This phrase captivated my attention the other day. It was a marketing message from Who’sy Who making the requisite social media rounds seeking to entice the unsuspecting wanna-preneur onto their list or into their program. I’m not sure what exactly because I was held spellbound by the word “deserve.”
Deserve. It just sounds delicious – like dessert! It has a certain seductive quality. I want to believe it, I absolutely do. But do I – do you -really deserve a successful business?
Absolutely not. What a ridiculous notion. Ranks right up there with every kid deserves a ribbon. It sounds nice, but it doesn’t work. Why? Because the pursuit of improvement, of getting better and better, of excellence, even (and especially) of being the best we can be is what hones us from fumbling wanna-be’s to productive, successful, contributing human beings. What’s the motivation if everyone goes home with a ribbon?
Here’s the problem with deserve: it’s dis-empowering. Savvy CEO’s know that they are not entitled to their success. They must earn it today and earn it again tomorrow and the next day and the next. Wanna-preneurs want to believe in the notion that they deserve success because it gives them an out for all the ways they are under-committed and under-performing in their businesses. And it’s why unscrupulous marketers can play so easily on the wanna-preneur’s fantasy of being entitled to their success.
Feeling like we deserve something is seductive because it allows us to be a “golden victim.” And being a victim, even a golden victim, is the antithesis of empowered and personally responsible. Believing that we deserve gives us an out when things don’t go our way even and especially when we’ve worked hard and done everything “right.” Just ask my friend Peyton Manning about that.
A successful business that allows you to do what you love is the result of putting consistent value into the market in such a way that people want to pay you enough to make a profit. It’s the result of consistently doing the right thing at the right time even when you’d rather be doing something else. And call it “luck” or “divine intervention” success is also the result of many factors outside of yourself and your control.
No one achieves success because they deserve it, but you may at any time you choose step into becoming the kind of person who creates and sustains it.