worry over the work it is taking to get there. Develop a healthy sense of obsession. Hell, even an unhealthy sense will get you there. Just don’t let the search for success consume you until there is nothing left of you to enjoy the fruit of your labor.
I am all for the hustle and grind, as long as it doesn’t come at the expense of my sanity. If you are anything like me, you need to practice self-care often, and it doesn’t help the search for success if you are too sick and depressed to create. You need to be at the top of your game if you want to be productive and creative.
So, keep at it. Be obsessed with being the best writer or creator. Be obsessed with reaching your goals no matter how long it takes and how much you have to work.
My best advice is to keep going until you find your version of success.