Success Recalibration

Modern success is so commonly associated with materialism and status. Real success is happiness and freedom while true wealth is health.

A visual illustration of the blog Title
Graphic by iconicTYPE

I’ve worked corporate jobs where people make an astonishing amount of money but are still not happy. You’ve heard the saying, ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’,  while it’s true, money can bring happiness but like everything in life you need balance. Money makes life easier but happiness is a lot harder to achieve. 

Too many people get caught in the rat race of making more and more money, thinking that one day like the flick of a switch they will be happy. They keep telling themselves, “Once I make X amount I will be happy”. They make X amount but then push the goal to Y, and so the cycle continues.

Success can be achieved right now in the present by rethinking your priorities in life.

I will cover the traditional meaning of success and how to achieve fame and fortune but let’s first explore the new success; freedom, happiness and health.

Write down what matters to you most in life. This will help you to define your actions and goals in order to achieve success in life. Personally I define success as having the freedom to do what I want, when I want. 

Take each thing that matters to you and invert it. Think about what you need to do to achieve the goal, these are your actions. Now that your actions are defined, you need to set a strict routine to progress your actions in order to reach your goal.

If you don’t yet know what matters to you, what your purpose is or need help and guidance on defining your success, continue to follow the blog as I’ll be writing more articles on this subject.

To summarise:

  1. Write down what matters to you most in life.
  2. Take each thing that matters to you and invert it.
  3. This will give you actions.
  4. Set a strict routine to progress your actions in order to reach your goal.

A personal story of my journey to success.

From 2016 to 2019 I worked full time in a B2B sales team for a large corporate company. The salary and benefits were great. A year into the job, during 2017/18 my wife and I were able to go on 4 luxurious vacations while also saving for a house deposit and paying rent. Mid 2018 we bought our first and current home, two weeks later I bought a (used but recent model) Mercedes. I’m not telling you this to brag, I’m telling you this because it didn’t bring me happiness, it brought me fleeting joy. I do of course love and appreciate the house, car and experiences I’ve had but again, true success equals freedom, happiness and health, none of which I had. This was due to a job that I didn’t enjoy or feel fulfilled in doing, the lack of freedom due to the archaic 40 hour work week and declining mental health due to the stress and time commitment of my job. 

I changed this in 2019 by going part time, 25 hours a week, still working 5 days a week but reduced to 5 hours a day from the office. This again brought fleeting joy for a few months until the lack of fulfilment crept back. That same year I along with my wife started an online subscription box targeted at women (the website is now gone but the remnants can be found on Instagram). By the start of 2020 we decided to close up shop, we just couldn’t compete with the various other brands already doing the same thing (with the help of VC money). We made a bet that we could succeed on the back of our brand but the reality of leveraging brand loyalty is a lot harder and takes a lot longer than we expected.

A couple months into 2020 COVID-19 spread worldwide and so we were in a national lockdown, my wife started up a local homemade ice cream delivery service which was getting a lot of interest and orders from Nextdoor (a social media app for local communities). Seeing how well it was doing, I quickly put together a Shopify store ( to manage payments, ordering and general business updates. It’s now a successful local brand with a loyal customer base who market for us via word of mouth. 

In July, partly from the success of Two Scoops and for my own mental health I decided to reduce my work hours to 18 hours per week (2.5 days working from home Mon-Wed). This single change has provided the freedom, happiness and health I’ve been looking for. I’m now working out more, less stressed and much happier.

Two months later in September my wife and I decided to try for a baby, luckily we got pregnant almost immediately and she’s due on June 1st. My wife had been ready for the past year, I however wanted to wait a few more years (again putting an arbitrary number on when is the right time, because I felt I hadn’t achieved the success I was looking for). One morning while in the shower, I just changed my mind and was ready, this felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I now cannot wait for our baby girl to arrive and believe its the best decision I’ve ever made. A child just seems to add perspective to life, it’s no longer about me, I have a purpose and a child to take care of.

A couple months later I had the urge to start writing. I’m a technology enthusiast and have a lot of thoughts, ideas and opinions on the tech industry, the policies of big tech, their products and trends. I bought the url then suddenly lost the urge to write, I soon realised that as much as I love the subject, I don’t feel compelled or excited to write about it. Over that same period I had the idea to start a blog or an online course on finding your purpose. I’m yet to do this but the urge to write about the subject kicked in, I couldn’t find a catchy name (or affordable url due to all the domain squatting) available. One night came to me and to my surprise the url was available. The rest is history, or a matter of weeks ago.

As you can see, success is a journey, it doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t mean the same thing to every one. Live your life, embrace each moment, work on your passions and eventually it will lead you in the right direction. 

There is a reason why financially successful people like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Richard Branson continue to work. Because it’s their purpose, it’s how they got rich and they’re passionate about what they do.

If your idea of success is still fame and finance focused then now is the best time in history to achieve this, here is an example of how to achieve both:

Anyone with a personality who can entertain can make it big on social media these days. Youtube, TikTok, Instagram and whatever comes next have all produced massive stars. The age of movie and music celebrity is coming to an end, yes they will still be relevant but it’s not the main way to become famous or have celebrity status.

Use the corporate world to your advantage, work a day job for a few years while saving the majority of your income if you’re able. Check out the FIRE movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early) or Mr Money Moustache for financial tips on retiring early.

This likely isn’t possible for most people (myself included), but you have more control than you think, you just need the willpower to leverage it. Use your skills to your advantage, hustle alongside your day job (within reason — again the goal is happiness, don’t make yourself miserable).

The inspiration for this post came from a movie I recently watched, Nomadland (2020).

In the movie, a group of people sitting around a campfire exchange stories of how they became nomads. One woman told the story of her colleague Bill.

Bill worked a corporate job and had liver failure. A week before he was due to retire HR called him at the hospice to talk about his retirement. He died 10 days later. Having never taken the sailboat that he bought out of his driveway. Missing out on everything (the life he dreamed of). Before he died, he told his friend; Don’t waste any time. She retired as soon as she could and became a nomad. 

That one scene was 20 minutes in and all I could think about for the rest of the movie. While I’m not planning on becoming a nomad it really made me realise that the real currency in life is time. Don’t waste it.

I hope this article helps you find your own success and purpose in life. 

As with all my opinion pieces, I try to write in a vacuum. This allows me to write my raw thoughts and ideas which led to this very personal story. I guess the random writer is not so random to anyone who personally knows me. Hello, I’m now a blogger!

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